It’s great to wanna eat right, but lotsa girls end up taking scary measures to drop a couple of pounds. Here are three common mistakes girls make—and how to avoid these diet disasters.
Vegging out (the wrong way)
It’s great to go green, but you gotta make sure you do it right. “Some girls who exclude meat are at risk for not getting enough protein,” says Katie Clark, Registered Dietitian and Assistant Clinical Professor at the University of California, San Francisco. A lack of protein can lead to headaches, fatigue and crankiness. To side-step these side effects, add nuts, beans, eggs, dairy and soy to your veggie-packed meals. And try to eat complete proteins when ya can, like rice and beans or pita and hummus. A girl can’t survive on cheese sandwiches and pasta alone, so check a veggie cookbook out of the library and get reading.
Falling into the skinny-girl trap.
Just ’cause you’re naturally rail thin doesn’t mean you should snack on whatever you want. Even if they don’t make ya put on the pounds, foods loaded with salt and fat can make you feel sluggish. So reach for natural treats like carrots and hummus or celery and all-natural peanut butter. The better you eat now, the more set you’ll be to make smart decisions in the future.
Think skipping a meal or drastically reducing what ya eat sounds like a simple way to lose weight? Think again. “That’s just a myth,” registered dietician Lindsey Toth tells us. “When you’re body is being underfed, it starts to go into starvation mode and actually begins preserving weight as a survival mechanism.” But the nasty side effects don’t stop there: Passing on meals slows your metabolism, drains your energy and clouds up your brain. Not exactly ideal for running around the lacrosse field or taking an exam. To make sure you stay smartly satiated, stash some healthy snacks like homemade trail mix and dried fruit in your locker, which you can munch on throughout the day.