Feel amazing by July 4th!
Welcome to GL's expert-approved plan for eating better and boosting your body confidence. This isn't about bikinis or booty shorts, it's all about upping that energy and, yeah, maybe busting that afternoon boredom eating. Keep reading for our week-by-week plan.
Week 1: What’s my motivation?
There are tons of reasons why you may feel you’re ready for a lifestyle makeover. Is your TV time taking up too much time? Are you reaching for fast food more and more? Are you tired of feeling bad about the way you look? According to Carrie Wiatt, nutritionist and owner of Diet Designs Inc., the No. 1, most important factor in wanting to eat well and exercise should be to feel good about yourself.
“You are in the biggest, most important growth spurt of your life,” Carrie explains. “This is the most critical time for you to learn to eat right and treat your body with respect. If you don’t, you could stunt your growth or develop health problems. Developing good habits early in life will keep you strong and healthy for the rest of your life.”
Check out our healthy snack ideas right HERE and tell us your favorites in the comments.
Week 2: Get real
So you want to lose some weight, or maybe even gain a little. Regardless, you’re not entirely thrilled with that number on the scale. But the bottom line is that striving to gain or lose poundage is a bad idea during the teen years. After all, you are still growing! You should let it grow and develop at its own pace, while treating it right.
Reality check: Ask yourself if you are at a healthy weight. This can be a tough question for girls to answer on their own. If you’re not sure, talk to your doctor about it. You can also calculate your Body Mass Index (go to the Food & Fitness section of kidshealth.org/teen, click on Healthy Weight and then Body Mass Index). BMIs aren’t perfect, though, so going over the results with a health care professional is the best idea. Only those who are truly under- or overweight should be concerned with making weight changes. If you’re not, your goal should be living healthfully, and feeling good. And that’s it.
Journal alert: writing down a couple things you love about your body can help you see yourself in a more positive light.
Week 3: Pay Attention
Sure, you’re ready to go. But before you incorporate any big life changes, it’s honesty time. You need to take a good look at your usual eating habits and exercise routine. Do you grab a snack when you’re bored? When you’re eating dinner, do you load up on the mashed potatoes, but leave the broccoli on your plate? Is your idea of exercise window shopping? Rather than mindlessly going through the motions, pay attention to both your good and bad habits. Then make a list of three things that could be improved, like reaching for a healthier after-school snack or cutting your soda intake.
HERE are four fun workouts you can do anywhere!
Week 4: Eat Regularly (and Stay Hydrated)
Seems like a no-brainer, but it’s common for teens to cut out meals or to wait too long between snacks. This doesn’t cut out calories at all. “Skipping meals slows your metabolism and creates a bigger appetite as the day goes on,” says Carrie. “Regularly scheduled meals are the best way to burn fat efficiently.” So start each day with a delicious breakfast (duh—they say it is the most important meal of the day for a reason).
Keep some healthy snacks handy whenever you travel this summer. Some good bets? Dried fruit, nuts or cereal (or combine them all to make a trail mix). Bonus: Keeping the hunger pains at bay will prevent that all-too-embarrassing stomach rumble and ensure you're not super starving by the time your BFFs start passing around the boardwalk fries. Indulging is A-OK from time-to-time, but if you're just wolfing junk because you didn't eat all day, well, that's just not healthy.
So, tell us, what are your favorite ways to exercise during the summer months?