I don't want to go on a diet!

I’m really insecure about my body. I weight 164 pounds and I am 12 years old. My parents want me to go on a diet, and while I want to be healthy, I really don’t like the idea of restricting what I eat. I also have to exercise for an hour a day, which I find really difficult. What should I do?

I’m sorry you’re having such a difficult time of it, babe. One of the most important things for us to do throughout our lives is to keep ourselves healthy—physically, mentally and emotionally. You shouldn’t have to restrict yourself to live a healthy lifestyle, but it may mean changing up your daily routine a bit. We’ve got some ideas that might make it easier for ya…

Fuel your bod

I hate the word “diet” because it brings to mind crazy crash eating plans that really aren’t good for you at all. What you should be doing, no matter what you weigh, is looking at how you eat and making sure that you’re getting the nutrients that you need every single day. Are you getting enough vitamins a minerals? Are you eating enough produce? Are you packing in the protein to keep your energy up? Are you eating good carbs or lots of fats and sugars?

Don’t cut out your favorite things

Remember: A balanced diet isn’t about stuffing your face full of green beans 24/7. You’re allowed to have treats. Just make sure that your indulgences aren’t overwhelming (a cereal bowl full of ice cream after every meal instead of a scoop or two every so often) and you’re not using them to replace a healthy meal. Cutting out your favorite things will only make you crave them until you can’t resist them anymore…and then you’ll binge. Rewarding yourself with small treats is A-OK.

Find something fun to do

Wanna know a secret? I can’t stand the idea of “working out.” It just makes me not want to do it even more. But when you break that big idea down into things you actually like to do, like biking to your BFF’s house or playing badminton, exercising is fun. All you need to do is to find a way to get that healthy workout in without making it seem like a chore. If you loathe the treadmill, go power walk around your neighborhood, instead. Running makes you feel like you’re gonna keel over? Try rollerblading instead. You can swim, you can play dodgeball, you can go rock climbing, you can jump rope, you can ice skate, you can learn to surf. Whatever it is that tickles your fancy and gets ya moving, do it!

Good luck, lovely!

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by Brittany Taylor | 2/1/2016