Monday, July 11, 2011

FBD: Teenagers & Diets

Should a teenager diet?

Picture source:

Heck NO!

But ... should a teenager learn to make healthy choices and eat right?

Heck YEAH!


I appreciate all of the great comments and feedback on these "Flat Belly Diet" (FBD) posts; one of which spurred this line of thinking about teenagers and diets.

While this healthy eating program is formally titled a "diet" ... I have to tell you, we are eating more food and better food than we have previously. In the past, we've eaten less, but it was junk that was higher in calories, higher in salt, and higher in fat content.

My teenagers are thrilled with our menu, but I've had to instruct them to stop telling people they're on a "diet" because of the harsh feedback I'm getting from people (in daily life). My kids don't understand what the issue is, because I've never "put them on a diet" before and the food we are eating is awesome (with one major exception which I will blog about soon).

Here's an example of how well my kids are doing on this program: 

Last week, my daughter participated in a volleyball tournament. The first day, she played 7 1/2 hours of volleyball. Sheesh! I was concerned about her water intake as well as her calorie intake. I made sure she stayed well hydrated and when she had a break, I made her eat the FBD meal that was scheduled. I offered her more food, and she said she was honestly stuffed. I told her she needed more calories because of the physical activity. She insisted she was fine.

At the end of the evening (10:15pm) I asked her if she felt light headed at all. She didn't understand the purpose of the question and said, "Mom, I have never felt this good after this much playing. It's amazing."

So, while the other girls on her team had been downing bags of chips, chocolate bars, gatorade, and other miscellaneous foods, my daughter ate her protein, fruit, veggies, and nuts and had the fuel necessary to keep playing.

That's a testament to the well balanced foods of this program.

As far as dropping pounds, both of my teenagers dropped during the 4 day jump start, but today we had our weekly weigh-in, and my son stayed the same with his weight (but his belly is noticeably slimmer) and my daughter went down 1.5 pounds. Considering how much volleyball she played last week, that's reasonable. You'll have to check back to find out how my weigh-in went. :)

Having our family participate in this healthier eating program has been a very positive experience for all of us. Plus, we've felt a great sense of teamwork doing it together.

What do you think? Is it wrong to put kids on a diet? Do you think that's what I have done here with this program?


  1. I think you're just encouraging healthy eating AND exercise, which is great. We only get one body for our entire lives, so it's important to pay attention to what you put into it and how you treat it. I think of it as a car--if you had only one car your whole life, wouldn't you treat it better? Wash it and get those regular oil changes and check ups? Vaccuum the back seat and polish the dash, taking care not to spill or push it too hard or drive it on low tires? People often don't treat their bodies better than a car, but we only get one body. No trade-ins. You're teaching your kids life skills about how to respect their body. I don't have a problem with what you're doing at all.

  2. It is wrong to put kids on a diet, but you're right - it's not wrong to make them eat healthy. I wish I could eat healthier. Just wanting to eat healthier already makes me lose my appetite for junk food, I think that's a good start, right? I'll have to feed off your inspiring stories and try it. ;)

  3. Having been on/off diets since I was in my teens, I know it can be a problem. I was ALWAYS heavy (10.5 pounds at birth). The "diet" you describe as you say, isn't a diet! It is more about choice, and how we SHOULD eat.

    I have never been a junk-food kind of person. Rarely do I go to a burger place, rarely do I buy chips or processed food. My weakness is carbs, and that I like to bake....sigh....I should not have cooking/baking as a hobby.

    I am being much more conscious of what I eat and work out much more, but pounds come off slow. I am blogging about it on my blog.

    I raised my daughter on a diet of veggies/fruit/lean meats. She has always loved her veggies.

    Regardless of weight, I think you will all be healthier for it! Keep at it!


  4. I think people need to be proud of their looks and that society needs to stop force-feeding us the ideal image of what we should expect in men and women.

  5. It's that word: diet. A four-letter word for most women - and not a few men, I think. But, healthy eating? That's a good thing to learn. Too bad diet can't regain it's original meaning of "what we eat". So call it a healthy eating 'plan' and I bet no one gets upset.

  6. In response to Michael's comment, if you consider the ideal image "skinny" or "ripped," then yeah, that gets really dangerous (but obviously that's not what you're talking about in this post...), but having pride in whatever state your body is in to the point of not caring for it until it can't support its own weight, hinders your ability to have healthy children, and causes your organs to deteriorate? That'll only end in heartbreak. Literally.

    Yay for moms and dads who teach their children: Eating healthy is the only way to live!

  7. I also agree with Stephanie. I think the word "diet" no longer works because our society also associates it with something temporary.

    A healthy diet, or healthy eating, is a lifetime view.

  8. Wow, sometimes people really need to mind their own business. It sounds like you are doing a great thing for your family. I wish you continued success!

  9. It's good you're teaching her healthy eating habits! My mom instilled some good eating habits in my sisters and I, and I'll always prefer fruit and veggies over chips. And no, teenagers should not diet unless they are morbidly obese.

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