Something funny is going on. More girls are on diets and more girls are overweight than ever before. Let's face it, many of us have a tortured relationship with food.
But not liking your body -- and not being able to enjoy food without guilt -- takes the fun out of life. You can wind up feeling bad most of the time, and your friends probably do too. Here are six ways to feel good about yourself and your food.
1. Eat Only When You’re Hungry -- Yeah, Right
Everyday you’re faced with temptation. Food is a big part of birthdays, holidays, and just hanging out with friends. You go on a diet, and that just makes things worse. You deprive yourself, and ignore your body when it says it’s hungry. But let your guard down for one second and suddenly there’s no saying no to that super-size sundae.
2. Stay Away From Yo-yo Dieting
Sure, the miracle diet of the week can melt away pounds. But within a few months, your weight is right back to where it started, and often goes up from there. “Yo-yo dieting is much worse than carrying a few extra pounds,” says Nanci Ginty Butler, LICSW, MSW, who works with girls at Riverside Community Care. You gain more weight over time and also gain more fat.
3. Realize You Are More than Your Looks
“Girls get the message that what they look like is more important than what they can do,” says Catherine Steiner-Adair Catherine Steiner-Adair, EdD, who studies eating disorders at Harvard Medical School. Girls of all sizes tell her they’re not beautiful enough or thin enough to pursue their goals, like being a doctor or a vet.
4. Know the Truth About Eating Disorders
An obsession with food, or not eating food, is bad for you, plain and simple. But below the surface, it’s not about food at all. It's about how you feel about yourself. If you don’t like how you look, or who you are, losing weight is not going to fix that.