Diet vs. Lifestyle
After many teens realize that they are overweight and need to change their eating habits, they think, "No problem. I'll just go on a diet for a month or two to take off the extra pounds."
Which, you may think, is what the idea was behind dieting in the first place. But there's a problem. When your body enters "starvation mode", it conserves all the body fat it can to protect itself, and instead burns more calories stored in muscle tissue to make up for the difference. So, yes, you may start losing weight when on a diet. But it's the wrong type of weight! As soon as the diet ends and you slacken your calorie intake standards, your body starts craving the foods that you've been keeping off of. If at this point you return to the eating habits that you had before you started the diet, where will the extra calories end up? The extra workload on your body will be piled onto your current body fat. So going on a diet actually works against you: after you resume your previous lifestyle, you'll end up with more weight than you started with!
The SolutionSo, if dieting doesn't work, what does? Well, unfortunately, there's no easy solution. The only proven method is to make a change in your lifestyle. Your lifestyle is the underlying thinking behind your daily actions. Diets work like a light switch:
*Click*, you're on a diet.
*Click*, you're off a diet.
Does your underlying thinking and understanding of the foods you eat change? Absolutely not. Changing your lifestyle means a concious change in your outlook on eating habits. Remember: reducing your weight and increasing your health is a long-term investment. You will reap many benefits after you've commited yourself to a healthier lifestyle. After a few months of adjustment, you'll understand that losing weight is only one of the many advantages of eating healthily. A few of the other favorable changes you'll experience are: