What is it?
Eating well is vital for good health. When we eat well, we feel strong and healthy, and we are able to concentrate on tasks. Many teenagers have poor eating habits when they favour junk food and snacks over balanced meals. This problem is compounded by irregular meal times and hectic school schedules. The poor eating habits, coupled with pressure from peers or society to look a certain way, can sometime lead to food related challenges.
Some teenagers experience difficulties controlling their diet and their weight. Some may believe that they are too large, hence resort to drastic measures to control their weight. This can include forcing yourself to vomit after meals or by using laxatives or pills. Some may refuse food altogether or resort to new age methods such as intermittent fasting or diet programmes.
Other teenagers may have trouble controlling themselves when they eat and eat much more than they need. They may also eat unhealthy foods often, causing them to put on weight.
If you feel that you have an unhealthy relationship with food, or you are struggling with keeping food down, it may be time to seek help.
How can I eat more healthily?
1. Tell someone what you are going through
Tell a trusted friend, parent, or teacher about the struggles that you are facing as these may be related to image. Your parents and teachers will be able to guide you and work with you to get the help that you need.
2. Use self-affirmation
Tell yourself each day that you are beautiful, you are loved, and you are important. Believe in yourself that you can overcome this challenge.
3. Try to eat small portions of food
Do not push yourself to eat a full meal or even a full portion of anything. Try to have foods that you enjoy, or that your body will accept; chose food that have a high nutrition content such as fruits and vegetables over junk food and snacks.
4. Try to maintain regular meal times
You need to eat regularly and not snack outside of those times. Your body will soon learn to ask for food only at regular intervals, and this will help you to control when and what you are eating. Always aim for a balanced diet and drink plenty of water.