Do you find yourself eating junk food when you aren’t even hungry? Do you eat too much or drink too many sugary drinks? Are you not sleeping a full 7-8 hours each night? As a student, I generally feel tired, hungry and even grumpy at times. What is to blame? My diet.
According to Girls’ Life magazine and the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, young girls today are relying on the wrong foods, eating too much, drinking too many calories, and not sleeping or exercising enough. Many young girls and young women eat junk food to avoid stress, anxiety or difficult situations. I tend to eat junk food or drink multiple sodas while studying for a test.
Pizza, sodas and baked goods are the top three calorie sources for kids. In fact, these foods take up approximately 40% of your daily calorie intake. Instead of eating a lot of junk food at once, drink water, eat fruit or eat only small amount of junk food.
While watching how many portions you eat is important, it is also important not to deprive yourself. Many young girls fall into dangerous diet habits, like starving themselves all day only to binge on junk food later. Instead of participating in crash diets, young girls should eat a healthy breakfast—even if it’s only an apple and yogurt—snack on healthy foods throughout the day and of course eat lunch and dinner. Small snacks like fruits, veggie, almonds, and even popcorn can keep your stomach satisfied until your next meal.
Eating right can help, but sleep is key to staying healthy. Lack of sleep can make you crave sugary foods more, so try to sleep 7 or 8 hours each night. I use to get about 5 hours of sleep each night until I forced myself to have a bedtime. Although I sometimes would prefer to watch TV, going to sleep at the same time each night has made me feel a lot better in the mornings and not as tired during while at work.
To learn more about weight gain among teens and how to prevent it, please read Girls’ Life magazine’s “Weight Matters; The Frightening Reasons Teens are Supersizing Themselves in Record Numbers”.
To learn more about the dangers of crash diets, please read “Your Feelings: Eating Disorders”.
- Samantha Bradbeer
Girl Museum, Inc.