Have You Ever Tried Changing Your Eating Habits?

Quck answer

Yes, I have been on a diet before.

If it’s early on in a new year and you’ve been consuming more broiled chicken, steamed vegetables, and salads, there’s a fairly good chance there’s a word that’s been tossed around the dinner table quite a bit: diet. At the start of a new year, many people make resolutions to lose weight, and many people pursue that goal by changing their eating habits.

Have you ever tried changing your eating habits? Of course you have! How do we know? Because you’re alive and you eat food! Your eating habits are actually just the foods you consume on a regular basis. What did you eat this week? That’s your eating habits!

Many people use the word “diet” to mean something more specific, though. When you hear people say they’re on a diet, they usually mean that they’re trying to lose weight by restricting the amount of calories or the types of foods they consume.

Each food and drink you consume has a certain number of calories that corresponds to the amount of energy the food or drink provides to your body. The amount of calories you need to take in on a daily basis varies based upon your age, how active you are, and whether you’re a boy or a girl.

In general, if you consume more calories than your body uses, your body will store those extra calories as fat. If, however, you burn more calories than you consume, your body will convert stored fat for energy, leading to weight loss. When people change their eating habits, they try to limit the number of calories they consume in order to encourage their bodies to burn fat.

Almost everyone struggles with their weight from time to time. Because food is more abundant these days, people are often prone to consuming more calories than their bodies require. We also tend to be more sedentary than past civilizations, when people had to walk to places instead of taking modern transportation and many people had jobs requiring physical labor instead of sitting at a desk.

It’s a good idea to keep track of your weight, because it’s important to maintain a healthy weight to feel your best. Changing eating habits is a common occurrence for many adults, but what about kids? Should kids change their eating habits if they’re overweight?

Doctors and nutritionists usually don’t recommend changing eating habits for kids. Kids need a wide variety of nutrients from many different sources in order to provide their growing bodies with the vitamins, minerals, and fuel they need to thrive. Changing eating habits can restrict the amount and types of foods to an extent that can be unhealthy for growing kids.

For example, some eating plans restrict your calorie intake so severely that your body might not be able to function properly without the fuel it needs. Fad diets often force you to eat only a certain, limited group of foods. This can be dangerous if you don’t consume foods with vitamins and minerals you need.

Instead of changing eating habits, doctors and nutritionists recommend that kids consume a well-balanced variety of healthy foods. In addition, consuming right should be coupled with plenty of exercise in order to help kids reach and maintain a healthy weight.

If you are worried about your weight, it is important to consult a doctor before attempting any kind of special diet that restricts your calorie intake or the types of food you consume. Your doctor will be able to provide advice on how to reach your desired weight while still ensuring that your body receives all the necessary nutrients.

Give it a try

Feeling hungry? Make sure to engage in the following enjoyable activities with a friend or family member:

  • Calculate how many calories you need to consume each day. Did you know that this number varies depending on factors such as age, level of physical activity, and gender? Go online and check out the Estimated Calorie Requirements to determine the recommended range of daily calorie intake.
  • Once you have determined your recommended daily calorie intake, track how many calories you actually consume on a daily basis. Keep a food diary for a week and record every single item of food or drink you consume. At the end of the week, calculate your total calorie intake each day using an online Food Calorie Calculator to determine the calorie content of the foods you consume. You can also refer to the nutritional labels on the foods you eat for a more accurate calorie count. Did you consume more or fewer calories than necessary on a daily basis?
  • Ever wondered how many different diets are available? An enjoyable way to learn about different diets is by visiting a local library or bookstore. Explore the food section and discover the wide variety of diet books available. Read the summaries on the back covers of books that catch your interest. What is the main idea of each diet? What foods are allowed and which ones are prohibited? Which diets seem like they could be sustainable for you if you were to try one? Consult a friend or family member to learn about their experiences with different diets.

Sources of Wonder

  • http://kidshealth.org/kid/stay_healthy/food/diet.html
  • http://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/childrens-health/in-depth/nutrition-for-kids/art-20049335
  • http://www.parenting.com/article/diets-for-kids

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