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Eating One Meal a Day

Published: March 29, 2011
Dear TeenHealthFX,

 

I'm fourteen, 5'3, and weigh 135 pounds, and I feel like I'm overweight. Even though I have lost weight, about twenty pounds, over the last year and a half, I don't know if I can lose any more. I have talked with my mom about this, but she just says loose five pounds and you'll be fine. I have tried eating one meal a day and exercising more, but I still find myself at the same weight. I have talked to the doctor who says my BMI is healthy, but I still have a flabby tummy and fat arms.

Signed: Eating One Meal a Day

Dear Eating One Meal a Day,

 

It is good that your BMI is healthy but TeenHealthFX is guessing that you didn’t mention to the doctor that you have been eating one meal a day. Not only does eating one meal a day deprive your body of the energy it needs throughout the day it has not necessarily going to help you lose weight. Research has shown that eating one big meal a day instead of several small meals is not likely to aid in weight loss and could lead to serious health problems. Various studies have examined the connections between eating patterns and obesity. Even with the same number of calories, people who ate fewer times per day were actually at a higher risk of becoming obese.  People who skipped breakfast in particular were more likely to be overweight. Researchers believe skipping breakfast may lead people to crave more calorie-dense foods later in the day. As a result, those who skip meals may eat more when they do eat than they would otherwise.

 

The nutritional requirements you need change as you get into the teenage years. This is when you enter another growth spurt and puberty takes over. These physical changes, along with increased physical or after-school activities, play a vital role in their eating habits that is why eating at least three balanced meals every day. Breakfast is the most important, a healthy breakfast helps to get your body and mind moving and keep you going strong all day. If you are active try to sneak in a few snacks throughout the day to keep your blood sugar at a constant level. Try to stay away from eating junk food on a regular basis. Instead substitute those chocolate chip cookies or potato chips for some pretzels or fruit. Your body needs a specific amount of nutrients from each of the major food groups every day.

 

To learn more about healthy eating check out ChooseMyPlate.com. On the website you can:

 

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Look up a food

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See what's available

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Get a personalized Plan

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Learn healthy eating tips

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Get weight loss information

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Learn about food groups

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Plan a healthy menu

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Analyze my diet

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Listen to podcasts  ²

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Print materials

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Ask a question

 

 

Eating healthy and proper exercise can help tone your body. Try to exercise at least three to five times per week. Each time you should be exercising enough to work up a sweat for at least twenty minutes (preferably more). But don't limit your physical activity to you work outs at the gym. Try walking/biking more places you'll get more sunlight, which boosts your mood, and you'll also get some less strenuous physical activity. Go for a run, a bike ride, or a challenging hike. If you don't like to exercise on your own, join a fitness club, find a buddy to work out with, or join a sports team. Keeping active will make you stronger physically and mentally.

 

 

Signed: TeenHealthFX

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