Dieting is deciding to eat certain kind of foods in certain amounts for a special purpose - usually in order to either lose weight or not to put on any weight. But sometimes people also have to think very carefully about what they eat because they have some kind of medical problem - like diabetes. Most people, when they say they are
dieting, it means that they are trying to lose weight. Well over half of all girls in the U.K have tried dieting at one time or another. Girls who go on severe diets are 18 times more likely to develop an eating disorder like anorexia. If you are overweight you should therefore try and exercise rather than diet. Most people who go on a strict diet end up by gaining weight, so the important thing is to get into the habit of 'healthy eating' and doing more exercise on a regular basis. The problem is that specialised and faddy diets don't really help you very much when it comes to learning how to manage your weight over your whole life. All foods and many drinks contain energy in the form of sugars, proteins or fat. How much energy the foods contain is usually measured in 'calories'. Eat too many calories and you get gross, too few, you begin to disappear - just the right amount and you are fine. But you don't have to diet to stay your right weight (you can check out whether you are the right weight or not by looking at your 'Body Mass Index' (BMI). If you are under 18 years old you are still growing and developing. Whilst you are growing you need a whole variety of healthy foods. Mostly you can do this by just very generally knowing what healthy eating means. But if you are seriously worried about your weight and are thinking of 'dieting' you might want to talk to your doctor first. Your doctor can help work out your body mass index, (BMI) and discuss with you what you need to do.