Continued from Alessia, Age 13 - 8/4/03 - IP#:  bigbb-c11871

... Don't cut the amount of milk you drink in half, because milk contains calcium and protein, which are needed for strong bones and growth. Instead just change from 2% to 1% milk, or even fat free milk. Add 1% milk to fat free milk to get used to it gradually. Then you don't miss the 1%. Even cutting down a little bit can help. For instance, if you drink just one less 16 oz. Coke a day, and do everything else the same, you will lose 25 pounds in a year. If you have a craving, ask yourself two questions: a) Does your body really need it? If the answer is no, then ask the second question... b) Is it worth the price? Extra food costs you a price. The good taste lasts just a few minutes. But then you gain more weight, and you pay the price for a long time with your self-esteem and your health. Remember: there is a difference between hunger and craving. And it's okay to be hungry sometimes. Try to trick your cravings. Distract yourself with some other interesting thing, like a fun hobby. It also helps to squeeze your hands together real tight until the craving passes. Drink lots of ice water, like maybe with ice cubes and lemon juice. This gives you something to do when you crave, and water fills you up. It's also healthy. Apples are another neat thing to nibble on, since they're sweet, and they're good for you too. Eat to take in something that your body needs rather than just for pleasure or because you are unhappy or nervous. Realize that you eat when you are bored or unhappy. Don't feed a sad heart. You just get sadder. Try to figure out what else gives you pleasure and substitute it for food (like dancing, sports, or computers - if you are not good at sports) Just say no! Over-eating is just a habit; habits can be broken. It's hard at first but then gets easier. An ounce of food fat (like butter or ice cream) causes you to gain more than twice as much weight as an ounce of carbohydrate (like rice) or protein (like lean meat). And eating less fat will not only help you to lose the weight but it will also keep your arteries from getting clogged, and keep you from getting diseases like diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart attacks. So you will live for a longer time. But even more important, you will enjoy your life for a longer time, because diseases like diabetes, heart attacks, and high blood pressure can make you feel bad. Do active stuff that is fun to you, like roller blading, riding a bike, or dancing... whatever you enjoy. Active stuff gets rid of nervous energy, distracts you from overeating, and makes you feel happier too. Try to do whatever you enjoy with other people, since then it's even more fun and people help your self- esteem. It is pretty hard to lose weight by just exercising. For example, you need to run 12 miles, or walk 50 miles, to lose just one pound of fat. You have to cut down on what you eat also. Lets face it... food comforts you. It can soothe the pains of life. That's the reason a lot of people overeat. The trick is to find foods that comfort you, but won't also make you fatter, so that you need even more comfort foods and gain even more weight. Foods like sugar-free candy and low-fat meals and deserts can make a big difference in weight control, while still offering a lot of comfort. Try to find them in your food store. Temptation control: If you are one of those people who can't eat half of something, or you don't have the will power to resist fattening food in front of you, then get the temptations out of your house. Ask your parents not to buy junk food for snacks, but rather to buy fruits and veggies. You will miss the junk food to start with, but pretty soon you don't miss it nearly as much. Another trick is to put all the candy in the highest cabinet of your kitchen, so it's hard to get to. Some kids require less food to run their bodies than others. This was an advantage two hundred years ago when farming was hard and food took a lot of time to prepare. But today in our world where prepared food is easy to get, it is also very easy to eat more than your body uses. So... unless what you take in equals what you use up, you put on weight. Again, it is pretty simple.