10 Ways To Promote Positive Body Image In Young People


Help Your Daughter Have A Healthy Relationship With Food And Her Body

How does your teen feel about her body?

How does your teen feel about her body?

Young people are bombarded with messages about eating, weight and shape. The media is flooded with the next diet to follow, images of how you should look, and what you need to be doing in order to be healthy, attractive and accepted.

You can’t control the media but you can help young people to think about food and weight in a positive way by controlling the messages they hear at home. Here’s 10 to get you started.

Tip #1: A Healthy Diet Is Enjoying All Food in Moderation

It’s not helpful to see food as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. This kind of thinking can inspire guilt and inadvertently encourage disordered eating. It’s more helpful to think about ‘everyday’ food that best fuels our body (fruit, vegetables, cereals) and ‘sometimes’ food that we can also enjoy (chocolate, chips).

Tip #2: Health Is More Than a Number On The Scales

Patterns of thinking, eating behaviours and physical activity are much more important indicators of health and wellbeing than any changes on a scale. If we focus on looking after ourselves and our bodies the best way we can, an appropriate weight/size for our body type will follow.

Tip #3: Diets Don’t Work

The diet industry is a multimillion dollar machine, continually rolling out new ‘quick fix’ solutions. If diets worked, there wouldn’t need to be a new approach every month. In fact, in the long term, most people who diet end up regaining the weight they lost, and then some.

Tip #4: Enjoy Your Food

In our busy lifestyles it can be easy to eat on auto pilot without even tasting your food. Slowing down the speed of eating and paying more attention to the flavours and textures of food can help us to eat appropriate portions and improve our eating experience.

Tip #5: Listen To Your Body

Listening to your body can help you to better understand why you eat. Do you only eat when you are hungry, or do you eat when you are bored or just because it’s there? Except in the case of eating disorders, which can interfere with your body signals, checking in to see if you are really hungry before you eat is a helpful step.

Tip #6: Eat Regularly

Eating every 3-4 hours and avoiding long periods without food protects against overeating later on.

Tip #7: Every Body Is Different

We are all made to be different, and that’s a good thing. Work towards accepting and nurturing your body as it is meant to be.

Tip #8: Look After Your Body

Take time to do things that nurture your body. Make a list of healthy things that help you feel good, and try to fit them in regularly.

Tip #9: Move your body

Our bodies are built to move! Find a physical activity that you enjoy, and that fits into your daily life and embrace it as an opportunity to build strength and vitality. It could be walking to school, walking to the shops, dancing, yoga or social tennis. Try a number of different things and see what works for you.

Tip #10: Make Feeling Good Your Focus

Don’t get caught up in the money-motivated media message of looking good. When you focus on feeling good instead of looking good you are more able to enjoy the things that matter to you.


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