You hear people talk about eating right, but they never seem to explain what that means. What's right for a pro basketball player during the playoffs? Or a woman who is six months pregnant? Or a boxer trying to get back down to his fighting weight? They're all different, and so are you. So let's stop trying to define what's right and get into eating well. And eating well is all about you and your goals. back to top
How can I tell if I'm eating well?
When you're eating well, you feel good about your food choices
. You eat a variety of foods that provide the nutrients you need to be fit and in shape. You're investing in your body and your future by not overeating
or taking in more calories
than your body needs. back to top
Why eat a variety of foods?
Your body needs foods that are rich in nutrients
, like apples, brown rice, and broccoli. The easiest way to be sure you're getting the carbohydrates
, and minerals
you need is to eat a variety of foods. A girl who eats only baby carrots and celery is not eating well. Neither is the girl who lives on cheeseburgers and milk shakes. A quick way to find out if you're eating a variety of foods is to keep a food diary
for a week. Compare your record of the foods you eat with the nutritious diet for girls outlined by the food guide pyramid
. Not eating enough fruit? Too much bread and pasta? Adding variety to your food choices will help you get the nutrients
your body needs! back to top
Am I getting enough vitamins and minerals?
Most girls get all the vitamins and minerals they need by healthy food choices
. If you are on a special diet because of food allergies
or a medical condition
, or if you are a vegetatian
, you may need to take a supplement
. Before you run out and buy a bottle of multivitamins
, find out what your recommended dietary allowance
is for essential vitamins
. Girls who read food labels
and use the MyPyamid can get the nutrients they need from the foods already in the house. back to top
Am I eating enough? Too much?
Different people need a different number of calories every day. The amount of food that your body needs depends on your age, metabolism
, body size, and activity level. Most girls need about 2,200 calories a day. Your personal daily calorie requirement
may be different if you haven't started puberty
yet or if you are in the middle of a growth spurt. Listen to your body signals
. If you feel hungry, eat!
Another way to find out if you're eating too much or not enough is to figure out your body mass index (BMI)
. The numbers on the bathroom scale won't tell you whether your weight is normal. There is no set number that says you are too thin, too heavy, or just right. Scales may be handy, but a better measure of a healthy weight is the proportion of fat in your body to lean body mass
. Use the body mass index calculator
to see if you're eating well. back to top