Health and weight


"… that diet worked really well for me and I would’ve been able to keep it up had I had the chef to make the meals and the personal trainer to keep me training."
Young people we spoke to understood that diets don’t always help with weight loss in the long term because eating patterns are only temporarily changed so only give temporary results. Some young people spoke of how they have dieted and managed to lose some weight only to put it back again when they returned to their old eating habits. Several others thought young people shouldn’t diet because they might not understand the possible negative effects of low calorie diets on their bodies. They described their weight when dieting as ‘yo-yoing’ up and down. A few said they also experienced feeling ill, dizziness, lack of energy, temporary insomnia (inability to sleep) and even emotional effects when dieting.

Some of the short-term eating patterns young people tried in order to lose weight included:

• Cutting down on carbohydrates or them cutting out entirely 
• Eating only fruit and vegetables 
• Having only soup or only seafood

Young people identified a number of reasons for diets not working:

• Lack of will power or motivation
• Dieting for the wrong reasons (e.g. trying to drop excess weight to please others)
• Health concerns from parents
• Lack of exercise
Those who attended said that weight loss programmes had helped them understand how to eat healthily. Replacing certain food items like chocolate or cakes with commercial slimming products had helped some but others thought they were too expensive or doubted their nutritional value (see Healthy eating).
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Last reviewed July 2017.


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