What high school girls really need to know when it comes to FOOD and EATING HABITS
And it's not counting calories, macros or measuring portion sizes.
I spent 4 years as a collegiate basketball player and 10 years as a Physical Education teacher and Varsity Women's Basketball Coach so I'm no stranger to a lockeroom or what is talked about by the women in those lockerooms.
While relationships and dramas were definitely on the menu, the single most consistent thing I heard from women ages 13-22 was how dissatisfied they were with their bodies and what they needed to change in their eating habits to shrink, shape, tone, or change in someway how they looked.
I was asked weekly which "diet" was best, what food would get rid of belly fat, what superfood would improve their thigh gap?
I realized I was part of an education system that wasn't EDUCATING kids at all on how to eat in ways that were actually healthy, sustainable,or doable. We were teaching them from an early age to eat according to rules INSTEAD of according to their own internal cues and bodies needs and teaching them to equate size, weight, appearance with health which couldn't be farther from the truth.
Physical Education Curriculum should absolutely cover healthy habits and eating behaviors but not in the way it has or is currently.
Here's what years of experience working with kids and now coaching adults specifically on nutrition has taught me is NEEDED MOST:
High School Girls specifically need to know :
How to recognize hunger and respond appropriately. Hunger is something that should be listened to, not ignored, It's a signal it's time to eat just like your bladder sends you a signal it's time to pee. Both need to be honored.
To eat food consistently throughout the day even if you never exercise. You need it to stay alive and it's not something you need to earn through movement. You never need to earn food.
How to make choices in varying situations. Choosing the best food for you is based on lots of factors, some of which are what you have available, what you can afford, what you know how to cook, what foods allow you to feel energized and alert and happy and how much time you have. They need to know HOW to make decisions around food, not just told what foods to eat.
How to spot, resist and question harmful diet information.
How to combine foods into meals that leave them feeling satisfied and happy mentally and physically.
How to deal with the change in signals your body sends you having to do with food when you're on your period. This info alone can ease anxiety and overwhelm around food for so many girls and women.
All these things can be learned, practiced and used to create healthy eating habits that last a lifetime, and a relationship with food and their bodies that's nourishing and positive.
Got questions on anything I shared above? Post below and I'm happy to answer.
P.S. If you have a high school athlete who's female and wants to kick ass in her sport this year check out the upcoming Fierce Female Athletes Workshop I'll be hosting soon in my events section. All high female school athletes welcome. Reach out with questions or to book your team or spot today be emailing Luciana at email@example.com