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Teenagers and fad diets

(16 Posts)
livingontheedgeee Thu 08-Feb-18 11:20:53

My DD, 16, is always on some kind of fad diet. She hates exercise so tries to control her weight by embarking on the latest craze.

This week, she's decided that she'll eat a liquid only diet which consists of 1 tin of soup a day (which she says is preservative-free), 2 low fat yoghurts and a third of a pre-made smoothie. She's only consuming about 500 calories a day but most of it is sugar! She has low blood pressure so isn't concerned about the salt content of the canned food.

There's no talking to her about the health issues associated with this type of diet. I'm very prepared to make healthy meals for her, salads, vegetables, lean meat/fish etc. but she refuses.

Another issue is she gets no exercise whatsoever! She won't go to the gym, or swimming, or walking - nothing. She expressed an interest in boxing but won't go on her own and none of her friends are interested.


OP’s posts: |
EveryoneTalkAboutPopMusic Thu 08-Feb-18 16:28:31

500 calories a day is way too low. I’m not surprised she doesn’t want to exercise, she’s probably not got the energy. If her friends won’t go to the boxing, could you go with her?

Have you thought of the possibility that this may be an eating disorder? It sounds very extreme.

EveryoneTalkAboutPopMusic Thu 08-Feb-18 17:20:56

Have a read of this from Family Lives OP. I really hope she doesn’t have an eating disorder but if she does, it seems a good idea to get cluedup and quick thanks

upsideup Thu 08-Feb-18 17:23:33

Definately not normal behaviour, take her to the gp asap do discuss eating disorders.
I hope she can feel better quickly OP

Rewn7 Thu 08-Feb-18 22:26:38

Having followed your other thread OP, could the recent issues with your DH be affecting your DD?

Perhaps this is an extreme way of exerting control over part of her life and therefore might be leaning towards an eating disorder if some kind?

orangesticker Fri 09-Feb-18 07:29:06

I remember lots of us on 600kcal a day diets - they never lasted but they did encourage an unhealthy binge starve cycle relationship with food.

livingontheedgeee Fri 09-Feb-18 10:12:53

Don't think she has an eating disorder. She generally has a good relationship with food but then decides she's too fat and hits the latest diet craze. She wants instant gratification from a diet rather than playing the long game.


To an extent she could have been affected as he used to make passive aggressive "jokes" about what she was eating. Just another attempt by him to put her down. Jealousy is an ugly quality.

OP’s posts: |
Rewn7 Fri 09-Feb-18 11:44:14

livingontheedgeee I sympathise as my own Dad did comment on my weight when I was a teen. It has stayed with me forever and certainly affected my self esteem and relationship with food and my body image.

I hope you’re doing ok and hope that you and your DD find strength. You deserve better.

AnnieAnoniMouse Fri 09-Feb-18 12:09:33

At her age we did all the fad diets. None of us really needed to, it was just ‘the thing’. If she’s anything like us they’ll only each last 5 minutes, so it’s absolutely no worse that what most teenagers are eating and better than some eating a ton of crap.

Keep pointing out the flaws in them, but let her get on with it, so long as you don’t think she’s heading into ED territory.

Zebrasmummy Fri 09-Feb-18 17:09:34

To an extent I'd just say nothing, go along with it and make the rest of the family something I know she likes. Unless of course she keeps up 500 calories a day consistently for a good few day - then I'd begin to wonder what's going on. My 17yo DD is regularly talking about being vegan, but given how much she likes gammon I can't see it happening any time soon!
As for eating healthily - ensure its an option, but you can't force them once they're over about 10 in my experience.

livingontheedgeee Fri 09-Feb-18 17:18:58

My 17yo DD is regularly talking about being vegan, but given how much she likes gammon grin

Yes, will just let her tire of it on her own. I've persuaded her to take a supplement every day but whether that helps I don't know.


I'm doing okay. Thank you. Looking forward to the day I don't waken up with a knot in my stomach. Had abusive emails from exDH blaming me and one from the OW saying she doesn't know anything about it. To quote Keith Lemon "standard"!

OP’s posts: |
specialsubject Sat 10-Feb-18 17:41:52

Not good. This kind of terrible eating stuffs up health, bones and fertility. Terrible self confidence issues too, following the crowd with these idiotic diets but not OK to do something she would enjoy because there is no crowd.

More to sport than run and throw - is there anyone who would mentor her to try the boxing? Any group she could join to do anything that involves moving?

And buy her the angry chef book. Paltrow has a lot to answer for.

MachineBee Wed 14-Feb-18 08:35:43

It’s amazing how some comments stick with DCs for life and others (that would more useful) are forgotten immediately.

I hope this is just a passing phase for your DD and that things are settling for you all.

EveryoneTalkAboutPopMusic Wed 14-Feb-18 08:41:19

How is she now living? Is she still on the diet? I’ve been reading up on bone density recently, do you think you could show her some info on it? It might help her to see why she needs to eat for her whole body.

livingontheedgeee Wed 14-Feb-18 11:10:39

She's determined to stick with it but today is having a "cheat day". She's staying at a friends and doesn't want them to go to any trouble.

We've made progress in that she is joining a Taekwandoe (I bet I haven't spelled that right!) class. I think it will be good for her not only exercise but also the meditation aspects and getting her frustrations out. I'm hoping she'll also gain some new friendships out of it.

Her entire family on her dad's side have health issues with a tendency to gain weight and the diabetes that has struck them all down over the years and I think she believes that by keeping her weight down, whatever the cost, she'll avoid these problems.

Like most teenagers, you can't tell her anything. I'm hoping martial arts classes will be a turning point in that she'll get the dietary, physical and mental discipline she needs.

Fingers crossed!

OP’s posts: |
EveryoneTalkAboutPopMusic Wed 14-Feb-18 16:55:31

Lets hope so Living.

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