Prom Diet Tips

The junior-senior prom is a long-standing tradition in American culture, in which teens wear formal attire and attend a several-hours-long dance. It is considered to be a stepping-stone toward adulthood. Modern proms are often held at a community site rather than at the school. Traditionally, proms occur during or near the month of May, as school is winding to a close for the year.

Prom diets are usually a bad idea. (Image: IPGGutenbergUKLtd/iStock/Getty Images)

Prom Pressures

Instead of excitement, many teen girls feel uptight about prom night. Once the concern about whether you will be invited to the prom has passed, you may begin to worry about what you are going to wear. The thought of expected sexual activity may further add to your concerns. Anxiety is often heightened by the associated pressures of prom night: formal and informal pictures taken, money spent, limousines rented and pressure to know how to dance, prepare your hair and wear your makeup.

Crash Diet Dangers

Some girls respond to these pressures by going on a crash diet weeks before prom night. They may even buy a dress that is too small with the thought that it will force them to lose weight quickly. Crash diets and fad diets can be dangerous, however. Your body needs healthy nutrition that includes protein, carbohydrates, healthy fat, water, vitamins, minerals and fiber. Crash diets to lose weight quickly before the prom can lead to fainting, fatigue and heart problems. You may also be setting yourself up for a lifetime of yoyo dieting, with ill health effects. The Fort Valley State University Cooperative Extension Program in Georgia recommends you avoid fasting, liquid protein diets and low-carbohydrate diets.

Healthy Weight Loss

Healthy weight loss involves an hour of daily exercise and a nutritious diet, spread out through the day. If you are overweight or obese and want to lose weight prior to your prom, begin three to nine months ahead of time. Instead of dieting, change your dietary habits by eating a healthy, substantial breakfast, a moderate-sized lunch and a light dinner. Consume a healthy snack every few hours to prevent hunger and drink six to eight cups of water each day.

Expert Tips

Keep fresh fruit, a low fat granola bar or nuts and water with you at all times so that you can resist the urge to hit a vending machine or fast-food drive-through when a snack attack occurs. At home, snack on fiber-rich air-popped popcorn, vegetable soup and raw veggies. Choose meals and snacks that are filling and contain whole foods rather than highly processed ones. Rather than mindlessly munching on chips, eat purple grapes or baby carrots. Skip the sodas and drink water, low-sodium vegetable juice, skim milk or green tea instead. The Nemours Foundation, a nonprofit informational resource, recommends you monitor your portion sizes while trying to lose weight. Have one slice of pizza rather than two or three, pour cereal into a measuring cup rather than pouring it directly into a bowl, and eat one whole-grain roll instead of two. Avoid salty foods for a couple of days prior to the big day to avoid looking bloated. Enjoy your prom night and just say no to all the associated pressures --- they will fade, but your pleasant memories will remain for a lifetime.

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