Not a jock? Find other ways to fit activity into your day: walk to school, jog up and down the stairs a couple of times before your morning shower, turn off the tube and help your parents in the garden, or take a stroll past your crush's house — anything that gets you moving. Your goal should be to work up to 60 minutes of exercise every day. But everyone has to begin somewhere. It's fine to start out by simply taking a few turns around the block after school and building up your levels of fitness gradually.
DASH stands for "dietary approach to stop hypertension" and was created by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) as a way to help reverse national trends of obesity and heart disease. Scientists combed through decades of research to come up with an expert-backed list of diet tips, along with a prescription for exercise. And it worked: The DASH diet has topped nearly every diet list for nearly a decade. Doctors particularly recommend it for people looking to lower high blood pressure, reverse diabetes, and lower their risk of heart disease. (Here's the basic list of DASH diet-approved foods.)
This small company, founded by soda-loving parents who wanted something healthier for their children, distributes a variety of classic flavors, from cola to ginger ale to grape, without using artificial sweeteners or artificial colors. Instead, they’re sweetened with the sugar alcohol Erythritol. “The upside is that sugar alcohols are not as artificial as some of their counterparts in the low/zero calorie sugar industry,” says Smith, “but they can cause gastrointestinal upset like gas a diarrhea when consumed in excess—although some say that erythritol may be better tolerated than other sugar alcohols. The other plus,” she continues, “is that unlike other sweeteners—specifically artificial sweeteners—they are not thousands of times sweeter than sugar, so they may cause less metabolic confusion in terms of sweetness as compared to caloric delivery, although more research still needed.” Brilliantly, this root beer tastes like the real thing—and is clear, because there’s no caramel color. And what about Diet Coke, or your favorite? See where it ranks on this list of 38 Diet Sodas—Ranked!
Coolers may sound light and airy, but they are heavy on calories. A 12-ounce cooler containing wine can have 190 calories and 22 grams of carbs. The same size hard lemonade or bottled alcoholic "ice" can have as much as 315 calories. Regular wine is not exactly a diet drink, with 100 calories in a 5-ounce glass. A low-calorie alternative is a wine spritzer: Mix a dash of wine with some sparkling water.
The best low-cal diet plan isn't a diet so much as it is a method. CICO stands for "calories in, calories out" and is based on the mathematically sensible principle that as long as you're burning more calories than you're eating, you'll lose weight. All you need to get started is a way to track your calories—there are plenty of apps on the market although a pen and paper works great too—and a food scale to keep you honest about your portion sizes. (Also read this guide on how to safely cut calories to lose weight.) People love the simplicity and straightforwardness of the plan. And while it may not be the fastest way to lose weight, you're guaranteed to have success long term. (Just know that some weight-loss experts actually don't recommend calorie counting.)