Teen Health – Making Healthy Low Carb Changes

Teen writer Rachel DunganAs a fourteen year old girl who’s trying to eat healthy, my adventure has had some bumps and rough trials. I’ve done well for a while, then fallen back into the tasty evil world of sugar and starches. Now you may be thinking “Why would a young girl be worried about these kinds of things instead of focusing on boys, or the next party she’s going to? ” I don’t think about boys and parties to begin with, and my health is the most important thing anyway. Yes, a pizza party does sound great, but in the long run is it worth it? Is eating starchy foods and indulging in things filled with sugar and high fructose corn syrup really worth diabetes, cancer, and the many other nutritionally-related diseases out there? Uh, no.

I want to make sure I live a long, happy, and healthy life, so I want to start eating healthier than most people early in life. Living the low carb lifestyle isn’t always easy – it has its ups and downs, and times when I think I just can’t do it any more – but when I feel like that, I think back to the famous quote from Theodore Roosevelt, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.” Great advice!

To be honest, I haven’t taken my heath seriously enough in the past. Now I’m changing my diet and getting more exercise. These changes include low carb, high fat eating, and beginning Fred Hahn’s Slow Burn weight lifting program once or twice a week. I’m working on weaning myself off of the sugary sodas and replacing them with water, maybe every now and then a diet soda. It’s definitely going to take time, as all good things do, but I don’t doubt it will be worth it.

I’m not the type to obsess over body image, and honestly, I’ve never really had to worry about that. I’m currently one of those people who no matter how much junk food I eat, I never seem to gain weight. My friends ask me “Why on earth do you need to go on a diet? You’re not fat!” I reply that this is for my health, and it’s a lifestyle change, not a diet. There is a multitude of reasons to eat right – more energy for one thing, which is something I’m very excited about. I love playing sports, running, and just being wild, which comes out in my favorite sports: football, baseball, and bowling. I want to be able to play all these sports without having to sit down and rest every twenty minutes. Strength training will help with that. I’ve also noticed my mood swings and acid reflux are much better when I’m sticking with a low carb diet plan.

As you can see, I have many reasons for wanting to stick with it. I believe a low carb diet, mixed with strength training, patience, and help from my family, will be just what I need to reach my health goals. And it doesn’t hurt that my mother is low carb blogger Amy Dungan, – she’s helping me a lot and teaching me many healthy recipes and alternatives to today’s poor, nutritionally empty foods.

One of the hardest things for me will be doing less of one of my favorite things – playing video games. I love any game that lets me customize my weapons, blow away zombies, and take care of business! Over summer break I can easily spend several hours a day playing my favorite video games, not exactly a healthy habit. I’m going to take most of that time and fill it with reading, strength training, sports, and hanging out with friends. My mom says that’s better for me mentally and physically.

So as I start my journey to healthy living, I’m expecting a happier and healthier lifestyle – and I’m excited about it!

For another teen perspective, read Chris Bauer’s A Day In The Life Of A Teenage Low Carber.


  1. Excellent article, Rachel! Good luck with the Slow Burn. I’ve been doing that for about three years now, and I have to say it is the only exercise program I was ever able to stick with for longer than about three months. There’s no motivation better than seeing results.

  2. I have a 14 year old too and he also is trying to follow the low-carb lifestyle to be healthy. Just saying that to let you know that you are not alone. Keep on doing what is right and hopefully, one day, your friends will follow your example! 🙂

  3. Don’t give up video games just yet! There are several advances being made to allow video games to be played by Virtual Reality! Including an awesome 2D treadmill that allows you to walk throughout the game on your own two legs!


  4. Love it ! You will be an inspiration to so many young people! And may I say your gorgeous!

  5. Carolyn Christie

    I am impressed with your attitude Rachael. Great article! Blessings to you & your family.

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