Last updated on Nov 4th, 2015 at 12:59 pm

Many people, especially teenagers, wake up every morning and think “Eish! I look repulsive!” Not only does this make you feel bad and lower your self-esteem, but it can also lead to dangerous habits like eating disorders.

Here’s how to have a body about which you can feel good!

Eating healthily will improve your body image 

Eat whole foods, avoid processed and fast foods, and have your fill of fruit and vegetables. Drink lots of plain water a day whilst cutting down on other beverages. Minimise your consumption of animal products – replace with pulses, seeds and nuts. Eat healthy oils and fats like cold-pressed olive oil, real butter and coconut oil. Avoid trans-fats. Try to eat organic and avoid genetic modification products.
Itâ??s OK to treat yourself from time to time to that delicious piece of cake or chokkie as long as you stick in principle to your basic eating plan. If you eat when you are hungry and stop before you are too full, you will most likely maintain a normal body weight.
Don’t be overly concerned about weight. If you eat right and exercise â?? the key to health and good looks â?? you will become fit. Be consistent and allow enough time to see results, and don’t smoke or use drugs in an effort to get skinny.

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Realise that it’s what’s on the inside that counts

If someone judges you on how you look rather than on your personality, well frankly they’re not worth bothering about. We are all unique and have special distinctive qualities, even if we’re sometimes blind to them ourselves.

Know that everyone feels negatively about his or her body image from time to time
Even celebrities or your best looking friends, all doubt their looks sometimes. Donâ??t compare yourself to others â?? you are you, and that is wonderful. Confidence is everything. If you have a positive body image you will feel better about yourself.
Exercise is great

Moving your body increases lung and heart function. It makes you healthier and releases feel-good endorphins. Try to exercise three or four times a week. If you canâ??t afford the gym, even a brisk half-hour walk once a day will do wonders for your health and body image.
Look at yourself without clothes in private in front of a full-length mirror

Check areas where you would like to see physical changes, if any, and decide how to act on them  If you are really troubled by your body and how it looks, take positive action â?? TALK to someone about it: a friend, a parent or even a counsellor.
… and Smile!

Smiling helps release chemicals in the body which increase cell reproduction. This gives you more energy to be positive about yourself and your body image throughout the day.

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