I know I a big majority of my viewers are teenage girls and some of you are perhaps interest in healthy living or concern about your weight. So I’m going to speak more about calories counting for teenagers aged between 11 – 18 years old.

Growth & Development

So let’s start by understanding your body; the growth and development that you are experiencing. On average, 11 years old is the beginning puberty, where you will be experiencing physical changes, including rapid growth spurts, increase in weight as well as psychological changes which may cause you to become more self conscious.

Girls, you will experience changes 2 – 3 years earlier than boys. So between the age 11 ½ - 12 ½ years old, you will gain approximately 11 – 12lbs a year, so that’s about 1 lbs per month. Boys, between the age of 14 – 15 years old, you will gain approximately 14lbs a year. This is just an average, as some of you might grow quicker and some slower.

And you will keep growing until about 18 years old for female and 20 years old for male. During this growth period, you should be feeding your body with the best nutrients in order to grow into your maximum height and DO NOT ever go on a diet. Restricting your food or calories can compromise the growth period, both physically and mentally and we do not want that. So let’s look at how much you should be eating.

Calorie Counting Formula

When it comes to daily calorie requirement, there are 5 factors to take into consideration:

1) Gender
2) Age
3) Weight
4) Height
5) Physical Activity

Activity Level  Boys Up to 18  Girls Up to 18
Sedentary 1 1
Moderately Active  1.13 1.16
Active  1.26 1.31
Very Active 1.42 1.56

Sedentary = Only light physical activity.
Moderately Active = 30mins of moderate to vigorous exercise daily.
Active = A minimum of 60 mins of moderate to vigorous exercise daily.
Very Active = Being physically active for several hours each day

At your age, you should be active for at least 60 minutes everyday day, with either moderate or vigorous exercises. So on a scale of 1 to 10, moderate is considered a 5 to 6 and vigorous activity is 7 to 8.
So don’t think of this as exercising or working out, instead it should be your playtime or social time with your friends. This can include running, climbing, jumping rope, a game of badminton, hiking, basketball, volleyball, swimming or just turn on the music and dance!

For a Healthy Teen, this is the formula to calculate your daily calorie requirement:

EER = (135.3 - (30.8 x age)) + PA x ((10 x weight in kgs) + (934 x height in metres))

EER = (88.5 - (61.9 x age)) + PA x ((26.7 x weight in kgs) + (903 x height in metres))

Case Study - So for instance, if I’m an active 16 year old female at 45kgs and 1.57m in height, my average daily calories intake would be
(135.3 – (30.8 x 16)) + 1.31 x ((10 x 45kgs) + (934 x 1.57)) =
(135.3 – 492.8) + 1.31 x (450 + 1471.09) = -357.5 + 2516.68 = 2159Cals

2159 Calories is what I should be eating a day for my body to get enough nutrients to grow and to maintain a healthy weight. So you are eating a lot more than adults because you are still growing. In fact, because you are still growing, you can add an additional 25 calories per day. As long as you aim to eat a well balanced diet, eat until just satisfied and stay active, you will keep growing and maintain a healthy weight.

On average, you should not eat less than 1800 calories a day.

Obese Formula

If you are watching this video, and you think you might be obese, then please do speak to your parents and consult your doctor in order to lose weight healthily.

Visit this website here with your parents, to calculate your BMI to determine whether you are obese.

And here’s the formula to calculate your daily calorie requirement.

EER = (135.3 - (30.8 x age)) + PA x ((10 x weight in kgs) + (934 x height in metres))

EER = (-114 - (50.9 x age)) + PA x ((19.5 x weight in kgs) + (1161.4 x height in metres))

And here’s the chart for your activity level:

Activity Level  Boys Up to 18  Girls Up to 18
Sedentary 1 1
Moderately Active  1.12 1.18
Active  1.24 1.35
Very Active 1.45 1.6

5 Tips to Treating Teen Obesity

Here are 5 tips to help with teen obesity, and please review these tips with your parents before going on a weight loss journey.

1) Never go on a diet!

If you are still growing, the goal is not to lose weight. Instead, we want to aim to maintain your current weight or to slow down the rate or your weight gain.
For instance when I was 10 years old, I weigh 25kgs, when I was 11, I was 35kgs and I increased to 45kgs at age 12 but I wasn’t growing in height. So between 10 – 12 years old, I put on 20kgs / 44lbs, I was consider overweight. However, once I turned 13 to 15 years old, I started growing in height as I maintained my weight at 45kgs.

So it is not about losing weight, instead, we want to slow down the rate of weight gain, or perhaps maintain your weight where it is, until your height can catch up.
In some cases, where most of your growth has been achieved, especially if you are 15 and above for female, it may be appropriate for you to reduce some weight. If so, the weight loss should be slow and gradual.

2) Make wiser food choices

This moves on to my next tip, which is to make smarter food choices. Weight gain comes down to the food you eat. Make small gradual changes in order to achieve success. You can start by swapping your soda drinks with naturally sweetened beverages like 100% fruit juices. If you go to a fast food restaurant, choose grilled chicken, instead of deep fried or breaded chicken. Cut down on calorie dense food such as French fries, chicken nuggets, chips, chocolate bars, cakes, pastries and sweets which are also high in fat, and sugar. Choose healthier snacks such as baked potato chips, low fat yoghurt, dried fruits, fruit sorbet, vegetable dips and more.

3) Never “clean up your plate”

Parents if you are watching this, you should never tell a child to clean up their plate. A child should be encouraged to learn to eat until just satisfied, and then stop. So if you are a teen watching this and if your parents tend to ask you to clean your plate up, then perhaps you can speak to your parents about learning to eat until just satisfied in order to help you to maintain a healthy weight. Or try to help yourself to smaller portions and if you are still hungry, then go for a little more. This way, you will still ‘clean up your plate’ without over eating. It is important to listen to your body from a young age in order to maintain a healthy weight long term.

4) Increase physical activities

If you are overweight, chances are, you are not physically active. At your age, you should be active for at least 60 minutes everyday day. Studying is important, but having fun is equally as important for your physical and psychological well-being. So balance up studying and fun time. Go out, play and have fun with your friends. Pick an activity you enjoy. You got to have fun and not feel like it’s a workout.

5) Embrace the change

Remember that your body is constantly changing into a beautiful young lady or young man. Don’t be afraid of weight gain, it is a naturally process for you to grow in height and fully develop. So even if you might be overweight right now, if you start practicing healthy eating, eat until just satisfied, cut down on the junks, make healthier food choices and stay active on a daily basis, your body will gradually slim down as you grow.

This is the best time of your life, eat well, have fun, stay active, embrace the change, don’t ever compare yourself your friends, we all grow at different rate. And most importantly know that you are beautiful inside and out.


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