Your overall body weight is composed of two factors. First, your lean tissues such as your bones and organs and second is your body fat. Your body fat percentage exhibits how much body fat you have when compared to how much lean tissue you have. Age differences will also allow different body fat percentage. The teenage body is very different from the adult or infant body. Your body fat as a teenager will help you determine whether or not you are healthy for your age.
Too little or too much body fat can lead to serious health problems. Meaning, both overweight and underweight is not good. According to health expert Vivian Heyward, female teenagers’ body fat should not be below 12 percent. If your body fat is 12 to 15, that is considered low. You will need to eat more. If it is 16 to 30, your body fat is considered normal. In this case, make sure that you maintain your weight by exercising and eating right.
Consume just enough calories and burn just enough calories as well. If your body fat is from 30 to 36, your body fat is high. This must serve as a red flag for you. Change your eating habits and start exercising more. Otherwise, you will end up being at risk for cardiovascular diseases like heart disease and diabetes. Not to mention the effects of peer pressure during the teenage years like depression. If your body fat is 36 percent and above , you are considered to be within the obese bracket. As early as now, you should be aware of what your body fat is.
If you are a male teenager, your body fat percentage should not go below 5 percent. 5 to 10 percent body fat for teenagers is considered low. The normal range for male teenagers is 11 to 25 percent, 26 to 31 is middle range and 31 percent and above is obese.
You can measure your body fat by a variety of methods. I suggest you try skin fold measurements. This requires little equipment. Now that you know what the normal body fat percentage is for teenagers what do you do? Being a teenager is great, this is the time when you get to try new things, sports, join activities in schools and much more. But this is also a great way to establish a healthy lifestyle and eating habits for you when you want to be successful and healthy in the future.
Start today! If your body fat is too low or too high, do something about it. As a teenager, maintaining a healthy body weight and body fat percentage can be daunting. However, you need to make sure that you do not take any diet pills or supplements as they can be very dangerous for your well-being especially if not approved by a doctor or a health expert. Remember as well that you are what you eat.
I know you’d love to hang out with your friends at the mall every weekend but do away with milk shakes and fries. Also, do not start having vices. Cigarettes and alcohol are a big no!
Linda is a certified dietician and life coach. After 5 years of gaining experience with the NHS community, Linda now works on a freelance basis providing nutrition and dietary advice to clients across the UK. She strives to promote positive, practical messages about food and health to treat nutrition related health problems.
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