Tips for the Teenager

I am a 16 yr old girl. I sit upto 2 - 3 am working on the computer or watching TV, wake up at 12 noon or 1 pm and eat lunch directly. I want to lose weight, will this kind of timing have a bad effect on weight reduction?

During this past week, two girls have visited me with exactly the same timetable. One is 16 years and weighs 101 kgs. and the other is 15 yrs. and 70 kgs. Young people, I know you are on holiday but if you do this you will see the scale going up instead of down. The fact that you are missing one meal is no excuse. Weight reduction is not achieved by skipping meals and not eating, but by eating all the meals at the right time as well as by eating plenty of fibrous fruits and salad in between. Weight reduction is not achieved by starving and being hungry and weak but by eating the right amount of the right foods being filled and content with them and thereby resisting and not eating fatty foods.

The next big issue is to understand something called basal metabolic rate (BMR). This is the basal energy that your body requires to support normal body functions even while at rest like breathing, heart beating, maintaining body temperature, kidney function etc. This rate varies from person to person and is affected by various factors. When sleeping, the rate is at the lowest. It is also low in the late evening at the end of the day when the body is tired and ready to go to sleep.

I would like to use arbitrary figures to explain this. While sleeping, the BMR speed is 1. When you wake up at 7 am it goes to speed 2 and is on an average at speed 2 all through the day.

When you eat food during digestion the speed goes up to say 2.5, if there is a lot of fiber (whole fruits etc.) it may go upto speed 3. If you are engaged in a physical activity it may rise to speed 5 or 6 during that period. If you have been in that activity for 20 mins. (say a brisk walk), then when you stop it remains high, say speed 4 for the next 2-3 hrs. In the late evening and night the speed will be only 1.

When you sit up late say till 10pm - 2 am, there is not much activity going on and it is almost like sleeping. Then the normal routine is to rise at 7 am. So if you are at speed 1 from 10 pm-7 am, 9 hrs. Then you rise and are moving about at speed 2 all through the day. But if you are sleeping till 12, you have been at speed 1 for 14 to 15 hours. This is very dangerous in terms of weight control so anybody wanting to lose weight must reschedule their lifestyle.

I would suggest that you go to bed latest by 12 and be up by 7 or 8 am latest if you are still tired, take a 20-30 min nap in the afternoon but you must wake up in the morning.

Please note that 1- 2 hrs nap in the afternoon is not recommended as your metabolism goes down to speed 1 at that time and this is a disadvantage to weight loss. When you rise early and eat breakfast you are again raising the metabolism so please do not skip this meal. Digestion of food raises the metabolism. When you exercise twice a day it is a great advantage as twice a day the metabolism is going up to speed 4 and 5. So we recommend 20-30 mins walks morning and evening to get the most efficient weight reduction.

Once again the old saying holds good. Early to bed and early to rise makes you healthy, wealthy and wise. You can relax a bit in the holidays but not till noon. Holidays are a good time to knock off some weight.


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