Balancing Energy In & Energy Out
It’s All About Energy Balance
Your body needs energy every day in order to work, be active and grow normally. It gets this energy from the foods in your diet. All foods provide energy although some provide more than others.
The trick is to balance the energy you take in with the energy you use up. Some teenagers might find this easy because they are growing rapidly and are always on the go but for others it might not be so easy.
Why Do Some People Store More Energy Than Others?
If you take in more energy than your body burns up, your body will start to store this extra energy as excess fat.
How Can People Burn More Energy?
- By being more active.
- By generally spending more time up and about.
- By growing rapidly.
- By limiting time spent sitting watching TV and playing computer games.
Ways To Reduce Food Energy
- By limiting foods which are very high in energy e.g. butter, margarine, oil, cream, pastry.
- By eating foods that are more filling, such as high fibre foods.
- By having larger portions of foods which are low in energy – fruits and vegetables, low fat yoghurts and non creamy soups.
- By planning healthy snacking.
Get Your Energy Levels Back On Track
If you want to get your energy balance back on track there are some simple things that you can start to do which should help you:
Eat Three Regular Meals Every Day
By doing this you are more likely to have a healthier body shape than those who eat on the run, miss meals and rely on regular snacking. Base your meals around the main food groups.
Start By Having A Breakfast
Let’s face it your body has gone all night without food. You need to “refuel” ready for the day. Despite scientists having proved that eating a healthy breakfast helps us concentrate at school, at least 1 in 5 teenagers still skips breakfast. For ideas on healthy breakfasts check out our recipes.
Plan To Snack Sensibly
Yes it’s OK to snack provided you plan your snacks and don’t just eat the first thing you can grab. For ideas on healthy snacks check out our recipes.
Worried about your shape? You’re not alone. Many other people worry too. But as a teenager you have to factor in growth. So although your shape might not be ideal today, growing a few inches might even things out.
Setting Some Goals
If you plan to make changes it’s important to decide on some real goals. Otherwise how do you know where you want to get to? And how do you know when you have got there? But don’t make it difficult for yourself, remember to set goals that you know you can achieve and are realistic. It could be as simple as eating an extra piece of fruit every day, or walking to school or college each day.