Puberty is a phase of many developmental changes in the teen body. As a result, many teens may notice that they have gained weight. Worry not; remember that not all weight gain is bad, and sometimes it is completely normal to gain weight during your teen years. Other than physical changes you may also have noticeable mental and emotional changes during this transition, too.
Pre-Puberty Weight Gain or Obesity In Teens
Weight gain is a normal part of development in tweens or pre-teens (a colloquial term for the stage between childhood and adolescence). It is expected that in this period the child tends to gain weight.
Several things can cause rapid weight gain in teens: a disruption in thyroid gland and its hormones can lead to fast weight gain. Remember bodies come in all shapes and sizes; paying attention to why you might be gaining weight is important.
If you are eating healthy but still seeing weight gain, then this is probably natural weight gain. However, sometimes weight gain can also happen due to medical reasons and can lead to obesity in teens, so we recommend talking to your doctor/ a dietitian if you are troubled by accelerated weight gain.
Underweight Problems In Teens
Some teenagers can face difficulty in keeping up with their bodies' energy needs, which can lead to them being underweight. Growing during the teen years requires more calories. However, it is essential that these calories are from a healthy food source and not from fast foods.
At times, underweight problems in teens may arise from them not getting healthy balanced nutrition. It could also mean irregular periods in females. Additionally, the teen might be expending more energy than they take it, which utilizes the body’s fat reserves leading to weight problems in teenagers.
Weight Management In Teens
Resist the urge to jump to dieting fads. Many trends in diets claim to help with weight gain/loss. However, such diets are not a good idea. They can lead to eating disorders in teenagers. Do not get fixated on the digits of kgs on your weighing scale! Instead, shift your focus to being healthy and not on losing or gaining weight. This will help in better weight management in teens.
When people follow healthy habits for enjoyment and well-being instead of weight loss or due to peer pressure in teenagers, they are more likely to stick to the lifestyle changes and do not have the stress of watching their weight.
It is easy in our society to judge others based on their body shape and size. We are made to believe that skinny= healthy when this is not the case. Health is a compilation of good self-care practices like eating healthy foods, getting regular physical exercise, maintaining good hydration, managing stress and having a good sleep routine.
So as a teen, you should not be aiming to reach an “acceptable weight” due to societal pressure. Respect your body, no matter what size, and treat yourself well. Loving your body unconditionally will lead to you making the best decisions for it.