Do you have kids who are entering their teenage years and you’re wondering why the pantry keeps getting emptied?
Or maybe you’re a teenager who notices that you’re eating a lot more lately?
Either way, it’s true – teenagers tend to eat a lot. They definitely eat more than they did when they were still kids, and a teenager’s metabolism can easily be higher than an adult’s, meaning that it’s not unusual for teenagers to eat even more than adults.
When the body is growing, it needs a lot of fuel and calories and that’s a big part of why teenager’s have such big appetites.
So, Why Do Teenagers Eat So Much?
When kids turn into teenagers, they go through a major growth spurt and that leads to an increased appetite and that’s why it’s common to see teenagers eating more.
An increased appetite is normal and healthy for teenagers to experience. Do your best to feed this hunger and growth with healthy and nutritious foods! Teenagers can “get away” with eating a lot less healthy than adults, but it’s also an important time to form good habits when it comes to food, because unhealthy eating habits will catch up people as they start to get older and their metabolism starts to slow down.
How Many Calories Do Teenagers Need?
Different people have different caloric requirements, things like how big someone is and how much muscle they have can play a role in how many calories they need each day to maintain their weight.
Instead of trying to diligently count every single calorie all the time, as a good rule of thumb, eat when you’re hungry!
That said, there are approximate ranges that teenagers typically need. Just keep in mind that it can vary depending on your body, your activity levels that day, and more.
For teenage boys, the daily caloric need is around 2800 calories, and for teenage girls it’s closer to 2200 calories per day.
If you’re not very active during a given day, you may want to eat a little bit less, or if you’re running a marathon, your nutritional needs will be greater.
The above numbers are from HealthyChildren.org. It’s based on how many calories, on average, a person of that gender and age will burn during a given day. That leaves a lot of margin of error, so if you want to know your specific caloric needs, you can use a fitness tracker for teens.
Using a fitness tracker like an Apple Watch can tell you what your daily resting calories are, which is the amount of calories you can eat in a day to maintain your weight. When you’re a teen and your metabolism is firing on all cylinders, you can eat a lot more in a day without gaining fat. You’ll still gain weight, since your body is growing.
See also: Why Do Teens Gain Weight?
Conclusion: That’s Why Teenagers Eat So Much!
If you were wondering why do teenagers eat so much, hopefully this resource has helped to shine some light on that, along with providing a bit of information on how much food teenagers need to eat in a given day.
Why do teens eat so much? Because they’re growing!
Growing bodies need a lot of extra fuel. As teenagers get older and become adults, the metabolism will start to slow down again, so it’s important to keep a casual eye on tracking weight and calories and so on, not down to the decimal and every single day, but just having a rough weekly overview of how things are trending so that you can adapt as your body’s needs change over time, without it catching your off guard.