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Old 02-12-2011, 03:20 PM   #1
Kevin Shaughnessy
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Caloric requirements for teenage girl?

My sister came to me recently to learn how to exercise and I've been acting as her coach since. She is doing the Starting Strength novice program with the goal of gaining muscle mass. Shes currently 5'6 and 100 pounds at 14 years old. She plays soccer a couple of times a week and also does karate.

My question is, what caloric target should I set that will allow her to gain weight without getting significantly fatter?
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Old 02-12-2011, 03:31 PM   #2
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Caloric requirements for teenage girl?

Enough to support her activity level, recovery, and lean mass gains. You can't put a magic number on that, especially with how much BMR can vary from one person to another. But somewhere in the neighborhood of 2000-2500 calories would be a good place to start. If she's constantly dragging or stalls out soon, eat more. If she's gaining 5lbs a week and that's too much for her, eat less.

If she's lifting heavy on a regular basis and eating quality food, she's very unlikely to get fat. Just make sure she's prepared to have her jeans stop fitting right--that doesn't mean she's getting fatter, but that she's adding a significant amount of muscle mass in her thighs, hips, and butt.
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Old 02-12-2011, 10:12 PM   #3
Katherine Derbyshire
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Re: Caloric requirements for teenage girl?

I'd tell her to eat whatever she wants. At that age and that activity level, calorie restriction is a very bad idea. On the other hand, this is when she's forming the eating habits she'll have for the rest of her life, so telling her to eat "like it's her job" is also a bad idea. Focus on food quality and quantity should take care of itself.

Her fit, healthy adult self is likely to weigh at least 30 pounds more than her current self. No, she shouldn't plan on gaining that much in the next year, but she shouldn't be overly concerned by 5-10 pounds or clothes that don't fit, either.

Katherine
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Old 02-14-2011, 10:42 AM   #4
Chris Peterson
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Re: Caloric requirements for teenage girl?

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Originally Posted by Katherine Derbyshire View Post
I'd tell her to eat whatever she wants. At that age and that activity level, calorie restriction is a very bad idea. On the other hand, this is when she's forming the eating habits she'll have for the rest of her life, so telling her to eat "like it's her job" is also a bad idea. Focus on food quality and quantity should take care of itself.

Her fit, healthy adult self is likely to weigh at least 30 pounds more than her current self. No, she shouldn't plan on gaining that much in the next year, but she shouldn't be overly concerned by 5-10 pounds or clothes that don't fit, either.

Katherine

It's really hard to get my fiance (who's 24) to stop worrying about that weight #. 8 months of CF and she lost fat and looks more fit and she still wants to see that weight go down. So much of it is mental. I bet most women would rather lose 10 pounds than gain 5 and look better. Blah.
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Old 02-14-2011, 01:54 PM   #5
Bob Guere
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Re: Caloric requirements for teenage girl?

Teen nutritional advice should be centered around choices, not quantity. You've got an opportunity here to set her up for success the rest of her life if you use this wisely. Explain to her the benefits of a solid protein source at breakfast, how it will aid her body in using fat for fuel, and how a diet rich in high-processed food does the opposite. Emphasize the importance of fat intake for health and that fat is not bad. Tell her her carbohydrate sources should be natural and colorful. Encourage her to remain active, and consider CrossFit Kids.com workouts (that emphasize tumbling, handstands, etc. regularly) to work her vestibular system. Fourteen is a delicate stage, and you should be happy to have the opportunity to help form her definition of health and fitness.

If you are not....find a Kids trainer who can help you. Don't squander the chance to change the future.
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