Being a teenager can mean dealing with the daily stresses of trying to fit in, keeping up with school work and activities, and body image issues. Some teens are so busy that they gain an unhealthy amount of weight, in part because of poor diet and lack of exercise. According to the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, between 16 percent and 33 percent of kids and teens in the United States are overweight or obese. Metabolism is how the body turns calories into energy that the body needs. For some teens, metabolism can be partly to blame for weight issues, but there are some healthy ways to improve metabolism.
Get moving. When teens are inactive, watching television, playing video games and lounging on the couch, metabolism drops and fewer calories are burned. Teens must increase their activity level to get their metabolism going and burn more calories. Seattle Children's Hospital states that becoming more fit can help teens to burn additional calories and can increase their basal metabolic rate, the measure of rate the body burns calories while resting. Teens can become more fit by participating in school sports, taking gymnastics, martial arts or dance classes, or by joining a running club.
Get the proper amount of sleep. While it's not healthy for teens to sleep the day away, getting enough sleep is an integral part of having a healthy metabolism. According to the International Journal of Endocrinology, research shows that lack of sleep can cause metabolic dysregulation and increase the risk of type II diabetes. The national Centers for Disease Control recommends that teens get 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep each night.
Eat a healthy, well-balanced diet to increase your metabolism. Some foods give your metabolism a boost. Almonds have fatty acids that help with metabolism, unsweetened soy milk has calcium that increases metabolism, and broccoli contains vitamin C and calcium, a great combination for raising metabolism. The spiciness of curry can make your body work hard, therefore giving you a calorie-burning boost. Simply drinking more water can also jump start your metabolism.
Additional metabolism boosting foods include salmon, beans, whey protein, eggs, spinach, lean beef, peanut butter and oats.
Teens should always talk with their parents and pediatrician before changing their diet or starting new exercise routines.
- CDC: How Much Sleep Do I Need?
- Teen Health: Metabolism
- Seattle Children's: Safety and Wellness
- Weight Loss Center: Foods that Boost Metabolism
- Organic Authority: 16 Foods that Naturally Boost Your Metabolism
- Family Education: Exercise and Teens
- American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
- International Journal of Endocrinology: Sleep and Metabolism: An Overview