I am a 15-year-old girl. I weigh 130 pounds and I am 5 feet 6 inches. I play tennis five times a week for 2 to 3 hours at a time. Except for the past two years I have always been overweight. To lose the weight I went on a very strict diet and exercise routine. I lost about 30 pounds. I am now curious if I am at my ideal weight and how many calories and fat grams a day I should consume. Thank you.


    Have you tried my Healthy Kid Calculator®? I ran your data below through it and a healthy body weight for you is 117 – 143 pounds. You are at a healthy weight for your height and age.

    To maintain your current weight, you would need about 2,150 calories with 72 grams of fat. Have you heard about the My Plate? It is a good eating plan to follow for balanced meals.

    Weight loss for teenagers who are still growing is not a good idea because it may limit your height potential. Girls reach 90% of their adult height by age 15, so any weight loss up till then could result in a lower height.

    The other problem is weight loss diets often restrict calcium which is vital to bone growth. Your bones increase in density up to age 25 and reach a peak density at age 35. After that it takes calcium rich foods, estrogen and exercise to keep women’s bones hard. I know that seems a long way off, but I would not recommend a very strict diet that limits calories to less than 1,200 or calcium to less than 4 servings of calcium rich foods per day.

    Rather than focusing on your weight, why not set a goal related to a strong, fit body? Hope you are doing aerobics and weight lifting exercise to help reduce body fat and build muscle. Tennis is anaerobic (without oxygen) if you play competitively and your body will mostly burn stored carbohydrates, not stored fat.