Originally Posted by Black-Hole-Sun
I'm seventeen, male, my height's between 5'6-5'7, and within the past year or two, my weight's fluxuated from 180 (Ack), to below 130, and is now between 140-150 (Closer to 150). My eating habits are mainly yogurts, fruits, (I try to get more vegies), and whole-grain cereals. I also take a vitamin a day. My weight constantly fluxutates, and gives me alot of grief. What are good eating habits for someone my age, and height, with a goal weight of around 140?
You need to eat about 1750 calories to maintain
your weight if you are inactive. If you do 30 minutes of moderate activity per day, add 120 calories or 30 minutes of heavy activity add 240 calories. If you want to lose weight, reduce the total calories by 10-15% (you don't have much to lose). If you eat 1600 calories per day (inactive) or 1700 (active), you should reach your goal in about 6 weeks.
I do recommend that for at least 1 month you measure food and count calories. You need to learn
how to eat correctly for your weight and your health. You do not need to do this forever... once you learn, you will know how to determine nutritional values of foods by site.
Eating a balance of protein, carbs, and fat is very important in a healthful diet... while its true that some people feel better with varying ratios, there are certain thresholds that you should not exceed. For example, you should eat at least 20% of your calories as protein but not more than 30%. And you should not exceed 30% of daily calories as fat - there are physiological reasons for this advice that I won't get into now. Most people do quite well with 50% carb, 25% protein, and 25% fat, although you may need to tweak that a bit based on how you feel, your activity level, etc.
From your post, it sounds like you are a bit heavy on the carbs, focusing on yogurt, grains, and fruit... While these are heathful foods, you need to increase your protein consumption with each meal (uncluding breakfast, where its often the hardest to do). Focus on lean proteins (lean meat, low-fat dairy, fish, and vegetable proteins like soy, legumes, and nuts [in moderation - they are high fat!])
Eating 5 meals per day will help you stabilize your metabolism or you can have 3 meals and 2 snacks... but don't let more than 3.5 hours pass before eating something.
Use the web to help you in the learning process - do a google search on "nutritional data" and find the sites where you can look up values of foods. Plan some meals and snacks out in advance that consist of foods you like that are the correct calories and balance of carb, protein, and fat. As a reference you will need to know that 1 gram of carbs = 4 calories, 1 gram of protein = 4 calories, and 1 gram of fat = 9 calories. Again, once you learn, you will know it in your head, you just have to go through the learning process.
Once you reach your goal weight, your maintenance calories will range from 1700-2000 calories, depending on your activity level.