im 5'5 124 pounds ( i want to get to 120-118) and 15 years old (female). i eat about 1300-1400 calories a day. is this to much to little or just right? i exercise around 3 times a week (sometimes more sometimes less)
It is extremely too low.
It is definetely not enough. A teenager needs a minimum of 1500 if sedentary. You are not sedentary (exercise 3 times a week, and probably also walk around school and such).
I would also like to point out that you are at a very healthy weight and should probably not try to lose weight. Instead, how about you focus on having a healthy lifestyle, getting plenty of nutrition and being active. Teens usually need around 2000-2500 calories, more if very active, though I wouldn't reccomend getting into the world of calorie counting.
Heavy lifting (strength training) is good for improving looks without losing weight, though since you are still developing -you might not grow taller but bones, organs, etc still developing- I am not sure if it would impact your joints too much or not, as I have heard it's not good to do at a younger age (does anyone else know anything about this?).
yes my family knows that i am doing this... i have already lost 23 pounds in about 8 months.
Definitely try to eat around 2500, at least on the days you're exercising, and 2000 when you're not. I'm 16 and would rather not calorie count right now since it can get really stressful and frustrating for me.. so I think maybe you should just start eating according to if you're hungry or not. You need to eat more though, 1300 is really way too low. Anyway, congrats on the weight loss.
You can go to this website to determine how many calories you need to take in. As a teen, CC's calculators are not designed for you and are likely to give you numbers much too low. The linked website is designed for children (and yes, you still are one)
As a general rule -- females under 21 should eat NO LESS than 1500, however 1800 is generally healthier and more effective. Even the most sedentary teen (other than the average video/computer game addict) is generally more active than they think. Bodies continue to grow and develop on the inside long after they have stopped the upward growth -- you need these additional calories to ensure proper organ and tissue development.
As the others said -- you are at a healthy weight now, your goal is still a healthy weight, as well. The problem is that by focusing on what the scale says you are losing sight of the fact that no one knows what the scale says. Unless you tell them. The closer you are to healthy weight, the harder it seems to lose the weight without resorting to under-eating (anything less than 1500 is under-eating for a 15 year old).
If you eat properly and a generous amount of calories (1800+) and exercise vigorously on a regularly basis, you will still lose the weight and be more likely to keep it off, AND set yourself up with healthy eating and exercise habits.
I'm afraid that, if i bump up my calorie intake, then i will gain all my weight back!
That is a common fear and its unfounded. Try this phrase out...I am afraid that if I continue under eating I will damage my body.
You're BMI is 20.6, which is the low end of normal. I.e: you are already the perfect weight!! Losing more is not a good idea at all at your age. As has already been said, you need 1,800 since you are a growing teen, with bone, brain and hormone development still happening. Under 21's shouldn't really 'diet' at all unless they are clinically obese, and under medical supervision.