Height, genes, metabolism, behavior and environment all work together to make up a person’s weight. Changes that have taken place in our environment make it harder to make healthy choices. These chances have lead to an increase in our overall weight.
As adults or children, our daily life does not involve a lot of physical activity. Make the effort to schedule physical activity with your family. Food is everywhere. It is too easy to buy food wherever you are. In addition, portions are much larger than in the past.
ENERGY is another word for calories. Whenever you eat or drink, ENERGY is coming IN. Your body is also constantly working, so ENERGY is going OUT. BALANCE is when the same amount of energy is going IN as is going OUT.
Weight Gain = more IN than OUT
Weight Loss = more OUT than IN
Your energy (calories) does not have to balance everyday, but it does need to balance over time.
- Choose food portions no larger than your fist.
- Choose a checkout line without a candy display.
- Eat a low-fat, high-fiber breakfast – it may make you less hungry later in the day.
- Cut high-calorie foods like cheese and chocolate into small pieces and eat fewer pieces.
- Take the long way to the water cooler.
- Buy a set of hand weights and play a round of Simon Says with your children—you do it with the weights, they do it without.
- Choose “labor-spending” devices instead of “labor-saving” devices: wash the car by hand instead of going through an automatic car wash.
- Go on a family bike ride or hike.
Consuming an extra 150 calories a day can lead to a gain of 10 pounds in one year. So, get out and move!
Author: Linnette Goard, Field Specialist, Ohio State University Extension.