Becoming a healthier you isn’t just about eating healthy—it’s also about physical activity. Regular physical activity is important for your overall health and fitness. It also helps you control body weight by balancing the calories you take in as food with the calories you expend each day.
•Be physically active for at least 30 minutes most days of the week.
•Increasing the intensity or the amount of time that you are physically active can have even greater health benefits and may be needed to control body weight. About 60 minutes a day may be needed to prevent weight gain.
•Children and teenagers should be physically active for 60 minutes every day, or most every day.
If you eat 100 more food calories a day than you burn, you’ll gain about 1 pound in a month. That’s about 10 pounds in a year. The bottom line is that to lose weight, it’s important to reduce calories and increase physical activity.
Make smart choices from every food group.
The best way to give your body the balanced nutrition it needs is by eating a variety of nutrient-packed foods every day. Just be sure to stay within your daily calorie needs. A healthy eating plan is one that:
• Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products.
• Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts.
• Is low in saturated fats,transfats, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars.
DON’T GIVE IN WHEN YOU EAT OUT AND ARE ON THE GO
It’s important to make smart food choices and watch portion sizes wherever you are—at the grocery store, at work, in your favorite restaurant, or running errands. Try these tips:
• At the store, plan ahead by buying a variety of nutrient-rich foods for meals and snacks throughout the week.
• When grabbing lunch, have a sandwich on whole-grain bread and choose low-fat/fat-free milk, water, or other drinks without added sugars.
• In a restaurant, opt for steamed, grilled, or broiled dishes instead of those that are fried or sautéed.
• On a long commute or shopping trip, pack some fresh fruit, cut-up vegetables, string cheese sticks, or a handful of unsalted nuts—to help you avoid impulsive, less healthful snack choices.