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Weight Control

Diet trends often focus on one food or one nutrient, promising it will be the magic bullet for losing weight and keeping it off forever. But when registered dietitians analyze a weight-loss plan, invariably it turns out that the key is reducing your intake of calories.

"There is no panacea for weight control," says registered dietitian and American Dietetic Association spokesperson Cathy Nonas. "It's all about the calories you put into your body versus the calories you burn. Eat a balanced diet with mostly fruits, vegetables and whole grains as your base. Accompany this with daily physical activity to help your body burn those calories so you can maintain a healthier weight."

Nonas adds: "Budget yourself, just like you would your finances. If you overspent in the calorie department one day, try to make up for it in the exercise department the next. Over time, if you save up calories, you are able to have that once-in-a-while splurge and not feel like you've blown your calorie budget."

The American Dietetic Association's Complete Food and Nutrition Guide provides great calorie-burning activities to do per hour by body weight:

Activity

Calories for 120 pounds

Calories for 170 pounds

Basketball

330

460

Bicycling (10 mph) 

220

310

Bowling

165

230

Hiking

330

460

Horseback riding

220

310

Jogging

385

540

Mowing lawn 

300

425

Running (10 mph)

880

1,230

Swimming

330

460

Walking briskly

220

310

Weight training

165

230

 

Learn more about the variety of diets and food plans.

Learn more about the new dietary guidelines.

Learn more about the recommendations for daily exercise.

Do you know how many fruits and vegetables you need? Take the quiz.

Find out how to include more fruits and vegetables - in all forms - into your family's meals every day.

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