As a society, we are bombarded with information offering weight loss tips, the wonders of supplements, Vitamin C, Vitamin A, B vitamins, Vitamin D, Calcium, phytochemicals, fish oil and exercise. We’ve heard about the problems with gluten, GMO’s, and food allergies. We struggle with shedding pounds that have crept up over the years and figuring out what foods to trust and who to trust. I have been a Registered Dietitian with a master’s degree in Nutrition for more years than I care to admit and teach Human Nutrition at the university level. My goal is to help you discern fact from fiction and leave you with some helpful tips starting with energy & weight control. I’ll also periodically share tried and true healthy recipes.
Let’s get started:
Most people’s New Year’s resolutions have gone by the wayside and spring is approaching with new resolutions to lose those excess pounds. Since the majority of American adults are overweight (68.5%) with more than 1/3 of American adults classified as obese, the first series will start with getting on the road to obtaining your ideal weight. Check out the 5 pound human fat model:
Energy balance and how it relates to weight management:
All living things require energy to live and function. Humans consume energy in the form of calories. Whenever you eat or drink, ENERGY is coming IN. At the same time, your body is constantly working, so ENERGY is going OUT.
- Calories are burned during basic life functions like digesting and breathing (basal metabolism rate).
- Because children are developing and growing, they need extra calories.
- A larger person burns more daily calories than a smaller one.
- A certain number of calories are burned through daily activities.
- More calories are burned by people with active lifestyles than those whose lifestyles are not as active.
- The more vigorous the physical activity the more calories are burned. Hence, more calories are burned running than they are walking.
Energy balance means that your ENERGY IN = ENERGY OUT
Don’t think that your energy IN and OUT has to balance every day. It doesn’t. Whether you can maintain a healthy weight is determined by the balance over time. And remember, children need energy to grow properly. Therefore, their energy balance occurs when natural growth is supported without creating excess weight gain.
Think about your goals: Ask yourself if you are happy where you are, or whether you need to lose or gain weight. If you need to gain or lose a significant amount of weight, don’t forget to discuss your goals/plan with your doctor. More on setting your goals in the next blog.
TIP #1: WRITE IT DOWN. Keep a journal of everything you put in your mouth as you consume it. Not only will it give you an accurate record, but if you know you are going to write it down, you may think twice about eating something you shouldn’t.
TIP #2: USE AN APP. There are a wide variety of apps available that count the calories you consume as well as those you expend. You may want to check out www.mypyramidtracker.gov.
For those who have tried a food and activity tracking app, what is your experience? Are there any recommendations worth sharing?
(c) 2016 Karen Van Den Heuvel Fischer