Weight-loss and weight-gain are both calorie-in, calorie-out equations. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) generally puts the average adult’s calorie budget at 2,000 calories. While that's the official guideline, your actual calorie needs vary, depending on a variety of factors. A calorie calculator will take into consideration your gender, height, weight, age, goals and activity level and give you a specific number for how many calories you should consume each day.
Don’t know your calorie budget? Get it here
So if eating less is not an option, moving more through either focused exercise or daily activities like walking, gardening and house cleaning, will increase your calorie budget. For those who have no wiggle room for snacks, this could allow you to add a healthy snack or two. Yay! If your calories-in and calories-out are currently in equilibrium, exercise can create the deficit needed for weight-loss. (Calories-out/burned daily will be greater than calories-in /consumed).
Research shows that healthy eating combined with regular exercise is the most successful and most efficient way to control weight. In fact, the National Weight Control Registry, the largest population-based weight loss study in the US, found that increasing physical activity is the key to successful weight maintenance – 90% of the participants who lost weight and kept it off for one year or longer report exercising for an hour or more per day.
So why not give it a whirl? Literally! A little exercise might be just the thing your body needs.
Author: Kristen Ciuba
Kristen is a Nutritionist at Diet-to-Go, based in Lorton, VA. She tries to “practice what she preaches” by fitting in healthy foods and cooking, challenging exercise, and quality time with family and friends every day!