With the holiday season upon us, it is a good time to think about our habits. There is no need to gain 5-10 pounds during the holidays; it can be avoided by being aware, planning ahead and balancing our eating and exercise.
When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, calories really do count. It is all about a balance; calories in, calories out.
A calorie is a unit of energy supplied by food. No matter what the source; protein, fat, carbs, or sugar; a calorie is a calorie.
To remain in balance and maintain a specific weight, you need to maintain a caloric balance. The calories consumed must be balanced by the calories you use with normal body functions, activities and exercise.
It takes about 3500 calorie deficit to lose one pound of body fat. So if you want to lose 1 - 2 pounds per week, you need to reduce your calorie intake by 500-100 per day.
The SuperTracker tool from the USDA is a great resource to look up nutritional values of food, track your daily eating, record physical activity, manage weight, track goals and organize recipes. There are some other great resources at eatright.
No one wants to "diet" especially during the holidays; but you can work to maintain a balance and not gain weight. If you eat a little more, then exercise a little more.
Everyone is different and has different caloric needs. Find your balance and try to maintain. There are many simple tips on cutting calories at each meal. Try one or two each week.
When planning you holiday meals make substitutions in recipes, provide healthy appetizers and encourage an after meal family walk.
MMHD encourages you to keep your holidays healthy and active.