Maintaining weight is a simple equation and a matter of balance. If you take in more energy (or calories)than you burn in physical activity,you store the extra energy around your body, mostly as fat, and thus, you gain weight. To maintain your weight, you need to balance the energy you take with the energy you burn. You got to lose the same amount you take in.
According to Dr. Jack Yanovski, head of the Unit on Growth and Obesity at the National Institute of Health, an average adult consumes around 900,000 calories per year. Genetics and other factor affect how your body loses the calories you take in. The most common misconception though, is that you gain weight because you take in a lot of calories, but if you think about it, the only way to gain weight is if you don’t burn the calories that you take in.
Someone who eats just 11 extra calories a day will gain weight over the course of that year. The extra calories can result to weight gain of an extra pound at the end of that year. The extra weight build up over time and contribute to obesity later in life.
Here’s a few, almost effortless ways to shun those extra pounds.
Be active. People who are more active maintain their weight better than those who live sedentary lives. Anything that makes your heart beat faster will make you burn calories. Hearts that beat faster need more oxygen and the larger amount of oxygen causes you to burn more calories. You usually burn more calories when your exercise increases your heart rate continuously for at least a few minutes. You can achieve this by aerobic exercises such as running, bicycling, swimming and even day-to-day walking. Park or ask to be dropped off a kilometer or two away from where you work and get there by walking. A few minutes of walk can keep the heart and blood pumping.
Indulge on the right foods. Choose foods that have fewer calories for their size, like soup or vegetables. You’ll feel fuller soon and take in lesser calories.Try to start your meal with salad or soup. Skip the second serving of potatoes or rice and go for more vegetables instead. Craving for desserts? Try fruits instead of cakes and chocolates.
Eat a healthy snack before going to parties, get-togethers and celebrations. This will let you avoid unconscious bingeing and overeating. Use smaller plates when they’re available. They’re very helpful with portion control.
Be mindful of soda and other sweetened beverages. A 12-ounce soda can have more than 150 calories. A 16-ounce glass of lemonade can have over 200 calories, and so can natural fruit juices. It doesn’t hurt much if you have a glass once a day. But not for every meal. Go with the best calorie-free option – stick to water.
If you must take alcohol, take it in moderation. Alcohol is a source of hidden calories. A single shot of liquor, about 2 ounces is nearly 125 calories. A 5-ounce glass of wine or a 12-ounce glass o beer is about 160. Sweet mixed drink, like margaritas, have more calories.
If you are able to integrate these simple practices into your everyday life, you’ll never have to go on crash or drastic diets (which can endanger your life, too) ever again.