Manage Your Weight - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Long-Term Changes

Manage Your Weight

Our genes affect our tendency to gain weight.  A tendency to gain weight is increased when food is plentiful and when we use equipment and vehicles to save time and energy.  However, it is possible to manage your weight through balancing the calories you eat and with your physical activity choices.

To make it easier to manage your weight, make long-term changes in your eating behavior and physical activity.  To do this, build a healthy base and make sensible choices.  Choose a healthful assortment of foods that includes vegetables, fruits, grains (especially whole grains), skim milk, and fish, lean meat, poultry, or beans.  Choose foods that are low in fat and added sugars most of the time.  Whatever the food, eat a sensible portion size.

The carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in food supply is energy, which is measured in calories.  High-fat foods contain more calories than the same amount of other foods, so they can make it difficult for you to avoid excess calories.  However, low fat doesn't always mean low calorie.  Sometimes extra sugars are added to low-fat muffins or desserts, for example, and they may be just as high in calories.

Your pattern of eating may be important.  Snacks and meals eaten away from home provide a large part of daily calories for many people.  choose them wisely.  Try fruits, vegetables, whole grain foods, or a cup of low-fat milk or yogurt for a snack.  When eating out, choose small portions of foods.  If you choose fish, poultry, or lean meat, ask that it be grilled rather than fried. 

Like younger adults, overweight and obese older adults may improve their health by losing weight.  The guidance of a health care provider is recommended especially for obese children and older adults.  Since older people tend to lose muscle mass, regular physical activity is a valuable part of a weight-loss plan.  Building or maintaining muscle helps keep older adults active and reduces their risk of falls and fractures.  Staying active throughout your adult years helps maintain muscle mass and bone strength for your later years.

Provided by the United States Department of Agriculture

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