A healthy eating plan that helps you manage your weight includes a variety of foods you may not have considered (CDC)
If you're currently at a healthy weight, you're already one step ahead of the game. To stay at a healthy weight, it's worth doing a little planning now.
Or maybe you are overweight but aren't ready to lose weight yet. If this is the case, preventing further weight gain is a worthy goal.
As people age, their body composition gradually shifts — the proportion of muscle decreases and the proportion of fat increases. This shift slows their metabolism, making it easier to gain weight. In addition, some people become less physically active as they get older, increasing the risk of weight gain.
The good news is that weight gain can be prevented by choosing a lifestyle that includes good eating habits and daily physical activity. By avoiding weight gain, you avoid higher risks of many chronic diseases, such as heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, and some forms of cancer.
Choosing an Eating Plan to Prevent Weight Gain
So, how do you choose a healthful eating plan that will enable you to maintain your current weight? The goal is to make a habit out of choosing foods that are nutritious and healthful. To learn more, visit Healthy Eating for a Healthy Weight.
If your goal is to prevent weight gain, then you'll want to choose foods that supply you with the appropriate number of calories to maintain your weight. This number varies from person to person. It depends on many factors, including your height, weight, age, sex, and activity level. For more, see Balancing Calories.
In addition to a healthy eating plan, an active lifestyle will help you maintain your weight. By choosing to add more physical activity to your day, you'll increase the amount of calories your body burns. This makes it more likely you'll maintain your weight.
Although physical activity is an integral part of weight management, it's also a vital part of health in general. Regular physical activity can reduce your risk for many chronic diseases and it can help keep your body healthy and strong. To learn more about how physical activity can help you maintain a healthy weight, visit Physical Activity for Healthy Weight.
You may also find it helpful to weigh yourself on a regular basis. If you see a few pounds creeping on, take the time to examine your lifestyle. With these strategies, you make it more likely that you'll catch small weight gains more quickly.
- Has my activity level changed?
- Am I eating more than usual? You may find it helpful to keep a food diary for a few days to make you more aware of your eating choices.
If you ask yourself these questions and find that you've decreased your activity level or made some poor food choices, make a commitment to yourself to get back on track. Set some reasonable goals to help you get more physical activity and make better food choices.
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Keeping the Weight Off
Losing weight is the first step. Once you've lost weight, you'll want to learn how to keep it off.
SOURCE: Division of Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health PromotionYou can figure out how to include almost any food in your healthy eating plan in a way that still helps you lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.