March brings with it a few welcome rituals; the first day of spring, college basketball, spring-cleaning and even tax preparation. Why not add a new rite to the mix—take stock of your “energy balance.” Balancing calories you consume with calories burned is something you can begin to do by making small changes. It is something you can practice, like yoga, and improve and tweak over time. Most importantly, it’s a pathway to a more active, healthy lifestyle.
As members of the Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation, we encourage healthy lifestyles as a way to stem overweight and obesity. Another part of a healthy lifestyle is saying NO to underage drinking.
Answer these five questions to get your energy balance audit underway:
- Do you balance calories in with calories out? Learn more about energy balance. All foods can fit into a healthy lifestyle when you are balancing how much you eat with how much you move. Getting in an hour of activity—and it can be in short increments, not even all at once—gives you unexpected energy and even helps you sleep at night.
- Do you encourage your family to get active together? Read our blog for ideas. The Together Counts™ program began with the simple idea of encouraging families to share meals together and to get active together. When role modeling for kids and other family members, being active everyday is achievable.
- Are you eating a variety of foods every day? Options abound at your local grocery store and changing up what’s for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner is important to a healthy diet. Getting in more fruits and vegetables, whole grains and lean proteins can even be fun when incorporating a little something different on the dinner plate.
- Have you been paying attention to portions? Tips such as serving from the counter, using smaller dinner plates and even slowing down while eating can help keep portions in check.
Get moving! Do you ride when you could walk? If you add one new ritual to your day this spring, make a move to move! As the weather improves, try walking each day. Take the stairs. Get up and stretch for five minutes for each hour of sitting. Read our Together Counts blog for more tips to get moving.