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Weight Control Secret: Energy Balance

Learn how to balance calories in with calories out

Calories and Exercise continued...

It's also important to stay well hydrated so you won't mistake thirst for hunger. It's easy to overindulge in sports drinks and fruit juices that satisfy thirst but can add lots of extra calories. Try good old-fashioned water to quench your thirst before and after your workouts.

If you don't exercise each day, eat a little more on the days you work out and less on days you are less active. Some people complain they eat more on those less active days simply because of boredom. Instead of reaching for something extra to eat, lace up your sneakers and take a walk!

7 Tips for Achieving Energy Balance

Here are some more tips for striking the right energy balance:

  • Reshape your plate. Increase the proportion of vegetables, salads, fruits, beans, and whole grains to cover two-thirds of your plate.
  • Fill the other third of the plate with lean meats and poultry, fish (especially fatty fish like tuna or salmon), or low-fat dairy.
  • Make sure your portions are under control. Once in a while, get out the food scale and measuring cups to remind yourself of what a normal portion should look like.
  • Schedule your exercise first thing in the morning so it won't get crowded out of your day.
  • Alternate your exercise activities (maybe try a new class) so you won't get bored and your muscles will get a better workout.
  • Power past any weight loss plateaus by increasing the intensity of your workouts. Try turning up the incline on the treadmill, or adding speed intervals to your exercise bike routine.
  • Keep track of what you eat in a food journal to avoid unconscious overeating.
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Reviewed on March 16, 2006

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