Let’s look at calories the same way we look at our money and we may get a better understanding of how best to utilize our $alary. Use “My Plate” by visiting www.choosemyplate.gov as a calorie $alary guide that helps you get the most health and enjoyment from what you eat. Plan calories the same as major expenses such as a car, house, or vacation.
Staying within your calories and budgeting knowing your daily calorie needs based on your age, gender, height, weight, and physical activity level may be a helpful reference point in deciding whether calories consumed are appropriate in relation to the amount needed daily. Monitoring your weight over time by adjusting calories and physical activity is the most helpful. You should always keep in mind that 100 extra calories per day can add up to a 10-pound weight gain in one year.
There are several ways that you can get physically active without going to the gym such as: walking while watching the kids play, replace a coffee break with a brisk walk, take a walk around the mall before you shop, use the stairs instead of the elevator, get out of the car a distance from your destination, speed clean your house, take the dog for a walk, dance, and numerous others. Choose the most value for Calorie $alary. Consider the True Cost of poor nutritious foods that do little to meet nutrient needs and can put your health and money at risk.
Plan a budget for you, fine-tune what you’re already eating to meet My Plate guidelines. As you budget choose foods that taste good as well as are good for you. $pend your “Calorie $alary” wisely!
For more information contact Lethia Lee, EFNEP Assistant with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service at 910-592-7161.