Nutrition for Adults' Life: Balancing Food and Physical Activity (WO1014)


November 17, 2015 - Author: Beth Olson

Eat a Variety of Foods

Choose a variety of foods every day with help from the USDA MyPlate (see bottom of second page.) It is important to eat whole grains, a variety of fruits and vegetables, as well as lean meats and low-fat dairy. All foods, including your favorites, fit in a healthy diet! Eat treats in moderation, keeping your serving size small.

Exercise Regularly

One of the most important steps in maintaining your weight is to balance what you eat and drink with physical activity. Adults need at least 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic activity each week, and muscle-strengthening activities 2 days each week. You can divide the time into 10 minutes, with walking in the morning, gardening in the afternoon and playing with your children in the evening. Making physical activity a regular part of your life is important to being healthy.

Activity Boosters:

  • Take the stairs instead of the elevator
  • Rake leaves
  • Dance
  • Play an active game with your children
  • Ride a bike
  • Take your dog for a walk
  • Walk with a friend at lunchtime

Tips to Remember

Choose a variety of whole grains, fruits and vegetables daily. Enjoy your food – sit down and eat with friends and family. Make physical activity a daily part of your life. Stay positive and use your family and friends as support networks.

Eat foods naturally high in fiber

  • Choose foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains.
  • High-fiber foods are naturally nutritious and have the added benefit of making you feel full.

Choose a diet moderate in fats and sugars

  • Diets too high in fats and added sugars can lead to weight gain.
  • Eat more of nutrient-dense foods such as: Whole-grain crackers and breads (instead of higher fat cookies or muffins) Fruits and vegetables (choose 5 or more servings each day) Lean meats such as poultry and fish, and low-fat or non-fat dairy foods

Drink lots of water

  • Drinking water keeps you hydrated without adding any calories.
  • Drink when thirsty, but try to drink more in hot weather or when exercising.

Don't be distracted when eating

  • Do not eat while watching TV or in the car when running late.
  • Sit down at the table while eating, eat slowly and take time to enjoy your meal.
  • Eat meals with family, friends, or co-workers.

Eat regular meals

  • Eating breakfast helps you feel full throughout the day.
  • Missing meals can lead to spur-of-the-moment unhealthy food choices.
  • Eating three smaller meals and a couple healthy snacks each day may help you stay fueled throughout the day.

Further Information

USDA MyPlate

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
How much physical activity do adults need?

American Heart Association
Go to Getting Healthy, select “Weight Management”

The President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports


Tags: food & health

Related Topic Areas

Food & Health

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