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Energy balance is the simple process of how our bodies use food for energy and burn it off. When we eat food, our bodies turn the calories into energy. We use this energy for simple everyday movements like breathing, walking, talking, etc.
The basic measurement of energy is called a calorie. Nutritional labels state the number of calories in one serving of a product. Every day your body is taking in calories when you eat and burning them when you move.
Your weight is directly influenced by your calorie consumption relative to your calories burned. When calories consumed equal calories burned, the result is energy balance.
All foods can fit into a sensible meal pattern when you’re trying to maintain energy balance. Energy balance is not about what you eat at one meal or your activity level on a given morning. Instead, it’s about your consumption and activity patterns, over days, weeks and months. By matching what you eat with what you do, you can achieve energy balance!
You can always check with a registered dietitian if you’d like to develop a program that works best for you.
This tool is designed to simply convey the concept of energy balance based on a 60-minute period. As a healthy lifestyle guide, the principles should be practiced all the time for the best results.
If you eat more calories than you burn, you will likely start to gain weight. Burn more calories during exercise than you eat and you will likely start to lose weight. Of course the number of calories you burn depends on your weight, as well as on the intensity of the activity you choose. And you can maintain your current weight by keeping your energy in balance.
The 2005 Dietary Guidelines contain three primary recommendations regarding length of physical activity for adults:
Also, keep in mind that you should always try to balance your activity with your calorie intake.
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If you have dietary restrictions and/or allergies, always read the ingredient list carefully for all products prior to consumption. If the ingredient list is not available on the product, check with the product manufacturer, or do not consume the product.