Friday, August 13, 2010
Do you understand calories?
Hmmmmm, this is pretty interesting stuff. According to a recent USA Today article, most people don't know how many calories they should consume in a day to maintain their current weight. A nationally representative online survey of 1,024 people revealed that 63% can't accurately estimate the number, 25% won't even venture a guess and only 12% actually know the answer.
Experts say that calorie requirements are unique to each person, depending on gender, age, height and physical activity level. But more than 58 percent of respondents said they don't try to balance the calories they consume with those they burn.
Other survey findings:
•70% of people say they are concerned about their weight.
•54% say they are trying to lose weight; 23% are trying to maintain; 19% are doing nothing; and 4% are trying to gain weight.
•Of those trying to lose or maintain weight, most say they are changing the amount and types of food they eat and doing physical activity; 65% say weight loss is the main reason they're eating better.
•Among roadblocks people give for not sticking with weight loss attempts: lack of willpower, lack of time, not seeing results quickly and boredom.
•77% don't meet the government's guidelines of 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity a week.
If you're serious about weight loss and need help counting calories, visit the Healthy Weight Tool Kit section of the Calorie Control Council website. The beneficial page features food calorie, BMI, diet assessment and exercise calculators as well as an online food diary. You can also visit www.mypyramid.gov and enter your age, weight, height and activity level to pull up information on how to balance calories burned with those consumed.
Remember, there are a number of online tools to help assist in weight loss efforts. While you don't have to sacrifice all of your favorite foods to maintain a healthy weight, you certainly need to keep an eye on those pesky calories!