Exercise and Your Diet

What you eat has a big impact on your health. It’s important to choose foods that will provide your body with vitamins and nutrients to give you the energy you need to get through the day and lead an active lifestyle.

Calories in vs calories out

In order to maintain a healthy weight, the amount of calories you eat should equal the amount of calories you burn through everyday activities and exercise. Before eating an unhealthy snack, think about what it will take to burn it off.

Here are a few examples:

  1. 12 ounce can of soda = 20 minutes of swimming laps
  2. Large French fries = 1 hour of jogging at 5mph
  3. Glazed donut = 35 minutes of walking briskly

Eating ‘whole’ foods

Even though maintaining your weight is about calories in vs. calories out, there are some key ways to make sure that the calories you take in will leave you fuller and more satisfied. ‘Whole’ foods, or foods that haven’t been processed, such as fruits, vegetables, and meals cooked from scratch, will provide more protein and nutrients per calorie, meaning you’ll be less hungry later on.

For example, eating a medium baked potato without toppings has only a few calories more than eating a 1 oz. bag of potato chips. However, you’ll feel fuller after eating the potato. Stick to whole foods so you aren’t reaching for another snack an hour later.

Drink plenty of water

As a general rule, everyone should try to drink eight glasses of water each day. However, when you exercise, your body loses more water through sweat, so it will need to be replenished. It’s recommended that you drink an extra 1½ to 2½ cups of water after exercising to replenish the water lost during your workout.

Helpful Tip

Estimate how many calories are burned during certain activities using the exercise database on MyFitnessPal. Visit MyFitnessPal and type in your exercise to see the estimated burned calories associated with it!