Physical activity, healthy eating, and lifelong behavior change are essential to achieving weight management and maintaining overall health. The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the 2008 Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans go hand-in-hand for optimal health and weight management.
Summary Statements from the Dietary Guidelines for weight management include:
- Consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods and beverages within and among the basic food groups while choosing foods that limit the intake of saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, salt, and alcohol.
- To maintain body weight in a healthy range, balance calories from foods and beverages with calories expended.
- To prevent gradual weight gain over time, make small decreases in food and beverage calories and increase physical activity.
- For those who need to lose weight, aim for a slow, steady weight loss by decreasing calorie intake while maintaining an adequate nutrient intake and increasing physical activity.
Summary Statements from the Physical Activity Guidelines include:
- Avoid inactivity.
- Do at least 150 minutes of moderate or at least 75 minutes of vigorous activity per week.
- If you do more, you will obtain more health benefits.
For Active Weight Loss:
- Less than 150 minutes of moderate activity per week will lead to minimal weight loss.
- 150-225 minutes per week can lead to moderate weight loss.
- 225-420 minutes per week can lead to more significant weight loss.
- If you do more, you can lose more.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010. 7th Edition, Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, December 2010. (http://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/dga2010/DietaryGuidelines2010.pdf)
- U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2008. (http://www.health.gov/PAGuidelines/pdf/paguide.pdf)