Dietitian Dish: Balancing act

June 7, 2011 at 1:07 a.m.

Jami Martin

Jami Martin

By Jami Martin

As a society, we find ourselves looking for the magic bullet to solve challenges in our lives. But in reality, it may take small steps to attain larger goals. It can be enlightening to know what a difference small steps can make to achieve success.

First, it might be helpful to know that 3,500 calories is equal to one pound. With that said, small modifications to food preparation, beverages and exercise routines can achieve weight management goals for improved health and disease prevention.

What this means is that if you take in as little as 100 calories a day that you are not able to burn off you are looking at approximately 1-pound weight gain in 35 days (100 x 35 = 3,500) and 10-pound weight gain in one year's time. Fortunately, the same can be said with weight loss. The goal is to create a safe balance of calories in and calories out or burned by creating a deficit. Therefore, if you make modifications in your diet to save yourself as little as 100 calories per day you could see approximately one pound weight loss in one month and 10 pound weight loss in one year.

You may first look at liquid calories by:

Choosing skim milk over whole milk to save about 60 calories

Cutting out one regular 12-oz. soda to save about 150 calories

Drinking cup of 100 percent juice at breakfast instead of a cup to save about 60 calories

Decreasing amount of sugar added to beverages and save 23 calories per heaping teaspoon

Limiting fancy coffee beverages will save as many as 45 to 215 calories per 8-oz. cup.

To lose weight at a rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week, create a 500-1,000 calorie deficit per day from diet and exercise.

Health and weight management cannot be maintained through diet alone. Physical activity and resistance training in combination offer the edge for successful management for weight-loss success.

A quote by Mark Twain illustrates change well: "Habit is habit and not to be flung out the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time."

Jami Martin is a registered and licensed dietitian. Send questions or comments to



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