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Live It

Tips For Energy Balance Everyday

To help your family get on the road to maintaining a healthy weight, here's a list of small steps to eat well (ENERGY IN) and move more (ENERGY OUT) that you or the family can do together to balance your energy everyday. Choose a different "eat well" and "move more" tip each week for you and your family to try. See if you or they can add to the list. Keep track of the tips everyone has tried on the We Can!™ Try Tips to Eat Well and Move More tracking sheet, PDF Format, 141K, Download Adobe Reader

Eat Well (ENERGY IN) Move More (ENERGY OUT)
  • Drink water before a meal.
  • Share dessert, or choose fruit instead.
  • Serve food portions no larger than your fist.
  • Eat off smaller plates.
  • Don't eat late at night.
  • Skip buffets.
  • Grill, steam, or bake instead of frying.
  • Share an entree with a family member or friend.
  • Eat before grocery shopping.
  • Choose a checkout line without a candy display.
  • Make a grocery list before you shop.
  • Serve water or low-fat milk at meals instead of soda or sugary drinks.
  • Flavor foods with herbs, spices, and low-fat seasonings.
  • Keep to a regular eating schedule. Eat together as a family most days of the week.
  • Eat before you get too hungry.
  • Ensure your family eats breakfast everyday.
  • Stop eating when you are full.
  • Provide plenty of fruits and vegetables for snacks.
  • Provide sliced apples or bananas for your family to top their favorite cereal.
  • Serve several whole grain foods daily.
  • If entrees are large, choose an appetizer or side dish.
  • Ask for salad dressing "on the side."
  • Don't serve seconds.
  • Try a green salad instead of fries.
  • Eat sweet foods in small amounts. Don't keep sweet foods at home so they're not as readily available.
  • Cut back on added fats or oils in cooking or spreads.
  • Cut high-calorie foods like cheese and chocolate into small pieces and only eat a few pieces. Share among family members for a small treat.
  • Use fat-free or low-fat sour cream, mayo, sauces, dressings and condiments.
  • Replace sugar-sweetened drinks in your home with water; add a twist of lemon or lime.
  • Every time you eat a meal, sit down and chew slowly. Remind everyone to enjoy every bite.
  • Pay attention to flavors and textures when you eat.
  • Try serving a new fruit or vegetable (ever had jicama, fava beans, plantain, bok choy, star fruit, or papaya?).
  • Instead of eating out, bring a healthy, low-calorie lunch to work and pack a healthy "brown bag" for your children.
  • Ask your sweetie to bring you fruit or flowers instead of chocolate.
  • Walk your children to school.
  • Do sit-ups in front of the TV. Challenge your children to see who can do the most sit-ups in one minute.
  • Walk instead of drive whenever you can.
  • Take a family walk after dinner.
  • Join an exercise group and enroll your children in community sports teams or lessons.
  • Replace a Sunday drive with a Sunday walk.
  • Do yard work. Get your children to help rake, weed, or plant.
  • Get off the bus a stop early and walk.
  • Work around the house. Ask your children for help doing active chores.
  • Take the dog to the park.
  • Go for a half-hour walk instead of watching TV.
  • Wash the car by hand.
  • Pace the sidelines at kids' athletic games.
  • Choose an activity that fits into your daily life. Being physically active with your family is a great way to spend time together.
  • Park farther from the store and walk.
  • Use an exercise video if the weather is bad.
  • Perform gardening or home repair activities.
  • Avoid labor-saving devices, such as a remote control or electric mixers.
  • Play with your kids 30 minutes a day.
  • Dance to music. Play your favorite dance music for your children and have them play their favorites for you.
  • Make a Saturday morning walk a family habit.
  • Walk briskly in the mall.
  • Choose activities you enjoy—you'll be more likely to stick with them. Ask children what activities they want to do.
  • Explore new physical activities.
  • Acknowledge your efforts with non-food related rewards, such as a family day at the park, lake, or zoo.
  • Take the stairs instead of the escalator.
  • Swim with your kids.
  • Use a snow shovel instead of a snow blower.
  • Take your dog on longer walks.
  • When walking, go up the hills instead of around them.
  • Buy a set of hand weights and play a round of Simon Says with your kids—you do it with the weights, they do it without.
Source: Adapted from

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