Eat It, Own It! 

Welcome!  We are so excited that you are ready to Own Your Own Health.  When it comes to nutrition simple, basic facts can take you a long way.  It is important to know your calorie needs and try to stay within those limits by following a meal plan to achieve a healthy weight. Lousiana Obesity Facts

Let's get started.  First of all let's consider what a healthy weight would be for you.  For women we take the first 5 feet in height and start with 100 pounds, now add 5 pounds for every inch.  Example:  5 foot, 5 inch women should weigh 125 pounds (+/- 10%).  For men we take the first 5 feet in height and start with 106 pounds, now add 6 pounds for every inch in height.  Example:  6 foot man should weigh 178 pounds (+/- 10%).  This does not take into consideration muscle mass but will give you an idea of where you should be.

So how many calories do you need?  Women wanting to lose weight should consume between 1200 and 1600 calories; to maintain weight consume between 1600 and 1800 calories.  For men wanting to lose weight aim for 1600 to 1800 calories; to maintain weight aim for 2000 to 2200 calories.

As weight loss begins, be reminded that a drop of no more than 2 pounds (1 kg) per week is considered a safe rate of weight loss. If you are losing weight more quickly than that, move up to the next highest calorie level. If you are losing more slowly, you should not eat fewer than 1200 calories per day - instead, you need to step up your activity level.

For children calorie needs are based on age.  See chart below:

Age                   Not Active                  Somewhat        Active, Very Active

2-3 years         1,000-1,200 calories         1,000-1,400 calories            1,000-1,400 calories

4-8 years         1,200-1,400 calories         1,400-1,600 calories            1,600-2,000 calories

9-13 years       1,600-2,000 calories         1,800-2,200 calories            2,000-2,600 calories

14-18 years     2,000-2,400 calories         2,400-2,800 calories            2,800-3,200 calories

Here are meal plans to get you started:

5-Day Meal Plan: 1200 Calories 5-Day Meal Plan: 1800 Calories    

5-Day Meal Plan: 1600 Calories

Consistent Carbohydrate sample Menu: 2000 Calories

Consistent Carbohydrate Sample Menu: 2200 Calories

The Caloric Balance Equation

When it comes to maintaining a healthy weight for a lifetime, the bottom line is - calories count! Weight management is all about balance-balancing the number of calories you consume with the number of calories your body uses or "burns off."

If you are...

Your caloric balance status is...

Maintaining your weight

"in balance." You are eating roughly the same number of calories that your body is using. Your weight will remain stable.

Gaining weight

"in caloric excess." You are eating more calories than your body is using. You will store these extra calories as fat and you'll gain weight.

Losing weight

"in caloric deficit." You are eating fewer calories than you are using. Your body is pulling from its fat storage cells for energy, so your weight is decreasing.



 Am I in Caloric Balance?

If you are maintaining your current body weight, you are in caloric balance. If you need to gain weight or to lose weight, you'll need to tip the balance scale in one direction or another to achieve your goal.

To learn how many calories you are currently eating, begin writing down the foods you eat and the beverages you drink each day. By writing down what you eat and drink, you become more aware of everything you are putting in your mouth. Also, begin writing down the physical activity you do each day and the length of time you do it. Here are simple paper and pencil tools to assist you:

Want to try an interactive approach evaluate your food intake and physical activity? Go to the SuperTracker. The site will give you a detailed assessment and analysis of your current eating and physical activity habits. Healthy Lifestyle a Family Goal.