Dieting With Success Part #3: Adding Physical Activity

— Written By and last updated by

Part 3

The equation for losing weight is calories in must be less than calories out. This means that you have to burn more calories in the day than you consume. To create a calorie deficit usually requires that you participate in some type of physical activity. Even if you are following the healthy eating tips and the meal suggestions presented in the earlier articles you will be most successful if you combine that with a physical activity regimen. To review the previous article visit

How much physical activity do you need? According to the USDA adults need 150 minutes every week of moderate activity or 75 minutes every week of vigorous activity. In addition 2 or more days of strengthening activities that work all major muscle groups ( legs, hips, back, abdomen, chest, shoulders and arms) is recommended. If you are already meeting these requirements you might want to step your game up by increasing your daily physical activity from 30 minutes per day to 60 minutes per day.

How do I know if my activity is Moderate or Vigorous?

Moderate: You should be able to carry on a conversation, but not sing

Vigorous: You become winded or too out-of-breath to carry on a conversation.

10 minutes at a time. It is hard to find time in the day to be physically active, but it can be done. If you are working to meet just 30 minutes a day of physical activity you can break it up into 10 minute sections. If you carry your walking shoes with you all the time you can take 10 minute breaks at work and walk. Walking can even be done inside with this 15 minute walking indoors video, walking Indoors Interval- SNAPed Rutgers University.

Get up just a little bit earlier. It may seem almost impossible to spend less time in bed, but if you can spare it, get up a little earlier and do your physical activity before you start your day. Studies show that people who are physically active in the morning make better choices throughout the day. A great way to start this is to set your alarm clock back 10 minutes at a time until you have adjusted to getting up earlier.

Find something you enjoy. If walking is not appealing to you maybe zumba or some other type of aerobics class would work better for you. You are much more likely to stick with being active if you find something you enjoy.

Mix it up. Being active includes aerobic activity that gets your heart pumping, flexibility and strength training. All these aspects are an important part of keeping your body healthy. Try to incorporate a few days a week of strength training and flexibility.

Stop making excuses. If you have ever been on a plane you know that the flight attendants ask parents to first put the oxygen mask on themselves then their children. Following this logic you are no good to your children, family or yourself if you are always sick, unhealthy and unhappy. Taking time to take care of yourself is important. Taking 30 minutes out of your day to do this for yourself is very important. Find the time, find a routine and stick with it.

Using all the information provided in this 3 part series on Success with Dieting you should see results. Do not get discouraged if the pounds are not melting off. To achieve a healthy weight that will last you a lifetime takes a little bit of time. You also might find that you are losing inches rather than pounds. That is is ok too. You may notice a decrease in blood pressure, cholesterol or blood sugar levels. You are not just working on your body’s outward appearance but its inward appearance as well. Good luck on your journey to becoming a healthier you!

For more information on healthy eating, physical activity and dieting please contact Olivia Jones at  or 252-232-2261.