Featured Fitness Food Fun Feelings For Parents Para Padres

Is Your Body in Balance?

No, we're not asking whether you can stand on one foot! We're asking whether you "balance" the amount of food you take in with the amount you burn off.

Maybe you've wondered why some people's bodies are too big and other people's bodies are too thin. There are many reasons why this happens. One reason a person could be big is because he or she eats a lot and doesn't get enough exercise. And one reason a person could be thin is because he or she eats less food than his or her body needs.

Neither person is doing a good job of "balancing" the amount of food they eat with the amount they burn off.

It's sort of like filling a bicycle tire with air. If you either fill it too full of air or don't put in enough air, your bike isn't going to ride right. When you put in just the right amount of air, you get a smooth ride!

It's like that with your body, too. When you eat just the right amount of food for your body to work right and for you to move around, your body will be a healthy size and you'll look and feel good. That means you're doing a good job of balancing the amount of food you eat with the amount you burn off.

If you eat too much and you don't move around enough, your body can get too big and you might not feel good. If you don't eat enough, your body can get too thin and you might not have enough energy to run around and have fun.

Here's some stuff you can do to keep your body in balance:

  • Don't skip meals. Some people ignore being hungry and go way too long between meals. That's not good because your body needs regular meals and snacks to keep you going all day.
  • Don't get stuffed. Eating a lot at one time gives you a yucky feeling that means you over-filled your body with food. Try to stop eating when your stomach feels good, but not too full.
  • Do you notice that you eat when you're not hungry? Sometimes you're not hungry, but you eat anyway just because you're watching TV or because you're bored and you could end up eating too much food when you do that. Your body gets hungry as a sign that it needs fuel. That's the best time to eat.
  • Move more. If you need to burn off a big meal or an extra snack, just move more! Your body uses up some of the food you eat to help you grow taller and to keep your heart beating, your lungs breathing and your blood circulating. You burn off more food by doing things like walking around, dancing, helping around the house and playing sports. So, don't sweat it if you eat too much once in a while—just get up and move more!

More cool info on being balanced:

Am I Too Fat or Too Thin?
Eating for Energy
Portion Distortion–It's How Much You Eat that Counts

Reviewed by the Scientific Advisory Panel, 2006