Americans are obsessed with diet and exercise and yet, most adults in the country are overweight or obese. There are differing opinions about the cause but people that control their calories, stay active and choose natural products over processed foods will have an easier time maintaining their weight. Anyone that wants to be at a healthy weight will have to learn some basic facts.

Track Calorie Totals

Every calorie matters and many people underestimate how many they consume. A plain bagel has about 250 calories and covering it with a teaspoon of butter will add 34 more. The average, active woman needs only about 2,000 calories a day to maintain her weight. Research calorie totals and track all the food consumed in a food diary before a diet begins to see how many calories are taken in each day.

Understand Proper Weight

Height, weight and frame size are used to determine the best weight for each person, but other details matter. Age and gender also factor into the formula and the amount of muscle tone on a body also contributes. A better guide is BMI (Body Mass Index) because it determines how much excess fat is on the body. Talk to a doctor for guidance in determining how much weight loss is needed.

Appreciate Exercise Benefits

It is frustrating to realize how long it takes to burn off calories that are so easy to consume. The bagel and butter, at nearly 300 calories, will take 30 minutes to burn off by jogging at a speed of about six miles an hour. What people should focus on instead is the huge amount of other benefits people get when they workout. Exercise makes people stronger and builds muscles that boost the metabolism. Active people develop better balance, their blood pressure drops, and digestion improves.

Most people will lose 1-2 pounds a week with a healthy diet plan. It is possible to lose 17 pounds in a week, but this type of loss cannot continue for a long period of time without health consequences. Restrictive diets that cleanse the body and remove bloat are useful as they provide the mental boost people need to continue with their weight loss goals.