Since food equals calories, in order to lose weight you must either eat fewer calories, exercise more to burn off calories with activity, or both. 4. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Division of Nutrition PA and Nutrition, Physical Activity and Obesity Data, Trends and Maps Internet. 2015. Your second choice is in the area of fats. Eliminate all trans fats from your diet and replace them with natural, heart-health fats. The Nurses’ Health Study clearly showed how disruptive trans fats are to fertility in women. As little as four grams of trans fat (the equivalent of two tablespoons of stick margarine, one medium order of French fries or one doughnut) began to disrupt their hormonal balance. Though it takes some effort, be kind to yourself if you can’t give it 100 percent. Sometimes, life gets in the way of your intentions and you might only be putting in a little effort to stay healthy or reach a more comfortable weight; other days, you might have a lot of energy to devote to it. As long as you’re not putting in zero effort, it’s okay. Before beginning any exercise program, especially if you have heart or other health issues, talk to your doctor. If you’re not doing much aerobic exercise at all currently: Start with a lighter volume of aerobic exercise and gradually work your way toward some specific goals,â€ advises Tripps. Over time, as you improve your aerobic fitness, you will be able to increase your exercise intensity. Keep total fat intake between 20%-35% of calories, with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. These foods are also very nutritious, so eating them is important for your health. Of course, mental wellbeing does not mean being happy all the time, and it does not mean that you won’t experience negative or painful emotions, such as grief, loss, or failure, which are a part of normal life. However, whatever your age, being physically active can help you to lead a mentally healthier life and can improve your wellbeing. Check out our interactive infographic to see progress toward the Nutrition and Weight Status objectives and other Healthy People topic areas. For better or worse, not many 21st century Americans fill their exercise quotas in the workplace. As recently as the 1850s, about 30% of all the energy used for agriculture and manufacturing in the United States depended on human muscle power. No more. We’ve replaced hoes with tractors, brooms with vacuums, and stairs with escalators. Freed from physical work, people have used mental work to create a society of enormous convenience and comfort. In the process, though, we’ve created a hidden energy crisis â€” not a shortage of fossil fuels, but a shortage of the physical activity the human body needs to ward off disease and reach its full potential.