How Can Physical Activity Help Control My Weight?

How Can Physical Activity Help Control My Weight?

Physical activity helps to control your weight by using excess calories
that otherwise would be stored as fat. Your body weight is regulated by
the number of calories you eat and use each day. Everything you eat
contains calories, and everything you do uses calories, including
sleeping, breathing, and digesting food. Any physical activity in
addition to what you normally do will use extra calories.

Balancing the calories you use through physical activity with the
calories you eat will help you achieve your desired weight. When you eat
more calories than you need to perform your day’s activities, your body
stores the extra calories and you gain weight.

When you eat fewer calories than you use, your body uses the stored
calories and you lose weight. When you eat the same amount of
calories as your body uses, your weight stays the same.

Any type of physical activity you choose to do–strenuous activities
such as running or aerobic dancing or moderate-intensity activities such
as walking or household work–will increase the number of calories your
body uses. The key to successful weight control and improved overall
health is making physical activity a part of your daily routine.

The Weight-control Information Network (WIN) is a service of the
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases
(NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. WIN provides
information on weight control, obesity, and nutritional disorders. WIN
responds to requests for information; develops, reviews, and distributes
publications; and develops communications strategies to encourage
individuals to achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

last updated: 10 February 2022

last update: February 2009