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Mid-Afternoon Snacks Can Add Calories To Your Diet

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DURHAM — Did you eat on the run today? Maybe grab a soda or candy bar for a snack? Those extra calories add up in a big way.

Thirty years ago, people ate about 1,800 calories a day. Now, it is up to 2,000 calories. Those 200 extra calories equals out to 20 pounds of gained weight a year.

"It doesn't seem like a big deal, but an extra 100 calories a day is a pound over a month," says Terri Brownlee of the Duke Diet and Fitness Center. "I see a lot of people at the diet and fitness center who when we really calculate it out, they've gained weight over a 10-year period with a calorie discrepancy of maybe 50 calories a day."

One of the reasons we are eating more is because portion sizes are out of control -- especially when eating out. A super size meal or entree at a restaurant can contain nearly a day's amount of fat and calories. We are also less active, so what can you do?

If you do not want to waste food, get half of a meal to go and eat it for lunch the next day or split a meal.

If you cannot cut calories, burn them. Take a 10-minute walk a couple times a day around the office or block, which is just as good as a 30-minute walk around the track.


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