Let’s begin by going to www.mypyramid.gov to find out the number of calories needed daily to maintain our bodies. Look on the right side of the screen in the box that says “I Want To”. Scroll down three lines and click on “Get a Personalized Plan”. Complete your age, sex, weight, height and physical activity level. I would suggest putting in 30 minutes or less for your activity level. If you want to reduce weight, eat enough food for 30 minutes of exercise but work-out more than 30 minutes. To maintain your ideal weight, eat enough food for 30 minutes of exercise daily. Although it is possible to lose weight by eating less, exercise plus eating less offers benefits that will tone muscles and strengthen your heart. Take a look at the table below. Most people require between 1,200 and 2,200 calories to maintain their weight.
Fruits: 1 cup cubed fruit, 100% fruit juice, ½ cup dried fruit = 1 cup fruit
Vegetables: 1 cup raw, cooked vegetables, vegetable juice, 2 cups of raw leafy greens = 1 cup vegetables
Grains: 1 slice bread, 1 cup ready-to-eat cereal, ½ cup cooked rice, pasta, or cooked cereal = 1 ounce equivalent of grains. 15 g of Carbs = 1 oz. 16 g of 100% Whole Grains = 1 oz. Note: At least half of all grains consumed should be 100% whole grains. We have two categories of grains – Enriched and Whole.
Meat/Beans: 1 oz lean meat, poultry, fish, eggs, 1 Tbsp peanut butter, ¼ cup cooked dry beans, ½ oz. nuts or seeds = 1 ounce equivalent of meat and beans.
Milk: Choose low fat or fat-free milk, yogurt and cheese. 1 cup of milk or yogurt, 1 ½ ounce of natural cheese, 2 oz of processed cheese = 1 cup milk.
Nutrition Terms for the Week
Whole Grain: A whole grain product includes all 3 parts (germ, endosperm, bran) of the seed.
Enriched Grain: The seed, minus the bran and germ, equates to about 25% of a grain’s protein and at least 17 key nutrients are lost. Processors add back some vitamins and minerals to enrich refined grains, so refined products still contribute valuable nutrients.
The information in this article is written for educational purposes only. This information is not intended to diagnose any condition or illness. Always consult with your physician before changing eating habits or beginning any exercise program.
Daily Amount of Food from Each Group for 30 Minutes of Exercise
|Calorie Level||Fruits(in cups)||Vegetables(in cups)||Carbs/Grains(in oz-eq)||Meat/Beans/Nuts (in oz-eq)||Milk(in cups)||Water(in cups)|
|1,200||1||1½||4||3||2||Up to 8|
|1,400||1½||1½||5||4||2||Up to 8|
|1,600||1½||2||5||5||3||Up to 8|
|1,800||1½||2½||6||5||3||Up to 8|
|2,000||2||2½||6||5½||3||Up to 8|
|2,200||2||3||7||6||3||Up to 8|