Weight Loss Pyramid

Weight Loss Pyramid

The Weight Loss Pyramid is similar to the standard Food Guide Pyramid, except (being set at 1200 calories) the number of servings is lowered to the minimum required for good health. If restricting yourself to this calorie-intake, you may consider taking a daily multi-vitamin/mineral supplement.

Table 1. Weight Loss Pyramid – 1200 Calorie Diet

Representing the amounts that are added to foods during processing, meal-preparation cooking, or at the table. Note: Maintain your total intake of fats/oils at between 20-35 percent of calories, with most fat coming from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fat, such as oily fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.
Milk, Yogurt, Cheese Group
(3 cups/equivalent – Low-fat/Fat-free)
Food Serving Sizes: These each count as 1 cup (1 serving) of milk: 1 cup fat-free milk or yogurt, 1.5 ounces natural cheese such as Cheddar cheese or 2 ounces processed cheese.
Poultry, Fish, Beans, Eggs, Nuts
(3 ounces)
Food Serving Sizes: These each count as 1 ounce-equivalent: 1 ounce lean meat, poultry, or fish; 1 egg; quarter cup cooked dry beans or tofu; 1 Tbsp peanut butter; half ounce nuts or seeds.
(3 Servings)
Food Serving Sizes: 1 cup chopped raw or cooked vegetable, 1 cup vegetable juice, 2 cups leafy salad greens.
(2 Servings)
Food Serving Sizes: 1 cup chopped raw or cooked fruit, 1 cup fruit juice.
Bread, Cereal, Rice, Pasta Group
(4 ounces)
Food Serving Sizes: These each count as 1 ounce-equivalent (1 serving) of grains: half cup cooked rice, pasta, or cooked cereal;
1 ounce dry pasta or rice; 1 slice bread; 1 small muffin (1 oz); 1 cup ready-to-eat cereal flakes.
The discretionary calorie allowance is the remaining amount of calories in each food pattern after selecting the specified number of nutrient-dense forms of foods in each food group. The number of discretionary calories assumes that food items in each food group are selected in nutrient-dense forms (that is, forms that are fat-free or low-fat and that contain no added sugars). If as part of your eating plan you choose foods with a higher fat or sugar content than those recommended, these extra calories should be taken from your remaining calorie allowance.

Source: USDA Food Guide (Dietary Guidelines 2005)


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