Healthy Eating Plan
A healthy eating plan gives your body the nutrients it needs every day while staying within your daily calorie goal for weight loss. A healthy eating plan also will lower your risk for heart disease and other health conditions.
A healthy eating plan:
- Emphasizes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and fat-free or low-fat milk and milk products
- Includes lean meats, poultry, fish, beans, eggs, and nuts
- Is low in saturated fats, trans fat, cholesterol, salt (sodium), and added sugars
- Controls portion sizes
To lose weight, most people need to reduce the number of calories they get from food and beverages (energy IN) and increase their physical activity (energy OUT).
For a weight loss of 1–2 pounds per week, daily intake should be reduced by 500 to 1,000 calories. In general:
- Eating plans that contain 1,000–1,200 calories each day will help most women lose weight safely.
- Eating plans that contain 1,200–1,600 calories each day are suitable for men and also may be appropriate for women who weigh 165 pounds or more or who exercise regularly.
If you eat 1,600 calories a day but do not lose weight, then you may want to cut back to 1,200 calories. If you are hungry on either diet, then you may want to boost your calories by 100 to 200 per day. Very low calorie diets of fewer than 800 calories per day should not be used unless you are being monitored by your doctor.
Healthy Weight Tip
Set goals to eat healthy like replacing full-fat version of foods such as milk, yogurt, and salad dressing with the fat-free or low-fat kind.
The best way to give your body the balanced nutrition it needs is by eating a variety of nutrient-packed foods every day. Just be sure to stay within your calorie needs. For more information, check out www.mypyramid.gov.