1. Health
You can opt-out at any time. Please refer to our privacy policy for contact information.

Discuss in my forum

Walk of Life - Diet and Portions

Balanced reduced-calorie diets

By

Updated April 17, 2014

Fruit Stand
Wendy Bumgardner ©
The Pyramid Diet
This is the diet developed by the USDA to satisfy the nutritional requirements of most Americans.

0-3 servings (use sparingly) fats, oils, sweets
2-3 servings (6 - 9 ounces) meat/protein
2-3 servings dairy
2-4 servings fruit
3-5 servings vegetables
6-11 servings bread/starch

In order to lose weight, you must take in fewer calories than you burn off each day. According to the USDA pamphlet, a sedentary woman and older people may only expend 1600 calories per day, while active men and very active women may burn 2800 calories per day - twice as much.
Calories Burned Per Day Calculator
Walking Calorie Calculators

If your goal is to lose weight and you do not see changes just with increased physical activity, then reducing portions and servings may help, while still using the pyramid as a guide.

1200 Calorie Diet
6 oz. lean meat/protein
5 servings bread/starch
3 servings fruit
4 or more servings vegetables
2 servings dairy (low fat preferred)
3 servings fat

1500 Calorie Diet
6 oz. lean meat/protein
6 servings bread/starch
4 servings fruit
5 or more servings vegetables
2 servings dairy (low fat preferred)
3 servings fat

Daily Serving Logs
Print these and mark off servings as you eat throughout each day. A great tool to keep you on course.
1200 Calorie | 1500 Calorie

Walking and Food Diary: in .pdf printable format.

Next > What is a Serving?

Note:These diets are weight management tools for normally healthy adults. Consult with your medical provider to see if a reduced calorie diet is appropriate for your health before you change your diet. People with diabetes, pregnant women, children under 16, and those with an eating disorder are strongly cautioned to seek medical advice before modifying their diet. A registered dietitian is your best resource to counsel you on how to modify your diet for the best individual results. In the US, you can find a dietitian through the American Dietetics Association

©2014 About.com. All rights reserved.

We comply with the HONcode standard
for trustworthy health
information: verify here.