To battle unhealthy weight gain over time, the USDA released new Dietary Guidelines for Americans in January, 2005. The message is clear: Move more and eat a balanced nutrient-dense diet.
Physical Activity• Get Moving!: Engage in regular physical activity and reduce sedentary activities to promote health, psychological well-being, and a healthy body weight.
• 30 Minutes of Moderate Exercise a Day: To reduce the risk of chronic disease in adulthood engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, above usual activity, at work or home on most days of the week.
Adding 2000 More Steps to Your Day
• For Weight Loss: 60 Minutes of Exercise a Day: To help manage body weight and prevent gradual, unhealthy body weight gain in adulthood: Engage in approximately 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity on most days of the week.
Walking Off Weight
• To Sustain Weight Loss in Adulthood: Participate in at least 60 to 90 minutes of daily moderate-intensity physical activity while not exceeding caloric intake requirements. Some people may need to consult with a healthcare provider before participating in this level of activity. while not exceeding caloric intake requirements.
• More Exercise for Most People: For most people, greater health benefits can be obtained by engaging in physical activity of more vigorous intensity or longer duration.
• A Variety of Exercise: Achieve physical fitness by including cardiovascular conditioning, stretching exercises for flexibility, and resistance exercises or calisthenics for muscle strength and endurance.
Adequate Nutrients Within Calorie Needs• Nutrient Dense Foods: Consume a variety of nutrient-dense foods and beverages within and among the basic food groups while choosing foods that limit the intake of saturated and trans fats, cholesterol, added sugars, salt, and alcohol.
• Balance Your Diet: Meet recommended intakes within energy needs by adopting a balanced eating pattern, such as the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Guide or the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) Eating Plan.
Balance Your Calories: To maintain body weight in a healthy range, balance calories from foods and beverages with calories expended.
Calories Per Day Calculator
Walking Calories Calculators
Prevent Gradual Weight Gain: To prevent gradual weight gain over time, make small decreases in food and beverage calories and increase physical activity.
Walk of Life 10-Week Program
Food Groups to Encourage
- Fruits and Vegetable Guidelines: Consume a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables while staying within energy needs. Two cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables per day are recommended for a reference 2,000-calorie intake, with higher or lower amounts depending on the calorie level.
- Vary Your Fruits and Vegetables: Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables each day. In particular, select from all five vegetable subgroups (dark green, orange, legumes, starchy vegetables, and other vegetables) several times a week.
- Whole Grains: Consume 3 or more ounce-equivalents of whole-grain products per day, with the rest of the recommended grains coming from enriched or whole-grain products. In general, at least half the grains should come from whole grains.
Milk and Milk Products: Consume 3 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk products.
Diets and Portions
Saturated Fats and Cholesterol: Consume less than 10 percent of calories from saturated fatty acids and less than 300 mg/day of cholesterol, and keep trans fatty acid consumption as low as possible.
Deciphering the Fats
- Total Fats: Keep total fat intake between 20 to 35 percent of calories, with most fats coming from sources of polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids, such as fish, nuts, and vegetable oils.
- Choose Lean: When selecting and preparing meat, poultry, dry beans, and milk or milk products, make choices that are lean, low-fat, or fat-free.
- Choice Your Oils and Fats: Limit intake of fats and oils high in saturated fats and/or trans fatty acids, and choose products low in such fats and oils.
Fiber: Choose fiber-rich fruits, vegetables, and whole grains often.
Fiber in Your Diet
- Limit the Sweets: Choose and prepare foods and beverages with little added sugars or caloric sweeteners, such as amounts suggested by the USDA Food Guide and the DASH Eating Plan.
- Prevent Cavities: Reduce the incidence of dental caries by practicing good oral hygiene and consuming sugar- and starch-containing foods and beverages less frequently. Taking Care of Your Teeth