What To Eat and Drink
The Daily Food Plans are guides to help you choose foods and beverages that meet your nutrient needs while staying within your calorie limits. Think of your Food Plan as a roadmap to guide you on the path to a healthier weight. Learn how much you need to eat each day from the 5 food groups. You can also find out your total calorie limit and your limit for empty calories (calories from solid fats and added sugars) with your Daily Food Plan.
Your Food Plan is not a quick weight loss program. It's a way to eat for health and well being. If you stick with the Plan over time, you should gradually move toward a healthier weight.
- Enter your age, sex, height, weight, and activity level in the Daily Food Plan entry box.
- If you are not within your healthy weight range, the Plan lets you choose an option to gradually move to a healthier weight. This option provides 200 to 400 calories less per day than the average calorie needs to maintain your weight.
- Once you've entered your information and picked the "move toward a healthier weight" option, you will get a plan with your calorie limits and the amounts to eat and drink from each food group every day. Following this plan can help you gradually lose weight. You can print your plan for future quick access.
Concerned about following a Food Plan? Here are some common "stumbling blocks" and ideas to help you overcome these barriers:
"I get frustrated because I don't see results fast enough."
Most people gain weight slowly over time, even years. Chances are that you gained weight slowly over time, and it will take time to lose your excess body weight. You will be more successful at keeping weight off if you lose it gradually and not over a short period of time.
You don't have to reach a healthy body weight to start experiencing improvements in health. Losing 5% to 10% of your current body weight can have health benefits.
It's also important to track your success at making changes. For example, if your goal is to go on a 15-minute walk each day during your lunch break, then consider accomplishing this goal as a success. Results on the scale may be more gradual, but you are still making positive changes.
"I don't have the will power to stick to a plan."
You don't have to change everything you do all at once. Try making one change at a time, like decreasing portion sizes, then after that has become routine, make more changes. It can also help if you have friends or family who are making changes with you. On the SuperTracker, you can also sign up for regular text messages to keep you motivated in "My Coach Center."
"Can't I just skip meals to lose weight?"
It's important to eat enough, but not too much. Skipping meals isn't the answer for long term success at managing your weight. The goal is to pick the best food and beverage options in the right amounts. Your Daily Food Plan shows you what and how much to eat and drink from each food group. Stick to your Plan instead of skipping meals.
"The Daily Food Plan looks like too much food – I'll never lose weight if I eat all of this."
An important part of the Plan is to make nutrient-dense choices in each food group. This means choosing foods and beverages with little or no solid fats and added sugars. Solid fats and added sugars make up about 35% of most Americans' calorie intake. If you choose foods without them, you can eat a lot, feel full, and still lose weight gradually.