The food pyramid is a nutritional guide made by the United States Department of Agriculture that suggests just how much of a particular kind of food you should take in a day for you to remain healthy. However, the food pyramid received a lot of criticism like not being able to differentiate between whole grains and refined grains, between unsaturated fats and saturated fasts, as well as not emphasizing enough on weight control and exercise. This prompted the Harvard School of Public Health to develop the healthy eating pyramid. The healthy eating pyramid is just like the old food pyramid in that it also suggests how much of a particular food you should take in a day but it intends to provide a better guide compared to the old food pyramid. The old food pyramid also came under fire because it was not created by the Department of Health and Human Services but by the Department of Agriculture, alleged to have been influenced by the meat, dairy, and agriculture industries.
Food Pyramid Diet for Weight Loss
The food pyramid diet for weight loss functions under the same principles as the food pyramid and the healthy eating pyramid except with a few modifications. Because it is intended for weight loss, the food pyramid diet for weight loss is structured in such a way so you take in less calories. Pegged at 1200 calories, it reduces the amount of servings to what is minimally required for you to stay in good health. It is also highly advised that while under the food pyramid diet for weight loss, you should take vitamin supplements to ensure that you are getting all the nutrients you need for the day.
The Weight Loss Pyramid
The food pyramid diet for weight loss uses the weight loss pyramid. The weight loss pyramid has, from bottom going up, grains at the bottom level, fruits and vegetables on the next level, meat and dairy on the next, and fats at the top. It suggests you should only eat four ounces (four servings) of grains (preferably whole grains), two servings of fruit, three servings of vegetables, three ounces (three servings) of meat, three cups (three servings) of dairy (low-fat, fat-free), and 17 grams of fats in a day.
Serving sizes for food under grains count as one ounce is equivalent to one serving. One serving can include: half a cup of cooked rice, cereal, or pasta, an ounce of dry rice or pasta, a slice of bread, a small-sized muffin, or a cup of flake cereals, ready-to-eat.
A serving of fruit can be a cup of chopped cooked or raw fruit, as well as a cup of fruit juice.
Servings for vegetables are determined as one serving is equivalent to: a cup of chopped cooked or raw vegetables, a cup of vegetable juice, or two cups of green leafy salads.
The food pyramid diet for weight loss counts a serving of meat to be an ounce each. The meat group categorizes meat, fish, poultry, beans, nuts, and eggs together. A serving can be: an ounce of lean meat, fish or poultry, an egg, a quarter cup of cooked tofu or dry beans, a tablespoon of peanut butter, or half an ounce of seeds of nuts.
The dairy group counts these food portions as a serving each: a cup of fat-free yogurt or milk, 1.5 ounces of natural cheeses, or 2 ounces of processed cheeses.
The food pyramid diet for weight loss states that fats count for all amounts added to your food during actual processing, meal preparations, or while eating. Take note that you should maintain your intake of total fats between 20% to 35% of your total calories for the day, and most should be sourced from monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats like nuts, vegetable oils, and oily fishes.
To make the food pyramid diet for weight loss work, you really need to put in the time and effort to follow the instructions for each serving. No cheating! You might have a hard time adjusting at first but eventually, you'll find that each serving is sufficient. Not only does it make you lose weight, but it also helps train you to eat healthier.