Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

How many servings can I have and lose weight?

If you need to lose weight, ask your doctor or your dietitian for help setting a calorie limit. You want to find a limit that's right for you without sacrificing nutrition. This chart, adapted from the American Heart Association, can give you an idea of how many servings of each type of food you should include if you are cutting back on calories. Find the calorie limit that your doctor recommends across the top row. Then look down that column to see how much of each food group you can have and still lose weight.

Food Servings Per Day on a Calorie-Restricted Diet

Type of Food 1,200 Total Daily Calories 1,600 Total Daily Calories 1,800 Total Daily Calories
Lean meat, fish, poultry 6 oz., cooked 6 oz., cooked 6 oz., cooked
Eggs, whole 3 per week 3 per week 3 per week
Vegetables 4 servings 4 servings 4 servings
Fruits 3 servings 3 servings 3 servings
Breads, cereals, starchy vegetables 3 servings 4 servings 6 servings
Nonfat or low-fat dairy products 2 servings 3 servings 3 servings
Oil or margarine 3 tsp. 4 tsp. 5 tsp.