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, cooked
 6 oz.
 6 oz.
 6 oz.
 Eggs, whole
 3 3 3
 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 products2 servings
3 servings
3 servings
Oil or margarine3 tsp.
4 tsp.
5 tsp.