You remember the Food Guide Pyramid that we were all taught in school by the end of 6th grade...The Food Guide Pyramid is an outline of what to eat each day based on the Dietary Guidelines...Use fats, oils, and sweets sparingly...2-3 servings of milk, yogurt, and cheese...3-5 servings of vegetables...2-3 servings of meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts...2-4 servings of fruit...6-11 servings of bread, cereal, rice, and pasta...Although the actual serving sizes are not large amount, eating all of the appropriate foods every day can lead to an increase in calories that we are attempting to avoid in order to lose or maintain weight...Think of the Food Pyramid as a guide for eating a variety of foods to get the nutrients you need and at the same time the right amount of calories to maintain healthy weight...
Let’s take a moment to calculate the amount of calories our bodies need in order to lose extra body fat, or to just maintain our current weight…First, multiply your body weight in pounds by 4.35 then add that number to 655…Second, multiply your height in inches by 4.7 and add on that number…Third, multiply your age in years by 4.7 and then reduce that number from your total…Your overall calculations should look something like this…655 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years) = BMR…Remember that this number will increase or decrease depending on your activity level and body weight goals…It takes 3500 calories burned to lose 1 pound of pesky body fat…So, you would need to reduce your BMR by 500 calories a day to burn 1 pound of body fat a week…SAFELY…
Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR) is the number of calories you'd burn while just sitting on the couch eating Bon Bons. (Old joke. lolo) Your Basal Metabolic Rate decreases as you age as well as decreases every time you deprive yourself of food in hopes of losing weight. On a more positive scale (excuse the pun), a regular routine of cardiovascular exercise and weight training, can increase your BMR. The more muscle weight a person has, the more calories that person burns while at rest.  So remember, this equation will be very accurate in all but the very muscular and the very fat. Your Basal Metabolic Rate is a basic organ function, so is not something you can just increase. To increase you BMR you simply need to exercise more.
When I give each of my clients an eating plan that will help them achieve their own personal weight goals, I do attempt to get in all of the Food Guide Pyramids recommendations...But, sometimes it is not so easy when a client is at 1500 calories or less a day...Therefore, it is essential that you take a high quality multi-vitamin and any other nutrient based vitamins and minerals that a doctor or nutritionist may require...
Although the actual serving sizes are not large amount, eating all of the appropriate foods every day can lead to an increase in calories that we are attempting to avoid in order to lose or maintain weight...Think of the Food Pyramid The Pyramid calls for eating a variety of foods to get the nutrients you need and at the same time the right amount of calories to maintain healthy weight...If you are at a caloric deficit to reach your personal weight goals, you will also need to make the most out of every calorie you put in your body...Here are a few ideas that you can take with you when designing your own meals or when you are preparing one of the meals that I have recommended for you...
Bread, cereal, rice, and pasta
Include several servings of whole grain foods (breads, rice, cereals, etc...) daily for their good taste and their health benefits. If your calorie needs are low, have only 6 servings of a sensible size daily, such as,  whole wheat bread, whole grain ready-to-eat cereal, low-fat whole wheat crackers, oatmeal, whole wheat pasta, whole barley in soup, and Tabouli salad...Be sure to prepare or choose grain products with little added saturated fat and a low amount of added sugars... Also, check the sodium content on the Nutrition Facts Label...
Milk, yogurt, and cheese
Dairy foods can be very high in fat, so reach for fat-free, low-fat, part-skim, or reduced-fat cheeses, ice cream, frozen yogurt, ice milk, and fluid milk products...Alternate soy based dairy products, such as soy milk, are a great option that provide additional protein for the body...Remember that skim milk provides just as much calcium as whole milk provides...It may take some time to adjust to the low-fat or fat-free version of dairy...Try to half and half your dairy (1/2 part whole milk, mixed with 1/2 part skim milk) to slowly adjust those stubborn taste buds...
Meat, poultry, fish, dry beans, eggs, and nuts
3 ounces of chicken is considered a meat source serving..3 ounces is about the length and width of a deck of playing cards...2 1/2-ounce soy burger or 1 egg counts as 1 ounce of lean meat...1/2 cup of cooked dry beans or 1/2 cup of tofu counts as 1 ounce of lean meat...2 tablespoons of a all-natural, low-fat peanut butter, or 1/3 cup of nuts counts as 1 lean meat serving...Opt for egg whites instead of using the entire egg...Meat is the main source of protein in most of our diets...The amount of protein needed will vary depending on how active you are; the more active you are, the more protein you need...
Vegetables and Fruits
Orange vegetables like carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin...Dark-green leafy vegetables such as spinach, collards, turnip greens...Tomatoes are a great source of vitamin C along with citrus fruits and juices, kiwi fruit, strawberries, cantaloupe...Green Peas are a great source of potassium...Broccoli and green peppers are a great source of much needed iron...1 small apple is full of fiber...If you have to buy canned fruits or vegetables be sure that they are low in sodium, and that the fruit is not kept in a syrup but its natural juices and added water...
Fats, oils, and sweets
Olive oil is my choice of oil but used extremely sparingly...Do not deny your sweet tooth cravings all together...A miniature candy bar, when needed, will not hurt your diet...Now, if 1 leads to many others, then you will have to wait on even the smallest sweet snack until you have the ability to portion control...

If you can make it to one of my Indoor Cycling classes, you will most likely hear me say at least one time, “If you wait until you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated.” This fact also stands true when it comes to eating.  If you let yourself get too hungry, your metabolism makes adjustments to fit your starvation, therefore slowing down.  When you allow yourself to eat right again, the metabolism cannot just immediately speed up to keep up with the change in your eating So, it is much harder to lose weight. One thing that has remained a constant in the “Food Facts” world has always been that breakfast is essential. Eating a meal of complex carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats within an hour or so of rising can rev up your metabolism and give you fuel for an active day As soon as you notice your body's hunger signals, make sure you eat within an hour. Irregular eating patterns and skipped meals can confuse your body and mess up your metabolism. Plus, if you wait until you’re feeling ravenous, you may be more likely to overeat. ? But what about the meals after breakfast?
I believe that all the 5 to 6 “small” meals that you should be eating throughout your day are also essential.  Keeping the body fed with a combination of the 3 macronutrients (Protein, Carbohydrates, Healthy Fat,) you can keep the metabolism going strong enough to promote weight loss, improve energy levels, help stabilize blood sugar, and preserve lean muscle mass.  Think of it as keeping the fire going throughout a cold winter’s day, by constantly adding wood to the fire. As long as you continue to add wood, the fire will continue to grow stronger.
If eating that often begins to cause you stress, remember to start out slow.  What is super important, especially when attempting to lose a significant amount of body fat, is that you decrease your portion sizes and therefore decrease your total caloric intake each 24 hour period. Watch the amount of food you are consuming during each of these “small” meals, just as close as you would have for 3 basic larger meals.  I like to think of 5 to 6 meals a day, as basically eating 5 to 6 healthy, well-balanced “snacks” a day.
 Many people who follow a reduced-calorie weight loss plan struggle with hunger. Eating more frequently throughout the day can help with feelings of fullness and satiety, so you're more likely to stick with your plan  Always remember when counting calories, that it is equally important to make sure your body receives all the nutrients it needs for proper maintenance. Since this is extremely hard when reducing calories for fat loss, you should be supplementing with a doctor recommended multi-vitamin. If you need 90 grams of protein every day, for example, you would need to make sure that at least  1 grams of protein per small meal.
This is what a *sample day of mini meals might look like, based on a 1,800-calorie diet.
7:30 am - 1/2 cup unsweetened juice; 1 slice whole wheat toast with 2 tsp. margarine and spreadable fruit; 1 hardboiled egg (Nutrition Total: 320 calories; 44g carbs; 10g protein; 12g fat)
10 am - 2 oz. of natural cheese thinly sliced on 4 saltine crackers; 1 piece of fresh fruit; water/tea (Nutrition Total: 325 calories; 59g carbs; 15g protein, 19g fat)
12:30 pm - 2 oz. of turkey breast on whole wheat bagel with lettuce leaf and 2 slices of fresh tomato with 1 tablespoon of spicy brown mustard; 1 medium banana; 1/2 cup of 1% milk or soy milk (Nutrition Total: 405 calories; 76g carbs; 18g protein; 3g fat)
3 pm - 1/2 cup of sugar free pudding; 4 vanilla wafers; 1/2 cup of 1% milk or soy milk (Nutrition Total: 211 calories; 30g carbs; 7g protein; 7g fat)
6 pm - 2 oz. of falafel with whole wheat pita halves; 1/2 cup of broccoli; water/tea (Nutrition Total: 386 calories; 60g carbs; 16g protein; 12g fat)
8 pm - 1 oz. almonds; 1/2 cup of unsweetened juice (Nutrition Total: 222 calories; 20g carbs; 6g protein; 14g fat)
(Sample Meal by Tanya Jolliffe)