The MyPyramid diet takes concepts about healthy food choices that were developed decades ago and still ring true today. Established by the USDA, the MyPyramid diet utilizes every food group to form a diet plan based on an individual's current eating styles and physical activity. Unlike many other diets, MyPyramid puts an emphasis on exercise in addition to choosing the right foods to eat. The plan forces users to select food from each of the levels of the pyramid, which includes vegetables, fruits, dairy, protein and grains. The website for the diet offers a menu planner in which dieters can input their specific criteria such as age, weight and level of activity to determine what amounts of each pyramid level should be consumed daily. By following the planner's serving suggestions, you should be able to have a variety of healthy items on your daily menu.
A typical female who has an average level of physical activity on most days will have a suggested daily calorie intake of about 2,000 calories. This may seem like a lot of calories, but if they are derived from the right sources, they will provide an optimal energy intake to guide you through your day. Based on this general information, you should consume 6 ounces of grains, 2½ cups of vegetables, 2 cups of fruits, 3 cups of dairy products, and 5½ ounces of protein such as meats and beans.
Sample Plan #1
Based on the a normal sized female, a suggested sample menu plan offers a dieter a large amount of food, allowing for three proportioned meals and three light snacks throughout the day. It is important to remember that this sample menu is not for everyone, and only by using the menu planner on the MyPyramid website can an individual determine the correct amounts of each food group based on their specific criteria.
- Breakfast: 2 slices of whole grain toast, 1 cup of yogurt
- Snack 1: 1 cup of blueberries
- Lunch: 1 cup of whole wheat pasta, 1 cup of steamed asparagus, 1 cup of skim milk
- Snack 2: 1 banana and 1½ ounces of cubed cheese
- Dinner: 3 ounces of grilled chicken breast, 1 cup of uncooked spinach with ½ ounce of almonds, 1 dinner roll, 1 cup of vegetable juice
- Snack 3: 1 cup of oatmeal
Sample Plan #2
- Breakfast: 1 cup of cereal, 1 cup of skim milk, 1 cup of orange juice, 1 slice of wheat toast
- Lunch: 2 ounces of lean turkey, 2 ounces of whole wheat bread, 1 cup of yogurt
- Snack 2: 1 cup of fresh strawberries and a 1/2 whole grain bagel
- Dinner: 2½ ounces of broiled swordfish, 1 cup of romaine lettuce with a half ounce of sunflower seeds, 1 dinner roll, 1½ cups of steamed broccoli
- Snack 3: 1 slice of bread with 1/2 ounce of peanut butter spread
The above meal plans are based on a daily 2,000 calorie intake. The MyPyramid plan recommends individuals perform at least 30 minutes of exercise on most days of the week in addition to following a healthy diet.