Using the USDA Pyramid Plan

Using the new pyramid plan from the United States Department of Agriculture, the total calories needed for a 67 year old female( me in 2007) with less than 30 minutes of exercise daily is:

Grains–5 ounces (make half the grains whole)
Vegetables– 2 cups (dark green, orange, starchy, and other vegetables included with 2 ½ cups of dry beans and peas)
Fruits–1.5 cups (variety of fruit—go easy on fruit juices)
Milk– 3 cups (use low-fat or fat-free when you choose milk, yogurt or cheese)
Meat and Beans– 5 ounces (go lean with protein—vary protein routine—include fish, beans, peas, nuts and seeds)

Half of the grains should be whole grains. The site recommends 3 whole grains daily. The food program is based on a 1600 calorie diet. By using the My Pyramid Plan and changing the exercise to 30-60 minutes daily, the calorie count goes up to 1800 calories. For an exercise program of more that 60 minutes, the calorie count goes up to 2000. In other words, to lose weight, don’t increase your calorie intake while adding more exercise to your routine.

It has been estimated that in order to lose 1 pound of fat a 500 calorie daily change needs to happen. The easier way to implement this is to eat 250 calories less and exercise 250 calories more. From the exercise and calories burned chart which uses the approximate calories burned per hour by a 150 pound woman, the calories per hour are:

Walking, 3 miles per hour–280 calories
Dancing, ballroom–260 calories
Tennis–350+ calories
Aerobics–450 calories
Jogging–500 calories
Swimming, active–500 calories
Cycling, studio–650 calories
Running–700 calories