Nutrition & Health Information From BYU Dining Services

Daily Portions

Eating Right, Every Day

How do you put on weight? If you eat only the amount of food that your body needs, you can burn it off and you don’t gain weight.  Calories in = Calories out = No weight gain.   

What is the energy value of foods? 

Fat contains more calories per gram than any other food group. 
Protein—4 calories per gram
Carbohydrate—3.75 calories per gram 
Fat—9 calories per gram 

How do I maintain a healthy weight?

Control your weight by eating the number of portions that meet your calorie needs (provided you are physically active enough). By using the following chart as a reference guide, you can find a daily balance that will ensure you get the right amount of nutrition. 

Fruit and vegetables (5+ portions)
A portion is:
a.     2 tablespoons cooked vegetables
b.     1 piece of fruit
c.     1 tablespoon dried fruitii.    

Bread, potatoes, pasta, and cereals (5-11 portions)

A portion is:
a.     1 slice of bread
b.     1 medium potato
c.     1 tablespoon breakfast cereal  

Milk, cheese, and yogurt (2-3 portions)

A portion is:
a.     8 oz milk
b.     1 ½ oz hard cheese
c.     4 oz yogurt

Meat, fish, and protein alternatives (2-3 portions)
A portion is:
a.     2-3 oz beef, pork, lamb, poultry, or oily fish
b.     2 eggs (limit to 4 per week)
c.     2 tablespoons nuts or seeds   

Fats and oils (0-3 portions)

A portion is:
a.     1 teaspoon butter, cooking oil, mayonnaise, or salad dressing
b.     2 teaspoons low-fat spread    

High-fat, high-sugar foods (0-2 portions)

A portion is:
a.     1 bag of chips
b.     ½ chocolate bar
c.     3-5 sweets  

How do I lose those extra pounds? 

As the portion sizes of fast foods, convenience foods, restaurant servings (and the amount of food we serve ourselves at home) have grown, unfortunately, so have our waists.  If you make sure that you are eating less than the recommended amount of calories and getting at least 30 minutes of exercise a day, you can lose weight.  Most women lose weight eating 1200-1500 calories per day.  Once you have lost the weight, stick to about 1800 calories per day.  Most men lose weight on 1800-2000 calories per day.  Once you have lost weight, you can increase your calorie intake to about 2550 calories a day.  But don’t worry about counting the calories, just stick to the portion guides and you’ll stay on track.