Great general recommendations from THE USDA’s MyPyramid.gov. Discuss with your health care provider first before starting any change in diet or exercise.
To maintain body weight in a healthy range, balance calories from foods and beverages with calories expended.
To prevent gradual weight gain over time, make small decreases in food and beverage calories and increase physical activity.
Engage in regular physical activity and reduce sedentary activities to promote health, psychological well-being, and a healthy body weight.
To reduce the risk of chronic disease in adulthood: Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity, above usual activity, at work or home on most days of the week.
For most people, greater health benefits can be obtained by engaging in physical activity of more vigorous intensity or longer duration.
To help manage body weight and prevent gradual, unhealthy body weight gain in adulthood: Engage in approximately 60 minutes of moderate- to vigorous-intensity activity on most days of the week while not exceeding caloric intake requirements.
To sustain weight loss in adulthood: Participate in at least 60 to 90 minutes of daily moderate-intensity physical activity while not exceeding caloric intake requirements. Some people may need to consult with a healthcare provider before participating in this level of activity.
Achieve physical fitness by including cardiovascular conditioning, stretching exercises for flexibility, and resistance exercises or calisthenics for muscle strength and endurance.
FOOD GROUPS TO ENCOURAGE
Consume a sufficient amount of fruits and vegetables while staying within energy needs. Two cups of fruit and 2½ cups of vegetables per day are recommended for a reference 2,000-calorie intake, with higher or lower amounts depending on the calorie level.
Choose a variety of fruits and vegetables each day. In particular, select from all five vegetable subgroups (dark green, orange, legumes, starchy vegetables, and other vegetables) several times a week.
Consume 3 or more ounce-equivalents of whole-grain products per day, with the rest of the recommended grains coming from enriched or whole-grain products. In general, at least half the grains should come from whole grains.
Consume 3 cups per day of fat-free or low-fat milk or equivalent milk products.