Mayo Clinic Health Library

Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid: A sample menu

Updated: 01-20-2011

The Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid is a tool that helps guide you toward eating a balanced, nutritious diet while achieving a healthy weight. The Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid illustrates the types and amounts of food you need to eat every day from each of the six represented food groups. The healthy weight pyramid also includes a physical activity component, which is an important part of weight loss and maintenance of weight loss.

Illustration of Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid

A sample menu under the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid

This sample menu for a day follows the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid. The sample menu shows you how to fit in servings from each category in the healthy weight pyramid. You can adjust the menu to suit your own tastes and calorie needs.

Example of an approximately 1,200-calorie menu
Breakfast
1 small banana
1/2 cup bran cereal
1 cup fat-free milk
Herbal tea
Lunch
Turkey sandwich made with 4 ounces sliced turkey breast, 1 tablespoon low-calorie mayonnaise, tomato slice, leaf lettuce and 2 slices whole-grain bread
2 cups raw baby carrots, jicama and bell pepper strips
1 small apple
Water
Dinner
2 ounces broiled beef tenderloin
2/3 cup steamed green beans
3 baby potatoes with 1 teaspoon trans fat-free margarine
Salad made with 2 cups butterhead lettuce (bibb, Boston, etc.) or leaf lettuce, 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes and 2 tablespoons fat-free salad dressing
1/3 cup lemon sherbet
Sparkling water with lemon
Snack (any time)
1 small pear

Nutrient analysis and servings for the sample menu

Nutrient analysis for the sample menu
Calories 1,303*
Protein 77 g
Carbohydrate 197 g
Total fat 23 g
Saturated fat 6 g
Monounsaturated fat 8 g
Cholesterol 156 mg
Sodium 1,496 mg
Fiber 33 g
Potassium 3,333 mg
Calcium 543 mg

* includes 75 calories from sweets

Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid servings with the sample menu
Vegetables 5
Fruits 3
Carbohydrates 4
Protein and dairy 3
Fats 3
Sweets 1

Healthy snacking to help fill you up

If you feel hungry while following the Mayo Clinic Healthy Weight Pyramid, reach for more fruits and vegetables to snack on. Just make sure your fruit is either fresh or canned in water or juice — and that you pour off the liquid before eating. Limit dried fruit and fruit juices to no more than one to two servings a day because they're high in calories and low in volume — they'll give you extra calories without filling you up. Also, remember that regular vegetable juice is high in sodium, so consider choosing a low-sodium variety.

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