Guideline Daily Amounts: Your GDAs Explained

Sep 12, 2013 9:01:19 AM

weight loss foods

When making the decision to lose those pounds for good, it can sometimes be confusing to know what you should be eating. While taking Phen Caps will suppress your hunger and make it easier for you to eat less, there is still the added pressure of trying to hit all your guideline daily allowances (GDAs) for vitamins and nutrients. Here, we explain how much of some important vitamins and food groups you should be eating each day, based on the GDA for a woman aged between 20 and 50, and exactly how much that equates to in actual food.


Following the popularity of low-carb diets in recent years, the focus has moved to consuming more protein, especially as proteins combined with exercise will build lean muscle, burn fat and increase your metabolism. This keeps your body working even when you’re not working out. The GDA is 46g of protein per day, and while it might seem that getting more than that can only increase the benefits, an overconsumption of protein can cause kidney strain, which may result in your body storing too much fat.


Chicken and turkey breast is packed full of protein, with 17 grams for an average-sized 58g breast, and a 3oz fillet of tuna or salmon contains 22 grams of protein, and half a tin of tuna contains around 17 grams. With respect to non-meat sources, a large egg contains 6 grams, a cup of milk or yogurt contains 14 grams of protein, and an ounce of peanuts contains 7 grams. So, with a poached egg on toast and a cup of yogurt for breakfast, a handful of peanuts for a snack and just over half a tin of drained tuna at lunch, you’ve already hit your GDA.


As well as filling you up with less calories, the soluble fiber found in foods such as apples, cherries and oats, lowers insulin levels, which in turn can speed up the burning of fat - But you must eat the skin, as that’s where all the fiber is. The GDA is 25 grams of fiber per day, which can be achieved by eating high fiber bread, cereal, beans and certain fruits and vegetables.


A healthy high-fiber cereal should contain around 7 grams of fiber per serving, and by adding a cup of raspberries, which contains a further 8 grams, you’re already at 60% of your GDA. A cup of beans contains 45% of your GDA at 10 grams, and an apple (including that all-important skin!) contains 4.5 grams of fiber, or 18% of your GDA.

Whole grain

While simple carbs found in sugars, white bread and cakes are your enemy, whole grain complex carbs deliver nutrients including fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. As long as they aren’t over-processed, the body digests them more slowly, which can delay hunger. The GDA for whole grain is 6 to 8 servings per day, where a serving equates to one slice of wholegrain bread, half a cup of cooked whole wheat pasta or brown rice, six small whole wheat crackers, or a cup of whole grain cereal.

calcium weight loss


As well as being crucial for healthy bones, calcium can really aid weight loss; several studies have found that women who ate three servings of low-fat dairy products each day lost 60-100 percent more weight than women eating an otherwise similar diet. This is due to the enzymes found in calcium, which breaks down fat, an effect that cannot be replicated with calcium supplements.


Your calcium GDA is between 800 and 1000mg per day, depending on which sources you consult. Drink a glass of milk containing 300mg, eat a cup of yogurt with 450mg, and add a cup of cooked spinach containing 240mg, and there you’ve hit the upper target. Other good non-dairy sources include sesame seeds, with 280mg per ounce, and sardines, with 370mg for a 3oz serving.

Vitamin A

This is an important vitamin for your vision, regulating genes, and supporting the immune system. Carrots are famously high in this vitamin, with a medium sized carrot giving you 10mg, or twice your daily 5mg GDA. Other good sources include turkey liver, which contains a whopping 15 times your GDA per 100g, sweet potatoes, with 5 times your GDA in a medium sized one, and leafy greens such as kale, with 3 times your GDA per 100g.

Vitamin C

This is required by the body for the development and maintenance of scar tissue, blood vessels, and cartilage, plus vitamin C is essential for making carnitine, a compound used by the body to turn fat into fuel. Your GDA is 60mg, which is easily achieved by eating just one kiwi, which contains 84mg per fruit, or around 1.5 times your GDA.


If you’re not a fan of kiwis, bell peppers are another good source, especially the yellow ones which contain 1.5 times your GDA in ten sliced strips, or around 60 grams, and oranges make the grade at 1.4 times your GDA per orange.

Vitamin D

This vitamin is important for fighting the effects of stress-related weight gain, as it counteracts the secretion of cortisol, plus it gives you more energy so you feel like working out. The best source of vitamin D is the sun, so get outside and take a stroll in the sun for at least 15 minutes each day. However, if there isn’t much sun where you live, you can get your vitamin D from cod liver oil, which has over 3 times your GDA of 0.01mg in one tablespoon.


Raw fish has more vitamin D than cooked, and fish canned in oil has more than that canned in water. Raw Atlantic herring is the best food source, with over 2.5 times your GDA per 100g, or 76% of your GDA per ounce, while a can of salmon has 127% of your GDA.


While this is not an exhaustive list of all your GDAs, this guide should give you some ideas of how it can be possible to hit your targets and still eat the healthy foods you enjoy. Although focusing on calories is a good starting point, it’s the source of the calories that’s more important.


Getting the right amounts will keep your body and your metabolism working properly, maximizing your weight loss opportunities with Phen Caps, while keeping you healthy from the inside out.


We would love to hear about how you try to hit your GDAs whilst you progress along your weight loss journey, and how easy or difficult you find it to incorporate everything into your healthy eating plan, so please leave your comments below!

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