Are you ready to lose weight and get healthy?
The research behind weight loss is clear. To lose weight, you have to eat fewer calories than you burn. To do this, you need to eat the right foods for weight loss for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks.
As well, you need to eat the right amount of these foods. Most registered dieticians recommend that women who want to lose weight fast eat about 1500 calories each day, while men who want to lose weight should follow a weight loss diet plan of about 1800 calories each day (the difference in calorie requirements is due to the differences in men’s and women’s bodies).
If you eat the right amount of calories every day, over time you will see pounds fall off your body every week. We’ve planned out seven full days of healthy eating for weight loss, including breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks on each day. We based our weight loss diet plan on the foods that are proven to help people succeed on their diets.
Our diet plan includes:
- Vegetables – Vegetables should be at the heart of every weight loss meal plan. They are full of essential vitamins and minerals, but exceptionally low in calories. An entire cup of spinach leaves only contains 7 calories! You can fill up on vegetables all day and never come close going over your daily calorie limit.
- Fruit – Fruit is high in fiber and natural sugar. When you’re craving something sweet, reach for a piece of low-calorie fruit instead of a candy bar. You’ll cut calories, and the fiber will help you to feel full.
- Whole Grains – Choose whole grains instead of their processed white counterparts. Whole-wheat bread, whole-wheat cereal and brown rice contain lots of protein and fiber, so you won’t be left wanting more.
- Lean Proteins – Your body needs protein to build new muscles, which makes it extra important for dieters who have also added exercise to their weight loss plan. Lean proteins like fish, chicken and tofu contain less fat than other sources of protein, so you can eat more for fewer calories.
- Water – Drinking sugary or creamy drinks can pack on the pounds. During this weight loss meal plan, you’ll be swapping out most calorie-filled drinks for healthy water. Water contains no calories, keeps you hydrated, fights feelings of hunger and helps you to digest the other foods you’re eating. Aim for approximately two liters of water each day.
For example, when we recommend eating half of a chicken breast, you can choose a whole chicken breast to add 150 calories. Adding an extra scoop of protein powder to your smoothie can add 100 calories to your morning meal. Or, you could add in any combination of these extra foods to your day to make sure you’re taking in all of the calories that you need:
- Avocado – ½ of an avocado has 160 calories
- Beer – 1 pint has 210 calories
- Cottage Cheese and Fruit – ½ cup of low-fat cottage cheese with ½ cup of sliced fruits has 250 calories
- Dark chocolate – 1 square has 55 calories
- Edamame – ½ cup of shelled edamame has 120 calories
- Mini Pepperoni Pizza – 320 calories
- Pistachios – 45 pistachios contain 150 calories.
- Pudding – 1 individual cup has 110 calories
- Pretzels – 1 serving has 100 calories
- Prosciutto Ham – 5 slices contain 100 calories
- Protein Bar – 225 calories
- String Cheese – 1 serving has 60 calories
So now that you understand the right foods to eat to lose weight, and now that you know how much to eat, it’s time to get started with our weight loss meal plan!
Day One – Monday
Welcome to your first day of healthy eating for weight loss! Today you’re going to get started with some simple, tasty meals to keep you energized all day. Monday’s healthy meal plan uses lots of common ingredients that you might already have in your pantry.
- Breakfast – In your favorite bowl, mix one cup of whole-wheat cereal, 125 ml of skim milk, one sliced banana and a pinch of metabolism-boosting cinnamon. If you’re a coffee drinker, enjoy a cup of black coffee. (300 calories).
- Lunch – Pack a fresh tuna salad to take to work. Combine two cups of chopped romaine lettuce with your favorite salad vegetables, like grated carrots, halved cherry tomatoes, diced bell peppers and sliced cucumber. Add a can of water-packed tuna, two tablespoons of mayonnaise, a little bit of mustard and some salt and pepper. A big salad like this one helps you to feel full without adding too many calories. (425 calories).
- Dinner – Take a trip to Italy with pasta Bolognese tonight. Start with one cup of cooked whole-grain pasta and top it with one cup of your favorite homemade Bolognese sauce (made from hearty ground beef and tomatoes) and a tablespoon of grated Parmesan cheese. (450 calories).
- Snacks – If you feel a bit hungry in the morning, reach for your favorite granola bar. In the afternoon, curb any cravings with a handful of mixed, salted nuts. (325 calories).
Day Two – Tuesday
You’re probably feeling great today! After all, the food you ate yesterday was packed with nutrients and full of healthy energy. As well, now you’re getting used to eating just the right amount of food to feel great and lose weight. There’s a reason that most dieticians recommend eating 1500 or 1800 calories each day as the best diet plan to lose weight.
- Breakfast – It’s the perfect day for a breakfast sandwich. You can swing by your favorite fast food restaurant to pick up a ready-made version, or make your own at home with an English muffin, scrambled egg (use one whole egg plus one high-protein, low-fat egg white), slice of cheese and two slices of bacon. (350 calories).
- Lunch – Yesterday you used ground beef in your Bolognese sauce, and today you’re going to cross the ocean to use the rest in a Mexican-style wrap. Sauté the ground beef with some delicious herbs and spices (try chili powder, cumin and coriander) then set aside. In the same pan, sauté some strips of bell pepper and sliced red onions until they’re soft. Quickly microwave a whole-wheat tortilla and then wrap up the beef, veggies and two tablespoons of grated cheddar cheese to make a healthy burrito lunch. When you cook with lots of herbs and spices, you can add flavor without adding calories. (425 calories).
- Dinner – Every weight loss diet should be full of fiber. Tonight, make yourself a pot of lentil and vegetable soup. Start by sautéing a diced onion and minced garlic in a little olive oil. Then, add in your favorite vegetables (we like carrots, green beans and celery), a can of diced tomatoes and a can of cooked brown or green lentils. Cover with vegetable stock, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for one hour. Serve yourself a big bowl tonight, and save a small bowl for tomorrow. Studies have found that people who eat broth-based (not cream-based) soups at dinner consume about 10% fewer calories than people who don’t. (350 calories).
- Snacks – Your morning snack today is one sliced apple, dipped into a tablespoon of peanut butter or almond butter. This combination of fiber and healthy fat helps you to avoid the urge to snack later. In the afternoon, indulge in two of your favorite sandwich cookies. We’re serious! The best healthy meal plans leave room for little treats too. (280 calories).
Day Three – Wednesday
It’s already the middle of the week! Can you believe you’re already three days into your weight loss diet? We know that Wednesday can seem like the longest day of the week, so we’re not going to make you work too hard in the kitchen today! We promise!
- Breakfast – Take a traditional bowl of oatmeal and make it exciting with your favorite toppings. Start by cooking half a cup of oats in one cup of skim milk. If you like chocolate, stir in one tablespoon of your favorite chocolate-hazelnut spread. If fresh fruit is more your thing, try adding one tablespoon of maple syrup and ten sliced strawberries. Treat yourself to a glass of orange juice on the side. (400 calories).
- Lunch – Soup always tastes better the next day, which makes it the perfect addition to any healthy meal plan. Serve yourself a small bowl of yesterday’s lentil and vegetable soup. On the side, toast half of an English muffin and spread it with a tablespoon of low-fat herb and garlic cream cheese. Choosing lower-fat dairy options, like this cream cheese or skim milk, can help you lose more weight. (375 calories).
- Dinner – Dinner tonight is an exotic chicken stir-fry. Heat a little oil in a frying pan or wok and cook half of a chicken breast until it’s cooked through (about four minutes on each side). Set the chicken aside, slice it and then add a pile of sliced vegetables, like red cabbage, carrots, snow peas and bell peppers, back to the pan. Sauté the vegetables until they look extra-bright then add the chicken back into the pan. Add a quarter cup of your favorite stir-fry sauce (if you’re new to Asian food, teriyaki is always a favorite) and heat through. Serve the chicken and vegetables on top of a quarter cup of cooked rice. (450 calories).
- Snacks – In the morning, nibble on a bowl of seedless grapes. If you’re hungry in the afternoon, pop a snack-sized bag of microwave popcorn and sprinkle with a teaspoon of sugar and a pinch of salt for instant kettle corn. If you find yourself eating too much snack food, pre-portioned snack size servings can help you meet your weight loss goals. (225 calories).
Day Four – Thursday
Have you weighed yourself yet? In the first few days of a healthy eating plan, you’ll probably notice rapid weight loss. Most health experts believe that a weight loss of between half a pound and two pounds each week is sustainable and maintainable for the rest of your life. It’s best to track your weight over time, rather than day-to-day, so that you’re measuring your fat loss instead of normal fluctuations in water weight.
- Breakfast – Pull out your blender because you’re going to make a smoothie this morning. Add one ripe banana (fresh or frozen), one cup of chocolate milk, one tablespoon of almond butter and one tablespoon of cacao powder to your blender. If your banana was fresh, add a few ice cubes too. Blend the mixture for thirty to sixty seconds and enjoy. (400 calories).
- Lunch – How about going out for lunch today? Head to a major sandwich chain for a 6″ vegetable sub sandwich and a snack sized bag of potato chips, or go to a popular fast-food burger chain for a cheeseburger. (325 calories).
- Dinner – Tonight’s dinner looks gourmet, but is unbelievably easy to prepare. Heat your oven to 425 degrees Celsius, and spritz a non-stick cooking tray with oil. Place one half of a salmon fillet on the sheet and surround it with about two cups of broccoli florets. Drizzle everything with a tablespoon of olive oil and cook for about twenty minutes (flip just the broccoli once, halfway through). Serve on top of half a cup of cooked quinoa with a pat of butter and squeeze of lemon juice. When you’re losing weight, you want to replace high-fat proteins like steak and pork chops with lower-fat proteins like salmon, chicken breast and even tofu. (380 calories).
- Snacks – In the morning, grab a café latte made with 2% milk and one packet of brown sugar. If you’re hungry in the afternoon, reach for a handful of baked tortilla chips and half a cup of jarred salsa. Baked chips contain less fat than fried chips, helping you to lose weight faster. (375 calories).
Day Five – Friday
Woo-hoo! Only one more day until the weekend! Today’s menu is bright and colorful, and full of foods that will help you to feel full all day. Since it’s Friday, we suggest skipping either your morning or afternoon snack, and having an extra little treat with dinner instead.
- Breakfast – Let’s do cereal differently today. Fill a bowl with a cup of whole-wheat cereal and 125 ml of skim milk, then top with half a cup of mixed berries. Berries contain tons of fiber, which helps keep your digestive system working properly and helps to fight off mid-morning hunger pangs. Serve with a glass of apple juice or grapefruit juice. (350 calories).
- Lunch – Have another filling meal-sized salad for lunch today! Toss a bed of your favorite lettuce with some sliced radishes, ¼ avocado, one thinly-sliced celery stalk and a tablespoon of mayonnaise. Top with 100 grams of grilled shrimp, a little fresh cilantro and a squeeze of lime juice. Replacing one tablespoon of oil-based salad dressing with one tablespoon of citrus juice can add extra flavor and cut up to 100 calories from your meal. (400 calories).
- Dinner – Celebrate the end of the work week with a classic chicken piccata dinner. Follow your favorite chicken piccata recipe, and serve it on a dinner plate along with half a cup of mashed potatoes and half a cup of sautéed mushrooms. Mushrooms are almost 90% water and deceptively meat-like, making them a calorie-counter’s best friend. Wash your dinner down with a small glass of red wine. (625 calories).
- Snacks – There’s just one snack today (if you really want two snacks, just skip the wine at dinner). In the morning or afternoon, savor half a cup of plain, fat-free Greek yogurt drizzled with one tablespoon of honey. (125 calories).
Day Six – Saturday
Sleep in this morning, then turn your breakfast and lunch into one big brunch! In fact, why not invite a friend over for brunch to show them your great new healthy eating and weight loss diet plan?
- Brunch – You should have some leftover potatoes from last night’s dinner. Cut them into small cubes and toss with olive oil and dried herbs before roasting them, to make yummy home fries. Olive oil has more monounsaturated fatty acids than many other types of oils, making it a healthier choice for your heart. While the home fries cook, make yourself a two-egg omelet filled with feta cheese, spinach and garlic. When you use cheese with a strong flavor like feta, you can use less of it but still get a great flavor. Keep your drink low-calorie by choosing black coffee. (500 calories).
- Dinner – Saturday means pizza night! You can reduce the calories in your pizza by using lots of vegetable toppings, using less cheese and meat, and opting for a thin, whole-wheat crust. (450 calories).
- Snacks – Serve yourself half a cup of rich vanilla ice cream today, either as an afternoon snack or as a dessert after dinner. If you feel hungry in the morning, grab a slice of your favorite homemade or bakery-made banana bread. (450 calories).
Day Seven – Sunday
Congratulations! You made it to the end of your first week of healthy eating! You’re experiencing weight loss, improved energy levels, better moods and an overall sense of well-being. It’s amazing what eating the right foods can do for your mind and body. Follow our meal plan for today, and reserve some time this afternoon to plan our your next week of healthy meals for weight loss. You might even want to prepare a little bit of next week’s food in advance (chopping vegetables and cooking whole grains can be done up to seven days in advance!).
- Breakfast – On Thursday you tried a chocolate-banana smoothie, so let’s try a completely different take on this frosty breakfast favorite today. Combine 1.5 cups of your favorite frozen tropical fruits (like mango, pineapple, and papaya) with half a cup of orange juice, half a cup of skim milk and a scoop of vanilla protein powder. (375 calories).
- Lunch – Munch on a homemade tapas plate this afternoon. Start with half a cup of creamy protein-filled hummus in the center of the plate, then surround it with sliced vegetables, a handful of your favorite baked crackers and some sliced turkey breast. (475 calories).
- Dinner – Make a healthy version of a Sunday roast. Choose half of a roasted chicken breast, roasted vegetables like carrots and potatoes, and a side of steamed green vegetables like beans or peas. (450 calories).
- Snacks – Choose a piece of fruit, like a small apple, banana or orange as your morning snack. In the afternoon, reach for a hard-boiled egg. (150 calories).