In this article:
- It can be hard to find easy, healthy meals for weight loss. But it is possible.
- This meal plan has 7 days’ worth of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. They total about 1,200 calories. This meal plan is completely plant-based (vegan).
- You can add snacks if you need more calories.
- Be sure to ask your doctor before using any new meal plan.
- Lark weight loss coach is available 24/7 on your smartphone with more tips for healthy weight loss.
Healthy eating for weight loss can be simple. And it can taste good. Here is a 7-day meal plan to try. Most of the meals take only a few minutes to put together. They are all vegan (plant-based). The plan includes a few delicious recipes to try if you like.
Each day adds up to about 1,200 calories. The meals get about 30 to 35% of their calories from carbohydrates. And they have good amounts of protein. If you need to, you can add snacks from this Snack List. You can also consider using swaps from our Healthy Swaps List.
Here are some more tips for success.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Aim for at least 64 ounces.
- Each meal has about 30 grams of nutritious carbohydrates. That is a moderately low amount. It can help with weight loss and health.
- Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting a new meal plan. And ask what might be the best approach for your own needs.
- Include some physical activity, as long as your healthcare provider supports it. A good goal for most people is at least 150 minutes per week.
½ cup liquid vegan egg substitute plus diced onion and chopped bell pepper, cooked in a skillet with cooking spray, plus ½ cup of black beans and ¼ cup avocado slices in a small whole-grain tortilla (hint: wrap it in foil to keep it together if you are on the go)
Greek Pita Pocket
Small whole-wheat pita spread with 2 tablespoons of mashed avocado and stuffed with lettuce, tomatoes, 8 pitted kalamata olives, ½ cup of garbanzo beans, and dried oregano.
Pesto and Quinoa-Stuffed Zucchini Boats
¼ of recipe below
½ cup of cut cantaloupe
Cereal and Milk
½ cup of Cheerios mixed with ¾ cup of unsweetened almond or soy milk, 2 tablespoons of sliced almonds, and 1 small banana, sliced
1 ounce of shredded dairy-free cheese tossed with 1 small diced zucchini, cumin, garlic powder, and (optional) red pepper flakes, 2 ounces of seasoned tempeh cut in strips, on 1 small whole-wheat tortilla, served optionally with salsa
1 small orange
Baked Sweet Potato
1 medium sweet potato, baked, topped with mixture of ½ cup canned Italian-style stewed tomatoes, ½ cup of cooked chopped broccoli florets, and 3 ounces of textured vegetable protein (TVP or TSP) hydrated in broth and cooked with diced onion and 2 teaspoons of olive oil
Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
½ cup of oats made with ¾ cup of hot unsweetened almond or soy milk, plus ¼ cup of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix), 1 ounce of walnuts or pecans (14 halves), ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, and (optional) low-calorie natural sweetener (such as stevia or monkfruit),
⅓ cup of cooked brown rice, ½ cup of cooked or low-sodium canned garbanzo or other beans, ½ cup of halved grapes, 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds, 2 teaspoons olive oil, squeeze of lemon juice (or vinegar), dried thyme, (optional) chopped parsley or mint, pepper
Served on a bed of spinach or arugula, optional
¼ of the recipe below.
Served over ½ cup of whole-grain pasta such as rotini or penne
Peanut Butter and Banana Cinnamon Toast
2 slices of whole-grain toast spread with a blend of 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, ¼ of a ripe banana, mashed, and ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon
1 cup of strawberries
Vegetarian Split Pea Soup
⅛ of recipe, below
Serve with avocado slices
Veggie Burger and Salad
1 veggie burger patty on a whole-grain hamburger bun with optional mustard, lettuce, tomatoes.
Salad with greens, tomatoes, cucumber, and 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette (or 2 teaspoons of olive oil with balsamic vinegar and herbs)
1 cup of watermelon cubes
½ cup of vegan egg substitute, and 1 tablespoon of milk, stuffed with 1 cup of chopped fresh spinach leaves and 1 ounce of dairy-free cheese, topped with slice of avocado
Tempeh Raspberry Salad
2 ounces of seasoned tempeh, fresh spinach or arugula leaves, sliced red onion, sliced tomato, ½ cup raspberries, 2 tablespoons of sliced almonds
1 slice of whole-grain toast
Spaghetti and Meat Sauce
¾ cup of cooked whole-grain spaghetti tossed with ½ cup of tomato-based pasta sauce heated with ½ cup of cooked textured soy protein (TSP or TVP) and ½ cup of cooked cauliflower florets, topped with ½ ounce of dairy-free cheese
1 cup of steamed green beans
1 slice of whole-grain bread, toasted. Mash ½ of a small ripe avocado with lemon juice, garlic powder, and onion powder. Spread it on 2 slices of whole-grain toast. Top with ½ cup of garbanzo beans and ½ cup of grape tomatoes, halved.
½ cup of green beans, ¼ cup of black beans, ¼ cup of garbanzo beans, ¼ cup of chopped tomato, 1 tablespoon of rice wine or cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, optional dash of a low-calorie sweetener such as stevia
½ of a whole-grain English muffin
½ cup of cooked soy protein (TVP or TSP) mixed with Mexican seasoning, plus optional toppings, such as diced tomato, shredded cabbage, fresh cilantro, lime juice, ¼ cup non-dairy plain yogurt, and garlic powder, on a whole-wheat soft taco-size tortilla
1 small ear of corn on the cob (or ½ large ear)
1 cup of watermelon
½ cup of vegan egg substitute scrambled with cooking spray and splash of almond milk, plus ½ cup of low-sodium black beans served on a small whole-grain tortilla, topped with 1 ounce of shredded dairy-free cheese and salsa made with chopped tomatoes, diced onion, cilantro, garlic, and lime juice
Navy Bean Pita Pocket
2 whole-grain pita pockets (2 halves of a full small pita) spread with 2 tablespoons of hummus and stuffed with ½ cup of navy (or other) beans, ½ ounce of cashew pieces, and sprouts, tomato slices, and/or arugula or other greens.
Tofu Veggie Foil Bake
2 ounces of seasoned tempeh or other meat substitute baked in foil with 1 cup of zucchini slices tossed with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of olive oil, squeeze of lemon, black pepper, and fresh or dried rosemary, baked for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
Served with ⅓ cup of cooked whole-grain pasta and 1 piece of fruit
Pesto and Quinoa-Stuffed Zucchini Boats
This is a delicious recipe that is worth making! You easily get the vegetables, healthy fats, and protein that you need. You can use store-bought pesto sauce or make your own in a blender by gently pulsing olive oil, walnuts or pine nuts, fresh basil leaves, vegan parmesan cheese, garlic, and a squeeze of lemon juice.
Makes 4 servings
- 4 medium zucchini
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- ¼ onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
- ½ cup of vegan pesto sauce
- 2 cups of fresh spinach, cut
- 1 cup of cooked quinoa
- 1 cup of cooked or low-sodium canned garbanzo beans
- 2 ounces (½ cup) of shredded vegan cheese
- Cut the zucchini into halves, lengthwise. Discard the stems. Scoop out the pulp and chop it.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the onion and garlic. Cook for 2 minutes, then add the zucchini pulp. Cook for another 2 minutes or until the zucchini is soft.
- Stir in the pesto sauce and quinoa, and heat. Then stir in the spinach and cook until the spinach just begins to wilt. Mix in the garbanzo beans.
- Spoon the mixture evenly into the zucchini halves.
- Place the zucchini halves into a greased baking pan. Sprinkle them with vegan cheese.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until zucchini is soft.
This eggplant casserole is like a low-carb, dairy-free lasagna. It uses sliced eggplant rounds instead of lasagna noodles, and tofu instead of cheese in the middle. Layer the ingredients and bake it until it is bubbly and delicious. You can use zucchini, sliced lengthwise, instead of eggplant if you prefer. You can also add sliced mushrooms, bell pepper strips, or canned or fresh tomatoes for extra vegetables.
Makes 6 servings
- 1 14-ounce block of firm tofu
- 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper
- ¼ cup fresh basil leaves, torn
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- ½ teaspoon of salt
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- ½ large onion
- 2 medium eggplants, or about 2 lb.
- 24 ounces of pasta sauce (choose a low-sugar variety)
- 3 ounces (¾ cup) of shredded dairy-free cheese
- Preheat the oven to 350 F.
- In a bowl, blend together the tofu, garlic powder, basil leaves, oregano, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- Slice the eggplant into rounds about ¼-inch thick.
- Dice the onion.
- Heat the oil in a skillet and add the onion. Cook for two minutes. Add the eggplant and cook for about 3 minutes on each side, or until it begins to soften. Turn off the heat.
- Spread some tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13 casserole dish or baking pan to thinly cover the bottom. Place a layer of eggplant on top of the sauce and spread a layer of tofu on top of that. Add more sauce and continue to layer eggplant, tofu, and sauce.
- Sprinkle the shredded cheese on top of the casserole and bake it for 15 to 20 minutes or until the cheese is brown and bubbly.
- Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly before serving.
Vegetarian Split Pea Soup
Forget the bacon. This split pea soup tastes delicious with only plant-based ingredients. It has plenty of protein from peas, and a small amount of barley adds a nice texture. It is super versatile and you can add extra vegetables such as spinach, mushrooms, or cabbage. You can also use other grains if you do not have barley. Even oats work!
This soup is perfect for beginning cooks. Just add the ingredients to a pot and your job is basically over. The soup even purees itself as it cooks so there’s no need to blend it. There may be plenty of leftovers to refrigerate or freeze.
Makes 8 servings
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 medium carrots, chopped
- 2 stalks of celery, chopped
- ½ lb of green split peas
- ¼ cup of pearled barley.
- 2 bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon of black pepper
- 8 cups of low-sodium broth
- Place the ingredients in a large pot and stir. Bring to a boil, then stir and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 1 to 3 hours, or until peas and barley are cooked soft. Stir occasionally. A shorter cooking time will keep the soup chunkier, while cooking it for longer will make the soup creamier.
- Remove the bay leaves before serving.