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Weight Loss & Diet

7-Day Simple and Delicious Weight Loss Plan

Minestrone Soup
Author
Natalie Stein

Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Lark Health

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. 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. 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. 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.
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Monday
Yogurt Parfait

1 cup yogurt of plain non-fat yogurt, ¼ cup of toasted oats, ½ cup berries, 8 walnut halves
Cold Pasta Salad

⅓ cup of cooked whole-wheat rotini or other pasta, ½ cup of chopped tomato, ¼ cup of chopped broccoli florets, ¼ cup sliced carrots, ¼ cup of sliced black olives, 1 hard-boiled egg or 2 egg whites, sliced, 2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese, 2 tablespoons of light Italian dressing, 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds.
Fish en Papillote

3 ounces of fish such as tilapia baked in a foil wrapper with 1 cup of mixed vegetables, such as tomato, zucchini and red onion, and served with ⅓ cup of cooked brown rice.

One medium peach with ½ ounce of sliced almonds
Tuesday
Cheesy Breakfast Burrito

Saute ¼ cup onion, ½ cup diced tomato and ½ cup spinach in a pan with cooking spray, then add an egg and cook it. Put the vegetables and egg, plus 1 ounce of low-fat mozzarella cheese, into a small whole-wheat tortilla spread with 2 tablespoons of mashed ripe avocado
Spinach and Strawberry Salad

2 cups of spinach, thinly sliced red onion rings, ½ cup of sliced strawberries, 1 ounce of low-fat feta cheese, 1 tablespoon of walnuts, 1 ½ tablespoons of vinaigrette. Spread one slice of whole-grain bread with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle it with garlic powder, toast it, and cut it into cubes for croutons.
Pulled Chicken Sandwich with Coleslaw

3 ounces shredded skinless chicken (rotisserie or cooked with garlic, mustard, tomato paste, and worcestershire sauce) on a small whole-grain bun or 2 slices of whole-grain bread.

1 cup of coleslaw made with 1 cup of shredded cabbage, 1 tablespoon of lime juice, 1 tablespoon of plain fat-free yogurt, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste).
Wednesday
Waffle and Blueberry Yogurt

1 frozen whole-grain waffle with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, plus ⅔ cup of nonfat plain yogurt mixed with ¼ cup of homemade blueberry jam (recipe below).
Cheese and Roasted Veggie Sandwich

2 slices of whole-wheat bread spread with 2 tablespoons of mashed avocado, filled with 1 ounce of low-fat mozzarella cheese, ½ cup cooked sweet red pepper, ½ cup cooked kale, and 1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese.
Citrus Grilled Salmon

3 ounces salmon rubbed with a mixture of dijon mustard, juice of ¼ orange, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roasted with sliced orange. Serve with one cup of steamed broccoli and ⅓ cup cooked whole-grain, such as brown rice or barley.
Thursday
Strawberry Smoothie with Toast and Peanut Butter

Smoothie with ½ cup of unsweetened almond milk blended with ¾ cup frozen strawberries, ½ small banana, ⅔ cup of nonfat plain yogurt, and stevia or other natural low-calorie sweetener to taste, served with 1 slice of whole-grain bread with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter.
Minestrone Soup with Barley

⅛ of recipe below
Pesto Pasta Salad

⅓ of cooked whole-wheat pasta, ¼ cup of cherry or grape tomatoes, halved, ¼ cup of chopped zucchini, ¼ cup of chopped sweet pepper, ½ cup of fresh spinach leaves, 2 tablespoons of low-fat parmesan cheese, 1 ounce of cooked skinless chicken, tossed with 2 tablespoons of pesto sauce.
Friday
Super Oatmeal Bowl

⅓ cup of rolled oats cooked with ⅔ cup of unsweetened almond milk, mixed with ½ of a chopped or grated medium apple, 2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts, 1 tablespoon of chia seeds, and ¼ tsp cinnamon.
Fish Tacos

Two fish tacos made with two corn tortillas, 3 ounces grilled fish, ½ cup pico de gallo (see recipe), ½ cup cabbage. ½ cup of pico de gallo as a side dish.
Curried Chickpeas

Cook onion and garlic in 2 teaspoons of olive oil and add in ½ cup cauliflower and ½ cup of diced carrots to cook them. Stir in ½ cup cooked or low-sodium canned chickpeas, 2 tablespoons of tomato paste, ginger, cumin, turmeric, ground coriander and curry powder.

Serve with 1 cup of fresh fruit.
Saturday
Corn Quesadillas

2 small corn tortillas, 2 ounces of shredded mozzarella cheese, 2 tablespoons of mashed avocado, 1 cup pico de gallo (see recipe).
Hummus Toast

1 slice of whole-grain bread spread with 2 tablespoons of hummus, 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds, and sprouts, tomato slices, cucumber slices, and/or radish slices.

1 cup of watermelon
Roasted Fish with Mango Lime Sauce

3 ounces of fish, such as tilapia, snapper, or trout, roasted in the oven with a mixture of ½ cup of cut mango, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, lime juice, and ginger, along with 1 cup of green beans or another non-starchy vegetable.

Serve with 1 to 2 small corn tortillas.
Sunday
Blueberry Pancakes

1 whole-wheat pancake, 1 cooked egg, ⅔ cup nonfat Greek yogurt, 2 tbsp sugar free blueberry sauce (see recipe).
Caprese Salad

1 sliced medium tomato with 1.5 ounces of fresh low-fat mozzarella cheese, 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh basil leaves. Drizzle the salad with extra-virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

1 slice of whole-grain bread spread with sugar-free blueberry jam (recipe below)
Roasted Chicken and Vegetables

3 ounces of skinless roasted chicken breast rubbed with dry spices, 1 cup mixed roasted vegetables (carrots, onion, zucchini, tomato). Serve with ½ cup of roasted smashed red-skinned or sweet potatoes with 1 teaspoon of olive oil

Recipes

Sugar-Free Blueberry Sauce or Jam


Sugar-Free Blueberry Sauce or Jam

Store-bought jam is high in sugar and low in fruit. But you can easily make your own healthy version without any added sugar. Just cook fresh fruit together with a tiny bit of lemon juice and water. The chia seeds act as a natural thickening agent. This recipe calls for blueberries, but you can use other fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or apples. To make it sweeter, you can add a pear, in quarters, to the same pot. When it is soft, mash it together with the cooked fruit.

This sauce can be a substitute for jam on peanut butter sandwiches or waffles. You can also use it as a sauce on pancakes, or stir it into yogurt or cottage cheese. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice or water
  • 2 teaspoons of lemon zest, optional
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla
  • 1 packet of low-calorie, natural sugar substitute, such as stevia or monk fruit, optional
  • 2 tablespoons of chia seeds

Directions:

  1. Place the blueberries, lemon juice or water, lemon zest if using, vanilla, and sweetener if using, into a pot. Bring it to a boil and then simmer, with the lid off, for about 15 minutes, stirring often. The berries will begin to cook and burst. 
  2. When the mixture thickens, add the chia seeds. Turn off the heat and stir well. The sauce should thicken as it cools.

Pico de Gallo


Pico de Gallo

This pico de gallo counts as a vegetable, but it adds flavor to anything! Use it generously on tacos, burritos, burgers, and sandwiches, or put it on salad instead of a higher-calorie dressing. It can even be a side dish! If you plan to eat a lot of it, make this big batch and store it in the fridge for a few days.

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups of diced tomatoes (about 6 roma tomatoes)
  • ½ cup of minced red onion
  • 1 cup of chopped cilantro
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • ½ jalapeno, seeded and minced, or ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes (optional for heat/spiciness) 
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

  • Stir the tomatoes, onion, cilantro, jalapeno pepper, lime juice, garlic, salt, and pepper together in a bowl. Refrigerate for at least one hour or overnight to let the flavors blend before serving.

Minestrone Soup


Minestrone Soup

This super easy soup is also super tasty! Just cook the onions and garlic in oil, then add the other ingredients and leave them to cook for 45 minutes. You have a delicious meal in a pot that is packed with vegetables, and the barley adds a whole grain. You can swap whole-grain pasta, quinoa, brown rice, or another whole grain for the barley. You can serve this soup with parmesan cheese or fat-free plain yogurt.  

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 3 stalks of celery, sliced
  • 2 medium carrots, sliced or chopped
  • 3 cups of green or Savoy cabbage, chopped coarsely
  • 1 cup of green beans, cut
  • 1 cup of sweet potatoes, in cubes
  • 8 cups (2 quarts) of low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 cans (15 ounces each) of low-sodium beans, such as kidney, garbanzo, or pinto
  • ½ cup of dry barley
  • 1 15-ounce can of stewed or Italian style stewed canned tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon of rosemary

Directions:

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the garlic and onions and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  2. Add the other ingredients and stir. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes or until the barley is thoroughly cooked. Stir occasionally.