7-Day Balanced Meal Plan
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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.
Chicken Stew with Mushrooms
This is an easy recipe. It takes only a bit of prep, and you can make it in one pot. It takes a while to cook, so it's a great choice to make on a weekend when you are home. Then you can enjoy it during the week. Feel free to add any other vegetables you like, such as zucchini or broccoli! It goes well with ‚1/3 cup of cooked brown rice or whole-grain pasta, a slice of whole-wheat bread, or 1/2 of a small baked sweet potato. You can add a side salad if you like, too.
Makes 8 servings
- 24 ounces (1.5 lb.) of boneless skinless chicken breast or leg
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 cup of chopped carrots
- 1 cup of sliced celery
- 1 cup of diced onion
- 2 cups of sliced mushrooms (or 1 8-ounce package)
- 2 cups of low-sodium broth
- 1/2 teaspoon of thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon of turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt to taste
- Optional topping: chopped parsley
- Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the chicken and cook until it is no longer pink. It should be brown on each side, which can take about 3 minutes of cooking on each side. Remove the chicken from the pot and cut it into small pieces. Set the chicken aside.
- Add the garlic and onions to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.
- Add the broth, carrots, celery, onion, and mushrooms to the pot. Add the thyme, turmeric, and black pepper. Bring the broth to a boil, stir it well, and then lower it to a simmer. Cook for 1 hour at low heat.
- Remove the bay leaf. Stir and season to taste.
- Serve with chopped parsley, if desired.
This is a good recipe to make on the weekends. Put a few in the fridge for the next few days, and freeze the rest for when you need them! You can reheat them in the microwave or toaster oven.
Makes 12 egg muffin cups (6 servings)
- 6 eggs plus 6 egg whites (or 2 cups of liquid egg substitute)
- 1/4 cup of milk
- 2 tablespoons of minced onion
- (optional: 1 teaspoon of dijon mustard)
- 8 ounces (2 cups) of shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
- Black pepper and salt to taste
- 3 cups of chopped mixed vegetables, such as broccoli florets, tomatoes, bell peppers, spinach leaves, mushrooms, etc.
- Line a 12-muffin pan with muffin liners or spray the pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Heat the oil in a pan. Cook the vegetables for 5 minutes or until softened, stirring often. Remove from heat and distribute the vegetables evenly in the muffin tin.
- Beat the eggs and egg whites or liquid eggs in a bowl. Beat in the milk. Mix in the diced onion, dijon mustard if using, and salt and pepper. Mix in 2 cups of cheddar cheese.
- Pour the egg mixture evenly into each muffin cup. Each muffin cup should be about ‚2/3 full.
- Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until eggs are set.
- Cool and remove from the muffin wells. Eat, refrigerate, or freeze.
This salad is great on a bed of spinach or spring greens or as a sandwich in a whole-grain pita pocket or on whole-wheat bread. You can keep this salad in the fridge for up to three days. As it stays in the fridge, the flavors marinate together.
Makes 4 servings
- 12 ounces of cooked skinless chicken
- 1 medium apple, diced
- 1/2 cup of diced celery
- 1/4 cup of minced onion
- 3/4 cup of fat-free plain yogurt
- 1/4 cup of chopped walnuts
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
- Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least two hours.
- Serve chilled.