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. There are a few delicious recipes you can try if you like.
Each day shows about 1,200 calories. The menus 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.
1 egg plus diced onion and chopped bell pepper, cooked in a skillet with cooking spray, plus 1 ounce of low-fat shredded cheese 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, ½ cup of garbanzo beans, 1 ounce of feta cheese, and dried oregano.
Serve with ⅓ cup of cooked brown rice and 1 cup of steamed broccoli florets
Cereal and Milk
½ cup of Cheerios mixed with 1 container of plain non-fat yogurt and 1 small banana, sliced
Open-Faced Chicken Quesadilla
1 ounce of shredded low-fat jack cheese tossed with cumin, garlic powder, and (optional) red pepper flakes, 3 ounces of cooked diced chicken breast, and 1 small thinly sliced zucchini, on 1 small whole-wheat tortilla, served optionally with salsa
1 small orange
Baked Sweet Potato
1 medium sweet potato, baked, topped with ½ cup of plain Greek yogurt, ½ cup of cooked chopped broccoli florets, and 3 ounces of lean ground turkey cooked with diced onion and 2 teaspoons of olive oil
Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
½ cup of oats made with ¾ cup of fat-free milk or unsweetened almond 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 monk fruit)
⅓ cup of cooked brown rice, 1 ounce of crumbled feta cheese, 3 ounces of cooked chicken, ½ cup of halved grapes, 2 teaspoons olive oil, squeeze of lemon juice, chopped parsley or mint, pepper
3 ounces of rotisserie chicken (remove skin), 1 whole-grain dinner roll or hamburger bun
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
4 egg whites or 1 egg and 2 egg whites, and 1 tablespoon of milk, stuffed with 1 cup of chopped fresh spinach leaves and 1 ounce of cheese, topped with slice of avocado
Chicken Raspberry Salad
3 ounces of cooked chicken, 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 3 ounces of cooked lean ground turkey and ½ cup of cooked cauliflower florets, topped with ½ ounce parmesan cheese
1 cup of steamed green beans
Waffle and Egg
1 whole-grain waffle with ¾ cup of strawberries and ½ cup of nonfat Greek yogurt
Served with 1 cooked egg
2 ounces of low-fat mozzarella cheese in pieces, 1 sliced tomato, and fresh basil leaves drizzled with 2 teaspoons of olive oil
½ of a regular whole-grain bagel or 1 mini whole-grain bagel
Fish Soft Taco
3 ounces of fish rubbed with Mexican seasoning and baked, plus optional toppings, such as diced tomato, shredded cabbage, fresh cilantro, lime juice, ¼ cup 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
Cooked egg and ½ cup of low-sodium black beans on a small whole-grain tortilla, topped with 1 ounce of shredded cheese and salsa made with chopped tomatoes, diced onion, cilantro, garlic, and lime juice
Chicken Pita Pocket
2 whole-grain pita pockets (2 halves of a full small pita) with 1 ounce of cheddar cheese, ½ sliced apple, dijon mustard, and optional arugula or other greens.
Roast Chicken Dinner
3 ounces of chicken breast spread with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of olive oil, squeeze of lemon, black pepper, and fresh or dried rosemary, 1 baked in a foil wrapper with 1 cup of zucchini slices for 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until chicken is cooked through.
Served with ⅓ cup of cooked whole-grain pasta and 1 piece of fruit
Salmon with Portobello Citrus Salsa
This recipe has a wealth of flavors and is packed with antioxidants, healthy fats, and fiber. You can add grapefruit if you like a tangier flavor. Lime juice is a good swap for lemon juice if you prefer. To save time on the day you make the salmon, you can make salsa a day or more in advance and let the flavors mingle together overnight in the fridge or in the freezer. Serve it with steamed or roasted vegetables and 1/2 a medium potato or ‚1/3 cup of cooked brown rice or whole-wheat pasta.
Makes 4 servings
1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
2 portobello mushrooms, about 6 ounces
1/4 of a small red onion
Juice from 1 lemon
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro.
12 ounces of salmon fillets or steak
Optional garnishes: chopped cilantro, lemon or lime wedges, and/or an avocado slice
Chop the mushrooms. Peel the oranges and tangerines and coarsely chop them. Bigger pieces are fine. Dice the red onion.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the mushrooms and red onion. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the citrus fruit and cook for another two minutes. Remove from heat.
Stir in the lemon juice and cilantro.
Set the salsa aside on the counter, or refrigerate it for two hours or overnight, or freeze it.
Cook the salmon in a skillet with cooking spray. It should take about 3 minutes on each side. It is ready when it flakes.
Serve 1/4 of the salmon onto each plate. Top it with citrus salsa.
Cheesy Baked Eggplant
This cheesy eggplant casserole is like a low-carb lasagna with sliced eggplant instead of lasagna noodles. 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 lb. container of nonfat cottage cheese
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/2 large onion
2 medium eggplants, or about 2 lb.
24 ounces of pasta sauce (choose a low-sugar variety)
3 ounces (3/4 cup) of shredded mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 F.
Beat the egg in a bowl. Add the cottage cheese, garlic powder, basil leaves, and pepper, and mix well. Set aside.
Slice the eggplant into rounds about 1/4-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 cottage cheese on top of that. Add more sauce and continue to layer eggplant, cottage cheese, and sauce.
Sprinkle the mozzarella 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
1/2 lb of green split peas
1/4 cup of pearled barley.
2 bay leaves
1/2 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.
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