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The Best Meal Plans for Weight Loss

meal plans

There are 78 million obese adults in America. Obesity still continues to be an epidemic.

There are many health issues associated with obesity. This includes stroke, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, and even certain types of cancer.

The best way to prevent these health issues is by losing weight. Have you tried losing weight and are unsuccessful? You’re probably not going on the right diet.

Fortunately, we know the diets that can accelerate weight loss and put you on the path to better health.

What diet should you try? Here are the essential meal plans that can help you lose weight.

The 1,200 Calorie Diet

To lose weight, the average woman needs to eat 1,500 calories daily while the average man needs to eat 2,000 calories. But these figures are recommended for those who exercise.

Are you not in a position to exercise? You can still lose weight without the sweat by reducing your caloric intake to 1,200 calories a day. Don’t worry, this diet is delicious and you can eat your favorite food in moderate portions.

For breakfast, eat a ¾ cup of your favorite oatmeal or cereal (make sure there’s no added sugar or flavoring). Add in your favorite fruit, one chopped banana is recommended.

For lunch, you can eat a sandwich with whole wheat pita bread instead of traditional bread.

Eat three slices of turkey breast, a teaspoon of mayonnaise and mustard, and a cut of romaine lettuce. If you prefer other add-ins, such as tomatoes and peppers, keep the portions small.

For dinner, fish is the way to go. Fish is high in essential nutrients plus low in calories (as long as the fish isn’t fried). Eat baked or broiled fish such as salmon, flounder, and tuna.

Try and limit the fish you eat to four ounces instead of the whole filet.

Pair the fish with a healthy grain, such as a cup of quinoa and a cup of a vegetable such as broccoli.

The best part about the 1,200 calorie diet is there’s room for cheating. If you did well one week, treat yourself with a single serving of ice cream or a low-sugar baked dessert.

Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet is one of the most effective diets, not only for weight loss but also for preventing health ailments. This study shows that the Mediterranean Diet reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 52%.

The Mediterranean Diet is not only healthy but delicious. You can treat yourself to the delicious flavors of Spain and Greece while improving your health.

For breakfast, amp up your fruit game! Fruit is an integral part of the Mediterranean Diet. Common fruits associated with this diet include apricots, apples, clementines, cherries, figs, dates, grapes, grapefruit, and melons.

Combine all of these fruits plus some veggies into a smoothie.

Fish is another core aspect of the Mediterranean Diet.

The omega-3’s and other nutrients offer a myriad of health benefits. For lunch, eat a filet of tuna in a spinach salad drizzled with olive oil and spiced with seasonings such as black pepper or parsley.

Continue eating fish by incorporating salmon into your diet. For dinner, eat a filet of salmon with a vegetable such as green beans.

Clean Eating

Clean eating is just as much a diet as it is a movement. Clean eating is avoiding all processed foods and exchanging them for food in its most natural state. This is essential for weight loss.

Processed food accelerates weight gain; these foods are higher in salt and sugar that lead to higher calories.

Examples of processed food include packaged snacks, soft drinks, frozen meals, and packaged meat (such as chicken nuggets).

Eating clean is one of the easiest ways to avoid excess calories while improving your overall health.

Before starting the clean eating diet, research ways to find no-GMO and minimally processed ingredients. Examples include the health food store and your local farmer’s market.

From here, stock up your kitchen with fresh ingredients and integrate them into each meal.

For breakfast, emphasize on fruit. Make a fruit smoothie with fresh mango, strawberry, raspberries and bananas.

For a protein-rich breakfast, make an omelette with fresh eggs and your favorite veggies such as spinach, peppers, tomatoes, and onion.

You can also add cheese; however, don’t buy packaged shredded cheese because they’re usually made with anti-caking agents. Instead. Buy a block of cheese and shred or grate it yourself.

For lunch, use those veggies to good use and make yourself a salad. Fill your salad with spinach, cucumbers, tomatoes, and add some protein such as nuts.

Make your own salad dressing, such as a vinaigrette using olive oil, lemon, mustard, and a herb such as basil.

For dinner, make another salad but pair it with chicken breast.

You can still eat meat on the clean eating diet, but stick to chicken and beef and avoid high-processed meats such as ham. Non-GMO chicken is perfect because it’s lean and offers plenty of protein.

Vegetarian/Vegan

More people are switching over to a vegetarian or vegan diet. Not only is cutting out animal products humane but this diet also offers a myriad of health benefits.

A vegetarian and vegan diet helps prevent serious ailments such as heart disease and diabetes.

These diets are also ideal for weight loss. Vegetarians and vegans tend to have a lower BMI than meat-eaters.

The only mistake many vegetarians and vegans make is increasing their carbohydrate intake to make up with the lack of animal products.

This will add unnecessary calories to your diet. Instead, increase your fruit and veggie intake and add in healthier meat alternatives, such as beans.

What’s the difference between vegetarian and vegan?

Vegans eat no animal products (meat, dairy, honey, etc.) while vegetarians just avoid meat. If going vegan is too extreme, you can start out as a vegetarian and see if going full vegan is right for you.

Switching to a vegetarian diet is easier than you think. For breakfast, cut out the eggs and bacon and switch to oatmeal filled with fruit (make sure the oatmeal isn’t flavored).

For an extra serving of omega-3’s, add in flaxseeds, hemp hearts, and chia seeds.

For lunch, take a whole wheat wrap and fill it with hummus and veggies such as cucumbers, red peppers, tomatoes, spinach, sprouts, and avocado. If you’re still hungry, add in some sweet potato fries or a baked sweet potato.

The best aspect of the vegetarian diet is you can make your favorite meals.

Just replace meat with vegetarian alternatives. If you love curry, you can make a delicious curry filled with a meat alternative such as chickpea or tofu and your favorite veggies.

If you’re ready to go full-blown vegan, there’s a simple way to start your new diet and lifestyle. You can also implement a low-calorie vegan diet plan to accelerate weight loss.

Vegan pancakes are a popular breakfast item. Make pancakes the way you normally would, but add a milk vegan alternative such as unsweetened almond milk.

Spread peanut butter on the pancakes and add your fruit such as raspberries and blackberries.

For lunch, a salad is always easy and delicious.

Use a mixed salad bag or spinach and add in a non-green vegetable such as beets. Use a vegan salad dressing such as a vinaigrette. Steam some edamame for protein or add seeds or nuts to your salad.

For dinner, make a quinoa bowl. Fill it with black beans, avocado, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, and top it with hummus or make your own dressing with olive oil, lemon or lime juice, and a herb such as cilantro.

Weight Watchers

Weight Watchers is a program that not only offers a comprehensive diet plan but also includes coaching, workshops, and members can help support each other.

While membership can be pricey, it’s beneficial for those who don’t want to feel like they’re on their weight loss journey alone or uneducated. It’s also a cheaper alternative to seeking out a dietician.

The goal of Weight Watchers is avoiding food high in calories, high in saturated fat, and high in sugar.

You’re assigned a number based on your weight, gender, age, and height. Each food you eat equals a point and you can’t go beyond your assigned number.

For example, let’s say your number is 35 for the week. Weight Watchers offers many foods that are 0 points, such as vegetables, fruit, seafood, eggs, chicken, beans, plain yogurt, and tofu.

The food with numbers includes high-calorie food and even restaurant meals.

You can eat the food with high numbers, as long as you don’t increase your 35 points for the week.

The Best Meal Plans Can Help You Lose Weight

If you’re overweight, the excess fat you carry can impact your health in negative ways.

To live a healthier life, the best meal plans can help you lose weight. All of these diets can not only accelerate weight loss but can improve your health and prevent debilitating diseases.

Do you need proof that a healthy lifestyle works? I was once in your shoes. Read my story and discover my inspiration for starting this blog.

6 thoughts on “The Best Meal Plans for Weight Loss

  1. I’m impressed by your determination to get rid of excess fat and unwanted belly. Reading your story, about your being an accountant and not having enough exercise with your work, has inspired me to get a personal goal of getting rid of mine, my own belly fat, and shape up. Going back to this blog post of yours, I will try your suggestion of avoiding processed foods and go for a Vegan diet. My chuch-mates in the Seventh-Day Adventist church mostly are Vegans, they look healthy and living a long life, maybe I should adapt to their diet and lifestyle too. Thanks for this reminder.

  2. Nice and thorough article of the best meal plans for weight loss. I have been using and recommending for my clients only low-carb and paleo style diets cause, in my opinion, it is nice to be able to eat pretty much as calories, tasty food and still maintain weight or lose it if its a goal. The downside is I need 3500kcal to maintain my current weight (115kg) cause I don’t have insulin peaks or glycogen available. The bright side is if I lose weight it is mostly fat cause I don’t have carbohydrates (or glycogen) in my body. If I would choose something else, it would be some sort of variation of the Mediterranean diet but without oils and grain products.

    1. Hi Jesse,

      Thanks for your notes. Choose what suits you best. The goal has to be defined and you work towards it. Nice that you see the need to shed excess fat to keep more fit. 

      Good health to you. 

  3. I love your diet suggestions about foods that are actually tasty and easily available. I love fish and I could spoil myself for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But I know that is not the way to go. I am struggling with abandoning processed foods and it is proving to be a challenge. I am however trying to reduce this intake and hopefully I will be able to eliminate completely. I just love the wheat wrap with the veggies and sweet potato mix in the vegan diet. I will sure try this. Thank you for this great recommendations.

  4. Hi Anthony – I Love this post.  It’s extremely informative with having such great suggestions and meal plans for applying the benefits of the diets.  I’ve been running across the Mediterranean diet a lot lately and I think that that’s the one for me because I’m a meat eater.  I read your story and I was headed in that same direction.  What worked for me was I just cut my carbs in half and increased my protein and increased my exercise.  I haven’t made it to the dance floor!

    1. Hi Nathaniel,

      Thanks for your kind comments! You are on the right course. It’s a journey. Sustain your efforts on the mileage that has been gained. The dance floor is another wonderful platform for you to enjoy yourself and expound your energy to more fitness. 

      Best wishes!

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