This article explores some effective tips on “How to plan meals to lose weight?”. With so many weight loss programs available online, finding one that suits your needs can be challenging. As a starting point, consuming more whole foods and limiting processed foods is a good idea.
In this article, a 7-day meal plan is provided as an example of how to plan a meal for weight loss. Additionally, we’ll also discuss other helpful approaches to weight loss for different groups and dietary requirements.
Table of Contents
A person should plan their meals based on their needs. The following should be considered:
- how much weight do they need to lose
- their activity levels
- any dietary requirements for health conditions
- any personal, cultural, or religious dietary requirements
- Availability of time for food preparation and shopping
- The level of their cooking expertise and the difficulty of the recipes
- If other household members need to be included in the meal plan
Meal planning can be done online with the help of online resources. There is, however, a wide range in the nutritional content of each plan, so a person must ensure they get enough vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
7-day weight loss meal plans with a grocery list
It is common for many people to lose a little weight as part of their effort to improve their health.
Even though fitness and health are measured by much more than weight, research suggests that obesity is associated with increased rates of metabolic and cardiovascular diseases.
Don’t get me wrong, you shouldn’t focus solely on weight loss. You can, however, kick-start your weight loss journey by revving up your metabolic engine by following this 7-day diet plan and workout tips.
The following meal plan provides options for 7 days of meals and snacks. The plan consists of nutrient-dense whole foods.
A person should determine the appropriate portion sizes, according to their weight loss goals, activity levels, and individual requirements.
Day: Breakfast/ Lunch/ Dinner/ Snacks
- Day 1. scrambled egg with spinach and tomato/ tuna salad with lettuce, cucumber, and tomato/ bean chili with cauliflower ‘rice’/ apple slices and peanut butter
- Day 2. oatmeal with blueberries, milk, and seeds/ hummus and the vegetable wrap/ sesame salmon, purple sprouting broccoli, and sweet potato mash/ tangerine and cashew nuts
- Day 3. mashed avocado and a fried egg on a slice of rye toast/ broccoli quinoa and toasted almonds/ chicken stir fry and soba noodles/ blueberries and coconut yogurt
- Day 4. smoothie made with protein powder, berries, and oat milk/ chicken salad with lettuce and corn/ roasted Mediterranean vegetables, puy lentils, and tahini dressing / whole grain rice cake with nut butter
- Day 5. buckwheat pancakes with raspberries and Greek yogurt/ vegetable soup with two oatcakes/ fish tacos with slaw/ boiled egg with pita slices
- Day 6. apple slices with peanut butter/ minted pea and feta omelet/ baked sweet potato, chicken breast, greens/ cocoa protein ball
- Day 7. breakfast muffin with eggs and vegetables/ crispy tofu bowl/ lentil Bolognese with zucchini noodles/ carrot sticks and hummus
Plan Meals to Lose Weight – How to Plan Meals for Losing Weight?
Planning meals ahead of time help you avoid overeating or eating too much junk food. It also saves you money because you don’t have to buy groceries when you’re hungry.
Plan Meals to Lose Weight
Planning meals in advance can save you money and calories by helping you avoid overeating at restaurants or fast food places.
Plan Meals to Lose Weight Tip #1: Start with breakfast.
Breakfast is an ideal meal to start your day off right. A healthy breakfast will help keep you energized throughout the morning and give you the energy to tackle other tasks during the day.
Plan Meals to Lose Weight Tip #2: Eat more vegetables.
Vegetables are packed with nutrients and fiber, so they fill you up without adding calories. They’re also low in fat and high in water, making them easy to digest. Try these five ways to eat more veggies:
1. Add them to soups, salads, sandwiches, wraps, and pasta dishes.
2. Include them as side dishes at dinner.
3. Make vegetable crudités (raw veggies) by cutting them into bite-sized pieces and serving them alongside dips, spreads, and crackers.
Plan Meals to Lose Weight Tip #3: Add protein to lunch.
Protein is an essential part of any diet plan. It’s needed to build muscle and keep your body healthy. You can add protein to your lunch by choosing lean meats such as chicken breast, turkey breast, fish, tofu, beans, lentils, nuts, seeds, and eggs.
Plan Meals to Lose Weight Tip #4: Have dinner as a snack.
If you eat a meal at night, try having one as a snack instead. This will help you feel full longer so you won’t overeat later.
Plan Meals to Lose Weight Tip #5: Drink plenty of water.
Water keeps you hydrated and helps keep your body healthy. You should drink eight glasses of water each day.
Healthy additions to add to any grocery list include:
- canned or dried beans and lentils
- grains, such as brown rice and quinoa
- fresh and frozen fruits and vegetables
- fish and lean meats, including turkey
Understanding exactly what is needed and cutting out snacks high in added sugar and fat can make grocery shopping easier.
Plan Meals to Lose Weight: 5 Tips to Make Your Diet Work for You
Eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice taste or flavor. These five tips will help you create delicious dishes without sacrificing nutrition.
5 Tips to Make Your Diet Work for You
The best way to lose weight is by eating fewer calories than you burn each day. This means that you need to plan meals ahead of time so that you’re not tempted to overeat when you’re hungry.
Plan Meals to Lose Weight Tip #1: Add More Veggies.
If you eat more vegetables, you’ll naturally consume fewer calories. Vegetables also contain fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients that promote good health.
Plan Meals to Lose Weight Tip #2: Swap Out Dairy for Yogurt.
One of the easiest ways to add more veggies to your diet is by swapping out dairy products with yogurt. Yogurt contains probiotics, which are beneficial bacteria that aid digestion and boost immunity.
Plan Meals to Lose Weight Tip #3: Go Meatless Once in A While.
If you’re looking to lose weight, one of the first things you should do is cut back on meat consumption. According to the American Heart Association, eating too much red meat (beef, pork, lamb) can raise cholesterol levels and cause other health issues.
Plan Meals to Lose Weight Tip #4: Try Some Grains Instead of Bread.
It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking that bread is necessary for a balanced diet. However, there are plenty of options out there that are just as satisfying and nutritious. One of the easiest ways to make healthier choices is by swapping white flour with whole grains. Whole grain foods contain more fiber than refined flour and are better for your body because they provide essential nutrients such as protein, iron, zinc, magnesium, and B vitamins.
Plan Meals to Lose Weight Tip #5: Eat Healthy Snacks Between Meals.
If you’re looking to lose weight, eating smaller meals throughout the day is one of the best things you can do. This helps keep blood sugar levels steady so you won’t feel hungry between meals. Also, try to eat snacks that are high in protein and low in carbs. Protein keeps you feeling full longer, while carbohydrates give you energy.
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A Vegetarian Diet Plan
A vegetarian diet excludes meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, dairy products, and other animal by-products. It’s also known as veganism or pescetarianism. There are many different types of vegetarian diets, but they all share common goals such as reducing environmental impact, improving health, and promoting social justice.
The below meal plan provides an example of what one day following a vegetarian diet might encompass.
- Breakfast: 2 hard-boiled eggs with a dash of hot sauce and salt
- Lunch: Kale salad with raisins, chickpeas, walnuts, and roasted sweet potatoes
- Dinner: Black bean burgers with avocado and roasted Brussels sprouts on the side
- Snack: Plain yogurt with granola
14 Simple Tips to Lose Weight
#1 Pick home-cooked meals over eating out
#2 Maintain a Food Diary
#3 Start your day with a heavy breakfast
#4 Fill your pantry with healthy food
#5 Up your physical activity with daily chores
#6 Load up on healthy snacks before a party
#7 Smaller plates lead to smaller meals
#8 Take the stairs instead of the elevator
#9 Say ‘No’ to late-night TV
#10 Drink more water
#11 Eat your meals slowly
#12 Eat more fruits
#13 Increase your protein intake
#14 Cut Back on Added Sugar
How Many Calories to Lose Weight?
You may be wondering if there’s an exact number of calories you should eat each day to lose weight. Well, the answer is yes!
The amount of calories you need depends on your height, age, gender, activity level, and other factors. To figure out how many calories you need every day, use the below-mentioned formulas or a calculator.
But it also depends on your age, gender, height, weight, activity level, metabolism rate, and more.
There are different ways to calculate how many calories you need to maintain your current body weight. One method uses the following formula:
Calories = (Your Basal Metabolic Rate) x (1.2) + (Your Activity Level)
For example, let’s say you weigh 150 pounds and exercise three times per week at a moderate intensity. If you multiply your BMR by 1.2, you will find that you need 2,400 calories to maintain your current weight.
The Basics of Calorie Counting.
Another way to determine how many calories you need is to use the calorie calculator found on MyFitnessPal.com. This online tool allows you to enter your height, weight, age, gender, activity level, and other details to help you figure out how many calories you need each day.
To learn more about the topic, please refer to this guide: Here.
Calculate Your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).
Once you know your daily caloric needs, you can then calculate your BMR. This is the number of calories you burn at rest while doing nothing. It’s also called your basal metabolic rate because it represents the energy required by your body to maintain its normal functions.
Find Your Ideal Body Mass Index (BMI) Range.
A healthy BMI range is between 18.5 and 24.9. If you fall outside of this range, you may be overweight or obese.
Know Your Target Heart Rate Zone.
There are two ways to calculate how many calories you need to burn per day to lose weight. One method uses your height and weight while the other uses your age and gender.
Keto Diets for Weight Loss
You have probably heard about the latest diet craze called keto. It’s been getting a lot of attention lately because it promises to help people lose weight fast.
But what exactly is keto?
Ketosis is a metabolic state where your body uses fat as its primary fuel source instead of carbohydrates. When you eat foods high in carbs, your liver converts them into glucose (a type of sugar) which then gets stored in your bloodstream.
In contrast, when you eat foods high in fats, your liver converts those fats into fatty acids and ketones. These molecules enter your bloodstream and travel to your brain, where they act as an alternative energy source. As a result, you won’t feel hungry as much, and you’ll stay satisfied longer between meals.
Keto diets work by forcing your body to burn fat for energy rather than carbohydrates. Fatty acids are broken down into ketone bodies, which are released into the bloodstream and eventually converted into energy by the brain. Because keto diets limit carbohydrate intake, they also reduce insulin production, which helps prevent the storage of excess calories as fat.
Ketogenic diets are high in fat, moderate in protein, and low in carbohydrates. They were originally used for treating epilepsy, but now they’re being studied for other uses, too.
Bonus weight loss tips
- In addition to meal planning and shopping lists, the following tips may help a person lose weight:
- Understanding the proportions of macronutrients and portion sizes
- including protein and fiber in every meal
- Experimenting with new herbs and spices to add variety to meals and reduce the need for excessive sugar, salt, and fat
- batch-cooking healthy meals for the freezer
- avoiding long periods without food to reduce cravings for unhealthy snacks
- maintaining hydration to reduce cravings for sugary drinks
- Performing 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity on most or all days of the week
- partnering with a diet and exercise buddy
- Weighing yourself no more than once a week at a consistent time.
Plan Meals to Lose Weight FAQs
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8 Weight Loss-Friendly Foods, According to Experts:
- Lean Protein: Lean protein sources like chicken, turkey, and grass-fed lean beef help keep you full, decrease cravings and stabilize blood sugar.
- Eggs: Eggs contain almost every essential vitamin (except Vitamin C), plus minerals like phosphorus, calcium, and potassium. Along with being a source of complete protein, eggs are also adaptable for different tastes.
- Vegetables: Vegetables of all kinds can assist with weight loss, says Feit. For example, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage are high in fiber and vitamins and help reduce digestive issues. Meanwhile, dark green leafy vegetables contain protein and are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and fiber. And crunchy vegetables like celery and jicama are great low-calorie options for snacking.
- Avocados: Avocados are underrated, says Feit. The fruit is high in fiber and is a quality source of healthy fat, making it a great food for decreasing hunger. But since it is a fat source, avocado is calorically dense, so it’s important to remain mindful of portion size.
- Apples: Apples are high in fiber and antioxidants, says Feit. The fruit also has anti-inflammatory properties and contains phytochemicals and vitamin C.
- Berries: Berries are high in fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin C—all things that your body needs to function optimally, says Feit.
- Nuts and Seeds: Nuts and seeds have different health benefits, says Feit. All nuts are a good source of fiber, protein, and healthy fat, and they help decrease hunger. Meanwhile, seeds are a great source of minerals and healthy fat. Watch your portions here, too. One serving of nuts and seeds is equivalent to a quarter cup.
- Salmon: Salmon is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, says Rima Kleiner, registered dietitian nutritionist and founder of wellness coaching company Smart Mouth Nutrition in Greensboro, North Carolina. Research suggests omega-3 fatty acids may help people with weight classified as overweight or obese feel fuller. And fish, in general, may help you feel satisfied and fuller longer than other proteins like eggs and beef, says Kleiner.
Workout and diet plan to lose weight
Many working-class families seem to have difficulty exercising daily. It is due to the lack of time to visit a gym that this occurs.
There are, however, workout routines that do not require gym equipment. You can perform this full-body workout without any gym equipment at home.
Watch here: 30 MIN FULL BODY HIIT (No Jumping + No Equipment)
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Go 12 hours between dinner and your next meal to reap benefits that facilitate weight loss, fat burning, metabolism, and management of appetite and cravings. An easy way to achieve this is to push dinner a little earlier or skip the late-night snacks.
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Following a lacto-vegetarian Indian diet is a great way to lose weight. It will help you cut back on sugary foods and beverages, eat more vegetables and increase your protein intake. Add regular exercise to your regimen to boost your health and weight loss even more.
Try incorporating the following ingredients into your daily meal plan:
- Vegetables: Tomatoes, spinach, eggplant, mustard greens, okra, onions, bitter melon, cauliflower, mushrooms, cabbage, and more
- Fruits: Including mango, papaya, pomegranate, guava, oranges, tamarind, lychee, apples, melon, pears, plums, bananas
- Nuts and seeds: Cashews, almonds, peanuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, watermelon seeds, and more
- Legumes: Mung beans, black-eyed peas, kidney beans, lentils, pulses, and chickpeas
- Roots and tubers: Potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, turnips, yams
- Whole grains: Brown rice, basmati rice, millet, buckwheat, quinoa, barley, corn, whole-grain bread, amaranth, sorghum
- Dairy: Cheese, yogurt, milk, kefir, ghee
- Herbs and spices: Garlic, ginger, cardamom, cumin, coriander, garam masala, paprika, turmeric, black pepper, fenugreek, basil, and more
- Healthy fats: Coconut milk, full-fat dairy, avocado, coconut oil, mustard oil, olive oil, peanut oil, sesame oil, ghee
- Protein sources: Tofu, legumes, dairy, nuts, and seeds
Diet plan to lose pregnancy weight
Through diet and regular exercise, it might be reasonable to lose up to 1 pound (0.5 kilograms) a week. It might take six months to one year to return to your pre-pregnancy weight, whether you’re breastfeeding or not. Be gentle with yourself as you accept the changes in your body.
Foods to eat
After you’ve made up your mind to get started on your post-pregnancy weight loss diet plan, make sure that you are eating the right food products in alignment with your goal. The following food products will help you:
Food rich in fiber improves your digestive health. Consuming soluble fiber keeps your hunger hormones in check and helps you eat less as a result.
Lean meat, eggs, fish, dairy, and other sources of healthy protein can boost your metabolism and bring down your calorie intake by decreasing your appetite.
Complex carbohydrates provide you with energy all around the day, as they take longer to break down.
Unsaturated and Polyunsaturated fats
Don’t stop consuming fat completely in a bid to lose weight post-pregnancy. Instead, eat food rich in unsaturated and polyunsaturated fats which keep your body healthy and improve cardiac function.
Foods to avoid
There are certain food items you must avoid if you want to succeed in your post-pregnancy weight loss. These are:
Food with added sugar and refined carbohydrates
Food rich in sugar and refined carbs has low nutrient value and yet, is high in calories. Consuming food with high calorific value and low nutrient value can increase your weight, and up your risk of developing heart health issues, cancer, and diabetes. Try to steer clear of fizzy and sugary drinks and other processed food variants such as packaged biscuits, cakes, and the like. Opt for whole foods instead. If you must consume something sweet, go for desserts from an organic bakery as opposed to processed and packaged cookies.
Processed food products
As already discussed, processed food is unhealthy for you. Fast food and pre-packed food are examples of processed food, high in sugar, unhealthy fat, calories, and salt. All of these are detrimental to your weight loss efforts. Try to consume nutrient-dense, fresh whole foods like fruits and vegetables instead.
Alcohol is calorie-dense, but it provides no nutrition. It is a very well-known fact that alcohol consumption also leads to belly fat. Not only does it counteract your postpartum weight loss attempts, but it can also be unhealthy for your baby. Minimal amounts of alcohol can be passed over to your child via your breast milk. Alcohol consumption can also temporarily reduce your breast milk volume. Not to mention, the dependency you might develop which would interfere with your regular sleep quality.
Meal plan to lose visceral fat
Studies suggest that more calcium and vitamin D in your body may be linked to less visceral fat. So load up on leafy greens like collards and spinach. Tofu and sardines are also good picks, as are dairy foods like yogurt, cheese, and milk.
Diet plan to lose tummy fat
- Eat plenty of soluble fiber.
- Avoid foods that contain trans fats.
- Don’t drink too much alcohol.
- Eat a high-protein diet.
- Reduce your stress levels.
- Don’t eat a lot of sugary foods.
- Do aerobic exercise (cardio)
- Cut back on carbs — especially refined carbs.
Note: The most effective exercise to burn stomach fat is crunches. Crunches rank top when we talk of fat-burning exercises. You can start by lying down flat with your knees bent and your feet on the ground.
2-week diet plan to lose weight quickly
Below are a few common tips to lose maximum weight within two weeks.
Eat lots of green vegetables or take a fiber supplement.
You can lose weight quickly if you eat fruits and vegetables. They are rich in fiber and keep you feeling fuller for longer. Because of this, you will not be hungry. Besides, they contain many vitamins and minerals that our bodies need to stay healthy. Vegetables also contain fiber, which has a positive effect on the body.
Say no to alcohol or sugary drinks.
We take a lot of hidden calories in the form of sugary drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic. You may choose to replace them with water, coconut water, and green tea.
Try to avoid wheat products, such as bread or pasta.
The body converts wheat to sugar faster than any other grain. Instead, switch to whole-grain products.
Reducing carbohydrate intake helps weight loss.
Carbohydrates are absorbed quickly by the body, and one feels hungry shortly after. The consumption of carbohydrates leads to the accumulation of fat, making it challenging to lose weight. Eliminating carbohydrates from your diet is quite difficult, so try to reduce your consumption.
Protein should be the main component in your diet for these two weeks.
The body expends more energy digesting protein than carbohydrates. Therefore, the body uses more calories to digest and absorb protein. Additionally, protein provides a sense of fullness. Poultry and fish are usually recommended.
Consume four to five cups of green tea per day.
One cup of coffee per day is allowed.
Studies show that low-fat yogurt is loaded with sugar and sodium to make up for the blandness with reduced fat content.
So, eat real butter, yogurt, milk, and cheese, but keep portion sizes small.
Water is one of the best tools in the fight to lose excess pounds.
Water helps to cleanse the body of toxins and improves the functioning of the digestive tract. And, water is especially important if you want to lose weight.
Limiting salt intake is especially important if you want to lose weight.
Excess salt causes water retention in the body. Water makes up about 55 to 60 percent of body weight. Therefore, do not consume salt for two weeks while you are trying to lose weight.
If you want to lose weight in two weeks, you will need to exercise every day.
Set aside one hour a day for exercise. You can walk, jog, cycle, swim, or do cardio exercises. Include strength training in your schedule. While cardio training helps to get rid of extra pounds in a short period, muscle-building exercises also contribute to weight loss and improved health.
Sleep is an essential part of good health.
Sleep is essential for weight loss. It is recommended to sleep at least 8 hours every night.
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As the name implies, the 6-meal-a-day diet plan involves eating 6 mini-meals a day. An example of a meal plan is as follows:
- Breakfast: Egg whites, potatoes, turkey bacon or muesli, oatmeal, and vegetables
- Snack: Fruit smoothie with protein powder or half a piece of fruit with non-fat yogurt
- Snack: Hard-boiled eggs (whites only)
- Lunch: A healthy fat, such as avocado, with chicken, turkey, or fish
- Snack: Almonds and a protein shake or green tea
- Dinner: Lean protein, such as salmon, poultry, or lean beef, with vegetables
For the best chance of success, follow these tips:
- Don’t skip breakfast
- Avoid junk food
- Avoid eating late at night
- Add protein and high-fiber foods to your snacks to make you feel full for longer. Examples include a cup of raw veggies, 2-3 whole-grain crackers, 1/2 cup of nuts, dried fruits, a spoonful of non-fat yogurt, and some whole-grain cereal.
If you have trouble controlling your portion sizes or you don’t have time to prep healthy snacks, you may be better off with the good old 3-meal-a-day plan. Either way, what matters most is getting enough nutrition from the foods you eat.
Maintaining a moderate weight can be achieved through a healthy diet and an active lifestyle. It is beneficial to plan meals and shop for groceries to lose weight successfully.
Calorie counting may not be the only effective way to lose weight. The success of a weight loss program depends on the way it is adapted to the needs of the individual.
When working towards weight loss goals, a registered dietitian or certified nutrition specialist can assist a person in developing an optimal diet plan.
Also Read: How to Exercise to Lose Weight at Home