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.
Breakfast Lunch Dinner
Monday
Breakfast Bowl

With 1 hard-boiled egg, ½ cup of canned low-sodium black or pinto beans, ⅓ cup of cooked brown rice, ½ cup of diced tomatoes, and (optional) any other non-starchy vegetables, topped with 1 ounce of shredded cheese. Optional: dollop of plain yogurt, cilantro leaves, salsa

Greek Pita Pocket

1 small or ½ thick whole-grain pita spread with 2 tablespoons of hummus and stuffed with tomatoes, sprouts, and/or spinach and 2 ounces of feta cheese crumbles.

1 piece of fruit

Stewed Chicken

⅛ recipe of stewed chicken with brown rice and sliced almonds (recipe below)

Tuesday
Power Oatmeal

Oatmeal made with ½ cup of oats and 1 cup of water or unsweetened almond milk. 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (or ½ ounce of chopped nuts) and ¾ cup of blueberries or other fruit

Peanut Butter Sandwich

Peanut butter sandwich with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and sliced strawberries on 2 slices of whole-grain bread

1 cup of baby carrots

Pasta with Salmon

½ cup of cooked whole-grain pasta tossed with 3 ounces of cooked salmon, ½ cup of cooked sliced mushrooms, ½ cup of tomato sauce, and 1 cup of fresh spinach leaves.

Top with 1 ounce of parmesan cheese

Wednesday
Egg Muffins

2 egg muffins (recipe listed below)

1 medium banana

Vegetable Sandwich

Two slices of whole-grain bread, 2 tablespoons of hummus, 1 chopped or sliced hard-boiled egg, lettuce, tomato, and raw or roasted bell pepper

1 medium pear or other fruit

Baked Salmon

3 ounces of baked salmon served with 1 cup of roasted asparagus or broccoli with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, and ½ cup of cooked brown rice

Thursday
Breakfast Sandwich

1 whole-grain English muffin with tomato, ¼ avocado in slices, 1 cooked egg, and 1 slice of low-fat cheese

Spinach Salad

⅓ cup of cooked whole-grain pasta tossed with 3 ounces of cooked diced skinless chicken, 2 cups of spinach or arugula, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, 1 tablespoon of balsamic vinegar, 1 ounce of feta cheese, cut tomatoes and ½ cup of raspberries or other fruit

Naked Burrito

3 ounces of diced skinless chicken breast cooked with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, ½ diced onion, crushed garlic, ½ cup of black beans and ½ cup of corn, and canned or fresh tomatoes with Mexican seasoning, all on a bed of lettuce.

Friday
Cereal and Milk

1 cup of Cheerios (or 1 ounce of another whole-grain unsweetened cereal) in ½ cup of fat-free milk or unsweetened almond milk, with 2 tablespoons of walnuts and ¾ cup of cut fruit

Open-Face Chicken Salad Sandwiches

¼ recipe of chicken salad (recipe below) on 2 slices of whole-grain bread

Cheesy Stuffed Bell Peppers

1 bell pepper cut in half and stuffed with a mixture of ½ cup of cooked rice and ½ cup of fat-free refried beans, topped with 1 ounce of shredded cheese, then baked.

Saturday
Banana Split

1 banana sliced lengthwise with ½-cup of cottage cheese, 2 ounces of chopped nuts, ¾ cup of blueberries

Pizza

1 small whole-wheat pita or tortilla with tomato paste or sauce, 2 ounces of mozzarella cheese, and vegetable toppings (e.g., sliced green pepper, onion, tomatoes, mushrooms) – baked

Pesto Spaghetti

⅓ cup cooked whole-grain spaghetti tossed with 2 tablespoons of pesto, 3 ounces of cooked shrimp, 1 cup of chopped fresh spinach, ½ cup cooked mushrooms

1 cup of watermelon

Sunday
Waffle

1 frozen whole-grain waffle (or 1 slice of whole-grain toast) with ½ cup of cottage cheese, 2 tablespoons of chopped walnuts, ½ cup cut cantaloupe

Mini Quesadilla

Small whole grain tortilla toasted with 1 ounce of low-fat cheese and diced tomatoes, mushrooms, and/or bell peppers

½ apple, sliced, and 1 tablespoon of peanut butter

Burger and Zucchini Fries

3 ounces of cooked lean ground turkey or veggie burger patty on a small? whole-grain bun with optional lettuce, onion and tomato slices, and yellow mustard.

1 medium zucchini sliced into fries, drizzled with 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and baked

1 cup of watermelon

Recipes

Chicken Stew with Mushrooms


Chicken Stew with MushroomsChicken 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 ⅓ cup of cooked brown rice or whole-grain pasta, a slice of whole-wheat bread, or ½ of a small baked sweet potato. You can add a side salad if you like, too.

Makes 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 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
  • ½ teaspoon of thyme
  • ½ teaspoon of turmeric
  • ½ teaspoon of black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional topping: chopped parsley

Directions:

  1. 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.
  2. Add the garlic and onions to the pot and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes.
  3. 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.
  4. Remove the bay leaf. Stir and season to taste.
  5. Serve with chopped parsley, if desired.

Egg Muffins


Egg Muffin CupsEgg Muffin Cups

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)

Ingredients:

  • 6 eggs plus 6 egg whites (or 2 cups of liquid egg substitute)
  • ¼ 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.

Directions:

  1. Line a 12-muffin pan with muffin liners or spray the pan. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Pour the egg mixture evenly into each muffin cup. Each muffin cup should be about ⅔ full.
  5. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes or until eggs are set. 
  6. Cool and remove from the muffin wells. Eat, refrigerate, or freeze.

Chicken Salad


Chicken SaladChicken Salad

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

Ingredients:

  • 12 ounces of cooked skinless chicken
  • 1 medium apple, diced
  • ½ cup of diced celery
  • ¼ cup of minced onion
  • ¾ cup of fat-free plain yogurt
  • ¼ cup of chopped walnuts
  • Juice of ½ lemon

Instructions:

  1. Mix all ingredients in a bowl.
  2. Cover and refrigerate overnight or for at least two hours.
  3. Serve chilled.

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