First things first: Healthy eating and weight management shouldn’t mean deprivation. In fact, a sustainable weight loss plan incorporates a balance of nutrient-dense foods and delicious options meant to be enjoyed — and that includes your favorite treats and snacks. Our on-staff nutritionists created this 1,800 calorie meal plan to do just that. It relies on real, wholesome foods to keep you full and satisfied, all while shedding up to two pounds per week.
Flexibility is key with this plan, so our experts say that you can consider making healthy food swaps to better suit your tastes and drink as many low-calorie or calorie-free drinks (coffee, tea, water, etc.) as you want. In addition to breakfast, lunch and dinner, each day also includes two snacks under 150 calories and one 200- to 250-calorie treat, plus 50 to 100 “discretionary” calories which you can use to add milk to your morning coffee or to drink one 5-ounce glass of wine at night, for example.
With this plan, you can lose up to two pounds per week and keep it up until you achieve your weight loss goal — but keep in mind that your weight is just one of many factors that impacts your overall health, and that maintaining a well-balanced, nutrient-rich diet and staying hydrated can have health benefits that go far beyond a number on the scale.
Weight loss, health and body image are complex subjects — before deciding to go on this diet, we invite you gain a broader perspective by reading our exploration into the hazards of diet culture.
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Load one medium baked sweet potato with:
- 1/4 cup canned navy beans (rinsed and drained)
- 1/4 cup salsa
- 1/4 cup low-sodium cheese
- 1/2 cup 0% Greek yogurt
- 1/4 avocado
- 1 tablespoon of chopped chives
Toss 1 cup of steamed lentils with:
- 1 tablespoon chopped scallions
- 1 tablespoon walnuts
- 1/3 cup chopped cucumbers
- 1/3 cup tomatoes
- 1/3 cup carrots
For a dressing, combine 1 tablespoon of olive oil with 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar. Serve over 6 ounces of baby spinach.
Make a mini cheese board by combining 1/2 cup grapes with one piece of part-skim cheese.
Later, nosh on one serving Sahale Almonds plus 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and half of a medium pear.
Enjoy your favorite weekend brunch dish midweek. Toast two Kashi 7 Grain Frozen Waffles and top with 1 tablespoon of almond butter, 2 tablespoons chopped dates and cinnamon to taste.
Perfect your fast food order by choosing a Chipotle Burrito Bowl with romaine lettuce, fajita veggies, steak and pinto beans (no rice). Pass on the dressing and opt for a serving of corn salsa instead.
Break up the day with a KIND bar and 1 ounce of dry roasted unsalted pumpkin seeds.
Later on, try this pumpkin pie pudding recipe: Combine 1/2 cup canned 100% pure pumpkin with 1/2 cup 0% Greek yogurt. Top with cinnamon, nutmeg and a drizzle of honey.
Heat 1 cup of frozen veggie mix and 1 cup cubed frozen butternut squash as directed. Season with 1 teaspoon dried cranberries, 1 teaspoon of honey, and nutmeg and pepper to taste. Serve with a 5-ounce skinless rotisserie turkey breast.
Rethink tuna salad and toss half of a 5-ounce can of water-packed lower-sodium tuna with:
- 2 cups chopped romaine
- 1/3 cup chopped jicama
- 1/4 cup shredded carrots
- 1/3 cup canned chickpeas (rinsed and drained)
- 1/2 cup edamame
- 1/4 cup avocado
- 6 cherry tomatoes
For a dressing, add lemon juice to taste.
Stash a bag of Angie’s BoomChickaPop and 1 ounce (about 23 almonds) for your snack breaks.
Then get creative with a baked apple dish later on: Preheat the oven to 375º. On a small baking sheet, toss two thinly sliced medium apples with 2 teaspoons of fresh ginger (grated and peeled), and 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon. Roast 20 minutes and serve with a dollop of low-fat vanilla Greek yogurt.
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