Truth: Long-term weight loss requires making healthier food choices on the regular. But if you're looking to lose weight and need some menu ideas, we’ve taken out the guesswork for you with this 1,200-calorie meal plan.
Learn more about how to eat clean, lose weight, and love the food you're eating .
While 1,200 may be the right number for some, it can be super restrictive for others, says Jaclyn London, MS, RD, CDN, Nutrition Director at the GolfHr Institute. Try basing your meals and snacks off this plan and double up on veggies at any opportunity — more fruit at snack time works too! You can also add an extra ounce or two of protein at all meals if you find yourself feeling hungry. The combo of fiber from produce and lean protein makes this an adaptable strategy that’ll help you lose weight safely — one meal (and snack) at a time!
Combine 3/4 cup , 1 banana, and 1 cup fat-free milk in a bowl.
Build a sandwich with 1 , 3 ounces turkey breast, 1/2 roasted pepper, 1 teaspoon light mayonnaise, mustard, and lettuce. Serve with 1 stick part-skim mozzarella string cheese and 2 kiwis.
Serve 4 ounces broiled flounder or sole with 2 sliced plum tomatoes sprinkled with 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese, broiled until just golden. Eat with 1 cup cooked couscous and 1 cup steamed broccoli. Enjoy 1 fat-free pudding cup for dessert.
Heat up 1 cup and serve with 1 veggie burger in a and 1 cup of grapes.
Brush 4 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast with barbecue sauce and grill. Combine 2 heaping cups of sautéed spinach with garlic, olive oil, and tomatoes and serve with ½ plain baked or sweet potato (as desired).
In the microwave, cook 1/2 cup with low-fat or unsweetened soy milk. Add 1/2 apple (sliced or chopped), 1 teaspoon honey, and a pinch of cinnamon.
To make a chicken salad, toss 4 ounces shredded skinless roast chicken breast with 1/4 cup sliced red grapes, 1 tablespoon , 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise, and 1 tablespoon plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt. Serve over lettuce. Eat with 1 banana.
Serve 4 ounces steamed shrimp with 1 baked potato topped with 3 tablespoons salsa and 1 tablespoon unsweetened Greek yogurt, plus 3 cups spinach, steamed. Finish the meal off with 1 ounce of chocolate or a 100- to 150-calorie ice cream bar.
Top 1/2 toasted English muffin with 1/2 small apple, sliced, and 1 ounce shredded reduced-fat cheese, any type. Microwave 30 seconds on high. Serve with 2/3 cup plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt sprinkled with 1 tablespoon .
Heat 1 cup . Serve with a sandwich made with 1 , 3 ounces thinly sliced roast beef, 1 teaspoon horseradish, mustard, tomato slices, and lettuce. Eat with 2 cups raw veggies and 1/4 cup of hummus.
Combine 1 cup , 1/2 cup berries, 1 tablespoon , and 6 ounces plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt in a bowl.
Make a quesadilla by spreading 1/4 cup overa 100% stone-ground corn tortilla. Sprinkle on 1 ounce shredded reduced-fat cheese. Top with salsa and another tortilla; microwave 45 seconds on high. Serve with 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese topped with 2 clementines and cucumber spears.
Serve 3 ounces roasted pork tenderloin with 1 cup baked acorn squash, mashed with a pinch of ice cream bar for dessert (100-150 calories).; 2 to 3 cups salad greens with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and as much vinegar as desired; and chocolate or an
Toast 1 100% whole-grain frozen waffle, spread with 2 tablespoons nut butter, and top with 1 small sliced banana plus cinnamon and nutmeg. Serve with 8 ounces fat-free milk.
Make a tuna pita with 1 , 2 ounces , 1 tablespoon light mayonnaise, mustard, cucumber, and onion slices. Serve with 10 baby carrots and 2/3 cup plain, unsweetened Greek yogurt with a small pear.
Make jambalaya by combining 3/4 cup cooked brown rice; 1/2 cup corn; 2 ounces cooked turkey sausage, sliced; 1/3 cup salsa; and 1/4 cup no-salt-added black or navy beans. Heat through. Eat with 3 cups spinach sauteed with garlic in 1 tablespoon olive oil.
Layer 1/2 toasted English muffin with 1 ounce reduced-fat cheese, sliced; 1 tomato slice; 1/2 cup steamed spinach, drained; and 1 poached egg. Serve with 1 grapefruit.
Make black bean salad by tossing 1/2 cup canned black beans, 1/2 cup mandarin orange sections, chopped red bell peppers, red onion, scallions, and any other desired veggies with 1 teaspoon vinegar. Serve over salad greens. Serve with 1 100% stone ground corn tortilla and a piece of fruit.
Serve 3 ounces broiled or grilled flank steak with 1 baked sweet potato with 1 teaspoon butter; 1 cup steamed zucchini; and 1 1/2 cup berries.
Just because your diet is healthy, doesn't mean it has to be boring (or bland). For more delicious recipes that will help you lose weight, check out this clean eating cookbook created by the editors of Prevention.
These side-by-side food juxtapositions will totally change how you think about calorie counts.