Resolving to eat healthier gets a whole lot easier when there's a step-by-step guide on how to do it. This 1800-calorie plan relies on real, wholesome food (and three snacks a day!) to keep you full and satisfied, all while shedding up to two pounds per week.
Flexibility is the name of the game here. Swap any meal for another of the same type and enjoy as many calorie-free drinks (coffee, tea, water, etc.) as you want. Each day also includes two snacks under 150 calories and one 200 to 250 calorie indulgence, plus 50 to 100 "discretionary" calories. Use those to enjoy milk in your morning coffee, one 5-ounce glass of wine at night, or an extra serving of any veggies or fruit. Even with all of the treats, you can lose up to two pounds per week and keep it up until you achieve your weight loss goal.
These fiber-filled muffins are a great way to start the day. Whip up one batch and you'll have 18 to spread out over mornings and for snacks.
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, and 1 tablespoon of chopped chives.
Mix sweet and spicy by skewering 1/2 cup pineapple chunks and sprinkling cayenne on top. Then add 1 tablespoon of coconut chips and 10 cashews. Pack a ($24 for 24, ) and ($27 for 24, ) in your bag for later too.
No lame-o filets for you. Temper the heat of this spicy salmon entree with a for dessert.
It's a breakfast burrito, reinvented. Cilantro, avocado, and chili powder fill an to the max.
Toss 1 cup of steamed lentils with 1 tablespoon each chopped scallions and walnuts, and 1/3 cup each of chopped cucumbers, tomatoes, and carrots. For a dressing, combine 1 tablespoon of olive oil with 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar. Serve over 6 ounces of baby spinach.
Dunk 1/5 cups mixed crudités in a creamy, cheesy dip that's 1/2 cup 0% plain Greek yogurt mixed with 1 wedge . Curb cravings later on with a single-serving pack of and a paired with 1/2 cup fresh or frozen berries.
Put fries back on the menu by serving sweet and smoky chicken with 3 ounces (about 12) frozen sweet potato fries, like these ones from .
($13 for 33 ounces, ) add a touch of sweetness to this colorful berry bowl.
To make Asian shrimp cups, combine 10 pre-cooked shrimp, 1/2 cup edamame, and 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper with 2 tablespoons peanuts and 1 teaspoon lower-sodium teriyaki sauce in a bowl. Divide among four large romaine lettuce leaves. Serve with a medium pear.
Make a mini cheese board by combining 1/2 cup grapes with one piece of part-skim cheese. Later, nosh on one serving ($35 for 24 ounces, ) plus 1 tablespoon of peanut butter and half of a medium pear.
Enjoy your favorite Sunday brunch midweek. Toast two , 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 one serving of corn salsa instead.
Break up the day with a ($14 for 12, ) and 1 ounce of dry roasted unsalted pumpkin seeds. Those with a sweet tooth will also appreciate 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.
Break out of the salad rut with mix-ins like shiitake mushrooms, acorn squash, and chickpeas. Round it out with 1 cup of fresh or frozen strawberries for dessert.
Don't bother getting out the rice cooker. Put one bag of in the microwave and it'll be ready by the time you've finished frying your egg.
Craving sweet? Eat 1/2 cup thawed frozen strawberries with three ($12 for 12 ounces, ). Craving salty? Munch on one serving ($12 for 69 ounces, ). For your third snack, dip 1 cup each sliced bell peppers and baby carrots in 2 tablespoons hummus.
Shrimp packs about 80% of your daily vitamin B12, the essential nutrient that keeps your mind sharp and nerves healthy. This recipe pairs it with filling black beans – and still leaves room for a baked apple dessert.
Top one with 1 tablespoon whipped cream cheese. Then pile on 2 ounces smoked salmon, 1/4 avocado, 1/2 tomato (sliced), and 1 tablespoon chopped scallions just like your favorite bagel shop. Serve with one sliced kiwi.
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, and 6 cherry tomatoes. For a dressing, add lemon juice to taste.
Slice a one small banana and spread a tablespoon of cashew butter on top. Later, snack on a 1-ounce bag of bean-based chips like ($5 for 11 ounces, ) and a ($11 for 20, ).
Roasted Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes add plenty of color to this flavorful (and filling) plate.
Take a break from cooking and heat one frozen as directed and plate with 1 cup of steamed spinach. Finish off the day with a small orange.
Stash a pack of ($29 for 15, ) and 1 ounce (about 23) dry, roasted for your snack breaks. Then get creative with a baked apple dish: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 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.
Potatoes, red pepper, beans, and bacon (yep, bacon!) all go into this rustic meal. And you still get a package of for dessert ($5 for 6, ).
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