Eating more vegetables can help you lose weight.
Low-calorie meal plans are often effective for weight loss. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reports that diets containing 1, 000 to 1, 200 calories per day are effective weight loss diets for women and 1, 200- to 1, 600-calorie diets are usually effective weight loss diets for men, active women and women who weigh more than 164 pounds. Talk with your doctor before starting any type of weight loss diet to make sure it’s safe for you.
Meal Plan Basics
A meal plan is a guide that shows you how much of each food group to consume each day. Following a meal plan allows you to choose foods to include in your plan based on your food preferences. Using a meal plan to create your menus can help you meet your daily calorie requirements and stay on track with your weight management goals.
Sample Meal Plan
The U.S. Department of Agriculture provides healthy, well-balanced meal plans at different calorie levels. A USDA 1, 200-calorie meal plan consists of 1 cup of fruits, 1.5 cups of vegetables, 3 ounces of protein foods such as lean meat, seafood, soy products and eggs, 4 ounces of grains, 2.5 cups of dairy foods, 4 teaspoons of oils and 121 extra calories each day. With an OK from a medical professional, adults can use a USDA 1, 200-calorie sample meal plan to plan menus and lose weight.
1, 200-Calorie Menu 1
For breakfast, consume 1.5 cups of ready-to-eat breakfast cereal, 1 cup of low-fat milk, one-half ounce of sliced almonds and half of a banana. For lunch, eat 2 cups of salad greens, 2.5 ounces of grilled chicken, one-half ounce of shredded cheddar cheese, 1 tablespoon of ranch salad dressing and five whole-grain crackers. For a snack, consume 1 cup of low-fat yogurt with one-half cup of blueberries. For dinner, eat one-half cup of steamed broccoli, 2.5 ounces of grilled salmon, 2 teaspoons of olive oil and three-fourths cup of brown rice.