6 Day Meal Plan For Weight Loss

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Six day meal plan for weight loss // If a single recipe could change your life, wouldn’t you want to be that recipe? Would you eat it, knowing it could make you happy and healthy…again? This meal plan will give you all the tools to lose weight and eat right. This is a six day meal plan that has been tested and approved for healthy weight loss.

Meal Plans for 6 Meals a Day

If you’re trying to manage your weight, you might wonder how often you should eat. While dietary guidelines typically recommend that you eat at least three meals and one snack a day, some people are more successful with weight loss if they eat smaller, more frequent meals. A six-meal-a-day plan may help you to better manage hunger and maintain energy levels. As with any good diet plan, make sure your meals include a variety of foods from all the food groups to meet your nutrient needs.

 

START THE DAY RIGHT

mealplan-juice


Keep each of your six meals about the same size and low in fat to help keep calories under control. For example, if you’re following a 2000-calorie diet, limit each meal to 300 to 350 calories. A healthy meal to start the day might include:  

  • 1 1/2 cups of plain non-fat yogurt topped with 1 cup of sliced berries
  • 1 cup of unsweetened whole-grain cold cereal and six almonds
  • Hard-boiled egg with two slices of whole-wheat toast and 1 teaspoon of peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup of orange juice.

MID-MORNING SNACK

  A healthy and balanced mid-morning meal on your six-meal-a-day diet plan might include:

  • A whole wheat bagel toasted topped with 1 ounce of low-fat cheese and a small apple.
  • A fruit smoothie made with one small banana, 3/4 cup of fresh pineapple, 1/4 avocado and 1 cup of non-fat milk with crushed ice

 

HEALTHY AND LIGHT FOR LUNCH

  For lunch, try:

  • A turkey wrap-style sandwich. Roll 2 ounces of turkey into a 6-inch whole wheat tortilla with lettuce and mustard and serve with 1 cup of vegetable soup and a container of non-fat yogurt.
  • Three ounces of grilled salmon on top of 2 cups of mixed greens with 2 tablespoons of low-fat salad dressing and three non-fat whole-grain crackers.

 

MID-AFTERNOON MEAL

To keep you going in the afternoon, try:

  • 1/4 cup of hummus with one 6-inch whole-wheat pita and 1 cup of sliced carrots and celery sticks.
  • Dried fruit and nuts make a good recharging mid-afternoon snack: Try 1/4 cup of unsalted mixed nuts with 1/4 cup of raisins.

 

DO IT RIGHT AT DINNER

  A small dinner meal might include:

  • 3 ounces of beef tenderloin with a plain, small baked potato and 1 cup of steamed broccoli.
  • Shrimp kebabs made with 3 ounces of shrimp and 1 cup of a mix of peppers, onions and mushrooms served with 1/2 cup of brown rice and 1 cup of mixed greens with 1 tablespoon of low-fat dressing.

 

Last Meal of the Day

Finish your day with a light and healthy snack consisting of 1 1/2 cups of unsweetened whole-grain cereal with 1 cup of non-fat milk and a small banana. Another last snack might include 6 cups of air-popped popcorn mixed with 30 peanuts.

is eating 6 meals a day good

What is the 6-meal-a-day plan? Learn about how it works, whether it can help with weight loss, and what to keep in mind with any diet

You may have heard that eating more small meals a day is better than eating fewer large meals. But is eating 6 meals a day better than eating 3?

According to multiple studies, that may not necessarily be the case. In these studies, participants were divided into two groups. One group was given 3 meals a day and the other group was given 6 meals a day. Results were mixed:

  • In some studies, participants who ate 6 small meals a day showed no metabolic or weight loss advantage over those who ate 3 large meals.
  • In other studies, the 3-meal-a-day group reported higher levels of hunger and an increased desire to eat and, thus, a tendency to gain weight.
  • Some studies found a modest effect of smaller frequent meals on fasting glucose levels, but overall HbA1c (glycated hemoglobin, which measures average glycemic control) was not significantly different as compared to the 3-meal-a-day group.

Can eating 6 meals a day help you lose weight?

While results of those studies were inconclusive, eating 6 times a day is a weight loss strategy that has worked for some people, provided the meals are small and healthy. 

For example, some people may feel full easily after a meal but get hungry again within 2-3 hours, and waiting too long may cause them to overeat during their next meal. So the idea is that eating more frequently throughout the day may help them prevent weight gain.

So the 6-meal-a-day diet plan may help you lose weight as long as you learn the art of portion control. This is because no matter how many meals you eat in a day, if you consume fewer calories and burn more calories, you are bound to lose weight. 

Also, it’s important to remember that it’s not just the quantity of food or frequency that matters, but also the quality of your diet. So eating a balanced diet with sufficient macronutrients (proteins, carbs, and fats) and micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) is essential, regardless of how many times a day you are eating.

What is the 6-meal-a-day diet plan?

As the name implies, the 6-meal-a-day diet plan involves eating 6 mini-meals a day. An example of a meal plan is as follows:

  1. Breakfast: Egg whites, potatoes, and turkey bacon or muesli, oatmeal, and vegetables
  2. Snack: Fruit smoothie with protein powder or half a piece of fruit with non-fat yogurt
  3. Snack: Hard-boiled eggs (whites only)
  4. Lunch: A healthy fat, such as avocado, with chicken, turkey, or fish
  5. Snack: Almonds and a protein shake or green tea
  6. Dinner: Lean protein, such as salmon, poultry, or lean beef, with vegetables

What are potential challenges of the 6-meal-a-day plan?

The key with this diet plan is that it’s crucial to control your portion sizes, since messing those up can cause you to consume more calories. Talk to your dietician about ideal portion sizes recommended for your age, gender, and physical activity level. 

For the best chance of success, follow these tips:

  • Don’t skip breakfast 
  • Avoid junk food
  • Avoid eating late at night
  • Add protein and high-fiber foods to your snacks to make you feel full for longer. Examples include: a cup of raw veggies, 2-3 whole-grain crackers, 1/2 cup of nuts, dried fruits, a spoonful of non-fat yogurt, and some whole-grain cereal. 

If you have trouble controlling your portion sizes or you don’t have time to prep healthy snacks, you may be better off with the good old 3-meal-a-day plan. Either way, what matters most is getting enough nutrition from the foods you eat.

Is intermittent fasting a better option than eating small 6 meals a day?

Studies conducted on individuals who tried intermittent fasting have reported benefits such as weight loss, better heart rate and blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and improved glycemic control. This data supports the idea that intermittent fasting positively impacts the way the body metabolizes food. 

When you can only eat in an 8-hour or 10-hour window, you may be able to:

  • Consume fewer calories in a day
  • Learn to differentiate hunger pangs from boredom or stress eating
  • Drink more water or liquids

However, intermittent fasting may not be suitable for everyone. Before trying any type of diet plan, talk to your doctor first, especially if you have underlying health conditions.

The bottom line is that regardless of your diet plan, it is the total calories consumed and the nutritional quality of those calories that matter. Healthy calorie restriction, a balanced diet, and regular exercise can help you lose weight, so it’s simply a matter of finding the way to do it that’s right for you.

HOW TO LOSE WEIGHT WHILE EATING HEALTHY

A healthy eating plan gives your body the nutrients it needs every day while staying within your daily calorie goal for weight loss. A healthy eating plan also will lower your risk for heart disease and other health conditions. Typically, healthy eating means abandoning many of the foods you ate as a child, such as fried food, candy, and junk food. Most people believe low-calorie foods help you lose weight, and they try to fill up on celery. But because it has next to no nutrients, celery alone won’t actually help you stay full and within minutes you’ll be tempted to reach for the chips.

The Best Meal Prep and Diet Plan for Weight Loss will not restrict you from enjoying life – in fact, it’s all about being flexible and enjoying healthy eating as a lifestyle!

When food intake is severely restricted , the body begins to adapt to this state of poor nutrition by reducing its metabolic rate, potentially making it even more difficult to lose weight. This also happens when dieters engage in fasting or skipping meals. It is also possible to experience hunger pains, bouts of hypoglycemia, headaches, and mood changes from overly stringent dieting.

Look for sources of lean protein (such as beans and other legumes, white-meat poultry, and low-fat or nonfat dairy) or those also rich in healthy fats . Some research suggests that distributing your protein throughout the day also helps in weight loss, rather than eating the bulk of it at, say, dinnertime.

However, people with or at high risk for kidney disease—and that includes many older people—should be careful not to consume excessive amounts of protein.

The key to losing weight is to burn more calories than you eat and drink. A diet can help you to do this through portion control.

Finally, consider that once you’ve lost the weight, you may regain the weight if you return to your previous eating habits, so any weight-loss plan should be something you can live with for a long time.

Six Day Meal Plan

Use our Six Day Meal Plan as a guide in making healthy, nourishing and deliciously low calorie meals while supporting your weight loss goals. Also check out our page on Meal Planning Tips for additional information.

Day 1

healthy protein shakes


Breakfast: Omelet (eggs, cheese, bell peppers) served with 1 piece whole grain toast topped with peanut butter
Protein Power-Up: Protein shake
Lunch: Turkey meatloaf, cauliflower rice, and mixed fruit
Protein Power-Up: Protein shake
Dinner: Beans & Rotel tomatoes
Late night: Hydrating fluids & sugar-free popsicles or gelatin

Day 2

Plate of steak on top of salad


Breakfast: Toppings of cold pizza (Canadian bacon, cheese, pineapples, mushrooms) with half an apple
Protein Power-Up: Protein shake
Lunch: Flank steak salad served with low-fat salad dressing & whole grain crackers
Protein Power-Up: Protein shake
Dinner: Beef tenderloin served over broccoli slaw
Late night: Hydrating fluids & sugar-free popsicles or gelatin

Day 3

Greek yogurt parfait


Breakfast: Greek yogurt parfait (greek yogurt, berries, and walnuts)
Protein Power-Up: Protein shake
Lunch: ½ chicken meatball sub served with a small garden salad with light dressing
Protein Power-Up: Protein shake
Dinner: Scallops, zucchini noodles tossed with 1 tsp olive oil and fresh herbs
Late night: Hydrating fluids & sugar-free popsicles or gelatin

Day 4

grilled chicken breast over salad


Breakfast: Burrito with low-carb tortilla, egg whites, low-fat cheese, topped with avocado slice
Protein Power-Up: Protein shake
Lunch: Lean pork chop, side salad with light ranch dressing served with cinnamon apple slices
Protein Power-Up: Protein shake
Dinner: Tilapia with carrots and hummus
Late night: Hydrating fluids & sugar-free popsicles or gelatin

Day 5

cajun chicken cutlet


Breakfast: Oatmeal with 1tbsp Peanut butter, 1 Tbsp PB2, served with turkey sausage link
Protein Power-Up: Protein shake
Lunch: Cajun chicken cutlet (small amount of oil in cooking process), zucchini, & peaches
Protein Power-Up: Protein shake
Dinner: Grilled chicken salad with low-fat dressing
Late night: Hydrating fluids & sugar-free popsicles or gelatin

Day 6

sugar-free popsicles


Breakfast: Hardboiled eggs, low-fat cheese, and almonds
Protein Power-Up: Protein shake
Lunch: Shrimp, brown rice, stir fry vegetable mix
Protein Power-Up: Protein shake
Dinner: Turkey tenderloin with a side salad
Late night: Hydrating fluids & sugar-free popsicles or gelatin

6 Meals a Day for Weight Loss

healthy snack

You’ve probably heard the advice that eating small meals throughout the day is how you win the battle of the bulge. The claim is that frequent snacking, as long as it’s healthy, keeps your metabolism humming, staves off hunger, and controls blood sugar.

The end result: You eat less. Except it may not work that way.

A study from the University of Ottawa found that on a low-calorie diet, there was no weight loss advantage to splitting calories among six meals rather than three.

A second study found that switching from three daily meals to six did not boost calorie-burning or fat loss. In fact, the researchers concluded, eating six meals a day actually made people want to eat more.

And a research review reached no conclusions about whether meal frequency helps or hurts with weight loss.

So if the number of meals you eat doesn’t make a difference with weight loss, what does?

Calories, says Kristin Kirkpatrick, RD, a wellness manager at the Cleveland Clinic. Your best bet is to cut your daily calories, regardless of how often you nosh. If you want to eat more often, you can, as long as you keep your calories in check.

“As long as you choose good foods and keep portion sizes in check, frequent grazing can help you lose weight and keep cravings at bay.” — Amy Jamieson-Petonic

The Upside of More Than 3 Meals a Day

While eating many meals may not rev up your metabolism or make you burn fat, experts say it could help you in other ways.

The longer you wait between meals, the hungrier you get, and then you’re more likely to overeat.

“After about 3 hours without food, blood sugar begins to fall. And after 4 hours, your body has already digested whatever you sent down earlier,” says Cleveland dietitian Amy Jamieson-Petonic, RD. “Once you’ve crossed the 5-hour mark, your blood sugar begins to plummet, and you grab whatever you can to refuel.”

That’s why breakfast is so important. After 7-8 hours of sleep without food, you need energy to get moving, Jamieson-Petonic says.

People who regularly eat breakfast tend to weigh less than those who skip their morning meal. They also get more nutrients like vitamins D, B12, and A. They may even be more likely to resist food cravings and make better food choices, especially when protein is part of the meal.

If you start off your day with breakfast, and then continue eating every 3 to 4 hours, you’ll provide your body and brain with a steady stream of nutrients so you don’t go overboard at mealtime.

How to Snack the Right Way

If you’re going to go the mini-meals route, your biggest danger is eating too much.

“As long as you choose good foods and keep portion sizes in check, frequent grazing can help you lose weight and keep cravings at bay,” Jamieson-Petonic saysThe simplest strategy is mixing portion control with protein and fiber to fill you up. Plan nutrient-dense snacks like these:

  • Fresh fruit with low-fat cheese
  • Raw veggies with 1/4 cup hummus or tzatziki sauce for dipping
  • Whole-grain crackers with 1 ounce of low-fat cheese or one tablespoon of nut butter
  • 1/4 cup trail mix with nuts, dried fruits, and whole-grain cereal
  • 1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt with fresh berries

Whether you’re grazing throughout the day or having the standard three meals, getting the most nutrient bang for your calorie buck is key. So avoid “junk” foods that are easy to overeat (processed foods, refined carbs, sugary drinks).

Instead, fuel up on protein and high-fiber carbohydrates. Both fill you up without weighing you down, Kirkpatrick says.

If you have trouble controlling portion sizes, or you don’t have time to prep healthy snacks, you may be better off with the old three-meal-a-day plan.

What Matters More

The number of meals you eat doesn’t matter as much as what you eat, Kirkpatrick says.

Fill your plate with plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and lean sources of protein.

Quality, calories, and portion sizes ultimately make the difference.

Oatmeal Diet Basics with 6 Day Meal Plan

The Oatmeal Diet involves replacing one or two meals a day with oatmeal.

oatmeal diet

This is good since oatmeal has a number of health benefits including

  • healthy weight management
  • reducing cholesterol
  • and potentially lowering the risk of certain types of cancer.

Some have taken this further by eating nothing but oatmeal. This approach is a tad extreme, but most people follow the version listed below.

Oatmeal Diet Basics

One method of doing the oatmeal diet involves varying the amount of oatmeal eaten over three phases.

Phase One

  • Dieters eat nothing but oatmeal for the first week.
  • You can eat ½ cup of oatmeal for each meal, which may be combined with a ½ cup of skim milk if desired.
  • Only whole oatmeal is allowed, not instant oatmeal.
  • Instant oatmeal and granola bars should be avoided for the first seven days.
  • Calorie consumption for the first seven days should be between 900-1200 calories per day.

Phase Two

  • For the next 30 days, dieters continue having ½ cup of oatmeal three times a day in addition to their regular diet.
  • Instant oatmeal is now permitted.
  • Calories may now be increased slightly to 1000-1300 per day.
  • A morning snack of a ½ cup of fruit and an afternoon snack of ½ cup raw vegetables are allowed.

Phase Three

  • After 30 days you may begin to eat your normal diet while continuing with one meal and one snack of oatmeal daily.
  • Dieters are advised to limit their intake of fats when returning to normal eating.

The biggest challenge to eating oatmeal (also known as porridge in the UK) is how to keep adding things to prevent monotony and blandness. See some ideas here.

Oatmeal Diet Alternatives

  1. Medifast– Uses meal replacements like oatmeal and shakes to promote weight loss.
  2. Special K Diet– Replaces 2 meals a day with Special K Cereal.
  3. Cooking with Oats: Oat Bran, Oatmeal, and More

Recommended Foods

Oatmeal, skim milk, berries, bananas, apples, oranges, grapes, carrots, red pepper, celery, lettuce, spinach, chicken breast, fish, coffee, tea, club soda, sugar-free pudding.

6-Day Oatmeal Diet Meal Plan – Phase 2

Feel free to make substitutions to suit your various preferences and tastes. Just make sure the calorie amounts stay about the same.

DAY 1

Breakfast½ cup oatmeal
½ cup skim milk
1 tablespoon raisins
½ teaspoon cinnamon
coffee or tea
Morning Snack½ cup blueberries
Lunch½ cup oatmeal
1/2 cup low fat yogurt
1 banana
Dinner4 oz grilled chicken breast
Large green salad
½ cup oatmeal
Evening SnackSugar-free pudding

DAY 2

Breakfast½ cup oatmeal
½ cup skim milk
1 tablespoon raisins
½ teaspoon cinnamon
coffee or tea
Morning Snack½ cup blueberries
Lunch½ cup oatmeal
1/2 cup low fat yogurt
1 banana
Afternoon Snack½ cup raw vegetable sticks
Dinner4 oz grilled chicken breast
Large green salad
½ cup oatmeal
Evening SnackSugar-free pudding

DAY 3

Breakfast½ cup oatmeal
½ cup skim milk or milk substitute
1 tablespoon dried cranberries
½ teaspoon cinnamon
coffee or tea
Morning Snack1 Medium Apple
Lunch½ cup oatmeal
1/2 cup low fat yogurt
1 cup strawberries
Afternoon SnackHandful of almonds
Dinner4 oz broiled fish fillet
1 cup broccoli
1 cup wild rice pilaf
Evening Snack1 cup celery sticks

DAY 4

Breakfast½ cup oatmeal
½ cup skim milk or milk substitute
1 banana
½ teaspoon vanilla
coffee or tea
Morning Snack2 small kiwi fruit
Lunch½ cup oatmeal
½ cup skim milk or milk substitute
1/4 cup walnuts
1 tsp cinnamon
Afternoon Snack1 apple
Dinner4 oz lean turkey burger
1 whole wheat bun
1 cup baked zucchini fries
Evening Snack1 cup sugar-free jello

DAY 5

Breakfast½ cup oatmeal
½ cup non-fat Greek yogurt
1 cup blueberries
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
coffee or tea
Morning SnackA handful of almonds
Lunch½ cup oatmeal
½ cup skim milk or milk substitute
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp. cinnamon
Afternoon Snack1 banana
Dinner4 oz lean sirloin steak
3 cups garden salad
2 Tbsp lite salad dressing
Evening Snack1 orange

DAY 6

Breakfast½ cup oatmeal
½ cup skim milk or milk substitute
½ cup raisins
½ cup dried plums
coffee or tea
Morning Snack1 apple
Lunch½ cup oatmeal
½ cup vanilla nonfat yogurt
1/4 cup walnuts
Afternoon Snack1 Tbsp. peanut butter
4 celery sticks
DinnerOne can light chicken soup
2 cups mixed vegetables
Evening Snack1/2 cup sugar-free pudding

Exercise Recommendations

30 minutes of exercise is recommended on 3-5 days of the week.

Costs and Expenses

The only cost for this diet is for groceries, which will probably be even less than usual because oatmeal is very inexpensive.

Pros

  • Oatmeal is high in soluble fiber, which helps to promote a feeling of fullness after meals.
  • A diet high in oatmeal can reduce the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol without affecting the ‘good’ HDL cholesterol and has been demonstrated to be as effective as cholesterol lowering medication.
  • Oatmeal is a good source of low glycemic carbohydrates and can help to promote stable blood sugar levels.
  • Oats contain phytonutrients called lignans, which are beneficial for heart health.
  • Oats are very inexpensive.

Cons

  • Calorie intakes are below that recommended for safe and healthy weight loss.
  • Lack of variety in the diet will limit the ability to obtain adequate nutrition.
  • The oatmeal diet involves a dramatic change in normal eating patterns, especially for the first week, which has the potential to trigger yo-yo dieting for some people.

The First 7 Days May be Difficult

Any diet that is based on a single food while excluding other healthy foods can be regarded as a fad diet that will not be supportive of the health of the dieter. It is not recommended to follow the first seven days of the version of the diet where oatmeal is the only food permitted.

However, the oatmeal diet is based on a nutritious food that can help to reduce appetite, which makes it a good source of carbohydrates for a weight loss diet. If weight loss is to be maintained over the long term it will also be necessary to pay attention to other aspects of nutrition and lifestyle.

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