Dairy Free Diet Plan For Weight Loss is a terrific program for those who want to lose weight in a natural way. As you know, the dairy products are not recommended by nutritionists and this is because they contain a lot of fat and calories which can result in an unhealthy weight gain within no time. Also, there have been lots of controversies regarding the negative health consequences of consuming dairy.
Most people who embark on a dairy-free diet do so for medical reasons, particularly if they are lactose intolerant. This condition is caused by low levels of the enzyme lactase in the small intestine, which causes bloating, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting after eating dairy. If you currently eat a lot of dairy, particularly higher-calorie products such as cream and full-fat cheese, cutting it out may help you lose weight, as it results in a decrease of calories. Simply cutting out dairy isn’t enough on its own though — there are several other factors you should consider for a successful weight loss plan.
Work out how many calories you should eat every day. Dairy or no dairy, the number of calories you take in is key as you must burn more calories than you eat to lose weight. Multiply your body weight in pounds by 15 to find a rough estimate of how many calories you need each day. Subtract 500 from this number to determine your daily calorie intake. You should lose approximately 1 pound of weight each week if you consume this much every day.
Steer clear of consuming too many soy-based dairy replacements, advises nutritionist Dr. Jonny Bowden. Soy milk and cheese contain high levels of anti-nutrients and are often sweetened, thereby bumping up the calorie content. Instead, Bowden recommends switching to almond, hazelnut or hemp milk.
Increase your intake of dark green vegetables. Dairy products are an excellent source of calcium — an important mineral for building strong bones and teeth. Broccoli, kale, mustard greens, okra and collards are all high in calcium and thus make perfectly acceptable dairy replacements, according to dietitian Reed Mangels of the Vegetarian Resource Group.
Eat more lean meats and oily fish. Taking dairy out of your diet could mean you are missing out on some protein. Replace milk, cottage cheese, yogurt and cheese with chicken or turkey breast, extra lean pork and beef, cod, tuna and salmon, or include vegetarian protein such as tofu.
Reduce your calorie intake by cutting your portion sizes if you’re not losing weight. One to 2 pounds per week is a healthy, sustainable amount of weight to lose. If you’re not hitting at least 1 pound per week, cut your intake by another 100 calories each day and try to exercise a little more.
Tips For Dairy-Free Diet Plan
Switching from dairy products to plant-based alternatives is not always easy. Some dairy products, such as milk and cheese, can be found in almost every food. It will take time to change your eating habits, but you can do it!
Here are some quick tips for going dairy-free:
- Reach for the unsweetened plant-based yogurt instead of dairy yogurt.
- Choose nut, oat, or coconut milk over cow’s milk.
- Look for meat alternatives that are made with beans or soy protein instead of dairy.
- Try mustard or balsamic vinegar on sandwiches instead of creamy condiments that may contain dairy ingredients.
- Make sure you’re getting enough calcium by reaching for soybeans, almonds, dark leafy green vegetables, sesame seeds, and calcium-fortified juices, etc.
- When eating out, be mindful of hidden dairy ingredients like butter or cheese in pre-made foods like fries or salads.
- Remember that many products are made with dairy (sometimes without clearly stating it on the label). Cheese often appears in prepackaged food items like noodles, crackers, etc.
- Don’t forget to read ingredient lists! Many companies put milk proteins (whey), whey protein concentrate, casein (from milk), natural flavors (or flavorings which can contain milk products), or lactose (another type of sugar from milk) in their products (3). If you see any of these ingredients listed on the box/packaging/label of the food you’re about to eat, don’t buy it!
- Be mindful of foods labeled as ‘non dairy’ or ‘vegan.’ These products are not always free from milk proteins. In some cases these items may actually contain traces of dairy because processing equipment is shared between milk and non-milk based products. If you have an allergy, that can be enough to cause a reaction. It’s even more important to read ingredient lists when you purchase these types of foods so that you can avoid hidden dairy ingredients
7-Day Nutritious Dairy-Free Meal Plan for Weight Loss
Healthy eating for weight loss can be simple and good. Here is a 7-day dairy-free meal plan that includes a few delicious recipes to try.
Exercise, Fitness & Nutrition Expert | Lark Health
January 11, 2022
In this article:
- It can be hard to find easy, healthy meals for weight loss but it is possible.
- This meal plan has 7 days’ worth of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners which totals to about 1,200 calories. There is no dairy in this meal plan.
- You can add snacks if you need more calories.
- Be sure to ask your doctor before using any new meal plan.
- Lark weight loss coach is available 24/7 on your smartphone with more tips for healthy weight loss.
Healthy eating for weight loss can be simple. And it can taste good. Here is a 7-day meal plan to try. Most of the meals take only a few minutes to put together. They are all dairy-free. The plan includes a few delicious recipes to try if you like.
Each day adds up to about 1,200 calories. The meals get about 30 to 35% of their calories from carbohydrates. If you need to, you can add snacks from this Snack List. You can also consider using swaps from our Healthy Swaps List.
Here are some more tips for success.
- Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Aim for at least 64 ounces.
- Each meal has about 30 grams of nutritious carbohydrates. That is a moderately low amount. It can help with weight loss and health.
- Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting a new meal plan. And ask what might be the best approach for your own needs.
- Include some physical activity, as long as your healthcare provider supports it. A good goal for most people is at least 150 minutes per week.
|Monday||Breakfast Taco1 egg and 2 egg whites (or ½ cup liquid egg) plus diced onion and chopped bell pepper, cooked in a skillet with cooking spray, plus ½ cup of black beans and ¼ cup avocado slices in a small whole-grain tortilla (hint: wrap it in foil to keep it together if you are on the go)||Greek Pita PocketSmall whole-wheat pita spread with 2 tablespoons of mashed avocado and stuffed with lettuce, tomatoes, 8 pitted kalamata olives, ½ cup of garbanzo beans, and dried oregano.1 tangerine||Salmon with Portobello Citrus Salsa¼ of recipe belowServe with ⅓ cup of cooked brown rice and 1 cup of steamed broccoli florets|
|Tuesday||Cereal and Milk½ cup of Cheerios mixed with ¾ cup of unsweetened almond or soy milk, 2 tablespoons of sliced almonds, and 1 small banana, sliced||Open-Faced Chicken Quesadilla1 ounce of shredded dairy-free cheese tossed with cumin, garlic powder, and (optional) red pepper flakes, 3 ounces of cooked diced chicken breast, and 1 small thinly sliced zucchini, on 1 small whole-wheat tortilla, served optionally with salsa1 small orange||Baked Sweet Potato1 medium sweet potato, baked, topped with mixture of ½ cup canned Italian-style stewed tomatoes, ½ cup of cooked chopped broccoli florets, and 3 ounces of lean ground turkey cooked with diced onion and 2 teaspoons of olive oil|
|Wednesday||Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal½ cup of oats made with ¾ cup of hot unsweetened almond or soy milk, plus ¼ cup of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix), 1 ounce of walnuts or pecans (14 halves), ½ teaspoon of cinnamon, and (optional) low-calorie natural sweetener (such as stevia or monkfruit),||Rice Salad⅓ cup of cooked brown rice, 3 ounces of cooked chicken, ½ cup of halved grapes, 1 tablespoon of sunflower seeds, 2 teaspoons olive oil, squeeze of lemon juice, chopped parsley or mint, pepperServed on a bed of spinach or arugula, optional||Dairy-Free “Cheesy” Baked Eggplant Casserole¼ of the recipe below.Served over ½ cup of whole-grain pasta such as rotini or penne|
|Thursday||Peanut Butter and Banana Cinnamon Toast2 slices of whole-grain toast spread with a blend of 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, ¼ of a ripe banana, mashed, and ¼ teaspoon of cinnamon1 cup of strawberries||Vegetarian Split Pea Soup⅛ of recipe, belowServe with avocado slices||Rotisserie Chicken and Salad3 ounces of rotisserie chicken (remove skin), 1 whole-grain dinner roll or hamburger bun Salad with greens, tomatoes, cucumber, and 2 tablespoons of vinaigrette (or 2 teaspoons of olive oil with balsamic vinegar and herbs)1 cup of watermelon cubes|
|Friday||Spinach Omelet4 egg whites or 1 egg and 2 egg whites, and 1 tablespoon of milk, stuffed with 1 cup of chopped fresh spinach leaves and 1 ounce of dairy-free cheese, topped with slice of avocado1 banana||Chicken Raspberry Salad3 ounces of cooked chicken, fresh spinach or arugula leaves, sliced red onion, sliced tomato, ½ cup raspberries, 2 tablespoons of sliced almonds1 slice of whole-grain toast||Spaghetti and Meat Sauce¾ cup of cooked whole-grain spaghetti tossed with ½ cup of tomato-based pasta sauce heated with 3 ounces of cooked lean ground turkey and ½ cup of cooked cauliflower florets, topped with ½ ounce of dairy-free cheese1 cup of steamed green beans|
|Saturday||Waffle and Egg1 whole-grain waffle with ¾ cup of strawberries and 1 tablespoon of peanut or almond butterServed with 1 cooked egg||Three-Bean Salad½ cup of green beans, ¼ cup of black beans, ¼ cup of garbanzo beans, ¼ cup of chopped tomato, 1 tablespoon of rice wine or cider vinegar, 2 teaspoons of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste, optional dash of a low-calorie sweetener such as stevia½ of a whole-grain English muffin||Fish Soft Taco3 ounces of fish rubbed with Mexican seasoning and baked, plus optional toppings, such as diced tomato, shredded cabbage, fresh cilantro, lime juice, ¼ cup non-dairy plain yogurt, and garlic powder, on a whole-wheat soft taco-size tortilla1 small ear of corn on the cob (or ½ large ear)1 cup of watermelon|
|Sunday||Huevos Rancheros.Cooked egg and ½ cup of low-sodium black beans on a small whole-grain tortilla, topped with 1 ounce of shredded dairy-free cheese and salsa made with chopped tomatoes, diced onion, cilantro, garlic, and lime juice||Chicken Pita Pocket2 whole-grain pita pockets (2 halves of a full small pita) spread with 2 tablespoons of hummus and stuffed with 3 ounces of chopped cooked skinless chicken, dijon mustard, and optional arugula or other greens.1 small apple||Roast Chicken Dinner3 ounces of chicken breast spread with a mixture of 1 teaspoon of olive oil, squeeze of lemon, black pepper, and fresh or dried rosemary, 1 baked in a foil wrapper with 1 cup of zucchini slices for 20 minutes at 350 degrees or until chicken is cooked through.Served with ⅓ cup of cooked whole-grain pasta and 1 piece of fruit|
Salmon with Portobello Citrus Salsa
This recipe has a wealth of flavors and is packed with antioxidants, healthy fats, and fiber. You can add grapefruit if you like a tangier flavor. Lime juice is a good swap for lemon juice if you prefer. To save time on the day you make the salmon, you can make salsa a day or more in advance and let the flavors mingle together overnight in the fridge or in the freezer. Serve it with steamed or roasted vegetables and ½ a medium potato or ⅓ cup of cooked brown rice or whole-wheat pasta.
Makes 4 servings
- 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 portobello mushrooms, about 6 ounces
- ¼ of a small red onion
- 2 oranges
- 2 tangerines
- Juice from 1 lemon
- ¼ cup of chopped cilantro.
- 12 ounces of salmon fillets or steak
- Optional garnishes: chopped cilantro, lemon or lime wedges, and/or an avocado slice
- Chop the mushrooms. Peel the oranges and tangerines and coarsely chop them. Bigger pieces are fine. Dice the red onion.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet. Add the mushrooms and red onion. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring often. Add the citrus fruit and cook for another two minutes. Remove from heat.
- Stir in the lemon juice and cilantro.
- Set the salsa aside on the counter, or refrigerate it for two hours or overnight, or freeze it.
- Cook the salmon in a skillet with cooking spray. It should take about 3 minutes on each side. It is ready when it flakes.
- Serve ¼ of the salmon onto each plate. Top it with citrus salsa.
Breakfast Dairy-Free Meal Plan
- Monday: Cereal or Granola – Keep it simple at the start of the week with your favorite healthy dairy-free cereal or granola doused with your milk beverage of choice, the options are many!
- Tuesday: Toast and Juice – Orange juice is a naturally bone-builder and whole grain toast slathered with your favorite nut or seed butter will keep you fueled. For nut-free, smash on some avocado and your favorite savory toppers. Need a bread alternative? Try brown rice cakes!
- Wednesday: Smoothie – My favorite way to start the day is with a thick, shake-like, energizing smoothie. This Chocolate Almond Butter Cup Shake is a personal favorite (great with peanut butter, too), and you can amp it up even more with protein powder, if desired.
- Thursday: Oatmeal – Go instant, steel cut if you have time, or plan ahead with easy Overnight Oatmeal. Top with nuts, seeds, coconut, brown sugar, coconut sugar, dried fruit, warm spices, protein powder – whatever your taste buds desire.
- Friday: Smoothie, Cereal or Oatmeal – Some things are worth repeating, you decide which one!
- Saturday: Eggs, Bacon & Toast – Poach the eggs or scramble them with just a bit of water for fluffy results. Or up your presentation with a Veggie Omelette. If eggs are out, try a tofu scramble, or better yet, some Tofu Rancheros!
- Sunday: Pancakes – No mix is needed for this super-easy weekend delight. Try this Basic Pancake Recipe topped with maple syrup, fresh fruit or even warmed nut butter.
Lunch Dairy-Free Meal Plan
- Monday: Baked Falafel – Though you can certainly buy them (falafels are almost always dairy-free), it’s easy to whip up a batch on Sunday and freeze this Meatless Monday dish for enjoying with pita or lettuce wraps and dairy-free tahini sauce throughout the week. Need something even easier? Swap the falafel for a pre-made vegan veggie burger.
- Tuesday: Asian Salad – Choose from the naturally dairy-free array of Asian-inspired vinaigrettes, top with chicken, tempeh or tofu, and add some crunchy cabbage, sliced almonds, green onions, mandarin oranges, or chow mein noodles.
- Wednesday: BLTA Sandwiches – The BLT is a naturally dairy-free delight, as long as you use dairy-free bread, and it gets even better when you add avocado. For a little more heft, turkey is another great addition.
- Thursday: Pasta Salad – Whether vinaigrette- or mayo-based, this is anther great way to use up vegetables, deli meats, and other eats from the week. It’s easy to throw together in the morning too, letting the flavors meld in time for the midday meal. Tired of pasta? Use quinoa, millet, wild rice or couscous instead.
- Friday: Soup – Chicken noodle, black bean, tomato, minestrone, or split pea, there are lots of soups that are naturally dairy-free, as long as the traditional formulas aren’t messed with!
- Saturday: Creamy Salad Sandwiches – Make it with chicken, turkey, eggs, baby shrimp, tofu or tempeh, there’s nothing easier and more fulfilling than a mayo “salad” filling (want something healthier? Try this easy homemade vegan mayo). Flavor it with a little Dijon, fresh herbs or spices to make it your own. And don’t forget the crunchy lettuce!
- Sunday: Wraps – From burritos with rice, meat, beans, veggies and guacamole to Thai-style wraps with fresh add-ins and peanut sauce, this is a fun option to enjoy while watching football. Going meatless? Try these luxurious Caesar Avocado Wraps.
Dinner Dairy-Free Meal Plan
- Monday: Kabobs – Skewers are a fun, healthy way to enjoy a Monday Night Football meal. Just marinade the components in a simple vinaigrette, skewer, and either grill or roast in a 450ºF oven for 20 to 30 minutes (turning once). Serve with rice. If taking the Sideline Meat Challenge, skewer hearty vegetables, like mushrooms, and some extra-firm tofu or tempeh, if desired.
- Tuesday: Spaghetti – Make your tomato sauce meaty or meatless and it serve atop wheat noodles, gluten-free noodles or paleo zoodles! If you use a store-bought spaghetti sauce, make sure it’s dairy-free – yes, some brands do contain milk, cream or cheese! Need a flavorful topper? Consider chopped olives or pan-fry breadcrumbs with garlic and salt in olive oil until toasty.
- Wednesday: Tacos – Liven up your week with a tasty taco bar of seasoned meat or faux meat (we love this homemade taco seasoning), tortillas or shells and an array of toppings … lettuce, tomatoes, chopped avocado, guacamole, salsa, pico de gallo, sliced olives, beans, sliced jalapenos, green onions, cilantro, or sauteed onions and bell peppers.
- Thursday: Stir Fry – Time to use up the vegetables you have on hand, mushrooms, broccoli, bean sprouts, snow peas, carrots … the list goes on. Make a quick teriyaki sauce with soy sauce and honey, and add your favorite protein to make it a complete meal.
- Friday: Fish – Perhaps the most elegant easy meal, fish fillets can be drizzled with olive oil, seasoned, and broiled for about 5 to 6 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve with steamed vegetables and your favorite grain.
- Saturday: Chili – Whip it up in a hurry or toss it in the crockpot and let it simmer all day. There are so many variations to make, from the simple meat and bean version, to Hearty Black Bean Chili
- Sunday: Burgers – Enjoy beef, turkey, bison or veggie burgers on wheat or gluten-free buns (or in a lettuce wrap), or have a little healthy fun with football day and try these Sweet Potato Sliders. Serve with Potato Wedges (cut potatoes into wedges, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper and bake, skin side down at 400ºF for about 25 to 35 minutes, or until tender on the inside and lightly browned on the outside).