Why diet isn’t a diet anymore? Because it gets fat and skinny in opposite sides of the scale. Here’s some easy healthy meals to lose weight fast.
Lose weight fast with these healthy eating tips. Eating right can help you lose weight, feel well, and live longer. Follow our expert healthy diet plan that includes lots of recipes and weight loss tips to not only lose weight fast but to also keep it off in the long run
Easy Healthy Meals To Lose Weight Fast
Weight loss meal plans can be complicated to put together on your own. Of course, you can follow a meal plan to lose weight that you see in a magazine or online. But you never know if the diet plan is based on scientific evidence. Following a plan created by an expert nutritionist or dietitian is usually the smartest, safest choice. These downloadable schedules and simple tips can help you reach and maintain your goal weight.
Choosing a Weight Loss Meal Plan
Before you choose the best low-calorie diet plan, it’s important to know how many calories you need to eat each day. The number can vary depending on your size, sex, and activity level. Weight loss does not occur without a calorie deficit, which means you need to burn more calories than you consume.1
Many commercial weight-loss plans limit women to 1,200 calories per day.2 The number might be higher, however, if the woman is physically active. This is based on total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). For example, you might see that your weight loss calorie goal is 1,200 calories per day. But, for example, if you choose to burn an extra 300 calories per day through exercise, you can eat 1,500 calories and likely still lose weight.3
Men are often assigned to a 1,500- to 1,800-calorie daily diet plan.2 Again, size and activity level play a role in the number of calories a man should eat. The ideal number for you may be much higher if you are active, especially if your job is mostly on your feet and you also participate in regular intentional exercise.
The body does not always work like a calculator and metabolic adaptations to weight loss occur during the losing process. You will likely need to adjust your calorie deficit over time to continue seeing results.4
Portion Size As an Alternative Method
Instead of weighing and measuring everything to count calories, you can use portion sizes to moderate what you are eating. If you are eating a certain portion size currently and maintaining your weight, remove a little from each of your regular portions to reduce calories. If this does not lead to weight loss, remove a little more.
Estimate Portion Sizes Using Your Hands
Each of the following equals one serving size. You may need more than one serving per meal, depending on your sex, weight, activity level, and other factors.
Protein: 1 palm
Carbohydrates: 1 cupped hand
Fats: 1 thumb
Vegetables: 1 fist
Free Meal Plans for Weight Loss
Below is a sample of a 7-day meal plan you could use for weight loss. Modify serving sizes and add snacks to suit your specific calorie needs. This is a sample only and there may be meals that suit your dietary needs and preferences better.
- Day 1: Granola, Greek yogurt, mixed berries; chicken breast, spring greens, apple, walnuts, honey mustard dressing, whole-grain roll; whole grain pasta, marinara sauce, extra-lean ground turkey, green beans
- Day 2: Egg omelet with mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, grapefruit, toast; chili with beans, cornbread, side green salad; halibut, lemon, green beans, roasted potatoes
- Day 3: Egg and ham breakfast burrito with cheese, spinach, orange juice; whole wheat sandwich with tuna, Greek yogurt, mayo, arugula, side green salad; sirloin steak, broccoli, baked sweet potato
- Day 4: Almond flour waffles with peanut butter, banana, Greek yogurt; turkey noodle soup with vegetables, whole-grain roll, side green salad, apple; baked chicken parmesan, green beans, rice pilaf
- Day 5: Oatmeal with flaxseed, egg white, berries, almond butter; sirloin steak salad with blue cheese, walnuts, strawberries, cup of tomato soup; lean ground beef enchiladas with whole wheat tortilla, lettuce, tomato, hot peppers, broccoli
- Day 6: Protein pancakes, mixed berries, cottage cheese; baked sweet potato filled with shredded chicken, chickpeas, tahini yogurt sauce, cucumber and tomato salad; fish tacos with corn tortillas, cabbage slaw; side green salad
- Day 7: Scrambled eggs, multi-grain toast, sauteed asparagus; chicken salad made with Greek yogurt, mayo grapes, slivered almonds, apple on whole-wheat bread, side spinach salad; salmon, dill sauce, roasted potatoes, green beans
Alternatively, if you know how many calories you plan to eat each day, you could choose one of these meal plans for weight loss. Keep in mind that these calorie-per-day plans could be too low for you if you are active, are a larger individual, have a substantial amount of muscle mass, or have other factors. Check with your doctor to determine whether a low-calorie diet is right for you.
For instance, 1,200 calorie diets are typically reserved for inactive females; they are inappropriate for most males or for active people of any gender. Speak to your doctor before beginning any new diet plan.
- 1,200 Calorie Per Day Meal Plan to Lose Weight
- 1,500 Calorie Per Day Meal Plan to Lose Weight
- 1,700 Calorie Per Day Meal Plan to Lose Weight
Planning Your Meals
Once you’ve chosen a meal plan, then it’s time to schedule and track your meals. If you plan each meal in advance and have foods ready to go, you’ll be more likely to stick to your diet.
Downloadable Weekly Planner
Use a printable weekly weight loss meal planner form to schedule your meals.
The meal plan you’ve chosen above will provide what to eat, but you’ll still need to decide when to eat. Is there an ideal time to eat each meal during the day? Not really. For weight loss, the number of calories you eat each day matters more than when you eat them.5
Of course, that doesn’t mean meal timing doesn’t matter at all. Try to plan meals no more than five hours apart. Then schedule a light snack in between each meal. That way, you won’t get so hungry that you overeat or go for unhealthy choices. Use your intuition, follow your own personal schedule, and listen to your own needs as your guide.
Tips for Meal Planning
Find weight-loss success by following a few strategies that’ll make meal prepping easier. By prepping ahead of time, it’s easier to eat healthfully and therefore, lose weight.
- Schedule time to plan. Set aside 30 minutes each week to plan your meals and create a shopping list. Schedule your meal planning time just like you schedule all other important events in your life. This is also the best time to schedule your workouts so you’re sure that you get enough exercise to lose weight faster.
- Shop and cook. After you’ve planned healthy meals, then it’s time to go shopping. Many people do this immediately after they fill out their meal plan so that they are fully stocked for a week of healthy eating. Then you can organize your refrigerator with diet-friendly foods.
- Post your plan. Your healthy weight loss plan won’t do any good if it’s sitting in a drawer. So once you’ve filled out your plan, post it in a place where you see it every day. It will serve as a reminder of your food choices and your commitment to reach a healthy weight.
- Prep foods in advance. After dinner, in the evening, lay out the foods you’ll eat for breakfast so they are ready to go when you wake up. Then, pack your lunch and snacks for the next day. Finally, do any meal prep for the next night’s healthy dinner so that it’s easy to throw together.
Additional Weight Loss Tips
Weight loss is about more than following a meal plan or a specific calorie count. Exercise is advisable for the best results, to help create a calorie deficit that does not come only from limiting food intake as well as (and most importantly), all of the other benefits that come from being active such as reduced risks of disease, healthy metabolism, stronger muscles and bones, longer life span, and healthier heart and lungs.6
It is vital to consume enough calories with a focus on nutrient-dense foods so that you can fuel your daily activities and perform at your best mentally and physically. A slow and steady rate of weight loss is easier psychologically as well as physically and is easier to maintain.7
A Word From Verywell
Keep in mind that the first time that you sit down and plan meals to lose weight the process will take a little longer. But once you have a system in place, you’ll breeze through the ritual—you might even start to enjoy it. Getting organized feels good and reaching your weight loss goals feels even better. So, take enough time to follow through with the prep steps to get used to your diet plan and stay on track.
6 Easy Dinners for Weight Loss You’ll Want to Make Forever
These no-fuss, headache-free recipes use fewer ingredients and fewer steps for a delicious, weeknight-friendly dinner. Each recipe has fewer than 575 calories and at least 6 grams of fiber per serving, so you can meet your weight loss nutrition goals and still have a flavorful, filling meal tonight. Recipes like our Toaster-Oven Tostadas and Two-Cheese Fusilli with Marinated Tomatoes are simple but tasty dishes you’ll return to again and again.
Mediterranean Chickpea Quinoa Bowl
Quinoa and chickpeas pack this vegetarian grain bowl with plenty of plant-based protein. Whip up a batch of these Mediterranean meals and pack in containers with lids to stash in the fridge for easy, healthy grab & go lunches all week long.
Green Goddess Salad with Chickpeas
In this cucumber, tomato, Swiss cheese and chickpea salad recipe, a healthy green goddess dressing is made from avocado, buttermilk and herbs. The extra dressing is delicious served with grilled vegetables.
Would you believe us if we said you can have restaurant-style tostadas at home in just 15 minutes? It’s no problem! Simply layer black beans and Cheddar onto corn tortillas and toast in the toaster oven.
Two-Cheese Fusilli with Marinated Tomatoes
In this healthy vegetarian pasta recipe, using the tastiest possible ingredients is key. That’s why we opt for the richer flavor of whole-milk ricotta over part-skim. Pair with a big green salad and a bottle of chilled rosé for a summer meal on the deck.
Vegetable Weight-Loss Soup
A big bowl of this veggie-packed minestrone will leave you satisfied for hours without consuming a lot of calories–plus it’s an easy way to boost your vegetable servings for the day. Top with a dollop of pesto before devouring this delicious skinny vegetable soup.