Strict Diet Plan For Weight Loss


It’s time to tell you the secrets to strict diet plan for weight loss. Yes, there are secrets like “eat a bagel” and “tell people it’s okay” but you need more specifics than that. You need a blueprint for success that can be used immediately. You need yo-yo diets and half hearted plans out of your life. You need my guide to help you with your strict diet plan for weight loss .

Table of Contents

Diet for rapid weight loss

Very low-calorie diet; VLCD; Low-calorie diet; LCD; Very low energy diet; Weight loss – rapid weight loss; Overweight – rapid weight loss; Obesity – rapid weight loss; Diet – rapid weight loss; Intermittent fasting – rapid weight loss; Time-restricted eating – rapid weight loss

Rapid weight loss diet is a type of diet in which you lose more than 2 pounds (1 kilogram, kg) a week over several weeks. To lose weight this quickly you eat very few calories.

How It Works

These diets are most often chosen by people with obesity who want to lose weight quickly. These diets are less commonly recommended by health care providers. People on these diets should be followed closely by a provider. Rapid weight loss may not be safe for some people to do on their own.

These diets are only to be used for a short time and are usually not recommended for more than several weeks. The types of rapid weight loss diets are described below.

People who lose weight very quickly are much more likely to regain the weight over time than people who lose weight slowly through less drastic diet changes and physical activity. The weight loss is a bigger stress for the body, and the hormonal response to the weight loss is much stronger. The hormonal response is one of the reasons that weight loss slows down over time and also why weight gain occurs when the diet is stopped or relaxed.

Very Low-Calorie Diet (VLCD)

On a VLCD, you may have as few as 800 calories a day and may lose up to 3 to 5 pounds (1.5 to 2 kg) week. Most VLCDs use meal replacements, such as formulas, soups, shakes, and bars instead of regular meals. This helps ensure that you get all of the nutrients you need each day.

A VLCD is only recommended for adults who have obesity and need to lose weight for health reasons. These diets are often used before weight-loss surgery. You should only use a VLCD with the help of your provider. Most experts do not recommend using a VLCD for more than 12 weeks.

Low-Calorie Diet (LCD)

These diets usually allow about 1,000 to 1,200 calories a day for women and 1,200 to 1,600 calories a day for men. An LCD is a better choice than a VLCD for most people who want to lose weight quickly. But you should still be supervised by a provider. You will not lose weight as fast with an LCD, but you can lose just as much weight with a VLCD.

An LCD may use a mix of meal replacements and regular food. This makes it easier to follow than a VLCD.

Time-Restricted Eating

This diet strategy is becoming more popular. It is often compared to fasting, but the two strategies are slightly different. Time-restricted eating limits the number of hours per day that you can eat. A popular strategy is the 16:8. For this diet, you have to eat all of your meals during an 8 hour period, for example, 10 am to 6 pm. The rest of the time you cannot eat anything. There are some studies that this method can cause rapid weight loss, but there is little information so far about whether the weight loss is sustained.

Intermittent Fasting

Fasting is an ancient form of caloric restriction. It has become more popular recently. This is partly because some animal and human studies have shown benefits to fasting for people with diabetes and obesity. There are many different fasting regimens and it is unclear which may be the best. One of the most popular is the 5:2 system. This involves 2 days a week of fasting or VLCD and 5 days a week of eating your normal diet. Diets that incorporate fasting can cause rapid weight loss.

Fad Diets

Some fad diets also severely limit calories to achieve rapid weight loss. In some cases, these diets are not safe. In most cases, these diets are not sustainable for long enough to cause long-term weight loss. Once you stop the diet, you are at risk for regaining the weight if you return to your old eating habits. For most people, it is safest to choose a diet in which you lose a 1/2 pound to 1 pound (225 grams to 500 grams) a week.

The Role of Exercise

Rapid weight loss is more about cutting calories than exercising. Talk with your provider about what type of exercise you should do while you are on this type of diet. Your provider may suggest waiting until you are on a more long-term diet to start exercising.

Health Benefits

Rapid weight loss diet is usually for people who have health problems because of obesity. For these people, losing a lot of weight quickly can help improve:

  • Diabetes
  • High cholesterol
  • High blood pressure

Possible Health Concerns

You should only follow one of these diets with the help of your provider. Losing more than 1 or 2 pounds (0.5 to 1 kg) a week is not safe for most people. It can cause you to lose muscle, water, and bone density. Rapid weight loss can also cause some side effects including:

  • Gallstones
  • Gout
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Nausea

People who lose weight quickly are also more likely to gain back the weight quickly. This can lead to other health problems.

In general, a rapid weight loss diet is not safe for children. It may also not be safe for teens, pregnant women or older adults unless a provider recommends it.

If you have a health condition, it is a good idea to talk with your provider before starting this or any diet plan to lose weight.

The Military Diet: A Beginner’s Guide to the 3-Day Plan

Ice cream and hot dogs are allowed on the Military Diet.Tatjana Zlatkovic/Stocksy; Clique Images/Stocksy

Some say the popular diet can help you drop weight fast, but keeping it off might be harder. In fact, fad diets like the Military Diet may even lead you to gain even more weight than you initially lost.

What Is the Military Diet?

The Military Diet is an extremely low-calorie diet designed to help you lose a lot of weight in a short amount of time. In a nutshell, Julie Rothenberg, RD, a licensed dietitian-nutritionist and owner of JuliENERGYnutrition in Miami, explains, “The three-day Military Diet markets itself to lose 10 pounds (lbs) in one week.”

Still, the Military Diet isn’t associated with the military at all. It also doesn’t follow the principles used in the actual military. In fact, as one 2011 review stated, “Nutrition and the military are fundamentally entwined.” (1) Historically, a lack of a balanced diet has led to poor military performance.

Instead of military-based nutritional practices, the Military Diet requires persistence when the going gets tough. There are numerous risks associated with such restrictive diets, including gaining all the weight back — and then some — once you’re finally done with the program.

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How Does This Weight-Loss Program Work?

The Military Diet is a strict, short-term plan that requires drastically reducing your caloric intake. The restrictions work over a three-day period, and then you take four days off from the diet. Some users participate in the Military Diet on an occasional basis, while others might do three days on and four days off for a month at a time. In fact, the Military Diet website touts that people who follow the plan for 30 days could “lose up to 30 lbs,” though registered dietitians strongly advise against doing so. (More on that later.)

When you think of the word “military,” you might think of a strict regimen that involves both mental and physical strength, but there’s no boot camp required with this type of diet. Surprisingly, there’s no exercise requirement whatsoever. Proponents do encourage daily walks, though.

Rather than calories burned, the Military Diet focuses on significant calorie deficits by cutting out the amount and types of food that you eat. The website for the plan recommends consuming between 1,100 and 1,400 calories each day for the first three days of the plan

Proponents of the Military Diet claim that the three-days-on-four-days-off method is effective enough to help you lose weight without interfering with your metabolism — a problem seen on longer-term, very restrictive diets. Still, this is no guarantee that you won’t succumb to food cravings at some point during the three days you’re on the diet.

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Who Should Try and Who Should Avoid the Military Diet?

The Military Diet recommends this eating plan for “emergency situations” where people “need to shed unwanted pounds quickly.” It only seems to work for people who are able to stick with few calories and fight the hunger and low energy that comes with it.

On the plus side, the Military Diet is relatively affordable because you’re eating real foods. You don’t have to buy any processed foods, beverages, or supplements.

But once the low-calorie period is over, the effects of eating more calories are likely to come back with a vengeance. “Personally, a low-calorie diet is nothing new, and also is just not realistic or sustainable,” Rothenberg argues. For most people, adhering to the diet is extremely difficult.

Plus, if you’re over the age of 50, extremely low-calorie diets could be dangerous, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK).

An Acceptable Food List for the Military Diet Plan

Follow this list of foods on the Military Diet:

Foods You Can Eat on the Military Diet

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Bread (whole-wheat), in small amounts
  • Carrots
  • Cheeses (cottage and cheddar), in small amounts
  • Coffee
  • Eggs
  • Grapefruit
  • Greek yogurt
  • Green beans
  • Hot dogs
  • Ice cream
  • Meat
  • Peanut butter
  • Saltine crackers
  • Tea
  • Tuna

Foods You Can’t Eat on the Military Diet

  • Artificial sweeteners (except for stevia)
  • Butter
  • Creamers
  • Fruit juices
  • Milk
  • Oranges
  • Sugar (except for ice cream)
  • Yogurt (except for Greek varieties)

You can also follow the Military Diet if you’re a vegetarian or vegan by substituting meats with beans or tofu.

It’s important to note that many of the recommended foods are low in fiber. That goes against most standard advice for weight loss. For example, the American Heart Association says to include high-fiber foods to help keep you full without extra calories.

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The Potential Risks and Benefits of Trying the Military Diet for Weight Loss

There is no rigorous research on the Military Diet itself, but experts speculate that these types of diets — those that are restrictive and low-calorie — can present both benefits and risks for your health.


The greatest short-term risks associated with the Military Diet are binge-eating (because of over-restricting) and constipation. “This one is on the lower end of fiber, and mainly consists of sources of soluble fiber, like bananas, that will stop up bowel movements,” Rothenberg says.

When restricting certain foods, you also put yourself at risk of losing out on nutrients, which is something a multivitamin can’t fully replace. (4) The Military Diet recommends as few as 1,100 calories a day, but most experts say that people need at least 1,200 calories a day to meet bare minimum nutritional needs.

Another concern: Diets with severe calorie restrictions like those touted by the Military Diet have also been linked to binge eating and eating disorders like anorexia. And in a large 2016 study from the American Academy of Pediatrics that tracked 14- and 15-year-olds, those practicing diets with severe calorie restrictions were 18 times more likely to develop an eating disorder than those who did not diet.


Perhaps the biggest benefit of this type of diet is the potential for weight loss, given that currently over 70 percent of the United States population is either overweight or obese, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The CDC reports that people who lose just 5 to 10 percent of their body weight will experience improved health. The catch here is that exercise and permanent lifestyle changes must be involved as well for such effects to stick — and there’s no evidence the Military Diet leads to sustainable healthy habits that result in maintainable weight loss.

Despite More Dieting, Americans Still Aren’t Losing Weight

Losing weight with a diet is easier said than done, though. One 2019 study found that dieters were more likely to gain weight over long periods of time than those who do not diet for weight loss. (5) These results were based on an 11-year-long study of 2,785 Finnish women, some of whom were self-identified “dieters.”

A 3-Day Sample Meal Plan for the Military Diet

The following is a sample meal plan from the Military Diet:

Day 1

Breakfast 1 slice of toast with up to 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1 cup of black coffee or tea with caffeine, and ½ grapefruit

Lunch 1 slice of toast with up to ½ cup of white tuna fish, 1 cup of caffeinated coffee or tea

Dinner 3 ounces meat (any type you prefer), 1 small apple, ½ banana, and 1 cup green beans

Dessert 1 cup vanilla ice cream

Day 2

Breakfast 1 slice of toast with 1 egg and ½ banana

Lunch 5 saltine crackers, 1 egg (hardboiled or however you prefer it), and 1 cup cottage cheese

Dinner 2 hot dogs (no buns), 1 cup broccoli, ½ cup carrots, and the other half of the banana

“The middle day does include 1 cup of broccoli — which is a source of insoluble fiber — but likely not enough,” Rothenberg adds.

Day 3

Breakfast 5 saltine crackers, 1 apple, and 1 slice of cheddar cheese

Lunch 1 piece of toast and 1 egg

Dinner ½ banana and 1 cup of tuna

Dessert 1 cup vanilla ice cream

Strict adherence to the diet is recommended to achieve the optimal results. It’s important to note that you can’t have snacks — instead, you may “borrow” a food from one of your meals during snack time, but then eat less at that particular meal.

The Remaining Four Days of the Week

While this eating plan consists of “four days off,” that doesn’t mean your eating plan will fall by the wayside. In fact, the Military Diet offers its own recommendations via a “four-day-off menu plan” that consists of 1,500 calories a day (slightly up from 1,100 to 1,400 during the initial three days). You are still restricted to the same food lists, but you can add two snacks into your day.

The Military Diet also recommends that you only eat up to 1,500 calories during these four days if you actually burn this amount in a given day. The plan recommends you figure out your estimated calories burned by multiplying your body weight by 12. (7) Just know that this formula is imperfect. The best way to determine calories burned is by accounting for your age, weight, height, gender, and physical activity level, notes the NIDDK.

Once you’ve cycled through the strict three days and slightly less restrictive four days of this diet plan, you have the option of starting over. However, experts do not recommend doing so.


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Extra Precautions to Take When Following the Military Diet

As with other types of extremely low-calorie diets, regaining the weight is almost guaranteed as soon as you stop the diet. “My own advice,” says Rothenberg: “Don’t compromise for a big event! That often leads to weight gain and binge eating. If you want to change your diet, change your lifestyle. Studies actually show that ‘safe weight loss’ results in 1 to 2 lbs per week only,” she says, citing recommendations from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. And even “safe” weight loss is still hard work, she adds. Fad diets like the Military Diet put you at risk of regaining weight that is lost from muscle and water in particular.

Rothenberg offers a more realistic approach to weight loss by recommending a balance of healthy carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fat for every meal. Finally, she suggests, “Eat when you are hungry and stop when you are full. I personally am an intuitive eater. I eat when I am hungry and I stop when I am full, and I eat foods that make me feel good. When I try to feel good, I end up making healthier food choices as opposed to when I am in ‘diet mode.’

Healthy Meal Plan For Weight Loss


You learn about lots of healthy, filling meals and snacks that can help you not only weigh less but also feel your very best.

Enjoy Salmon on the Healthy Meal Plan for Weight Loss

This healthy meal plan for weight loss includes all kinds of satisfying, hunger-curbing foods like Salmon with Sweet Chili Sauce, sweet potatoes, and hearty Italian-style soups.



Oranges or tangerines make a great snack on a healthy meal plan.
  • Oatmeal with Fresh or Frozen (No Sugar Added) FruitBy switching from a bowl of cold, dried cereal to one of hot whole-grain cereal and fruit, you’d take in approximately 100 fewer calories each day. That one simple change to your daily diet could help you drop about 10 pounds in one year. Plus, hot cereal has more “staying power.” It tends to fill you up better – and longer – than dried cereal.
  • Tea or CoffeeIf desired, add a little nonfat milk or soymilk and a packet of sugar substitute (a good choice is Splenda).

Mid-Morning Snack (enjoy only if hungry)

  • Veggie-Salsa Tortilla1 steamed 6-inch corn tortilla with fresh or grilled vegetables (such as onions, green bell peppers, and tomatoes) and no-added-salt salsa.Warm the tortilla between slightly moistened paper towels in the microwave for about 1 minute, then top with veggies and salsa; fold
  • 1 Navel Orange or 2 Tangerines


This Healthy Meal Plan for Weight Loss includes hearty soups.
  • 2 Cups Mixed Greens with 1 Cup of Other Veggies, Chopped, Dressed with Aged Balsamic VinegarFor your salads, break out of the lettuce-and-tomato box. All kinds of veggies – and fruit – can go into your salad. Try diced sweet potatoes, yellow squash, red bell peppers, cucumbers, red cabbage, red onions, and more.And always keep in mind that no oil, even so-called “good” ones, should be considered a weight-loss food. Coating your salad with oil can tally up as many calories as a scoop of premium ice cream.
  • Hearty Italian-Style White Bean SoupMake your own. It’s easy! From one 14-ounce can of no-salt-added cannelini beans, spoon out 2 tablespoons of beans. Puree the rest. In a medium nonstick pot, sauté 5 cloves of chopped garlic until translucent. Add 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth and 1 head of escarole, chopped, or a package of frozen chopped spinach. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Add pureed beans, red pepper flakes and black pepper, to taste, and cook 1 minute longer. Garnish with the beans you spooned out plus, if you desire, a little chopped red bell pepper. Refrigerate or freeze what you don’t eat for easy soup prep for a future lunch or dinner.

Mid-Afternoon Snack (enjoy only if hungry)

  • 6 Ounces of Nonfat Plain or No-Sugar-Added Yogurt with Your Choice of Berries Swirled ThroughoutEspecially popular among our guests at the Pritikin Longevity Center are Greek-style yogurts such as Oikos and Fage. So rich and creamy tasting! If you need a little sweetness to cut the tart flavor, simply add diced banana, or stir in 1 packet of Splenda
  • 1 AppleDesserts like yogurt and berries should be part of your healthy meal plan. You'll still lose weight!


  • SaladA gigantic Farmer’s Market-style salad with a variety of fresh seasonal produce and fresh herbs, such as fresh baby arugula and radicchio, and red wine vinegar sassed up with a little horseradish. Enjoy visiting your local Farmer’s Market every week and asking the vendors, “What’s new and tasty this week? What would make great ingredients for my salad?”
  • Salmon with Sweet Chili Sauce (3½ to 4 ounces When dining out and ordering fish, request that your fish not be salted or basted in calorie-dense ingredients like olive oil and butter. Healthier cooking options include steaming, broiling, or grilling.
  • Baked Potato with 2 Tablespoons Fat-Free Sour Cream and a Sprinkling of Chives or ScallionsContrary to popular belief, potatoes are a great food for helping you lose weight. It’s what we put on top of our potatoes – butter, cheese, and bacon bits – that turn them into waistline-busting foods.

Dessert (only if hungry)

  • Mixed Berries



Lose weight and still enjoy healthy options like egg-white omelets.
  • Egg White OmeletEgg white omelet stuffed with 1 cup of assorted grilled vegetables, such as onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and broccoli, and a dollop of nonfat ricotta cheese.
  • Hash BrownsIn a nonstick skillet misted with a little cooking oil spray, stir fry until brown diced baked potatoes with sliced onions, sliced green bell pepper, freshly ground black pepper, and paprika.
  • Bowl of Blueberries, Fresh or Frozen (No Sugar Added)
  • Tea or Hot Cocoa, if desiredYes! Cocoa can be part of a healthy meal plan for weight loss! For cocoa: Mix nonfat milk or soymilk, 1 tablespoon cocoa powder, and 1 packet of sugar substitute, such as Splenda (if desired).

Mid-Morning Snack (enjoy only if hungry)

  • Big Handful of GrapesLike vegetables, fruits are fabulous weight-loss foods because they’re “big” foods, that is, foods that are bulked up by lots of fiber and water. With “big” foods, you’ll be eating a lot of food (which will satisfy your hunger) but not a lot of calories.Here’s a great example: For the same number of calories that are in a handful of peanuts (about two ounces), you can eat 2½ pounds of strawberries (about five of those green boxes that strawberries come in.) Eating “big” foods like strawberries, salads, and other fruits and vegetables can prevent hunger from taking over and taking you places you don’t want to go


  • SaladBig salad of baby greens with Pritikin-Style Thousand Island Dressing, which has less than one-quarter the calories and sodium of regular Thousand Island Dressing. What a gift for your heart and waistline! To make dressing, combine thoroughly the following: ¾ cup plain fat-free Greek yogurt, ½ cup fat-free sour cream, ¾ cup unsweetened, low-sodium ketchup (good brand is Westbrae), ½ teaspoon oregano, and ½ teaspoon granulated garlic.Lose weight while still enjoying favorites like this healthy turkey sandwich.
  • Turkey SandwichSandwich of fresh roasted turkey breast (3½ to 4 ounces) with 2 slices of low-sodium, whole-grain bread with assorted veggies, like baby greens and sliced tomatoes. Smear the bread with 1 tablespoon of low-sodium stone-ground mustard.Did you know that bread and rolls are the No. 1 source of salt in the American diet, accounting for more than twice as much sodium as salty junk food like potato chips? That’s why it’s so important to look for low-sodium varieties of bread (a good brand is Food for Life).

Mid-Afternoon Snack (enjoy only if hungry)

  • Pear
  • Popcorn – air-popped or fat-free microwaveDid you know that it takes 2 quarts of air-popped popcorn to equal the calories in just 20 potato chips? Be sure to eat a piece of fruit with the popcorn to help improve its satiety value!

Healthy Veggie Burgers for Weight Loss


  • Veggie Burger on a Whole-Wheat Bun with Roasted Red Bell PeppersKeep stocked in your refrigerator or freezer a box of veggie burgers (look for low-sodium varieties). Veggie burgers are a much better choice for your waistline and heart than ground meat. Veggie patties have only about half the calories of regular red meat patties, and zero heart-hurting saturated fat. Plus, they’re so easy to cook – just one or two minutes in the microwave. While toasting your whole-wheat bun, take from your pantry a jar of roasted red bell peppers and top your veggie patty with a couple of luscious slices. Smear your bun with a little low-sodium Dijon mustard.
  • Steamed Fresh Vegetables1 or more cups (it’s hard to go overboard on fresh veggies!) of steamed fresh vegetables, such as asparagus, broccoli, and/or cauliflower, with lemon juice and sautéed garlic.

Dessert (only if hungry)

  • Fresh Berries1 cup fresh strawberries, plain or drizzled with 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar or Marsala wine



  • Hot Whole-Grain Cereal with BlueberriesHot whole-grain cereal, such as oatmeal, cracked wheat, barley or polenta, made with 1 cup nonfat milk or soymilk and 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries.There are many great choices of whole-grain hot cereals; just make sure you buy one with no added sugar or salt.
  • Tea or CoffeeIf desired, add a little nonfat milk or soymilk and 1 packet of sugar substitute (a good choice is Splenda).

Midmorning Snack (enjoy only if hungry)

  • 1 Cup Diced Watermelon or Other Seasonal Fresh Fruit
  • 1 Snack Bag of Baby Carrots


  • Vegetarian ChiliLook for fat-free low-sodium varieties, or make your own
  • 1 Ear of CornDid you know that four ears of corn has the same number of calories as one medium serving of French fries? (The corn tastes better, too.)

Mid-Afternoon Snack (enjoy only if hungry)

  • Cottage Cheese and Fruit½ cup 1% no-salt-added cottage cheese with ½ cup to 1 cup fresh diced fruit, or use pop-top canned fruits packed in juice or water, no sugar added.


  • Spinach SaladA big salad of baby spinach and other fresh veggies, such as sliced carrots and tomatoes, topped with your favorite canned no-salt-added beans. Toss salad with about ½ teaspoon of wasabi (to taste) and 3 to 4 tablespoons of rice vinegar.Look for no-salt-added varieties of canned beans since rinsing the beans through a colander removes only 30% of the added sodium.
  • Chicken with Cherry Tomatoes
  • Brown RiceGive your brown rice a nice savory spin by adding freshly minced garlic. At the last minute, add in fresh herbs like thyme and Italian parsley and just about any vegetable you have on hand, like chopped cucumbers, celery, onions, and tomatoes.

Dessert (only if hungry)

  • Frozen Yogurt¾ cup frozen strawberry nonfat sugar-free yogurt topped with sliced fresh or frozen unsweetened strawberries



  • 1 Cup Fresh Fruit
  • 1 Cup Nonfat Plain or Nonfat, No-Sugar-Added Yogurt
  • ½ Whole-Grain Bagel, Toasted. Top with Fat-Free Cream Cheese or Nonfat Ricotta Cheese and Fresh Sliced Strawberries
  • Tea or CoffeeIf desired, add a little nonfat milk or soymilk and 1 packet of sugar substitute (a good choice is Splenda).

Mid-Morning Snack (only if hungry)

  • 1 to 2 Cups of Veggie-Rich, Bean-Rich Low-Sodium Soup, such as…Red Bean and Leftover Veggie SoupWhile there are probably plenty of pre-made bean and veggie soup options that just need a few minutes to heat through on the stovetop, making your own soup is really easy—and a great idea for your health. Homemade soups are much lower in sodium – about 100 milligrams or less per 2-cup serving. By contrast, 2 cups of many canned soups contain a blood-pressure-busting 1,200 milligrams or more, a worrisome amount considering that health experts recommend consuming no more than 1,500 milligrams of sodium for the entire day. This is also a great way to use up all those leftover vegetables in your crisper—pretty much anything works in this soup.Directions:
    Put into a soup pot 1 can of no-salt-added red beans (drained), 4 cups low-sodium vegetable juice like Knudsen’s Very Veggie Low-Sodium Juice, 2 to 3 teaspoons oregano or Italian-style seasoning, and 2 cups of any veggies you already have sitting in the refrigerator bin, such as carrots, celery, and onions. Rough-chop the vegetables into bite-size pieces and bring to a boil, simmering until vegetables are crisp-tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. If desired, top with a tablespoon of fat-free sour cream.


  • Tuna SandwichPut together a sandwich of tuna (canned – preferably low-sodium, light, and packed in water) with 1 tablespoon nonfat mayo or nonfat plain yogurt, chopped celery, and onions, topped with baby spinach or peppery arugula, on 100% whole-wheat bread (low-sodium)
  • Carrot and Pineapple Salad

Mid-Afternoon Snack (only if hungry)

  • Sweet PotatoEnjoy the rich flavor of sweet potatoes? While home on Sundays, cook up a batch. Wrap each one in foil and bake for about an hour at 425 degrees F, or until their luscious, sweet juices start to ooze out into the foil. At work the following week, just pop one in the microwave for a quick warm-up. They’re loaded with taste, so they don’t need any extra toppings. If you want a little zest, swirl in a teaspoon or two of no-salt-added Dijon mustard or a quarter cup of plain nonfat Greek yogurt.


  • Salad with Honey Mustard DressingA big salad with a variety of lettuces, plus tomatoes, cucumber, and any other veggies you have in the fridge, including varieties you’ve never thought of adding to salads but actually taste delicious, like sliced fennel.Honey Mustard Salad Dressing
  • Curried Quinoa and TofuAh, quinoa. This healthy, rich-tasting whole grain/seed has so many nutritional riches that it puts refined grains like white rice to shame. Tofu is the perfect sidekick because it’s both waistline-friendly (per bite, tofu tends to have about one-third the calories of meat and poultry) and heart-friendly (tofu has no artery-damaging saturated fat or cholesterol).Directions: Rinse 1 cup of quinoa in cold water. In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa with 1 tablespoon curry powder and 1 teaspoon turmeric. Add 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until the water is absorbed—about 15 minutes. Stir in 1 cup shredded carrots and 1 cup cubed firm tofu. Makes about 4 one-cup servings. Refrigerate remaining servings for an easy, healthy snack or meal later in the week.

Dessert (only if hungry)

  • Berry MousseBlend together until smooth and creamy your favorite fresh berries, silken tofu, Splenda (if needed), and a little vanilla extract.



  • Orange-Vanilla OatmealThink oatmeal is boring? You haven’t tried Chef Anthony’s Orange-Vanilla Oatmeal, always a favorite among guests at Pritikin. It’s a great meal for losing weight, and starting your day.
  • Tea or CoffeeIf desired, add a little nonfat milk or soymilk and 1 packet of sugar substitute (a good choice is Splenda).

Mid-Morning Snack (only if hungry)

  • Carrots and HummusOpen up a big bag of baby carrots and dip them into your freshly made no-oil-added, no-salt-added hummus. Simply whip up in your food processor a can of no-salt-added chickpeas/garbanzo beans, fresh tomatoes, lemon juice, garlic, a jalapeno pepper (if you like your hummus hot and spicy), and fresh herbs like cilantro and dill. Add a little water, if necessary, until the desired consistency is achieved.


  • Tomato Cream Soup
  • Butter Beans With Lemon and ScallionsButter beans are as delicious as they sound: big, meaty and filling, with a mild flavor that works well with bright, assertive flavors like lemon and scallions.1 can no-salt-added butter beans
    ½ cup chopped scallions (also known as green onions)
    Juice from half a lemon
    Red chili pepper flakes, to taste
    2 to 3 cups chopped fresh Romaine lettuce and/or baby arugulaIn a medium mixing bowl, combine butter beans, scallions, lemon juice, and pepper flakes. Spoon over lettuce greens.

Mid-Afternoon Snack (enjoy only if hungry)

  • 1 to 2 Cups of Fresh FruitTake advantage of grocery store salad bars and pick up containers of pre-cut fresh fruit like melon.


  • Easy Tangy SalmonSear, skin side up, a 4-ounce cut of salmon in a hot nonstick skillet and cook until well browned on the bottom, 3 to 5 minutes. Turn and cook till slightly translucent in center, 1 to 3 minutes. Transfer salmon to serving dish. To skillet add ¼ teaspoon grated orange peel, 3 ounces orange juice, and ½ cup white wine. Boil until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves. Spoon sauce over salmon.
  • Soba Noodles With Spicy CucumbersCooking up soba (the Japanese word for buckwheat) noodles instead of white-flour noodles is a great way to cut calories. A cup of soba has just 113 calories; a cup of white pasta, about 200. Plus, soba noodles are full of fiber, protein, and B vitamins.Combine in large bowl:
    2 large cucumbers, peeled, seeds removed, and sliced
    ½ tablespoon paprika
    Pinch cayenne pepper
    Pinch black peppercorns, freshly ground
    ½ cup fresh lemon juice
    Let cucumber mixture sit for a few minutes while you cook 8 ounces of soba noodles according to package directions. After cooking and draining sobas, toss in bowl with cucumber mixture and gently blend.
  • 1 to 2 Cups Sautéed SpinachPour a 6-ounce bag of pre-washed baby spinach in a hot wok sizzling with a small amount of water or white wine, 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, and minced garlic. Stir spinach till wilted.

Dessert (only if hungry)

  • Fruit SmoothieSmoothie made in blender with 1 cup nonfat plain yogurt, ¾ cup crushed ice, ½ banana, and fresh or frozen berries.

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