If getting healthy or trimming down are goals of yours for the New Year, we are here to help you get on the fast track to healthy eating in 2015. We created this mix-and-match meal plan with registered dietitian Julie Upton, MS, RD, of Appetite for Health, that allows you to pick the meals you want. We've even included healthy options for when you are out on the go from popular restaurants like Starbucks and Panera.
The meal plan is designed to provide meals rich in filling protein and fiber and limit added sugars to keep you satisfied. Choose any breakfast, lunch, and dinner daily with one or two snacks for a total daily caloric intake of 1,600 to 1,800 calories. There are also "free" foods that Julie suggests your supplement with these items. "If you feel like you're not getting enough nutrition or feel like you're starving, enjoy these low-calorie foods as part of your meals or snacks to help keep you satisfied." Here's the breakdown of calories by meals:
- Breakfasts are around 400 calories.
- Lunches are between 400 and 500 calories.
- Dinner are approximately 500 to 550 calories.
- Snacks are between 150 and 200 calories.
Most active women will lose about a pound per week on this plan.
If you are petite (less than 5' 4" tall) or exercise fewer than 30 minutes a day, Julie suggests that you start the plan with one daily snack and use the "free" foods list for your second snack — you can have unlimited amounts of these foods.