Weight-Loss Meal Plan: Lose 10 lbs in 6 Weeks
Lose weight with help from our sensible but delicious meal plan
Healthy eating for weight loss
When it comes to shedding weight, eating sensibly is the trump card. To lose weight, you need to take in fewer calories than you burn up. This plan is designed to help you drop 10 pounds in six weeks when paired with our Weight-Loss Workout Plan. That’s just over 1.5 pounds per week, which is a healthy weight-loss rate. For a 150 lb. woman, that means sticking to a total weekly calorie count of 1,400 to 1,600 daily.
To figure out how many calories you need each day in order to lose weight, use a calorie counter and enter your weight, height and level of physical activity. Then use the calorie counts provided for each of the meals and snacks in this plan to help you stick to the daily amount that’s right for you.
Mix and match these recipes over six weeks, and you’ll see that eating for weight loss can still tickle your taste buds. Bonus: The recipes are filled with nutritional over-achievers.
Calorie goal: 300-350
With a balance of protein, healthy fats and nutrient-rich carbs like fruit and whole grains, these recipes will kick-start a day of healthy eating.
Research suggests that consuming protein-packed eggs for breakfast can keep you feeling full so you’re less likely to overeat later in the day.
Serves two. Per serving: 329 calories, 15 g protein, 16 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 35 g carbohydrates, 10 g fibre, 216 mg cholesterol, 645 mg sodium
Get the recipe: Egg Wraps
Oat Cocoa Smoothie
A recent Canadian study found that overweight women who exercised regularly and followed a high-dairy (and calorie-restricted) diet for four months lost fat and gained 1 1/2 pounds of calorie-burning lean body mass. Milk and other dairy products may help regulate appetite, and its protein can build muscle.
Serves one. 350 calories, 19 g protein, 5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 60 g carbohydrates, 7 g fibre, 6 mg cholesterol, 177 mg sodium
Get the recipe: Oat Cocoa Smoothie
Quinoa Porridge with Vanilla Yogurt
Deliciously thick and creamy Greek yogurt contains about twice the hunger-quelling protein as traditional yogurt. To cut back on calories, select plain and add vanilla extract or other flavouring.
Serves two. Per serving: 340 calories, 16 g protein, 9 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 51 g carbohydrates, 7 g fibre, 0 mg cholesterol, 5 mg sodium
Get the recipe: Quinoa Porridge with Vanilla Yogurt
More breakfast ideas
1 frozen whole-grain waffle, toasted and topped with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) almond butter, 1/2 cup (125 mL) low-fat ricotta cheese and 1/2 cup sliced strawberries.
Serves one. 348 calories, 19 g protein, 19 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 31 g carbohydrates, 3 g fibre, 45 mg cholesterol, 526 mg sodium
Oats Plus an Egg
1/3 cup (75 mL) oats cooked with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) raisins and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) cinnamon. Then have a hard-boiled egg.
Serves one. 323 calories, 16 g protein, 9 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 47 g carbohydrates, 7 g fibre, 212 mg cholesterol, 65 mg sodium
Protein Fruit Cup
3/4 cup (175 mL) reduced-fat cottage cheese stirred with 1/2 cup (125 mL) cubed mango, 2 Tbsp (30 mL) chopped nuts, 1 tsp (5 mL) grated orange rind and 1/2 tsp (2 mL) allspice.
Serves one. 337 calories, 27 g protein, 15 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 28 g carbohydrates, 5 g fibre, 7 mg cholesterol, 691 mg sodium
Calorie goal: 350-400
Lunch is a time to load up on lean proteins and fibre-rich foods such as vegetables and beans to help keep energy levels up and fend off afternoon cravings for vending-machine fare. Try making the soup and salad recipes on Sundays to set you up for a workweek of healthy mid-day meals-the flavours only get better with time.
Chickpea Pecan Salad
Scientists in Spain found that a diet rich in legumes such as chickpeas can increase fat oxidation, helping to spur weight loss. Plus, one cup (250 mL) delivers a whopping 11 grams of hunger-quashing fibre.
Serves six. Per serving: 345 calories, 12 g protein, 17 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 38 g carbohydrates, 9 g fibre, 22 mg cholesterol, 773 mg sodium
Get the recipe: Chickpea Pecan Salad
Smoked Salmon Sandwiches
A number of studies show that the fibre in rye bread can suppress your appetite, helping to keep cravings at bay. When buying rye bread, make sure the first ingredient is whole rye flour, not refined wheat flour.
Serves four. Per serving: 391 calories, 15 g protein, 10 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 63 g carbohydrates, 9 g fibre, 28 mg cholesterol, 1,195 mg sodium
Get the recipe: Smoked Salmon Sandwiches
Nutty Pear & Goat Cheese Wraps
Though nuts are high in calories, recent Harvard studies found women who regularly consumed nut products were at a lower risk of weight gain than those who did not. A synergy of nutrients and fibre may be why nuts can help in the battle of the bulge.
Serves four. Per serving: 396 calories, 11 g protein, 20 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 47 g carbohydrates, 5 g fibre, 8 mg cholesterol, 528 mg sodium
Get the recipe: Nutty Pear & Goat Cheese Wraps
Green Tea Chicken Soup
Antioxidants in green tea may inhibit the absorption of fat. Get an extra dose by sipping calorie-free green tea a couple of times during the workday.
Serves four. Per serving: 381 calories, 45 g protein, 12 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 21 g carbohydrates, 5 g fibre, 95 mg cholesterol, 390 mg sodium
Get the recipe: Green Tea Chicken Soup
More lunch ideas
Chicken Pesto Pitas
Toss 1 cup (250 mL) chopped cooked chicken or turkey breast with 2 Tbsp (30 mL) pesto. Stuff into two whole-wheat pita halves with a shredded carrot and a handful salad greens.
Serves two. Per serving: 365 calories, 15 g protein, 19 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 36 g carbohydrates, 5 g fibre, 31 mg cholesterol, 700 mg sodium
Tomato Bean Soup
Cook diced onion in a saucepan with a little cooking spray for five minutes. Add minced garlic and fresh ginger, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) curry powder, 1 Tbsp dried oregano, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) paprika, and salt and pepper to taste; heat one minute. Add 4 cups (1 L) low-sodium vegetable broth, a 227-mL can tomato sauce and two 426-mL cans kidney beans (drained and rinsed); simmer 30 minutes. Garnish with cilantro.
Serves four. Per serving: 229 calories, 12 g protein, 2 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 44 g carbohydrates, 14 g fibre, 0 mg cholesterol, 540 mg sodium
In a small bowl, whisk together 2 Tbsp (30 mL) olive oil, juice of 1/2 lemon, 2 minced garlic cloves, and salt, pepper and red chili flakes to taste. In a large bowl, toss together 3 cups (750 mL) cooked quinoa, 1 cup (250 mL) halved cherry tomatoes, 1/2 chopped cucumber, 2 handfuls chopped parsley, a small handful fresh mint, 2 sliced green onions and 1/3 cup (75 mL) dried cranberries. Toss quinoa mixture with the dressing.
Serves four. Per serving: 281 calories, 7 g protein, 10 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 43 g carbohydrates, 6 g fibre, 0 mg cholesterol, 22 mg sodium
Calorie goal: 400-450
With minimally processed carbs, healthy proteins and plenty of vegetable firepower, these dinner dishes won’t have any waistline repercussions. Each flavour-packed recipe also makes great leftovers, helping you get through harried weeknights.
Steak & Barley Soup
With about four grams of fat in a two-ounce (60 g) serving, sirloin is one of the leanest red meat options.
Serves four. Per serving: 382 calories, 30 g protein, 22 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 19 g carbohydrates, 3 g fibre, 59 mg cholesterol, 333 mg sodium
Get the recipe: Steak & Barley Soup
Pork Tacos with Cabbage Slaw
Capsaicin, the phytochemical that gives the chipotle (or cayenne) in this recipe its fiery kick, may help rev up your metabolism and tame your appetite.
Serves four. Per serving: 447 calories, 35 g protein, 12 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 52 g carbohydrates, 9 g fibre, 75 mg cholesterol, 556 mg sodium
Get the recipe: Pork Tacos with Cabbage Slaw
Salmon Sweet-Potato Curry
A 2012 study in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that increased fish intake over a six-month period was positively associated with weight loss in women. Oily fish such as salmon and farmed rainbow trout are full of protein, omega-3 fats and vitamin D that may help you slim down.
Serves four. Per serving: 458 calories, 31 g protein, 25 g fat (9 g saturated fat), 30 g carbohydrates, 5 g fibre, 62 mg cholesterol, 368 mg sodium
Get the recipe: Salmon Sweet-Potato Curry
Sweet & Sour Tofu
A 2011 study published in The New England Journal of Medicine linked eating nutrient-rich whole grains such as brown rice and spelt to increased weight loss.
Serves four. Per serving: 436 calories, 17 g protein, 15 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 61 g carbohydrates, 6 g fibre, 0 mg cholesterol, 237 mg sodium
Get the recipe: Sweet & Sour Tofu
More dinner ideas
Jerk Shrimp Stir-Fry
Prepare 2 cups (500 mL) of brown rice according to directions; set aside. Toss together 500 g peeled raw shrimp and 2 Tbsp (30 mL) jerk seasoning. Cook in a skillet until pink, about three minutes. Remove from skillet; set aside. To skillet, add 1 sliced red bell pepper; 1 cup (250 mL) canned black beans (drained and rinsed); 2 sliced garlic cloves; 1 seeded, minced jalapeño pepper; and 2 sliced green onions. Cook for one minute. Stir in shrimp and 1/4 cup (60 mL) orange juice; heat 30 seconds. Serve over cooked rice.
Serves four. Per serving: 310 calories, 30 g protein, 4 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 38 g carbohydrates, 7 g fibre, 171 mg cholesterol, 674 mg sodium
Pasta with Meat Sauce
In a large saucepan, brown 500 g lean ground chicken with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) oil over medium heat until no longer pink. Add 1 chopped onion, 2 cups (500 mL) sliced mushrooms, 1 chopped green bell pepper and some minced garlic; cook for three minutes. Add a 796-mL can diced tomatoes, a 156-mL can tomato paste, 1 Tbsp (15 mL) sugar, 1 tsp (5 mL) each dried oregano and thyme, and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer over low heat for one hour, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, prepare a 375-g package of whole-grain spaghetti according to package directions. Combine with cooked sauce.
Serves four. Per serving: 433 calories, 30 g protein, 14 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 54 g carbohydrates, 10 g fibre, 96 mg cholesterol, 691 mg sodium
Lentil Squash Salad
Cook 1 cup (250 mL) dried green lentils in a pot of water until tender, about 30 minutes. Drain and toss with 3 cups (750 mL) cooked cubed butternut squash; let cool. Toss with 3 cups arugula, 1/3 cup (75 mL) dried cherries and 1/2 cup (125 mL) crumbled goat cheese. Whisk together 3 Tbsp (45 mL) olive oil, juice of 1/2 lemon, 2 tsp (10 mL) Dijon mustard and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) salt. Toss dressing with lentil salad.
Serves four. Per serving: 406 calories, 20 g protein, 18 g fat (6 g saturated fat), 44 g carbohydrates, 17 g fibre, 15 mg cholesterol, 333 mg sodium
This meal plan leaves room for two healthy snacks on non-exercise days, or three snacks on days you work up a sweat. These are all under 150 calories and provide vital nutrients, to boot.
1/2 oz. (15 g) dark chocolate: 84 calories
4 cups (1 L) air-popped popcorn: 124 calories
2 Tbsp (30 mL) roasted soy nuts: 97 calories
2 low-fat string cheese sticks: 100 calories
1/2 cup (125 mL) plain no-fat Greek yogurt with 1/3 cup (75 mL) blueberries: 95 calories
1 celery stick topped with 1 Tbsp (15 mL) natural peanut butter and 9 raisins: 122 calories
20 almonds: 120 calories
1 large hard-boiled egg: 77 calories