There are many weight loss meal plans online, and it can be difficult for a person to know which one to follow. However, a diet rich in whole foods and limiting processed foods is a good starting point.
This article explains how to plan weight loss meal and includes a 7-day meal plan that you can try. We also discuss other weight loss techniques and different nutritional requirements.
How to plan weight loss meal?
A person should plan his meals according to his requirements. It should take into account:
- How much weight does he need to lose?
- Levels of activity performed.
- Nutritional requirements for health conditions.
- The time he has available for food preparation and shopping.
- Experience level in cooking and difficulty of recipes.
- Whether the meal plan needs to include other family members.
There are resources available online that can help a person plan weight-loss meals. However, the nutrient content in each plan can differ, so a person must ensure they are getting an adequate intake of vitamins, minerals, and fiber.
The section below contains a weight loss meal plan that anyone can adapt to as necessary.
7 day meal plan for weight loss
The following meal plan provides meal and snack options for 7 days. The plan comprises whole foods rich in nutrients.
A person should select the portion sizes, according to their weight-loss goals, activity levels, and individual requirements.
|1||Scrambled eggs with spinach and tomatoes||Tuna salad with lettuce, cucumber and tomato||Beans with cauliflower||Apple slices with peanut butter|
|2||Oatmeal with berries, milk and seeds||A cup of chickpeas with vegetables||Sesame salmon, purple broccoli, mashed sweet potato||Cashews|
|3||Mashed avocado with a fried egg on a slice of toast||Broccoli Quinoa and Roasted Almonds||Fried chicken with soy||Blueberries and coconut yogurt|
|4||Smoothie made with protein powder, berries, and oat milk||Chicken salad with lettuce and corn||Grilled vegetables, lentils||Whole Grain Rice Cake With Nut Butter|
|5||Buckwheat pancakes with raspberries and Greek yogurt||Vegetable soup with oats||Fish tacos||Boiled eggs with pita slices|
|6||Apple slices with peanut butter||Mint peas and feta omelets||Grilled sweet potato, chicken breast, and vegetables||Cocoa protein ball|
|7||Breakfast pie with eggs and vegetables||A bowl of crunchy tofu||Lentils with noodles||Cooked carrots and chickpeas|
Dietary requirements vary between people. There is a group of techniques for losing weight that may benefit different people.
Here are some approaches to achieving weight loss, including options for people with diabetes and those who follow a vegan diet.
A 2017 systematic review investigated the effectiveness of weight-loss interventions in men. The review found that the following strategies were the most effective in promoting weight loss:
- A calorie-restricted diet.
- Physical activity.
- Activity and Behavior Change Program.
However, while this review specifically looked at male strategies, these approaches work for females.
Weight loss during pregnancy and lactation
Dieting during pregnancy and breastfeeding may not be appropriate. Anyone concerned about their weight or general fitness while pregnant or breastfeeding should speak to their doctor for further advice.
Weight loss and menopause
Women who have menopause may find it more difficult to lose weight. A 2019 study found that fat mass and body weight increase during menopause.
The study found that women had an average increase in fat mass from 1 to 1.7% per year from the transition period, which resulted in an overall increase of 6% in fat mass during the 3.5-year transition period. The average weight gain among the participants was 1.6 kg.
Females aiming to lose weight during menopause should ensure that they are consuming enough nutrients to support their bone health. The nutrients include:
- Vitamin D.
- Vitamin K.
Weight loss for diabetics
Losing weight can help a person with diabetes manage their blood sugar levels and avoid complications.
According to the American Diabetes Association, people with diabetes should lose weight through a combination of exercise, diet, and control over their portions. Low-glycemic index (GI) foods can help a person avoid high blood sugar during weight loss.
A person with type 1 diabetes should ask their doctor or dietitian to help create a weight-loss plan. People will need to manage their diet to work alongside any medications they are taking to control blood sugar levels.
Weight loss for vegetarians
When seeking to lose weight, vegetarians should include whole foods and limit refined carbohydrates and processed foods. People should pay special attention to packaging labels when purchasing meat substitutes, as many of these products contain added sugar and fats.
People who eat a plant-based diet will also need to make sure their meals contain enough protein. Some excellent sources of plant-based protein include:
- All grains.
How many calories should you eat to lose weight?
To successfully and safely lose weight, people should aim to lose 1 to 2 pounds per week for 6 months. A person can achieve this level of weight loss by reducing their calorie intake by 500 to 1,000 calories per day.
However, the body can also make hormonal adjustments when a person lowers their calories, and the weight loss may reach a stabilization stage.
Many low-calorie diets restrict fat, but fats help a person feel full. Some people may not follow a low-fat diet.
People should also remember reducing calories alone may not maintain weight loss. This is because foods that contain the same amount of calories can have different effects on a person’s metabolism.
For example, foods high in blood sugar can have harmful effects on a person’s weight loss goals. According to a randomized controlled trial published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, these foods can cause:
- Increase in blood sugar and insulin levels.
- Cravings for high-carbohydrate foods.
- Increase fat storage.
Some examples of foods high in the glycemic index include:
- Sugary foods.
- Sugary soft drinks.
- White bread.
- White Rice.
What does the research say?
The 2018 review looked at the optimal dietary approach for effective and sustainable weight loss among people who are overweight. The review concluded that there is no one-size-fits-all diet and that the best approach is personalization.
The review itself emphasizes the importance of the following methods of losing weight:
- Avoid added sugars.
- Limit processed foods.
- Consuming whole grain products.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables.
Other weight loss tips
Some additional tips that may help a person lose weight include:
- Plan meals and snacks, and buy only the foods on the shopping list.
- Be aware of portion size and different macronutrient ratios.
- Including protein and fiber in every meal.
- Explore new herbs and spices to add variety to your meals, thus reducing the need for additional sugar, salt and fats.
- Avoid long periods without food to reduce cravings for unhealthy snacks.
- Maintain hydration to reduce cravings for sugary drinks.
- Perform 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity most or all days of the week.
- Partnering with a companion and playing sports together.
- Use scales only once a week and at a fixed time of day each week.
Combining a healthy diet with an active lifestyle can help you maintain a healthy weight. Meal planning and shopping are essential to successful weight loss.
Calculating calories may not be the only beneficial way to lose weight. A weight loss program is most successful when a person follows it according to their individual requirements.
A certified personal trainer or dietitian can work with anyone to craft an ideal meal plan and can support the person as they work to achieve their weight-loss goals.