Cutting calories is a classic and effective weight loss strategy. Depending upon your desired weight loss and starting weight, your calorie goal can be between 1,200 and 1,800 calories per day. Fit these meals into a 1,400-calorie per day eating plan, adjusting slightly as needed for your own calorie goal. This is a low-calorie diet, so it can be difficult to stay full and comfortable, unless you plan well and make smart food choices.
On a 1,400-calorie diet, breakfast should contain around 300 to 350 calories. You may be surprised at the breakfast options available on your diet. Try a toasted English muffin with scrambled eggs (use one white and one whole egg). Have fruit on the side. Add some fresh spinach to the eggs to bulk up your meal if you’d like. Make muesli by soaking 1/2 cup oats and 1/4 cup dried fruit overnight in skim milk or light soy milk, according to “Fitness Magazine.” Combine 3/4 cup of low-fat yogurt with 1/2 cup fresh fruit and a crushed crunchy granola bar for a delicious and light parfait.
Pack your lunch to make it easier to stick to your calorie-controlled diet or try lower calorie choices if you do have to eat out. A filling salad with a small amount of chopped hard boiled egg, chickpeas or lean meat and plenty of greens makes a nutritious and tasty lunch. Opt for reduced-calorie salad dressing to keep it light, according to the Free Dieting website. Veggie and bean burgers work well as the basis for a light, but filling lunch, as do bean wraps. Skip the cheese and add plenty of fresh veggies for either. Dice 1 cup cooked chicken with plenty of veggies and 2 tbsp. of balsamic vinegar. Place into a whole wheat pita and enjoy. These lunches all are under 400 calories.
Make delicious and nutritious dinners under 450 calories to fit within your diet plan. Try grilling a 4 oz. portion of fish with a variety of fresh vegetables. Wrap into a foil packet and grill for 10 to 12 minutes. Serve over 2/3 cup of brown rice. Combine one serving of cooked whole wheat pasta with 3 oz. of diced cooked chicken or cooked and peeled shrimp. Toss with 1 cup steamed broccoli, 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tbsp. olive oil and 2 tbsp. of chopped fresh parsley. If you would like to eat out, try Applebee’s Southwest Cobb Salad or have sushi, choosing one tuna roll, a cup of miso soup and a small seaweed salad, according to “Fitness Magazine.”
Choose fruits or vegetables as snacks, adding a small amount of hummus, nut butter, or low-fat cheese for protein, according to the NPT Move website. You can also opt for reduced-calorie ice cream treats or other sweets. Allow yourself one to two snacks per day, depending upon how many calories you’ve eaten at meals during the day. Carrying a snack along can help you to stick to your diet and avoid poor food choices. Aim to eat something about every three to four hours while on your 1,400-calorie a day diet.