When it comes to trying to slim down, weight isn’t the only thing you have to worry about losing: Many people who cut calories also unintentionally omit foods rich in essential vitamins and minerals. For example, reduce your intake of carbs and the lack of fiber and energy-revving foods may make you constipated and exhausted. Oust dairy products and the drop in calcium-containing meals may put your bones at risk.
So what’s the solution? When cutting calories, pay careful attention to your diet’s nutrient balance. Make sure you take in adequate quality carbohydrates, lean proteins, healthy fats, water, and plenty of antioxidants. And, if you’re active, always consume at least 1,400 calories a day. This may sound like a lot to keep track of, but when you prioritize whole foods, constructing a healthy diet plan can be easier than you think. Here’s a nutrient-packed 1,400-calorie menu to help you get started.
If you’re not exercising, a 1200-calorie diet plan may be right for you. If so, simply remove two items from the menu below that are approximately 100 calories each. For example, if you remove the 1/2 banana from lunch and reduce about 1.5 ounces of salmon at dinner, your menu plan will have about 1200 calories. Or if you’re someone who likes a lighter dinner, you could remove the ear of corn and 1/2 cup of rice at dinner to put you right at 1200 calories.
- 1 instant organic oatmeal (quality whole grain, fiber-filled carb)
- Egg white and veggie omelet (made with 4 egg whites, ¾ cup spinach, ¼ cup sliced mushrooms and scrambled using olive oil in spray bottle)
- 1/2 apple
- 1 cup tea, 1 cup water
- Pita pizza (ingredients: 100% whole wheat pita, sliced open around the circumference to create two open-faced, flat pieces; low-sodium tomato sauce, preferably organic; 1.5 oz low-fat Swiss cheese; 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms and bell peppers for pizza topping; and 1/2 cup spinach for pizza topping)
- 1/2 banana
- 1 cup sliced cucumber and cherry tomatoes
- 1 cup water, 1 cup tea
- 2 crispbread, like Ryvita Dark Rye Crispbread
- 1 oz fat-free cheddar cheese, melted on crispbread
- 2 cups tea
- 5 oz salmon (Place fish on tin foil, squeeze lemon on top, add oregano and crushed garlic. Make a tin-foil packet around the fish and bake at 375 degrees until fish is thoroughly cooked.)
- 1 cup chopped tomato and cucumber Salad, seasoned with vinegar, lemon and herbs de Provence
- 1 cup steamed asparagus and string beans with dill weed
- 1 ear corn on the cob
- 3/4 cup brown rice
- 2 cups water
After Dinner Snack
- 1 baked d’Anjou pear with cinnamon
- 2 Tbsp slivered almonds
- 1 cup tea
If you’d like help with weight loss meal planning and finding delicious foods that satisfy you while getting the health and body fat loss results you’d like,
schedule a chat to find out about becoming a client &
Tammy Lakatos Shames and Elysse “Lyssie” Lakatos—otherwise known as the Nutrition Twins—are registered dietitians, certified personal trainers and authors of Fire Up Your Metabolism: 9 Proven Principles for Burning Fat and Losing Weight Forever.
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For more nutrition guidance and a ‘get healthy’ plan, please check out the “The Nutrition Twins Veggie Cure“