Supercharge your workouts with this healthy eating meal plan that keeps energy -- and metabolism -- stoked all day long.
This fat-burning eating plan is both extremely flexible and easy to follow. There's something for everyone -- meat lovers, vegetarians, and everyone in between. It's all about picking and choosing what you like the best, while still keeping within the simple guidelines outlined below. Pick the meals and snacks that sound good and fit with your tastes and schedule -- it's as easy as that.
Most of the meals are single servings and can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. Follow these healthy eating guidelines to maximize weight loss.
Stick to about 1,600 calories a day: 300 calories for breakfast, 450 calories each for lunch and dinner, plus two 200-calorie snacks. Research shows you'll burn more calories every day by eating every 4 to 5 hours.
Drink 8 to 10 glasses of cold water daily. It takes energy for your digestive system to warm liquid to body temperature. In one study, participants burned about 50 additional calories per day by drinking 1.5 liters of cold water.
Eat more magnesium-rich foods. Most of us don't consume the recommended 320 mg (for women) of this key nutrient that fuels muscles. Sources: spinach, black beans, ground flaxseed, scallops, tuna, almonds, cashews, and brown rice.
If you want to slim down fast, incorporate daily exercise with this meal plan.
Breakfast: Milano Cereal Bowl
Combine 1/2 cup fat-free Greek yogurt, 3/4 cup cereal (pick one with at least 6 grams of fiber in 100 calories' worth, such as Kashi Good Friends), 4 chopped dried figs, and 1 teaspoon agave nectar or honey. Grate 1/8 teaspoon lemon peel over the top. Total: 299 calories, 0 grams saturated fat, 10 grams fiber
Snack: Sorbet Berry Bowl or smoothie
Place 1/2 cup fat-free raspberry sorbet in a serving dish and top with 1/4 cup each sliced strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon walnuts. If you prefer, toss all the ingredients into a blender and enjoy as a smoothie. Total: 210 calories, 1 gram saturated fat, 7 grams fiber
Lunch: Tuna and Golden Raisins
Combine 4 ounces chunk light tuna packed in canola oil (not drained) with 1 tablespoon white vinegar and 2 tablespoons golden or brown raisins. (If the tuna is packed in water, rinse and drain well, then add 2 teaspoons olive or canola oil.) Serve with 1 sliced red, orange, or yellow bell pepper; 8 baby carrots; and 2 whole wheat crackers such as Wasa brand (or 90 calories' worth with at least 4 grams fiber). Total: 447 calories, 2 grams saturated fat, 10 grams fiber, 59 mg magnesium
Snack: Chips and Salsa
Dip 1 ounce unsalted baked tortilla chips (about 18 chips) in 5 tablespoons no-salt-added salsa. Serve with 1 ounce low-fat string cheese. Total: 185 calories, 2 grams saturated fat, 2 grams fiber
Dinner: Whole Wheat Pasta with Veggies and Garlic Steak