The Best Free Weight Loss Planners


United States Department of Health and Human Services: The DASH Diet

The DASH Diet, Named the “Best Overall” Diet by Eight Years in a Row US news and world report, aims to treat or prevent high blood pressure. While it’s not specifically designed for weight loss, people tend to shed pounds if they follow it. This seven-day meal planner, designed by DHHS, provides a great starting point for those interested in this long-term lifestyle choice. However, Yeung warns, it calls for 2,000 calories a day, which isn’t the right weight for everyone. She suggests getting your own counts from an online calorie calculator or a professional. Seeing a doctor or registered dietitian is optimal, she says, because “there are many factors, such as activity level, ethnicity, and medical history to consider.” A day on the DASH diet looks like this:

Breakfast: 3/4 cup bran cereal; 1 medium banana; 1 cup skim milk; 1 slice of whole wheat bread with 1 teaspoon soft margarine; 1 cup orange juice

Lunch: 3/4 cup chicken salad; 2 slices of whole wheat bread; 1/2 cup fruit cocktail

Dinner: 3 ounces beef (eye of the round); 1 cup green beans; 1 small baked potato (with 1 tablespoon fat-free sour cream; 1 tablespoon shredded cheddar cheese; 1 tablespoon chopped scallions); 1 small whole-wheat bun with 1 teaspoon soft margarine; 1 small apple; 1 cup skim milk

Snacks: 1/3 cup almonds (unsalted); 1/4 cup raisins; 1/2 cup fruit yogurt (fat-free, no sugar added)

Here are 11 things you should know about the DASH diet.

Various vegetables for sale at a market.Jasni/Shutterstock

Hurry up to eat: 7-day weight loss meal plan for vegetarians

Vegetarians, rejoice! This is a diet designed just for you. Haste the Food Up’s seven-day meal planner, with its individualized calorie recommendations, not only avoids meat, but it also ensures you get enough protein, omega-3 fatty acids, iron and vitamin B12. “These are important nutrients that can be easily missed in a typical vegetarian diet,” Whitmire says. And proteins in particular should be an important part of dieting. “This plan highlights unusual and tasty protein sources like lentils, quinoa, beans, yogurt, and cottage cheese,” she says, “and they’ll help you feel full.” Another bonus: This meal planner asks you to make extras so you can use them in other dishes or just eat leftovers for some meals. That makes it more realistic, because let’s face it – no matter how committed you are, it’s really hard to cook every meal every day. Here’s a one-day sample menu:

Breakfast: Banana Egg Pancakes with 1 tablespoon of flaxseed and 1 teaspoon of honey

Lunch: Tofu Pineapple Salad

Dinner: Spicy Black Bean Soup, topped with a tortilla

Snacks: 1 orange, a handful of nuts

Greek yogurt granola and blueberries on blue table top view.  Healthy diet food, snack or breakfast.nadianb/shutterstock

Very Fit: Easy Meal Plans to Lose Weight

This health and wellness website’s meal plans — which give you options for 1,200, 1,500, and 1,700 calories per day — focus on nutrient-dense foods. Still, as Whitmire points out, it’s very difficult to get the right amount of nutrients on a diet that’s less than 1,500 calories. “Very low-calorie diets result in rapid weight loss, which most people look for to boost their progress,” she says, “but I wouldn’t recommend them for more than seven days.” She also gives some great tips for sticking to a meal plan. Here is an example of the 1500 calories per day option:

Breakfast: 1 slice of 100 percent whole-wheat toast with 1 tablespoon of almond butter; 1 hard-boiled egg; 1 orange; 1 cup of regular coffee or tea

Lunch: 2 slices of 100 percent whole wheat bread, 2 ounces sliced ​​roast beef, 1 slice of Swiss cheese, and 1 tablespoon mustard; 1/2 cup sliced ​​carrots; 1 cup skim milk

Dinner: 1 three-ounce chicken breast with two tablespoons salsa; 1 cup cooked broccoli with lemon juice; 1/2 cup cooked black beans; 1 100 percent whole-wheat bun with 1 teaspoon butter; 1 small glass of white wine

Snacks: 1 nectarine; a few glasses of water; 3/4 cup yogurt with 1 tablespoon honey; 1/2 cup blueberries; 10 pecans; 1 cup 100 percent grapefruit juice

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