Get Your Best Beach Body 2009: The Diet Plan
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Fitness

Get Your Best Beach Body 2009: The Diet Plan

Get flat abs in time for summer with this collection of easy, healthy recipes. Mix and match the meals for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack for a total of 1,500 calories a day.

The Flat-Abs Diet Plan

A hot beach body begins with a menu that melts fat, shrinks your waist, and tastes delicious. This powerhouse plan does all that and more. Simply choose from the delicious meals and snacks on these pages for a total of 1,500 calories a day. You'll lose five pounds in a month -- and be swimsuit-ready by summer.

Why It Works

  • Healthy monounsaturated fats (aka MUFAs), found in nuts, olive oil, and avocados, have been proven to stop ab flab.
  • Foods rich in fiber fill you up so that you eat less and lose more.
  • Plenty of fruits and veggies help curb your appetite, thanks to their high water content.

A Sample Day on Our Plan

(Find the recipes for these meals and more on the following pages.)

BREAKFAST: Pancakes with Banana (300 calories)
SNACK: Celery spread with 1 1/2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter (150 calories)
LUNCH: Spinach Salad (400 calories)
DINNER: Tilapia with Pineapple Salsa (500 calories)
SNACK: 1 cup strawberries drizzled with 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup (150 calories)

Your Breakfast Choices

Each of these healthy breakfast recipes is about 300 calories.

Pancakes with Banana

Ingredients
2 whole wheat pancakes
1 medium banana, sliced
1 1/2 tablespoons light maple syrup
1 6-ounce glass skim milk (optional)

Top pancakes with banana slices and syrup. Serve with milk, if desired.

Waffle Bacon-Cheese Melt

Ingredients
2 whole-grain frozen waffles
4 slices cooked turkey bacon
1/4 cup light shredded light cheddar cheese

Toast waffles. Top with bacon and cheese and place in a toaster oven for 2-3 minutes until cheese melts.

Vanilla Yogurt with Fruit & Almonds

Ingredients
8 ounces light vanilla yogurt
1 teaspoon honey
Splash of lemon juice
2 tablespoons slivered almonds
1 cup mixed cantaloupe and pineapple chunks

Mix yogurt with honey, lemon juice, and almonds. Fold in melon and pineapple chunks.

Strawberry Cereal with a Hard-Boiled Egg

Ingredients
3/4 cup Multi-Bran Chex
1/2 cup strawberries, sliced
4 ounces skim milk
1 hard-boiled egg

Top cereal with berries and add milk. Serve with egg on the side.

Orange Smoothie & Peanut Butter Bread

Ingredients
4 ounces skim milk
4 ounces light vanilla yogurt
4 ounces orange juice
1 slice whole-grain bread
1/2 tablespoon peanut butter

Blend milk, yogurt, and orange juice until smooth. Spread peanut butter on bread.

Scrambled Eggs with Veggies, Cheese & Salsa

Ingredients
1 whole egg
1 egg white
1 tablespoon skim milk
1 tablespoon chopped green pepper
1 tablespoon salsa
1/4 cup shredded light cheddar cheese
Whole wheat English muffin, toasted

Whisk together egg, egg white, milk, green pepper, and salsa. Scramble in a nonstick pan. Add cheese and cook until melted. Serve eggs with English muffin.

Melon, Muffin & Cottage Cheese

Ingredients
1/2 cantaloupe
1/4 cup low-fat (1%) cottage cheese
1 small low-fat bran muffin
Scoop cottage cheese into melon half. Serve with muffin.

Your Lunch Choices

Each of these healthy lunch recipes is about 400 calories.

Spinach Salad

Ingredients
3 cups baby spinach
1/2 mango, peeled and sliced
2 tablespoons spicy cashews
1 cup cooked baby shrimp
2 tablespoons light vinaigrette
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 small whole-grain roll

Toss spinach with mango, cashews, and shrimp. Squeeze lemon or orange into vinaigrette and stir. Pour dressing over salad and toss. Serve with roll.

Tomato, Basil & Mozzarella Sandwich

Ingredients
2 ounces fresh mozzarella
1 tomato, sliced
4 basil leaves
1 small ciabatta roll, toasted
Balsamic vinegar
1 medium apple
Place cheese, tomato, and basil on roll; drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar. Serve with apple on the side.

Nachos Supreme

Ingredients
4 ounces ground turkey
1 tablespoon taco seasoning
12 baked tortilla chips
1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup shredded light cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons salsa
1/2 cup shredded lettuce

In a skillet, cook ground turkey with taco seasoning. Place tortilla chips on a plate; top with cooked turkey mixture, black beans, and cheese. Microwave for approximately 1 minute until cheese melts; top with salsa and lettuce.

Tuna Nicoise

Ingredients
3-ounce can or packet of water-packed tuna
1 teaspoon capers
6 sliced green olives
2 tablespoons light vinaigrette
3 cups mixed greens
1/2 cup cooked brown rice, cooled

Mix tuna with capers, olives, and vinaigrette; place on greens. Top with brown rice.

Smoked Turkey Sandwich

Ingredients
2 slices whole wheat bread
1 tablespoon mustard
2 slices smoked turkey breast
1 small tomato, sliced
Lettuce
1 cup watermelon chunks

Spread bread with mustard. Top with smoked turkey, tomato, and lettuce. Serve with watermelon on the side.

Tabouli, Beans & Feta

Ingredients
1/2 cup prepared tabouli
1/2 cup canned white beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese
1 tomato, chopped
1/2 small cucumber, chopped
Fresh mint leaves, optional

Combine tabouli with beans, feta, tomato, and cucumber. Top with mint, if desired.

Turkey Burger with Corn & Bean Relish

1 4-ounce frozen turkey burger (made with 95% lean ground meat)
1 whole-grain bun
Red pepper slices
Green pepper slices
2 tablespoons salsa
3 tablespoons canned corn, drained
1/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained

Prepare turkey burger according to package directions. Place on bun and top with pepper slices. Combine salsa, corn, and black beans and serve with burger.

Your Takeout Choices

Panera Bread: Half Smoked Turkey Breast Sandwich on Country bread with small fruit cup (380 calories)

Subway: 6-inch Sweet Onion Chicken Teriyaki (370 calories)
6-inch Double Meat Turkey Breast (330 calories)

McDonald's: Hamburger and a Fruit 'n Yogurt Parfait without granola (380 calories)
Premium Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken and low-fat balsamic dressing and a reduced-fat vanilla ice cream cone (410 calories)

Your Dinner Choices

Each of these healthy dinner recipes is about 500 calories.

Tilapia with Pineapple Salsa

Ingredients
1 medium potato
1 teaspoon olive oil
Italian seasoning or dried basil or oregano
1 8-ounce piece of tilapia
1 tablespoon seasoned breadcrumbs
1/2 teaspoon blackened seasoning
1/4 cup tomato salsa
1/4 cup chopped pineapple
1 cup steamed sugar snap peas

Cut potato into quarters, brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with Italian seasoning, basil, or oregano; bake at 350 degrees F. for 30 minutes. Sprinkle fish with breadcrumbs and blackened seasoning and broil for 10 minutes. Mix salsa with pineapple and spoon over fish. Serve with potato wedges and sugar snap peas on the side.

Steak & Roasted Vegetables

Ingredients
4 ounces flank steak
Light vinaigrette
1 cup sliced potatoes
1 cup sliced zucchini
1/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup sliced mushrooms
Olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Marinate steak in vinaigrette for several hours (or all day). Heat oven to 450 degrees F. Place potato, zucchini, onion, and mushrooms in one layer on a cookie sheet; drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 15 minutes. Grill steak to desired doneness.

Chicken & Veggie Stir-Fry

Ingredients
4 ounces chicken breast, skin removed, cut into strips
Teriyaki sauce
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1/2 teaspoon chopped garlic
3 cups of frozen Oriental vegetables
1/2 cup cooked brown rice

Marinate chicken in teriyaki sauce for several hours (or all day). Pour 1 teaspoon of the olive oil into a skillet and add chicken; stir fry until done, about 10 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate. Pour remaining olive oil in skillet; add ginger and garlic and saute. Add vegetables and stir fry until heated through. Put chicken back in skillet to reheat. Serve stir-fry over rice.

Asparagus Frittata

Ingredients
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1 cup asparagus, cut into small pieces
3 eggs
1 tablespoon water
Salt and pepper to taste
Sprinkle of Italian seasoning or basil and oregano
1 small potato, baked

Pour olive oil into a skillet. Add onion, mushrooms, and asparagus and saute until tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Whisk together eggs, water, salt, pepper, and seasoning or herbs and pour into pan. Cook until egg mixture is set. Turn frittata onto a plate and serve with potato.

Peanut Noodles with Chicken

Ingredients
1 cup cooked whole wheat noodles, cooled
1 tablespoon chopped scallions
4 ounces cooked chopped chicken breast, skin removed
1 tablespoon chunky peanut butter
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 cup of snow peas

Mix noodles with scallions, chicken, peanut butter, soy sauce, and snow peas.

Shrimp & Vegetable Risotto

Ingredients
1 tablespoon chopped onion
1/4 cup Arborio rice
1 cup vegetable broth
1 cup frozen cooked baby shrimp, thawed
2 cups mixed frozen vegetables, thawed
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup grape tomatoes
1/2 small cucumber, sliced
1 tablespoon light vinaigrette

Saute onion until translucent. Stir in Arborio rice and vegetable broth and stir until broth is absorbed. Add shrimp, vegetables, and cheese and stir until warm. Mix cucumbers and tomatoes with vinaigrette and serve with risotto.

Rosemary Grilled Chicken

Ingredients
2 chicken thighs, skin removed
1 teaspoon olive oil
Squeeze of lemon
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 cup sliced zucchini
1 sliced red pepper
1/4 cup onion wedges
1 cup chopped broccoli
2 tablespoons light vinaigrette
1/2 cup cooked pasta
1/4 cup tomato sauce

Brush chicken with olive oil and add a squeeze of lemon and rosemary sprigs. Wrap chicken in a foil package and grill for 30 minutes. Toss the zucchini, red pepper, onion, and broccoli with vinaigrette, wrap in a foil package, and grill for 10 minutes. Serve with pasta and tomato sauce on the side.

Your Takeout Choices

Panera Bread: Asian Sesame Chicken Salad (410 calories)
Half Asiago Roast Beef Sandwich and half Classic Cafe Salad (450 calories)

Domino's Pizza: 2 slices of 14-inch large grilled chicken and veggie pizza (430 calories)

Olive Garden: Pasta e Fagioli and Venetian Apricot Chicken (510 calories)

P.F. Chang's: Lemon Pepper Shrimp, small Spicy Green Beans and 1/2 cup steamed brown rice (432 calories)

Your Snack Choices

Eat two of these tasty treats a day (about 150 calories each):

1 cup strawberries drizzled with 2 tablespoons chocolate syrup

Celery spread with 1 1/2 tablespoons chunky peanut butter

1 strawberry Special K bar and a small apple

1 chocolate rice cake spread with 1 tablespoon Nutella

1 cup Luigi's Real Lemon/Strawberry Italian Ice

1 Skinny Cow Chocolate with Fudge ice cream cone

2 Minute Maid Soft Frozen Lemonade treats

6-ounce Yoplait Light Strawberry yogurt with 1/2 cup blueberries

1/2 tablespoon chunky peanut butter on 1/2 cinnamon-raisin English muffin

1 cup carrots, celery, and radishes with a dip made from 6 ounces plain, non-fat yogurt mixed with 1 tablespoon onion soup mix

100-calorie bag of popcorn mixed with 1 tablespoon peanuts

Frozen fruit drink: In a blender mix 1 cup frozen peaches and raspberries, 2 tablespoons low-fat whipped topping, and 8 ounces of zero-calorie fruit punch

1 piece light string cheese and a plum

10 baked tortilla chips with 1/4 cup black bean dip

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, June 2009.

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