Reach Your Better Body Goal: The Diet Plan
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Fitness

Reach Your Better Body Goal: The Diet Plan

Eat your way slim with this collection of easy, healthy recipes. Mix and match these breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack recipes for a total of 1,500 calories a day to reach your better body goal in one month.

Eat Your Way Slim

No matter what your weight-loss goal -- to lose 10 pounds, shed ab flab, or trim inches from your thighs -- this diet plan will get you there. You'll munch bagels, burritos, and burgers and melt fat at the same time. Simply choose from the meals and snacks on these pages for a total of 1,500 calories a day. We guarantee you'll never feel hungry or deprived.

A Sample Day on Our Plan

Breakfast: Greek Berry Waffles
Toast 2 low-fat whole wheat waffles and top with 1/2 cup fat-free vanilla Greek yogurt, 1 cup berries, and 1 teaspoon agave syrup or honey. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon sliced fresh mint if desired.

Lunch: Southwest Chicken Orzo Salad
Combine 1/3 cup cooked whole wheat orzo; 3 ounces grilled chicken, diced; 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes; 1/4 cup diced cucumber; 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper; 2 radishes, thinly sliced; 2 tablespoons black beans; and 2 tablespoons corn. Whisk together 1 teaspoon olive oil, 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar, juice of one lime, pinch of cumin, pinch of chili powder and, if desired, 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro. Drizzle over salad.

Snack: 1/2 cup mango sorbet with 1 tablespoon chocolate sauce

Dinner: Asian Turkey Burger
Mix 4 ounces lean ground turkey with 1 teaspoon chopped scallion and 1 tablespoon soy-ginger or other Asian marinade. Form into a patty and grill 6 to 7 minutes per side. Place on 1 toasted whole wheat bun; top with spicy ketchup (1 tablespoon ketchup with 1/4 teaspoon hot sauce). Serve with a side of 1 1/2 cups broccoli slaw mix combined with 1/2 cup sliced red bell pepper, 1 tablespoon chopped scallion, and 2 tablespoons sesame-ginger or other Asian vinaigrette.

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Healthy Breakfast Recipes

Each of these breakfast recipes is about 300 calories.

Kitchen Sink Frittata

Whisk together 6 eggs, 6 egg whites, and 1 cup skim milk. Mist a 10- or 12-inch ovenproof skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Saute1 cup sliced mushrooms; 4 stalks asparagus, cut into 1- to 2-inch pieces on the diagonal; and 2 cups arugula until veggies are tender, about 5 minutes. Pour egg mixture over the top (don't stir) and sprinkle with 2 ounces crumbled goat cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes or until golden. Makes 4 servings. (You can make this ahead of time and reheat for 2 minutes in the microwave.) Serve with 1 slice whole wheat toast spread with 1 teaspoon light butter.

Tasty Tostada

Warm a 6-inch corn tortilla. Top with 2 scrambled eggs, 2 tablespoons black-bean-and-corn salsa, 1 tablespoon reduced-fat cheddar, 1 slice avocado, and 1 tablespoon light sour cream.

Trail Mix Bagel

Toast a whole-grain mini bagel. On one half, spread 2 tablespoons light cream cheese mixed with 1 tablespoon each sliced almonds and dried cherries. Cover with remaining half and serve with 1 cup mixed berries.

Warm Almond and Honey Quinoa

In a saucepan, combine 2/3 cup cooked quinoa, 2/3 cup unsweetened almond milk, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon. Heat through. Top with 1/2 banana, sliced; 1/2 tablespoon roasted pumpkin seeds; and 1 teaspoon honey.

Tofruitti Smoothie

In a blender, combine 1 1/2 cups frozen berries, 1/2 banana, 3 ounces silken tofu, 1 tablespoon ground flaxseeds, 1 tablespoon wheat bran, juice of 1 large orange (or 1/4 cup orange juice), 1 teaspoon honey, and 1 cup ice. Blend until smooth.

Morning Glory

Toast 1 whole-grain English muffin. On each half, spread 1 tablespoon low-fat farmer cheese (or other spreadable light cheese); add 1/2 teaspoon chopped fresh dill, 1 slice tomato, 1/2 sliced hard-boiled egg, and 2 slices cucumber. Season with salt and black pepper.

Healthy Lunch Recipes

Each of these lunch recipes is about 400 calories.

Chicken and Avocado Crostini

Mash 1 avocado. Mix with 1 can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained; season to taste with lemon juice, salt, and black pepper. Toast 2 thick whole-grain baguette slices. Top each with 2 tablespoons avocado mixture, 1 ounce grilled chicken, a handful of lettuce, and 1 slice tomato. (Leftover avocado-bean mixture will keep for several days in the fridge. Use it as a sandwich spread or a veggie dip.)

Asian Tofu Slaw

Combine 2 cups packaged slaw mix; 3 ounces baked tofu, sliced; 1/4 cup cooked shelled edamame; 1/4 cup sliced red bell pepper; and 1 tablespoon crushed walnuts. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons Asian vinaigrette. Serve with 2 or 3 whole-grain crackers.

Tuna Melt

Mix 3 ounces water-packed low-sodium chunk light tuna with 2 teaspoons light mayonnaise, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon chopped celery, 1 tablespoon diced apple, 1 tablespoon diced red onion, 1/2 tablespoon dried cherries, and 1 tablespoon chopped chives. Top two 4-inch whole wheat pitas with tuna mixture and sprinkle with 2 tablespoons shredded light cheddar. Broil in toaster oven 2 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Moroccan Chickpea Salad

Mix 1/2 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained, with 1/4 cup each chopped cucumber and red bell pepper, 1/4 cup grated carrot, 1/2 tablespoon chopped walnuts, and 2 teaspoons raisins. Drizzle with 1 teaspoon olive oil mixed with 1/4 teaspoon cumin, juice of 1 lemon, salt, and black pepper. Serve with 2 mini whole-grain pita pockets.

Turkey and Goat Cheese Wrap

Top one 10-inch whole wheat wrap with 1 teaspoon pesto, 3 ounces sliced turkey, 1 ounce soft goat cheese, 1 tablespoon thinly sliced roasted red bell peppers, and a handful of arugula. Roll up.

Curried Lentil Soup

Saute 1 cup each diced celery, carrots, and onion in 4 teaspoons canola oil for 5 minutes. Add 4 teaspoons curry powder and pinch of cumin; cook 4 minutes. Add 1 cup dried red lentils, 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth, and 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes with juice. Simmer 15 minutes, partially covered, until lentils are soft. Season with salt and black pepper. Soup makes 4 servings. Serve with 1 whole-grain roll and small green salad drizzled with 1 tablespoon vinaigrette.

Healthy Takeout

Busy day? Get one of these slimming selections to go -- and stick to your diet.

Cosi
Turkey Light Sandwich (390 calories) or Fire-Roasted Veggie Sandwich and a side Pollo y Pasta Soup (405 calories)

Chipotle
Chicken Burrito Bowl with fajita veggies, tomato salsa, and guacamole (380 calories)

California Pizza Kitchen
Half Chinese Chicken Salad (376 calories)

Wendy's
Grilled Chicken Go Wrap and a side salad with Light Classic Ranch Dressing (390 calories) or 5 Piece Chicken Nuggets with Barbecue Nugget Sauce and a Caesar Side Salad with a half packet of Supreme Caesar Dressing (405 calories)

Healthy Dinner Recipes

Each of these dinner recipes is about 500 calories.

Stuffed Chicken

Butterfly a 4-ounce chicken breast; stuff it with 1 ounce goat cheese, 1 teaspoon pesto, 1 sliced sun-dried tomato packed in oil, and 1 artichoke heart, thinly sliced. Saute chicken in 2 teaspoons olive oil 3 to 4 minutes per side. Place on a baking sheet; cook in 375-degree oven 10 minutes. Serve with 2 cups garden salad sprinkled with 1/3 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained, and 2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette.

Turkey Sausage with White Beans

Brown 4 ounces lean turkey sausage. Remove from pan and slice. Return to pan with 2 teaspoons olive oil. Cook 5 minutes or until no longer pink, then add 2 teaspoons chopped garlic, 2 cups chopped kale, and 2 tablespoons water. Cook 3 to 5 minutes or until kale is wilted. Add 3/4 cup cannellini beans, rinsed and drained; 3/4 cup halved cherry tomatoes; 1 tablespoon fresh basil; and salt and black pepper to taste. Heat through.

Maple-Dijon Salmon

Top a 4-ounce salmon fillet with 1 teaspoon maple syrup mixed with 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard. Bake at 400 degrees for 8 to 10 minutes. In a saucepan, combine 1 teaspoon canola oil, 2/3 cup cooked brown rice, 1/2 tablespoon dried cherries, 1/2 tablespoon crushed pistachios, 1 teaspoon chopped parsley, and 1/8 cup orange juice; heat through. Serve salmon and rice with 1 cup steamed broccoli.

Parmesan Chicken

Coat a 4-ounce chicken cutlet with 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons shredded Parmesan; broil 10 to 12 minutes. Serve with 1 cup steamed sugar snap peas tossed with 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon lemon zest, and salt and black pepper to taste, and 1 small baked potato with 1 tablespoon light butter.

Beef and Cheese Burrito

Saute 4 ounces lean ground beef with 2 tablespoons chopped onion, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, and salt and black pepper to taste. Top an 8-inch whole wheat tortilla with beef mixture, 1/3 cup canned vegetarian chili, 1/4 cup cooked brown rice, and 1 tablespoon low-fat cheddar. Roll up.

Curried Tofu

In a saucepan, combine 1/2 cup Indian simmer sauce, such as Seeds of Change Tikka Masala; 4 ounces cubed extra-firm tofu; 1/2 cup cubed red bell pepper; 1/2 cup cauliflower florets; and 1/2 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained. Simmer, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Serve over 3/4 cup cooked brown rice.

Healthy Takeout

Busy day? Get one of these slimming selections to go -- and stick to your diet.

Papa Gino's
2 slices small thin-crust Super Veggie pizza and a Garden Salad with fat-free Honey Dijon Dressing (490 calories)

Applebee's
Grilled Shrimp & Island Rice with Small Caesar Salad (470 calories) or 9-ounce House Sirloin with a bowl of Chicken Tortilla Soup (490 calories)

Olive Garden
Mussels di Napoli with a bowl of Zuppa Toscana and a bread stick (500 calories)

Red Lobster
Cup of Manhattan Clam Chowder, a Garden Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette, and a half portion Wood-Grilled Salmon with Broccoli (520 calories)

Healthy Snacks

Each snack is about 150 calories; eat two a day.

1 ounce cubed mozzarella mixed with 1 cup halved grape tomatoes, 1 tablespoon torn fresh basil, and 1 tablespoon balsamic vinaigrette

Grande Starbucks Mocha Light Frappuccino

1/4 cup part-skim ricotta mixed with 1 teaspoon lemon zest, 1/2 cup berries, and 1/2 tablespoon honey

1/4 cup dried fruit and 3 Hershey's Special Dark Kisses

100-calorie bag Blue Diamond Wasabi & Soy Sauce Almonds and 1 Mini Babybel Light cheese

1 small apple, sliced, with 2 tablespoons hummus

1 slice whole-grain toast spread with 1 tablespoon Nutella

1 ounce spreadable light cheese mixed with 1 teaspoon dill and drizzled with lemon juice, served with 1 ounce whole-grain pretzels

1/4 cup low-fat granola mixed with 1 tablespoon dark-chocolate chips

1 biscotti and a small coffee with steamed skim milk

4 pieces California roll

1-ounce bag Food Should Taste Good Tortilla Chips plus 2 tablespoons salsa

1 cup skim chocolate milk

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, September 2010.

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