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Drop More Weight: The "You Can Do It!" Diet Plan, Weeks 5-8

 

You Can Do It!

If weight loss is your goal, combine the Lose Weight Workout Program, part of the "You Can Do It!" makeover plan, and our super-simple diet.

"You Can Do It!" Lose Weight Workout Weeks 1-4

"You Can Do It!" Lose Weight Workout Weeks 5-8

The Diet

Each day, one meal is marked "Your Choice!" In that case, grab a (roughly) 300-calorie frozen entree or whip up one of the 20 low-calorie recipes from our online collection. Follow the days in order or feel free to mix them up. You'll consume about 1,800 calories a day and lose up to four pounds in a month — six if you skip each day's snack. Next month we'll deliver a whole new menu of waist-whittling meals for a total loss of 12 pounds.

20+ Low-Calorie Recipes

Don't miss weeks 1-4 of our Shed Stubborn Pounds Diet

Monday

Breakfast

Your choice! Pick one of our 20+ low-calorie recipes

Lunch

  • Veggie BLT: 2 slices vegetarian bacon, lettuce, 2 slices tomato, 1 tbsp. mayonnaise, 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • Asian Slaw: 2 1/2 cups preshredded cabbage, 2 tbsp. low-fat sesame-ginger salad dressing
  • Cranberry Spritzer: 4 ounces cranberry juice, 4 ounces sparkling water, with ice

Dinner

  • 1 lamb chop, trimmed and broiled, with 2 tbsp. mint jelly
  • Ginger Carrots: Place 1/4 cup water and 1 large carrot, peeled and cut into rounds, in a medium saucepan. Boil until almost tender. Add 2 teaspoons minced fresh gingerroot and 1 tablespoon orange-juice concentrate.
  • Parsley Pasta: 2/3 cup cooked rotini, 1 tsp. butter and 2 tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Snacks

  • Peach Milkshake: Blend 1 medium peeled and pitted peach, 1/2 cup nonfat milk and 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream.
  • 3 gingersnap cookies

Tuesday

Breakfast

  • Veggie Omelet: 3/4 cup egg substitute with 3/4 cup cooked vegetables. Top with 1 ounce grated low-fat cheese.
  • 1 slice whole wheat toast with 1 tsp. jam
  • 1 cup calcium-fortified orange juice

Lunch

  • Mediterranean Salad: 3 cups chopped romaine lettuce, 1/3 cup cubed cucumber, 1 chopped tomato, 4 olives, 2 ounces fat-free feta, 1/2 cup garbanzo beans, 2 tbsp. low-fat Italian dressing
  • 1 slice French bread with 1 tsp. butter
  • 3/4 cup cantaloupe cubes sprinkled with lemon zest
  • 1 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 slice French bread with 1 tsp. butter

Dinner

Your choice! Pick one of our 20+ low-calorie recipes

Plus...

  • 1 cup steamed broccoli
  • 3/4 cup cooked couscous (made with 1 tsp. olive oil)

Snack

  • Tropical Fruit Salad: Toss together 1 peeled, seeded, and chopped papaya; 1/2 cup pineapple chunks; 2 tbsp. dried cranberries; 2 tbsp. shredded coconut; 2 tbsp. lime juice; 2 tsp. candied ginger.

Wednesday

Breakfast

Best-of-Both-Worlds Cereal: 3/4 cup flaked whole-grain cereal, 1/4 cup granola, 1 cup 1 percent milk 1 cup apricot nectar

Lunch

Your choice! Pick one of our 20+ low-calorie recipes

Plus...

  • 1 cup grapes
  • 1 cup nonfat milk

Dinner

  • Black Beans on Rice: Saute 1/4 cup chopped onions and 1/4 cup chopped red pepper until tender. Add a dash of cumin and chipotle chili powder, 1 tbsp. chopped parsley, 2 tsp. canned green chilies, half a 14.5-ounce can Mexican diced tomatoes, 3/4 can drained and rinsed black beans. Cook for 15 minutes. Serve on top of 1 cup cooked brown rice and top with 1 tbsp. chopped cilantro. (Cook extra rice for Friday.)
  • Citrus Salad: Combine 1/2 cup grapefruit sections, 1/3 cup tangerine sections, 2 tsp. candied ginger, 1 tsp. sesame seeds.

Snack

  • Trail Mix: In a bowl, mix 2 tbsp. semisweet chocolate chips, 1 ounce almonds (about 15), 2 pitted dried plums.

Thursday

Breakfast

Your choice! Pick one of our 20+ low-calorie recipes

Plus...

  • 1 cup 1 percent milk

Lunch

  • Salmon Salad Sandwich: 2 ounces canned salmon, 1 tbsp. low-calorie mayo with 1 tbsp. fresh dill, cucumber slices, tomato, lettuce, and 2 slices sourdough bread
  • Spinach Salad: 3 cups baby spinach, 2 tbsp. red onion, 1/2 pear, sliced, 2 tbsp. low-calorie Italian dressing
  • 1 cup 1 percent milk

Dinner

  • Linguine with Scallops: Saute 3 ounces fresh scallops with 3 minced garlic cloves in 2 tsp. olive oil. Toss with 1 cup cooked linguini noodles, 2 tbsp. chopped parsley, salt and pepper to taste.
  • 1 cup steamed zucchini rounds
  • Cucumber and Tomato Salad: one 8-inch cucumber, peeled and chopped; 1 large tomato, chopped; 1 tsp. olive oil; 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar and 1 tbsp. fresh basil

Snack

  • 1 cup custard made according to package directions with low-fat milk and topped with 1 tbsp. berries

Friday

Breakfast

  • 1 toasted whole wheat English muffin topped with 1 1/2 tbsp. peanut butter and 2 tbsp. fat-free cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup pineapple chunks

Lunch

Your choice! Pick one of our 20+ low-calorie recipes

Plus...

  • Avocado Citrus Salad: 1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and cubed; 1 orange, peeled and chopped; 1 tbsp. orange juice; 1 tbsp. rice vinegar; 1 tbsp. chopped cilantro; dash of cayenne pepper.
  • 1 cup nonfat milk

Dinner

  • Cajun Chicken Breast: Bake one 3-ounce skinless chicken breast rubbed with Cajun seasoning (prepare a second plain breast for tomorrow).
  • 1 cup pea pods, steamed, topped with a pat of butter
  • Vegetable-Pecan Pilaf: 2/3 cup cooked brown rice (from Wednesday) mixed with 1/4 cup grated carrot, 2 tbsp. chopped scallions, 1 tbsp. chopped pecans

Snack

  • 1/2 cup chocolate ice cream topped with 2 tbsp. chocolate syrup

Saturday

Breakfast

  • English Breakfast: 2 poached eggs, 2 slices whole wheat toast, 1 sliced tomato
  • 1 cup calcium-fortified orange juice

Lunch

  • Mango Chicken Sandwich: 1 chicken breast (from yesterday), 3 slices mango, 2 tbsp. hoisin sauce, 1 slice red onion, 2 tbsp. cilantro, 2 slices whole-wheat bread
  • 1 cup steamed asparagus dipped in 1 tbsp. mayo mixed with 1 tsp. curry powder

Dinner

Your choice! Pick one of our 20+ low-calorie recipes

Plus...

  • 1 cup peas and carrots
  • Tossed Salad: 2 cups mixed greens and 2 tbsp. low-calorie Italian dressing

Snacks

  • 1 medium apple, sliced
  • 1 cup low-fat yogurt mixed with 1/3 cup canned apricots and 1 tsp. apricot jam

Sunday

Breakfast

  • Pancakes: 1 four-inch pancake topped with 2 tbsp. fat-free sour cream, 1 tbsp. marmalade,
  • 1 cup slightly mashed strawberries
  • 1 cup 1 percent milk
  • 3/4 cup melon cubes

Lunch

  • 2 slices date-nut bread topped with 2 tbsp. fat-free cream cheese mixed with 1 tsp. orange zest and 2 tbsp. chutney
  • 1 medium orange, peeled and sectioned
  • 1 cup nonfat milk

Dinner

Your choice! Pick one of our 20+ low-calorie recipes

Plus...

  • 1 cup sauteed spinach with 1 tbsp. olive oil, 2 minced garlic cloves, and a pinch of red pepper flakes

Snack

  • Mini Pizzas: 1 whole wheat English muffin, split, with 3 tbsp. pizza sauce and 2 ounces low-fat mozzarella cheese

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, October 2006.