Meal Plans for Losing Weight

Because losing weight can be tough enough already, I've laid out a day's meal plans to give you a few ideas for setting up your own. As you might imagine, such plans can really save the day when you're too tired, or perhaps harassed, to think about what to eat. (Hello, peanuts; hello, cheese and crackers.) Meal plans can also allow you to approach grocery shopping in an "orderly" manner.

Not surprisingly, veggies play a large role in these particular meal plans, because they can be such a great weight-loss tool. (Check at our Site Map for other vegetable-heavy pages.) In fact, the menus below can help you eat more vegetables in general, which can improve your overall health as well as help you shave off some pounds. 

meal plans for losing weight

Getting those vegetables down the hatch can sometimes require some planning, though. So, remember that you can take all of this as slowly as you wish. For example, you might try adding only a single extra vegetable to your diet every day or so for a while.

And here's a tip: to make the process easier, try to keep clean and prepped veggies in your refrigerator at all times. Then, when you’re dying for a snack, you can have some of those instead of a chocolate bar. It's kind of a no-brainer, really, although not all of us get round to doing it, as the world is a busy place.

But you came here for a menu, not tips, so here you are: one day of meal plans for losing weight (plans heavy on the veggies). 


*Spinach omelet or crustless quiche
To make a “lite" quiche, use your favorite recipe but omit the crust. Cut the cheese in half, also using a lower-fat variety. Then, bake the filling in muffin tins (adjusting the baking time for the change in volume. That way you can bake them ahead of time and simply reheat as needed.

*Two or three tomato slices or a handful of grape tomatoes

*One-half slice rye toast (with just a hint of butter or a butter/olive-oil spread); better yet, skip the toast entirely...

*Tea, water, or coffee
(easy on the sugar)

Alternate Breakfast: if you’re in a hurry or don’t have much appetite, make yourself a smoothie of a handful of blueberries, one-quarter cup plain Greek yogurt, and three-quarters cup milk. (Or omit the yogurt, and throw in some protein powder.)

 Lunch and Afternoon Snack


*Very-easy borscht
Combine a 14-ounce can of beets, 2 cups faux beef broth (or a can of real beef broth, if you're not vegetarian), and the juice of half a lemon. Serve chilled, garnishing with nonfat sour cream and lemon slices. And don’t scoff: you'll be pleasantly surprised at how good this tastes on a warm day.

[Please don't overdo the root veggies while you're dieting, though, as they contain a lot of sugar. Click here for a list of lower-calorie veggies you can draw upon for losing weight.]

*Mock-chicken salad
As the base, toss some field greens and romaine, celery, and cucumbers with just a touch of low-fat dressing. (Or, better still, leave off the dressing entirely.) And maybe add in a few cherry tomatoes or some radish slices. With some chunks of seitan or another chicken substitute, you're all set.

*1 rice cake or a half-slice of low-fat/low-cal flatbread

*Tea, water, or coffee

Afternoon Snack

*Raw veggies or apple slices


*4 ounces of vegetarian protein (or lean meat/fish, if you're not vegetarian)

*Blanched or very lightly cooked green beans tossed with a little pesto
Thin the pesto with lemon juice and a little of the cooking water.

Try making this with a mix of red and savoy cabbage, a few sliced almonds, a few fried chow mein noodles (go easy on these), and a low-fat dressing.

*A little wine, if that’s your custom
But go easy with alcohol, as it has plenty of calories. Sure, 25 calories per fluid ounce doesn’t sound like much, but it adds up fast—because people tend to pour 4 ounces at minimum, and generally more like 5 or 6. So, stay alert with that one.

Still hungry? Or hungry again? Try eating a few raw veggies...

And there you have it: a pretty painless day of using lots of vegetables for losing weight. Plan your own menus a day or week at a time, figuring out ways to pare some of the calories and fat from your favorite dishes. But keep those dishes tasty; otherwise, you won't want to eat them and may end up calling the pizza man instead.


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Please understand that the material at this site is NOT medical advice, as I am neither doctor nor nutritionist. What I am is merely someone who's lived successfully on a vegetarian diet for many decades...and I transitioned from omnivore to vegetarian gradually. Do check with your doctor, though, if you're considering big changes to your own diet. Also, be sure to find a dependable source of Vitamin B12.

Living Vegetarian the Easy Way
  Copyright 2010-2024. Lynda Edwards. All rights reserved.