Following a 1,500-calorie diet can help you meet your weight loss or maintenance goals. This plan should include three meals and two snacks each day. If you're vegetarian, you should include a vegetarian protein source with each meal, as well as whole grains, fruits, vegetables and low-fat dairy products. It's always a good idea to consult your physician or registered dietitian for a personalized eating plan.
A smart breakfast meal includes whole grains, protein and either a fruit or a vegetable. Have 3/4 cup bran cereal, 3/4 cup skim milk and half a cup of blueberries with a whole-wheat English muffin with 2 teaspoons of peanut butter. Another smart choice would be a hard-boiled egg and two slices of whole-wheat toast with almond butter. Make an omelet with two whole eggs, one egg white and 1 cup of chopped vegetables. Breakfast should contain 350 to 400 calories.
Lunch is a perfect time pack some vegetables into your meal. Include a protein source, which helps to keep you full until the next time you eat. Have 1 cup of vegetable soup with a grilled cheese and tomato sandwich on whole-wheat bread. Or, make a large salad with 1 1/2 cups mixed greens, 1/2 cup garbanzo beans, .75 ounces of walnuts, 1/2 cup mixed vegetables and a dressing of 1 teaspoon oil and 1 tablespoon vinegar. Lunch should clock in at 400 calories. Check food labels to keep calories within recommendations.
For dinner, include a protein source, a complex carbohydrate and a non-starchy vegetable. Eat 1 cup of whole-wheat pasta, 1/2 cup marinara sauce, 1 cup roasted eggplant and 2 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese. Have a tossed salad on the side with diced tomatoes, cucumbers, green peppers, chopped almonds and a light dressing. Try 4 ounces of broiled salmon, 1/2 cup brown rice and 1 cup of roasted asparagus. Another healthy option is a vegetable burger on a whole-wheat bun with lettuce, tomato and onion with a small baked potato with 1 teaspoon of light sour cream. Keep dinner around 400 to 450 calories.
Healthy snacks are an important part of a nutritious eating plan and help keep you full until the next meal. Tasty options include 1 ounce of nuts such as almonds, peanuts or cashews, 4 whole-grain crackers with 2 teaspoons of peanut butter, a small container of nonfat Greek yogurt or fruit. Other options include 1 cup of baby carrots with 1/4 cup hummus, 1 cup celery with 1 1/2 tablespoons of peanut butter or a small apple with a stick of light string cheese. Have two snacks per day with 150 calories each.
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