THE REAL SECRET to fat loss is not about lifting more weight—although that helps. Instead, it lies within the simple action of lifting fork to mouth (or sometimes choosing not to).
If your goal is to get rid of that stubborn fat hanging around your midsection, you can get back on track and strip away those extra pounds with this easy-to-follow meal plan. And if you’re trying not to fall off the bandwagon, heed to the meal plan to stave off unwanted weight.
With an effective combo of high-fiber and protein, this 4-week plan will help you lose fat, boost your metabolism, and set you up to build muscle—without all the annoying hunger and cravings that tend to accompany a calorie cutback.
The get-lean grocery shopping list
Make sure your spice cabinet is stocked and go to the grocery store to get the following items:
- Plain low fat organic Greek yogurt
- Fresh/frozen berries
- Other fresh fruit (pineapple, grapefruit, apple etc)
- High-fiber high-protein breakfast cereal (with no sugar)
- High-fiber/high-protein frozen waffles
- Natural peanut butter
- Free range eggs
- Low-fat/fat-free organic milk or any other plant based
- High-fiber/high-protein whole-grain bread
- High-fiber/high-protein whole-grain tortillas
- Organic chicken breast
- Free range Lean skirt steak
- Lean deli meat (turkey, roast beef)
- Ground lean turkey breast
- Canned tuna/salmon
- Fresh/frozen fish (salmon, herring etc.)
- Canned beans (black, lentil, pinto etc)
- Fresh/frozen vegetables
- Butternut squash
- Baked/sweet potato
- Low-fat cheese or tofu (sliced and shredded)
Breakfast: Triple berry medley smoothie
- ½ cup blueberries
- ½ cup raspberries
- ½ cup strawberries
- ½ banana
- ½ cup high-fiber cereal
- ½ cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 cup 1% or skim milk
- 1 scoop whey or hemp protein powder
- ½ cup ice cubes
Blend until smooth.
Lunch: Tropical chicken salad
- 1 large cooked chicken breast, shredded
- ¼ cup low fat cottage cheese
- 1/3 cup pineapple, 1/3rd cup mango
- 2 tbsp. chopped water chestnuts
- 2 cups spinach
- 1-ounce almonds
- A few slices of avocado
Serve with high-fiber whole-wheat crackers.
Dinner: Shrimp stir-fry
- ½ pound cooked shrimp
- ½ bag mixed frozen stir-fry vegetables
- 2 tbsp. low sodium soy sauce and salt and pepper to taste
Toss all ingredients together in wok. Serve over ½ cup cooked brown rice.
Breakfast: Spinach, onion, and feta cheese scramble on whole-wheat English muffin
- 2 eggs + 2 eggs whites
- 2 tbsp. low fat feta cheese
- ¼ cup Vidalia onion, chopped
- ¼ cup fresh or frozen spinach
- 1 high-fiber whole-wheat English muffin
- Salt and Pepper to taste
Lunch: Tuna fish roll up with Minestrone soup
- 1 cup Minestrone soup
- 1 can of tuna (canned in water)
- 2 tbsp. low fat mayo
- 1 tsp. whole-grain mayonnaise
- Sliced tomato and lettuce
- 1 whole-wheat high-fiber wrap
Dinner: Garlic chicken
- 1 large chicken breast
- ¼ cup whole wheat bread crumbs
- 1/8-cup skim milk
- ¼ garlic clove
- 1 tsp. Tabasco and lemon juice
- Combine all ingredients in plastic bag. Toss chicken in bag and coat.
- Bake at 350 degrees for ~20 minutes.
- Serve with: ½ cup whole-wheat couscous and 1 cup zucchini/summer squash medley
Breakfast: Peanut butter & banana sandwich
- 2 slices whole-wheat bread (with at least 4g fiber per slice)
- 2 tbsp. peanut butter
- 1 sliced banana
- 1 tsp. drizzle honey
- Toast whole-wheat bread
Spread peanut butter and top with bananas, drizzle with honey and enjoy.
Lunch: Chicken pizza with roasted veggies
- 1 large chicken breast
- ½ cup tomato sauce
- ¼ cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
- 1 cup chopped vegetables (broccoli, mushrooms, eggplant, zucchini)
- 1 tsp. red pepper flakes
- Salt and pepper
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Spray baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray. Place chicken breast and vegetables on sheet, and season with salt and pepper. Spray vegetables with non-stick cooking spray, then spoon tomato sauce on top of chicken.
- Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 min or until chicken is cooked through.
- When 5 minutes left, top chicken with cheese and let melt until finished cooking
Dinner: Crunchy baked herring
- 6 ounces herring topped with 3 tsp. high-fiber bran cereal, baked
- 1-cup sautéed high-fiber vegetables (asparagus, broccoli, carrots)
- 1 small baked sweet potato
Breakfast: Strawberry oatmeal
- 3/4 cup cooked oats
- 1 scoop strawberry protein powder (or other flavored powder)
- 1 cup of sliced strawberries
- 1/2 cup of banana
Lunch: Chicken and red onion quesadillas with side salad
- ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/3-cup balsamic vinegar
- 1/4-cup low-fat cheddar cheese
- 1 large boneless chicken breast, cooked and shredded
- 2 high-fiber whole-wheat tortillas
- Combine onions and vinegar in bowl and marinate for 5 minutes. Drain the onions and set aside. Spray a large skillet with non-stick cooking spray, and heat over medium heat. Add onions, and cook until onions have softened, about 5-7 min. Transfer to bowl and set aside.
- Place tortillas in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat (they will overlap). Warm for about 45 seconds on each side.
- Sprinkle cheese on each tortilla. Cover cheese with the shredded cooked chicken and top the chicken with the marinated onions.
- Fold the tortillas in half, press gently with a spatula to flatten, and cook for about 2 minutes, until the cheese begins to melt. Flip the quesadilla and cook for another 1-2 minutes, until the second side is golden brown. Serve with side mixed green salad and 1 tbsp. light dressing
Dinner: Spicy chicken sausage and whole-wheat penne
1 low-fat chicken sausage
1-cup chopped mushrooms and red pepper
½ cup whole-wheat penne
¼ cup tomato sauce
1 tsp. red pepper chili flakes
- Spray skillet with non-stick cooking spray and sauté pre-cooked low fat chicken sausage, mushrooms, and red-bell pepper in pan.
- Toss over cooked pasta and tomato sauce.
- Service with side mixed green salad and 1 tbsp. light dressing.
Breakfast: Oatmeal blueberry pancakes (serves 6)
- 2 ½ cups old-fashioned oats
- 6 egg whites, beaten
- 1-cup skim milk
- 2 tsp. oil
- 1 tsp. baking powder
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- 1-cup blueberries
- Non-stick cooking spray
- Blend all ingredients (except blueberries) in blender until fairly smooth (normal pancake mix consistency). Then gently fold blueberries into mixture.
- Heat skillet to medium heat, then coat with nonstick cooking spray.
- Pour ½ cup batter onto the skillet to form each pancake. Cook, flipping once so that each side is a golden-brown color.
Lunch: Turkey chili rice bowl
- Nonstick cooking spray
- ½ cup lean ground turkey breast
- ¼ cup chopped onion
- ½ cup canned red kidney beans, drained
- ¼ cup chopped red tomato
- ½ cup water
- ¼ cup chopped green pepper
- 1 tsp. chili powder
- ¼ cup brown rice
- Low fat grated cheddar cheese (optional)
- Cook rice as instructed, set aside.
- Spray small saucepan with non-stick cooking spray, and add ground turkey, onion and cook until turkey is brown.
- Add remaining ingredients and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer until chili is thick. Add rice and serve with low fat grated cheddar cheese if desired.
Dinner: Steak and potatoes
- 5 ounces seasoned cooked skirt steak
- 1 small baked potato with 2 tbsp. non-fat sour cream and chives
- 1 cup steamed broccoli
Inspired by: mensfitness.com