The new year is coming around the corner! I can’t believe it.
Planning out New Year’s resolutions is one of my favorite things to do because I am such a list planner! Can anyone else relate? I love the feeling of starting fresh, achieving new goals, the whole nine yards.
Many of you have expressed interest in getting healthier in the upcoming year. That is a great goal! But you know what they say, “a goal without a plan is just a wish!”
SMART goals are Specific , Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based. Instead of “I want to lose weight this year” your goal might be “I want to lose 3 pounds every month this year.” The second statement makes the goal both specific, measurable and time-based. It is also a realistic amount of weight to lose in that time period, making it attainable. Relevance is subjective, but basically it needs to be important to you.
1400 Calorie Meal Plan
Below I have for you a 1,400 calorie meal plan. Before you can really make progress toward your goal, you need to make plans. That’s right, I said plans, plural. You’ll find that a fad diet doesn’t typically work, at least not long term, but there are a few things that DO work. A few plans that when put into place will help you achieve your long-term goals.
First, you need a diet plan. I generally recommend tracking and counting calories when trying to lose weight. To find out how many calories you need to eat daily for your diet plan, first track your normal eating over 3 to 5 days without restricting. Then subtract 150-200 calories from the average amount you ate in those few days.
Once you have a plan for how many calories you need to be eating daily, you need a meal plan! Without a meal plan it is incredibly difficult to stay on track. When you are hungry and you have not pre-planned what you will eat it is a lot harder to resist the unhealthy options. Meal planning does not have to be complicated. It is literally just writing down what you plan to eat at each meal.
Start with a one week plan, and then spend maybe 15 minutes prepping the food. Again, meal prepping doesn’t have to be hard. It might just mean making a big salad (TIP: Store your chopped tomato separately so it doesn’t make your salad soggy) that you can pull from each day for part of your dinner, or tossing mixed nuts in small bags so they are already portioned and easy to grab and go.
Last, make a workout plan! You don’t have to work out for 2 hours every day to lose weight. Truthfully, most of your weight loss is in the food you eat. BUT exercise helps in a lot of ways as well. Exercising 3 times a week for even 30 minutes at a time will help you tone and build lean muscle mass. While this might not move the scale, it will help you trim your dress size. It also helps reduce bloat and water retention AND improves your skin and your energy levels.
So make a plan to include a workout 2 to 3 days a week! And then stick to it! That’s the hard part isn’t it?
That’s it, those are the plans that work together to create a path toward your goals, to keep them from being just a wish!
Now, here’s a low-carb, filling, lower-calorie menu for the first week of December to help you get a jump start!
Groceries for the Week (5 Days)
2 cups of nuts – any kind you like! And I generally think roasted & salted nuts are fine
1 dozen eggs
2 1/2 cups shredded carrots
20 oz smoked salmon
5 cups shelled edamame
Low-sodium soy sauce to taste
2 1/2 cups dry oatmeal
Cinnamon to taste
5 string cheeses – I’ve been loving the fresh mozzarella string cheese from Trader Joe’s, but any kind will do!
5 cups cauliflower rice, raw
8 cups carrot zoodles – I like to buy pre-zoodled and frozen so they last a long time and I can save on $ and convenience!
5 cups canned, roasted diced tomatoes
2 cups shaved Parmesan cheese
20 oz grilled chicken – I buy it fresh and pre-cooked!
EACH DAY: 1430 CALORIES
38% calories from fat
33% calories from protein
29% calories from carbs
Remember to keep tracking what you eat. This is a key part of the plan so you don’t forget or go overboard on calories. You can jot it down in a journal or use an app to keep track.
I like the Lose It app to keep track of foods. These are some screenshots – click on an image to enlarge it! If you’re interested in my outlook on weight loss and weight management, here’s what I wrote on the subject.
Here are the recipes for a full day of meals and snacks. Repeating the same food for 5 days keeps things simple while you work on getting into a routine. After the first 5 days, start adding in meals with similar calorie counts. You will be a pro food tracker by the end of this meal plan.
1/2 cup dry oatmeal
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup chopped nuts
Cinnamon to taste
Heat 1/2 cup dry oatmeal in the microwave with water
Top with 1/4 cup nuts and cinnamon if you like
Coffee (optional!) – I like adding whole milk or unsweetened almond milk!
1 cup cauliflower rice – or you can use brown rice or a baked sweet potato if you prefer
Olive oil spray
1/2 cucumber, chopped
1/2 cup shredded carrots – or use chopped tomato if you like
1 cup shelled, cooked edamame
4oz smoked salmon
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
Sesame seeds or Everything But the Bagel seasoning
Stir-fry 1 cup cauliflower rice with an oil spray for ~8 minutes on the stove top
In a bento-box, add 1/2 chopped cucumber, 1/2 cup shredded carrots, and 1 cup shelled (cooked) edamame
When cauliflower rice has cooled, add it and 4oz smoked salmon to bento box
Top with 1 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce
Top with sesame seeds and/or Everything But the Bagel seasoning if you like
2 hard boiled eggs
1 string cheese
1 1/2 cups carrot spirals
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1 cup diced tomatoes
4 oz pre-cooked grilled chicken
1/3 cup shaved parmesan cheese
In a pot, defrost 1 1/2 cups carrot spirals on medium heat
After it’s heated, add 1 cup diced tomatoes and 4oz pre-cooked grilled chicken and cook for 3 minutes
Top with 1/3 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
You just made your first meal plan and are taking the first steps toward making your goal a reality!
Feel free to mix things up here too! Make some substitutions for some of your favorite “less healthy” foods. For example, if you are really craving a baked potato but you need to keep the carbs and calories a little lower, try a baked sweet potato instead!
Diet plans do not have to be an all or nothing. You can even sneak in a few bites of chocolate to curb your sugar cravings, just make adjustments as needed to your plan that day to keep your calories within the range you want!
Note: I’ve tried to make this meal prep as EASY as possible – so every single day is the same. HOWEVER, if you’re anything like me, it’s quite boring to eat the same thing every day! Please feel free to switch out different protein sources, vegetables, and fats. Also, as with the rest this website, this information is general, not specific to you. You, personally, may need different amounts of calories, nutrients, etc.
If you are looking for the EASIEST and most realistic weight loss program – that works for the LONG term (it incorporates weekly meal plans, how to stop stress & boredom eating, AND an accountability group) – check out my program HERE!