7-Day Weight Loss Meal Plan & Recipe Prep

Meal Plan for Weight Loss with yogurt, overnight oats, carrots, and grapes

Verywell / Zackary Angeline

At Verywell, we believe there is no one-size-fits-all approach to a healthy lifestyle. Successful eating plans need to be individualized and consider the whole person. Before starting a new diet plan, consult with a healthcare provider or a registered dietitian, especially if you have an underlying health condition.

Following a meal plan may be easier than you think. A little advance planning and prep can ease the stress of a busy week and keep you feeling satisfied. If your goal is weight loss, a balanced meal plan with simple recipes is essential for staying the course.

Meal planning can help keep you on track, no matter what your nutrition goal is. Prepping and planning doesn’t have to be time-intensive and complicated. A few simple steps, including basic meal constructs, making a shopping list, shopping strategically, and methodically preparing food ahead of time, are what make meal planning a helpful tool to keep you energized, meet your nutrition goals, reduce food waste, and save money.

Why Nutrition is Important for a Weight Loss Diet

What do all diet programs for weight loss have in common? In order to see results you generally need to create a calorie deficit over time. Without a reduction in calories, you may not lose weight.

That being said, reducing calories too much can leave you feeling unsatisfied and restricted. This leads to cravings and the inability to control your food intake when highly palatable foods are in front of you.

Does this sound familiar? You overate tonight so you decide to eat less tomorrow. Another day or two of very low calories go by to make up for overeating a few days ago and you end up binging again - and the cycle continues.

To prevent this, avoid reducing daily calories beyond the 250-500 recommended by healthcare professionals.

There is no perfect number, and each individual with have varying caloric needs for weight loss based on their weight, height, medical history, activity level, and other factors. You will likely need to adjust your calorie deficit over time to continue seeing results.

7-Day Sample Weight Loss Menu

This one-week meal plan was designed for a person who requires about 2,000 calories per day but aims to achieve weight loss through an intake of 1,500 to 1,750 calories per day with 3 meals and 2 snacks. Your daily calorie goal may vary. Learn what it is below, then make tweaks to the plan to fit your specific needs. Consider working with a registered dietitian or speaking with another healthcare provider to assess and plan for your dietary needs more accurately.

To promote weight loss, this plan is low-carb, high protein, and moderate fat. The macronutrient ratios of this meal plan are 25% carbohydrates, 40% protein, and 35% dietary fat. Food swaps or replacements are fine as long as you do so with similar menu items and portion sizes.

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Day 1

Breakfast

  • 3 large scrambled eggs
  • 1 slice whole wheat toast

Micronutrients: 350 calories, 21 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrates, and 21 grams fat

Snack

  • 1 small container (5.3 ounces) plain nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 1-ounce cashew pieces

Micronutrients: 272 calories, 20 grams protein, 20 grams carbohydrates, and 14 grams fat

Lunch

  • 4 ounces grilled chicken breast
  • 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup sliced strawberries
  • 2 tablespoons sunflower seeds
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

Micronutrients: 418 calories, 38 grams protein, 11 grams carbohydrates, and 26 grams fat

Snack

  • 1 scoop whey protein powder mixed in 1 cup nonfat milk

Micronutrients: 193 calories, 28 grams protein, 18 grams carbohydrates, and 1 grams fat

Dinner

  • 4 ounces grilled sirloin steak
  • 1 small baked potato
  • 1 cup steamed mixed vegetables

Micronutrients: 449 calories, 36 grams protein, 39 grams carbohydrates, and 17 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,683 calories, 144 grams protein, 106 grams carbohydrates, and 79 grams fat

Note that beverages are not included in this meal plan. Individual fluid needs vary based on age, sex, activity level, and medical history. For optimal hydration, experts generally recommend drinking approximately 9 cups of water per day for women and 13 cups of water per day for men. When adding beverages to your meal plan, consider their calorie count. Aim to reduce or eliminate consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, and opt for water when possible.

Day 2

Breakfast

  • 1/3 cup dry oats (cook in water and a dash of salt and cinnamon)
  • 4 large scrambled egg whites
  • 1 ounce slivered almonds

Micronutrients: 340 calories, 24 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrates, and 17 grams fat

Snack

  • 1 medium apple
  • 2 tablespoons natural peanut butter

Micronutrients: 316 calories, 9 grams protein, 38 grams carbohydrates, and 17 grams fat

Lunch

  • 4 ounces solid white tuna in water (drained)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil mayonnaise
  • 16 thin wheat crackers

Micronutrients: 327 calories, 29 grams protein, 22 grams carbohydrates, and 13 grams fat

Snack

  • 1 scoop whey protein powder mixed in coffee or water
  • 1-ounce almonds

Micronutrients: 280 calories, 26 grams protein, 12 grams carbohydrates, and 16 grams fat

Dinner

  • 6 ounces grilled chicken breast
  • 1 cup steamed broccoli

Micronutrients: 306 calories, 54 grams protein, 11 grams carbohydrates, and 6 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,569 calories, 141 grams protein, 108 grams carbohydrates, and 70 grams fat

Day 3

Breakfast

  • 6 ounces 2% cottage cheese
  • 1/4 cup pineapple chunks
  • 1-ounce cashew pieces

Micronutrients: 337 calories, 22 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrates, and 17 grams fat

Snack

  • 1/2 cup guacamole
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced

Micronutrients: 213 calories, 3 grams protein, 18 grams carbohydrates, and 17 grams fat

Lunch

  • 6 ounces roasted turkey deli meat
  • 1 slice provolone cheese
  • 1 (6-7 inch) flour tortilla or wrap

Micronutrients: 340 calories, 43 grams protein, 15 grams carbohydrates, and 12 grams fat

Snack

  • 1 cup salted and prepared edamame in the pod
  • 1 cup sliced carrots

Micronutrients: 238 calories, 20 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrates, and 8 grams fat

Dinner

  • 6 ounce 97% lean ground beef burger
  • 1 slider-size hamburger bun
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 2 lettuce leaves
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • 2 slices red onion

Micronutrients: 432 calories, 54 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrates, and 11 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,559 calories, 143 grams protein, 110 grams carbohydrates, and 65 grams fat

Day 4

Breakfast

Micronutrients: 262 calories, 21 grams protein, 21 grams carbohydrates, and 11 grams fat

Snack

  • 2 large hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 part-skim mozzarella string cheese
  • 1 cup grapes
  • 1 cup sliced carrots

Micronutrients: 359 calories, 21 grams protein, 41 grams carbohydrates, and 14 grams fat

Lunch

  • 6 ounces grilled chicken breast
  • 2 cups romaine lettuce
  • 1/4 cup corn kernels
  • 1/4 cup black beans
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Micronutrients: 562 calories, 57 grams protein, 26 grams carbohydrates, and 28 grams fat

Snack

  • 1 scoop whey protein powder mixed in coffee or water

Micronutrients: 110 calories, 20 grams protein, 6 grams carbohydrates, and 1 grams fat

Dinner

  • 6 ounces 99% fat-free ground turkey breast, sauteed in 1 teaspoon olive oil and mixed with 1/4 cup marinara sauce
  • 2 cups steamed zucchini noodles

Micronutrients: 284 calories, 40 grams protein, 12 grams carbohydrates, and 9 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,578 calories, 159 grams protein, 107 grams carbohydrates, and 63 grams fat

Day 5

Breakfast

Smoothie: 1 scoop whey protein powder, 1 small frozen banana, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, 1 cup nonfat milk, ice

Micronutrients: 383 calories, 34 grams protein, 45 grams carbohydrates, and 10 grams fat

Snack

  • 1/4 cup pistachios, in the shell

Micronutrients: 175 calories, 6.5 grams protein, 8 grams carbohydrates, and 14 grams fat

Lunch

  • 4 ounces deli roast beef
  • 1 slice provolone cheese
  • 1 slice rye bread
  • 2 slices red onion
  • 2 slices tomato

Micronutrients: 337 calories, 34 grams protein, 18 grams carbohydrates, and 11 grams fat

Snack

  • 1 small container (5.3 ounces) plain nonfat Greek Yogurt
  • 1-ounce almonds

Micronutrients: 258 calories, 21 grams protein, 11 grams carbohydrates, and 15 grams fat

Dinner

  • 4 ounces grilled chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup steamed mixed vegetables

Micronutrients: 424 calories, 38 grams protein, 33 grams carbohydrates, and 17 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,578 calories, 133 grams protein, 115 grams carbohydrates, and 68 grams fat

Day 6

Breakfast

Overnight Oats: Combine the following in a bowl, cover and refrigerate overnight. Top with 1 ounce chopped walnuts.

  • 1/3 cup dry oatmeal
  • 2 ounces plain nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 1 scoop whey protein powder
  • dash salt
  • 1/4 cup nonfat milk
  • dash of cinnamon

Micronutrients: 464 calories, 34 grams protein, 38 grams carbohydrates, and 22 grams fat

Snack

  • 1 cup salted and prepared edamame, in the pod
  • 1 cup sliced carrots

Micronutrients: 238 calories, 20 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrates, and 8 grams fat

Lunch

  • Quesadilla: 3 ounces grilled chicken breast, 1/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese, and 1 (6-7 inch) flour tortilla; serve with 2 tablespoons salsa

Micronutrients: 306 calories, 37 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrates, and 11 grams fat

Snack

  • 6 ounces 2% cottage cheese
  • 1 medium peach

Micronutrients: 196 calories, 19 grams protein, 22 grams carbohydrates, and 4 grams fat

Dinner

  • 6 ounces grilled salmon
  • 6 large steamed asparagus spears

Micronutrients: 370 calories, 40 grams protein, 3 grams carbohydrates, and 21 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,573 calories, 149 grams protein, 107 grams carbohydrates, and 67 grams fat

Day 7

Breakfast

  • 4 egg white omelet with 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms, 1 cup spinach, and 1/4 avocado
  • 1 slice wheat toast

Micronutrients: 250 calories, 20 grams protein, 23 grams carbohydrates, and 8 grams fat

Snack

  • Smoothie: 2/3 cup plain nonfat Greek Yogurt, 1 cup nonfat milk, 1/4 cup frozen blueberries, 1/4 cup frozen strawberries, 3 tablespoons hemp seeds, 1/2 frozen banana

Micronutrients: 425 calories, 34 grams protein, 42 grams carbohydrates, and 16 grams fat

Lunch

  • 6 ounces grilled salmon
  • 6 steamed asparagus spears

Micronutrients: 370 calories, 40 grams protein, 3 grams carbohydrates, and 21 grams fat

Snack

  • 2 hard-boiled eggs

Micronutrients: 155 calories, 13 grams protein, 1 grams carbohydrates, and 11 grams fat

Dinner

  • 4 ounces grilled chicken breast
  • 1 cup steamed stir fry vegetables
  • 1/2 cup cooked white rice
  • 1 tablespoon teriyaki sauce

Micronutrients: 457 calories, 43 grams protein, 40 grams carbohydrates, and 15 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1,657 calories, 150 grams protein, 110 grams carbohydrates, and 71 grams fat

How to Meal Plan for a Weight Loss Diet

  • Determine your calorie needs. Start by figuring out how many calories you need to eat per day by using a daily calorie calculator. From there, determine how many grams of protein, carbs, and fats by using macronutrient ratios like the ones shared above. Divide those numbers by the amount of meals and snacks to determine portion sizes.
  • Write down what you want to eat. Take a few moments to make a list of meals and snacks you'd enjoy eating. Plug those into the week ahead to create a meal plan.
  • Utilize leftovers. Make an extra portion at dinner so you can have it for lunch the next day. That way you're spending less time cooking.
  • Don't be afraid to copy and paste days. It's OK to eat the same thing sometimes, in fact, doing so can make your life easier. You know you like the food and there's less thought needed to figure out what you're going to eat.
  • Stock your fridge and pantry. Shop in advance for the foods you need on your meal plan that way you're always prepared when mealtime comes.
  • Prep meals the night before whenever possible. Making food the night before can save time in the morning when you're rushing to get out the door. And when you come home from a long day of work, the last thing you want to do is cook. Having dinner already prepped makes it easy to heat up when it's time to eat.

A Word From Verywell

Figuring out the weight loss formula that works best for your body and lifestyle is not easy. With a little time and advanced planning and preparation, following a weight loss diet will feel effortless. If you're having trouble figuring out where you should start or have reached a plateau, talking to your health care provider or Registered Dietitian can help. Don't hesitate to reach out for support and guidance.

We recognize that meal plans may not be appropriate for all, especially those with disordered eating habits. If you or a loved one are coping with an eating disorder, contact the National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) Helpline for support at 1-800-931-2237.

5 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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  2. Stewart TM, Martin CK, Williamson DA. The Complicated Relationship between Dieting, Dietary Restraint, Caloric Restriction, and Eating Disorders: Is a Shift in Public Health Messaging Warranted? Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2022 Jan 3;19(1):491. doi:10.3390/ijerph19010491

  3. Koliaki C, Spinos T, Spinou M, Brinia ME, Mitsopoulou D, Katsilambros N. Defining the optimal dietary approach for safe, effective and sustainable weight loss in overweight and obese adultsHealthcare (Basel). 2018;6(3):73. doi:10.3390/healthcare6030073

  4. Müller MJ, Enderle J, Pourhassan M, et al. Metabolic adaptation to caloric restriction and subsequent refeeding: The Minnesota Starvation Experiment revisited. Am J Clin Nutr. 2015;102(4):807-819. doi:10.3945/ajcn.115.109173

  5. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: How Much Water Do I Need?

By Shoshana Pritzker RD, CDN, CSSD, CISSN
Shoshana Pritzker RD, CDN is a sports and pediatric dietitian, the owner of Nutrition by Shoshana, and is the author of "Carb Cycling for Weight Loss." Shoshana received her B.S in dietetics and nutrition from Florida International University. She's been writing and creating content in the health, nutrition, and fitness space for over 15 years and is regularly featured in Oxygen Magazine, JennyCraig.com, and more.