7-Day 1,500-Calorie Meal Plan & Recipe Prep

7-day meal plan

Verywell / Amelia Manley

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.

When consuming a 1,500-calorie per day diet, it can be very useful to plan ahead to stay on track and meet your calorie needs. Planning ahead can ensure that you eat a nutritious and balanced diet while staying within your calorie goal, especially when your schedule gets busy.

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 1,500 Calorie Diet

A 1,500-calorie meal plan may be appropriate for you if you want to lose weight. In general, the rate of healthy, sustainable weight loss is about 1 to 2 pounds per week. This meal plan may help you achieve that through a combination of protein, fiber, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates while still including fun foods as well.

You may want to think about each meal consisting of 300 to 400 calories and snacks consisting of 100 to 150 calories. Including the right combination of foods at each meal and snack will keep you fuller for longer. Keep in mind, that you may need more or less at each meal and snack depending on your hunger levels.

7-Day Sample Menu

This one-week meal plan was designed for a person who needs about 1,500 calories per day and has no dietary restrictions. 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 a healthcare provider to assess and plan for your dietary needs more accurately.

Each day includes three meals and two snacks and contains a balance of carbohydrates, fats, and protein. The meal plan also includes plenty of fiber, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants from whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and legumes. You can swap out similar menu items for others, but make sure to use the same cooking method. For example, switching out grilled chicken for grilled fish is fine, but if you fry the fish then that changes the fat and calories in the meal.

Day 1

Breakfast

  • One slice 100% whole wheat toast
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • One banana, sliced

Macronutrients: 280 calories, 9 grams protein, 44 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fat

Lunch

  • 3 ounces sliced plain turkey, one slice swiss cheese, two lettuce leaves, and 1 tablespoon mustard wrapped in an 8-inch 100% whole wheat tortilla

Macronutrients: 351 calories, 24 grams protein, 29 grams carbohydrates, 16 grams fat

Snack

  • 12 unsalted almonds
  • 10 cherries

Macronutrients: 144 calories, 4 grams protein, 16 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams fat

Dinner

  • 3 ounces grilled salmon
  • 1 cup cooked brown rice
  • 1/2 cup roasted broccoli florets in 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, and pepper

Macronutrients: 540 calories, 25 grams protein, 51 grams carbohydrates, 26 grams fat

Snack

  • 1 ounce 70% dark chocolate

Macronutrients: 170 calories, 2 grams protein, 13 grams carbohydrates, 12 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1485 calories, 65 grams protein, 154 grams carbohydrates, 72 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 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 quarter cup low-sugar granola
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

Macronutrients: 337 calories, 25 grams protein, 35 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams fat

Lunch

  • English Muffin Pizza (One whole wheat English muffin, 2 tablespoons jarred tomato sauce, and 3 tablespoons shredded mozzarella cheese)
  • 12 baby carrots

Macronutrients: 253 calories, 12 grams protein, 35 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams fat

Snack

  • 1 medium apple
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter

Macronutrients: 189 calories, 4 grams protein, 29 grams carbohydrates, 8 grams fat

Dinner

  • 2 cups cooked spaghetti squash
  • 3 ounces chicken breast, baked
  • 2 tablespoons peanut sauce (peanut butter, soy sauce, maple syrup, red pepper flakes, lime juice)
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots

Macronutrients: 402 calories, 26 grams protein, 37 grams carbohydrates, 18 grams fat

Snack

  • Two Medjool dates
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Macronutrients: 335 calories, 3 grams protein, 63 grams carbohydrates, 13 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1516 calories, 69 grams protein, 199 grams carbohydrates, 58 grams fat

Day 3

Breakfast

  • One slice 100% whole wheat bread
  • One poached egg
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed

Macronutrients: 313 calories, 12 grams protein, 23 grams carbohydrates, 21 grams fat

Lunch

  • Salad with 2 cups chopped romaine lettuce, 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup cooked beets, 1 ounce goat cheese, and 1 ounce walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinaigrette

Macronutrients: 400 calories, 14 grams protein, 21 grams carbohydrates, 31 grams fat

Snack

  • 1/4 cup hummus
  • 10 baby carrots

Macronutrients: 135 calories, 6 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fat

Dinner

  • Turkey chili with 3 ounces ground turkey, 1 cup canned tomatoes, 1/2 cup black beans, 1/2 cup corn, cumin, and chili powder

Macronutrients: 426 calories, 33 grams protein, 40 grams carbohydrates, 17 grams fat

Snack

  • 1 cup plain popcorn
  • 1 ounce 70% dark chocolate

Macronutrients: 214 calories, 3 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1488 calories, 67 grams protein, 119 grams carbohydrates, 89 grams fat

Day 4

Breakfast

  • 1 cup oatmeal, cooked in water
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped strawberries

Macronutrients: 292 calories, 10 grams protein, 39 grams carbohydrates, 12 grams fat

Lunch

  • 3 ounces canned tuna mixed with one tablespoon mayo
  • Two slices 100% whole wheat bread
  • Two slices of tomato
  • Two lettuce leaves

Macronutrients: 381 calories, 29 grams protein, 31 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams fat

Snack

  • One peach
  • 12 unsalted almonds

Macronutrients: 161 calories, 5 grams protein, 20 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams fat

Dinner

  • 1 cup whole wheat pasta
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 medium zucchini, chopped and sauteed in one tablespoon olive oil

Macronutrients: 417 calories, 13 grams protein, 60 grams carbohydrates, 17 grams fat

Snack

  • 1 cup regular whole milk ice cream

Macronutrients: 273 calories, 5 grams protein, 31 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1524 calories, 62 grams protein, 181 grams carbohydrates, 68 grams fat

Day 5

Breakfast

  • One whole wheat English muffin
  • 2 tablespoons peanut butter
  • 1/2 cup raspberries

Macronutrients: 340 calories, 13 grams protein, 38 grams carbohydrates, 17 grams fat

Lunch

  • Two slices whole wheat bread
  • Two slices cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup tomato soup

Macronutrients: 472 calories, 23 grams protein, 47 grams carbohydrates, 21 grams fat

Snack

  • 1 medium apple

Macronutrients: 95 calories, 0 grams protein, 25 grams carbohydrates, 0 grams fat

Dinner

  • 3 ounces baked chicken breast
  • 1/2 cup broccoli florets sauteed in 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 2 tablespoons teriyaki sauce

Macronutrients: 465 calories, 29 grams protein, 57 grams carbohydrates, 13 grams fat

Snack

  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 3 tablespoons whipped cream
  • 1 tablespoon chocolate chips

Macronutrients: 122 calories, 2 gram protein, 20 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1494 calories, 66 grams protein, 187 grams carbohydrates, 58 grams fat

Day 6

Breakfast

  • 1 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup low-sugar granola
  • 1/2 cup blueberries

Macronutrients: 337 calories, 25 grams protein, 35 grams carbohydrates, 11 grams fat

Lunch

  • One 8-inch whole wheat tortilla with 1/4 cup hummus, 1/4 cup feta cheese, 1/4 cup olives, 1/4 cup cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cucumber chopped

Macronutrients: 15 grams protein, 36 grams carbohydrates, 22 grams fat

Snack

  • 12 tortilla chips
  • 1/4 cup guacamole

Macronutrients: 260 calories, 4 grams protein, 30 grams carbohydrates, 16 grams fat

Dinner

  • One small whole wheat dinner roll
  • One tomato slice
  • 3-ounce turkey burger
  • 1 tablespoon ketchup
  • Side garden salad with 1 cup lettuce, 1/4 cup tomatoes, 1/4 cup shredded carrots, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinaigrette

Macronutrients: 452 calories, 30 grams protein, 34 grams carbohydrates, 21 grams fat

Snack

  • 1 cup cubed watermelon

Macronutrients: 46 calories, 1 gram protein, 11 grams carbohydrates, 0 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1484 calories, 75 grams protein, 146 grams carbohydrates, 70 grams fat

Day 7

Breakfast

  • One slice 100% whole wheat bread
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • One poached egg

Macronutrients: 313 calories, 12 grams protein, 23 grams carbohydrates, 21 grams fat

Lunch

  • Black bean and corn quesadilla (1/2 cup black beans, 1/3 cup corn kernels, and 1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese on an 8-inch whole wheat tortilla with 1/4 cup salsa)

Macronutrients: 423 calories, 21 grams protein, 55 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams fat

Snack

  • 1 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup raspberries

Macronutrients: 178 calories, 21 grams protein, 15 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fat

Dinner

  • 3 ounces grilled salmon
  • 1 medium baked sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup roasted broccoli in 1 tablespoon olive oil

Macronutrients: 424 calories, 23 grams protein, 29 grams carbohydrates, 24 grams fat

Snack

  • 1 cup plain popcorn
  • 1 ounce 70% dark chocolate

Macronutrients: 214 calories, 3 grams protein, 17 grams carbohydrates, 15 grams fat

Daily Totals: 1552 calories, 80 grams protein, 139 grams carbohydrates, 79 grams fat

How to Meal Plan for a 1,500 Calorie Diet

  • Plan ahead and meal prep. Taking some time on a Sunday or your day off to plan your meals for the week, grocery shop, and prep some meals in advance is a major time saver during busy weeks. It can also help reduce stress when thinking about what to eat and helps you stay on track.
  • Start your day with a balanced breakfast. Be sure to include plenty of protein, healthy fats, and fiber in breakfast to give you energy and keep you full until lunch.
  • Don't forget about timing. You want to think about eating about every 3 to 4 hours. This keeps your energy levels up throughout the day and prevents you from going to any one meal starving.
  • Keep your food groups in mind. It can be challenging to come up with meals every day. To make it easier, think about including protein, a carbohydrate, fat, and fruit or vegetable at each meal. This combination helps you get all of the nutrients you need and keeps you full and satisfied.
  • A 1,500-calorie eating plan may be temporary. For slow, sustainable weight loss, your diet plan must be realistic and long-lasting. While 1,500 calories may be enough for you, it also may not be in the long term. Assess how you feel and consider adjusting your meal plan if needed. Speak with a registered dietitian if you feel you need an individualized plan.

A Word From Verywell

Planning nutritious and balanced meals does not need to be difficult with a little bit of planning ahead and prep. Speak with a registered dietitian if you are not sure this plan is right for you and to get specific recommendations for your individual nutrition needs and health goals.

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.

3 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.
  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Losing weight.

  2. USDA. 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

  3. Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. How much water do you need.

Additional Reading