The ultimate no-grainer diet

Summer’s here, the fun has begun, and you’re probably wondering how to send those extra 10 pounds packing. Don’t have time to work out all those meal plans with just the right amounts of calories, protein, carbohydrate, fat and fiber? We’re here to help you safely and effectively get into shape without lots of stress, worry or even much effort! Just keep in mind these ideas about healthy eating and follow the 14-day meal plan we developed specifically for you — the active woman who wants to lose weight and maintain lean muscle mass, but still has to keep up with a hectic schedule!

Follow the meal plan for two weeks and then begin again. Remember, weight loss doesn’t happen ovemight. A loss of 1-2 pounds per week is ideal since this will allow you to maintain lean muscle and lose bodyfat; a very-low-calorie diet would cause you to lose muscle mass along with the bodyfat. Muscle is tied to your metabolism, so a well-planned and well-executed program is much more sensible than extreme plans. Anyway, you can follow such meal-skipping, extreme-calorie-cutting, energy-depriving plans for only a short period before you get fed up!

Tips To Guide You Through Summer

Eat a variety of foods that you like. Eating many different foods ensures that you get all the nutrients (and non-nutrient compounds) you need for optimal health without getting too much of things that may not be as nutritious. Choosing a variety of foods also prevents boredom and increases the number of foods for you to choose from.

Snack. Snacking is a great way to “take five” and relieve stress. Always have nutritious snacks on hand to munch on. Choose nutrient-dense foods to fill in the gaps in your diet. If, for example, you have difficulty meeting your daily calcium requirements, choose low-fat yogurt, pudding, cheese or milk for snacking. Snacking helps you refuel and prevents you from becoming so hungry that you overeat.

Plan. Plan what, when, where and how. Schedule time to eat, just like you schedule meetings. Busy lives mean planning and compromising, and you can compromise on time without skimping on nutritional quality. Plan break fast meetings, and develop a list of lunches and snacks you can eat at your desk or while you’re on the go.

Be an educated eater. Learn the basics of good nutrition, label-reading and dining out. Being an educated eater means you have the knowledge necessary to make informed choices no matter how crunched for time you become. Look at reliable websites for sound nutrition information; some of these include www.eatright.org of the American Dietetic Association, www.sensiblenutrition.com of The Sensible Nutrition Connection, and www.navigator.tufts.edu of Tufts University.

Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals not only causes you to miss nutrients important for your health and performance but it can also lead to overeating. You become so hungry that “anything goes” (into your mouth) and all good intentions go out the window. Oftentimes you end up eating the first thing you can grab, which may not be very nutritious.

Be creative. Think of timesaving eating opportunities such as: planning meals that can be used as leftovers, lunches you can eat at your desk, snacks you can munch on when you’re on the go, crock-pot meals that cook on their own during the day, and other dinners you can fix in 10 minutes or less. Keep in mind that dinner doesn’t have to be hot to be nutritious, and breakfast can be leftovers from a previous meal.

Be flexible. Things don’t always work out the way we planned. Be prepared and have an alternative or two. Don’t give up or give in, and always try to make the best of bad situations.

WEEK ONE

Day One

Break fast:

  • 1 1/2 oz. oatmeal (from half-cup dry) w/ 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 small banana

Snack:

  • 1 serving Made-From-Scratch Applesauce (see recipe below)

Lunch:

  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread
  • 2 Tbsp. reduced-fat peanut butter
  • 1 1/2 cups tossed salad w/ 1 Tpsp. low-cal Italian dressing
  • 1 cup 1% milk

Snack:

  • 3 cups light microwave popcorn

Dinner:

  • 3 oz. broiled swordfish
  • 1 cup cooked broccoli florets
  • 1 cup rice pilaf

Snack:

  • 1 cup fat-free lemon yogurt

DAILY TOTALS: 1,575 calories, 83 g protein, 243 g carbohydrate, 41 g fat, 28 g fiber.

Day Two

Breakfast:

  • 2 oz. Total Raisin Bran w/ 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 medium banana

Snack:

  • 1 1/2 oz. low-fat, low-salt crackers (or 1 1/2 servings)

Lunch:

  • 5 oz. turkey
  • 2 slices rye bread
  • 1 tsp. fat-free mayonnaise (see Tarragon Turkey Dijon recipe below for sandwich variation)
  • 1 1/2 cups tossed salad w/ 1 Tbsp. low-call Italian dressing

Snack:

  • 1 medium orange

Dinner:

  • 3 oz. baked chicken breast
  • 1 small potato, baked with skin
  • 1 1/2 cups tossed salad w/ 1 Tbsp. balsamic vinaigrette

Snack:

  • 1 cup 1% milk

DAILY TOTALS: 1,581 calories, 97 g protein, 230 g carbohydrate, 33 g fat, 20 g fiber.

Day Three

Breakfast:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Grape Nuts cereal w/ 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 cup blueberries

Snack:

  • 1 medium apple

Lunch:

  • Speedy Black-Bean Burrito (see recipe below)
  • 1 1/2 cups tossed salad w/ 2 Tbsp. reduced-fat dressing
  • 1 cup 1% milk

Snack:

  • 1 cup low-fat fruit yogurt

Dinner:

  • 3 oz. ground turkey breast patty, grilled
  • 1 medium whole-wheat roll
  • 3 oz. baked french fries

Snack:

  • 1 granola bar

DAILY TOTALS: 1,535 calories, 74 g protein, 222 g carbohydrate, 43 g fat, 22 g fiber.

Day Four

Breakfast:

  • 1 1/4 oz. All-Bran cereal w/ 1 cup 1% milk
  • 8 oz. grapefruit juice

Snack:

  • 3 medium prunes or other dried fruit

Lunch:

  • 2 slices multigrain bread
  • 2 1/2 Tbsp. reduced-fat peanut butter
  • 1 cup 1% milk

Snack:

  • 15 animal crackers

Dinner:

  • 2 small slices thin-crust pizza with light cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups tossed salad
  • 1 Tbsp. low-fat creamy Italian dressing

Snack:

1 cup low-fat peach yogurt

DAILY TOTALS: 1,549 calories, 63 g protein, 228 g carbohydrate, 47 g fat, 29 g fiber.

Day Five

Breakfast:

  • 1 small or 1/2 large whole-wheat bagel
  • 1 tsp. fruit preserves or jam
  • 1/2 cup fresh fruit cup
  • 1 cup 1% milk

Snack:

  • 1/2 small cantaloupe

Lunch:

  • 2 oz. tuna, canned in water, drained
  • 2 slices seven- or nine-grain bread
  • 1 tsp. fat-free mayonnaise

Snack:

1 oz. Cheerios

Dinner:

  • 1 slice light vegetable quiche (frozen entree)
  • 1 1/2 cups tossed salad
  • 1 Tbsp. low-cal Italian dressing

Snack:

  • 1 cup low-fat raspberry yogurt

DAILY TOTALS: 1,492 calories, 65 g protein, 207 g carbohydrate, 44 g fat, 20 g fiber.

Day Six

Breakfast:

  • 1 Low-Fat Carrot Muffin (see recipe below)
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 large peach

Snack:

  • 1 cup strawberries

Lunch

  • 1 1/2 cups chef’s salad (with 3 oz. lean poultry or meat and 1 oz. grated low-fat cheese)
  • 1 Tbsp. reduced-fat dressing
  • 1 small (4-inch-round) whole-wheat pita

Snack:

  • 3 cups light microwave popcorn

Dinner

  • 3 oz. broiled scallops
  • 1/2 cup couscous
  • 1 cup cooked asparagus

Snack:

1 cup low-fat fruit yogurt

DAILY TOTALS: 1,589 calories, 95 g protein, 236 g carbohydrate, 36 g fat, 23 g fiber.

Day Seven

Breakfast:

  • 1 1/2 oz. oatmeal (from half-cup dry)
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 medium banana

Snack:

1 1/2 oz. low-fat onion-flavored crackers

Lunch:

  • 2 oz. low-fat cheese
  • 1/2 cup baby carrots
  • 4 half-stalks celery
  • 1 high-fiber English muffin
  • 1 cup low-fat pineapple-flavored cottage cheese

Snack:

  • 1 cup low-fat mixed-fruit yogurt

Dinner:

  • 1 Small vegetable egg roll
  • 1 cup vegetable to mein
  • 1/2 cup stir-fry vegetables (prepared with minimum oil)

Snack:

  • 1 oz. Cheerios or other high-fiber cereal

DAILY TOTALS: 1,684 calories, 73 g protein, 285 g carbohydrate, 35 g fat, 26 g fiber.

WEEK TWO

Day Eight

Breakfast:

  • 2 oz. Fiber One cereal
  • 1/2 large banana
  • 1 cup low-fat fruit yogurt

Snack:

  • 1 medium orange

Lunch:

  • 1 cup vegetarian lentil soup (canned)
  • 1 whole-wheat dinner roll
  • 1 1/2 cups tossed salad w/ 1 Tbsp. low-cal Italian dressing
  • 1 cup 1% milk

Snack:

  • 3 Dutch pretzels

Dinner:

  • 1 serving low-fat vegetarian lasagna (frozen entree)
  • 1 1/2 cups tossed salad w/ 1 Tbsp. low-cal Italian dressing

Snack:

  • 1/2 cup light ice cream

DAILY TOTALS: 1,558 calories, 66 g protein, 239 g carbohydrate, 30 g fat, 36 g fiber

Day Nine

Breakfast:

  • 1/2 high-fiber English muffin
  • 1 Tbsp. reduced-fat peanut butter
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 4 oz. fresh orange juice

Snack:

  • 8 cinnamon graham crackers

Lunch:

  • 1 1/2 cups Greek salad with 1 oz. feta cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. low-fat creamy Italian dressing
  • 1 6-inch whole-wheat pita
  • 1 cup 1% milk

Snack:

  • 4 Tbsp. seedless raisins

Dinner:

  • 3 oz. chicken breast, simmered in 4 oz. tomato sauce with green peppers, opinion and mushrooms
  • 1 1/2 cups tossed salad w/ 1 Tbsp. low-fat French dressing

Snack:

  • 1 cup low-fat fruit yogurt

DAILY TOTALS: 1,599 calories, 75 g protein, 218 g carbohydrate, 50 g fat, 20 g fiber.

Day Ten

Breakfast:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Cracklin’ Oat Bran cereal w/ 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1 medium pear

Snack:

  • 1 cup diced pineapple

Lunch:

  • 1/2 cup hummus (garbanzo bean spread)
  • 1 9-inch flour tortilla
  • 1/4 cup cooked eggplant
  • 1/4 cup cooked zucchini
  • 1/4 cup cooked summer squash
  • 1 cup 1% milk

Snack:

  • 1 gronola bar

Dinner:

  • 1 cup cooked linguini pasta
  • 4 oz. broiled shrimp, topped with lemon and pepper
  • 1 cup cooked broccoli florets

Snack:

  • 1/2 cup light chocolate pudding made with 1% milk

DAILY TOTALS: 1,437 calories, 75 g protein, 251 g carbohydrate, 36 g fat, 25 g fiber.

Day Eleven

Breakfast:

  • 1 1/2 oz. oatmeal w/ 1 cup 1% milk
  • 2 Tbsp. seedless raisins

Snack:

  • 1 medium peach and 1/2 cup raspberries

Lunch:

  • 2 oz. tuna, canned in water, drained
  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread
  • 1 tsp. fat-free mayonnaise
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 3/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 cup 1% milk

Snack:

  • 1 cup low-fat fruit yogurt

Dinner:

  • 3 oz. pork foin chop
  • 1 cup long-grain brown rice
  • 1 1/2 cups tossed salad w/ 1 Tbsp. low-cal Italian dressing

Snack:

  • 1/2 oz. baked tortilla chips

DAILY TOTALS: 1,630 calories, 90 g protein, 228 g carbohydrate, 41 g fat, 26 g fiber.

Day Twelve

Breakfast:

  • 2 medium whole-wheat pancakes w/ 2 Tbsp. light syrup
  • 1 cup strawberries
  • 1 cup 1% milk

Snack:

  • 1 medium banana

Lunch:

  • 1 cup chunky vegetable soup (canned)
  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread
  • 2 Tbsp. reduced-fat peanut butter
  • 1 cup 1% milk

Snack:

  • 1 oz. Fruit & Fibre cereal

Dinner:

  • 1 chicken wrap with beans (9-inch flour tortilla, 2 oz. cooked chicken, 1/2 cup black beans)
  • 1 1/2 cups tossed salad, added to wrap
  • 1 Tbsp. low-fat French dressing

Snack:

  • 1 cup low-fat cherry yogurt

DAILY TOTALS: 1,628 calories, 70 g protein, 254 g carbohydrate, 43 g fat, 24 g fiber

Day Thirteen

Breakfast:

  • 1 large egg, scrambled
  • 1/2 high-fiber raisin English muffin
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 4 oz. fresh orange juice

Snack:

  • 8 medium dried apricots

Lunch:

  • 2 slices low-fat deli turkey breast
  • 2 slices pumpernickel bread
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • 1 1/2 cups tossed salad w/ 1 Tbsp. Dijon vinaigrette

Snack:

  • 1 cup low-fat lemon yogurt

Dinner:

  • 3 oz. broiled swordfish
  • 1 medium potato, baked with skin
  • 1 cup cooked peas
  • 1 cup 1% milk

Snack:

  • 1 medium low-fat oatmeal cookie

DAILY TOTALS: 1,457 calories, 82 g protein, 202 g carbohydrate, 36 g fat, 25 g fiber.

Day Fourteen

Breakfast:

  • 1 1/2 oz. Fruit & Fibre cereai w/ 1 cup 1% milk
  • 1/2 large banana

Snack:

  • 1 cup low-fat blueberry yogurt

Lunch:

  • 2 slices whole-wheat bread
  • 2 slices low-fat American cheese
  • 1 tsp. mustard
  • 1 cup baby carrots
  • 1 cup 1% milk

Snack:

  • 3 cups light microwave popcorn

Dinner:

  • 3 oz. 90% lean ground beef patty, grilled, served on ½ hamburger bun
  • 3 oz. baked french fries
  • 1 1/2 cups tossed salad w/ 1 Tbsp. low-cal Italian dressing

Snack:

  • 1 cup blueberries

DAILY TOTALS: 1,633 calories, 84 g protein, 250 g carbohydrate, 41 g fat, 24 g fiber.

THE GUIDELINES

Numbers are based on a moderately active woman who weighs about 140 pounds. She weight trains 2-3 times a week and does cardio three times a week. Strive for these daily totals:

RECOMMENDATION BASIS

Calories Approximately 1,600 caloriesSuggestion for weight loss of 1-2 pounds per week (range of 1,500-1,700 calories daily)
Carbs 200-260 gramsBased on 50%-65% of calories
Protein 75-95 gramsBased on 0.55-0.68 gram per pound (1.2-1.5 grams per kg) of bodyweight
Fat 35-55 grams20%-30% of calories
Fiber 25-35 gramsGeneral recommendations for health
Speedy Black-Bean Burritos

  • 8 oz. chicken breast meat (uncooked)
  • 15-oz. can black beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup salsa
  • 3 Tbsp. uncooked bulgur wheat
  • Leaf lettuce
  • 1 tomato
  • 4 flour tortillas

Slice chicken thinly and saute in a lightly oiled pan until thoroughly cooked. Remove from pan and set aside. Combine black beans, salsa and bulgur in a saucepan; simmer gently five minutes, stirring occasionally. Add chicken and heat 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat, cover and let stand Five minutes. Meanwhile, shred 1 cup lettuce and dice tomato. Heat a tortilla in an ungreased skillet until warm and soft, then spread a line of the bean mixture down center of tortilla. Top with lettuce, tomato and additional salsa, if desired. Roll tortilla around filling, then repeat with remaining tortillas. Makes 4 burritos.

PER BURRITO: 236 calories, 15 g protein, 27 g carbohydrate, 8 g fat, 6 g fiber.

Made-From-Scratch Applesauce

  • 3 lbs. apples like Galas or McIntosh
  • 1 cinnamon stick or 1 tsp, ground cinnamon
  • 2-inch vanilla bean, halved lengthwise
  • 2 strips lemon zest
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice, or to taste
  • 1/2 cup sugar, or to taste
  • 2 Tbsp. dry white wine
  • 2 1/2 cups water, or as needed

Wash apples and cut in half; remove stems and cores, but leave skins intact. Place in a large pot. Add cinnamon, vanilla, lemon zest, juice, sugar, wine and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, until apples are soft. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Remove and discard cinnamon stick and vanilla bean. Puree apples and pan juices in a blender for a smoother sauce, or process for a chunky texture. Makes eight servings.

PER SERVING: 144 calories, tr protein, 37 g carbohydrate, tr fat, 4 g fiber.

Tarragon Turkey Dijon

  • 2 Tbsp. low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. tarragon
  • 1 large Romaine lettuce leaf
  • 2 slices thin multigrain bread
  • 2 oz. thinly sliced cooked turkey
  • Dash of salt
  • Dash of pepper
  • 4 thin strips red bell pepper

In a small bowl, blend cottage cheese, mustard and tarragon. Place lettuce eat on one slice of bread and spread cottage cheese mixture over lettuce, Place turkey on top; season lightly with salt and pepper. Top with bell pepper strips and remaining slice of bread. Makes one serving.

PER SERVING: 244 calories, 17 g protein, 27 g carbohydrate, 5 g fat, 5 g fiber.

Low-Fat Carrot Muffins

  • 2 cups whole-wheat flour
  • 2/3 cup ready-to-eat bran flakes
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. grated nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/2 cup egg substitute
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp. canola oil
  • 2 Tbsp. molasses

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In a large bowl, combine flour, bran flakes, baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg. In a separate bowl, combine milk, carrots, raisins, egg substitute, honey, oil and molasses. Stir liquid ingredients into dry ingredients until just blended. Be careful not to overmix. Spray muffin tins with nonstick spray or use paper muffin cups. Fill cups about three-quarters full. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean. Makes 12-14 muffins.

PER MUFFIN: 130 calories, 5 g protein, 26 g carbohydrate, 5 fat, 5 g fiber.

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