Meal Plan:

Total Calories: 1,507

Breakfast
1 cup cooked oatmeal with 1 cup strawberries, 1 oz. raisins and ½ oz. (approx. 11) unsalted, crushed almonds 364 cal
5 scrambled egg whites 85 cal
1 cup skim milk 83 cal
Lunch
Grilled chicken sandwich
(4 oz. grilled skinless chicken breast, 2 slices whole wheat bread, 2 tbsp. salsa and 1 slice each lettuce and tomato)
387 cal
1 cup non-fat plain yogurt with 1 kiwi 183 cal
Dinner
4.5 oz. broiled tilapia with herbs 163 cal
1 cup mashed butternut squash with cinnamon 82 cal
2 cups spinach with ½ cup unsweetened mandarin oranges and 1 tbsp. unsalted sunflower seeds, mixed with 2 tbsp. balsamic vinegar 160 cal

Activity Plan:

Rest Day/Prep Day

Not every food is what it seems!

Some foods might seem like healthy foods, but they pack a caloric wallop that could undo days of exercise. Here are a few to steer clear of:

Fat free

“Fat-free” foods, like fat-free yogurt, have added sodium, sugar and other chemicals to help mimic the full-fat flavor.

A better choice? If you have to get your yogurt fix, try plain Greek yogurt. Greek yogurt is much higher in protein than regular yogurt and contains roughly half the carbs.

Smoothies

Smoothies start out with good intentions but their nutritional value is ruined by extra calories and sugar from add-ins like yogurt, ice cream, chocolate chips and syrups to enhance the taste.

A better choice? Delete the sugary extras and ask for a smoothie made with whey protein powder, fat-free milk, and healthy extras like blueberries, natural peanut butter and flaxseed.

Granola bars

In the past, granola bars were basic rolled oats, nuts and spices. But now with hunks of chocolate, marshmallows, frosted topping and other bells and whistles, the modern granola bar (or “breakfast bar” or “cereal bar”), is loaded with sugar, fat, sodium and a laundry list of chemicals that make adding these to any dieting plan a big mistake.

A better choice? If you’re looking for some on-the-go nutrition, mix some nuts, like almonds, peanuts or pistachios, with some sunflower seeds and keep them in a resealable bag.

Gluten free

“Gluten free” is another marketing buzzword used to dress up foods that you shouldn’t come within a country mile of. Eating gluten free as part of your weight loss meal plan doesn’t mean replacing gluten-filled foods with non-gluten replications. It should mean replacing those foods with real food, like fruits and vegetables.

A better choice? Avoid processed foods in general. If it’s labeled as gluten free, check the nutritional facts and ensure it contains a macronutrient profile that is going to help you reach your goals. It should be high in protein and low in saturated fat and sugar. Otherwise, delete it from your diet.

Artificial sweeteners

The artificial sweeteners in diet soda can disrupt your body’s natural ability to regulate calorie intake based on how sweet certain foods taste. In fact, drinking a diet soda can trick the body into thinking it is eating sugar, which can cause your body to release insulin, increase your appetite, slowing your metabolism and making you crave more sugar and carbs.

A better choice? Drink more water and only use diet sodas in a pinch when only other high-calorie drinks are available.

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You are stronger than your excuses.

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