Health

Simple Healthy-Eating Meal Plan for Beginners

Simple Healthy-Eating Meal Plan for Beginners

Eating healthy can be daunting if you don’t know where to start. It’s hard to find tasty and healthy recipes, and it’s too easy to fall into the same routines, eating the same boring dishes over and over. But with a bit of planning and a few simple recipes, you can easily create a healthy meal plan that’s delicious and nutritious. Here are some tips and recipes to help you get started!

Notes: If you are trying to build muscle, you will want to find a higher protein plan or add protein to this plan. Recipes from Eating Well.

What Is a Healthy-Eating Meal Plan?

Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring! Our meal plan is filled with a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, high-fiber whole grains and legumes, healthy fats, and lean proteins. 

The American Heart Association recommends limiting added sugars to 6 teaspoons daily for women and 9 for men. So we left items with added sugar out of this plan and limited unhealthy fats.

This plan will ensure you feel satisfied and energized! You’ll get plenty of fiber from fruits, vegetables, and legumes. You’ll also get lean proteins from Greek yogurt, fish, and chicken, as well as healthy fats from nuts and avocados. You’ll also enjoy regular meals and snacks, plenty of water to stay hydrated, and moderate exercise throughout the week. All of this will add up to lasting energy that fuels your day!

Ready to slim down? Follow our healthy-eating meal plan, and you’ll be on your way to a healthier, happier you. We’ve set the calorie level at 1,500 per day, which is the sweet spot for most people who want to lose weight. Plus, we offer modifications for 1,200 and 2,000 calories daily, depending on your calorie needs.

What to Eat for a Healthy Diet

  • Vegetables: The more, the better, especially regarding leafy greens and frozen vegetables are a great option too.
  • Fruit: Try to eat fresh or frozen fruit. If you must buy canned, choose fruits in their own juice rather than sugary syrup.
  • Whole Grains: Oats, wheat, barley, and quinoa are great grain options.
  • Nuts and Seeds: Shoot for plain, raw, roasted, or salted nuts but skip other flavors (like honey roasted) as they contain added sugars. When choosing peanut butter, choose natural options with just two ingredients: peanuts and salt.
  • Healthy Fats: Fatty fish, avocado, and olive oil are great healthy fat options.
  • Legumes: Lentils and beans are high in fiber and protein; the canned options are great pantry staples.
  • Lean Proteins: When choosing your proteins, pick lean options like chicken, turkey, fish, Greek yogurt, and legumes.

Prepping Your Week of Meals:

Investing a bit of effort at the start of the week pays off handsomely to simplify the remainder of the week.

  1. Make four Vegan Superfood Buddha Bowls to have for lunch on Days 2-5.
  2. Prepare Citrus Vinaigrette to have with dinners.

Day 1

Breakfast (491 calories)

  • 1 cup of low-fat plain Greek yogurt (179 calories)
  • 1/4 cup raspberries (19 calories)
  • 3 Tbsp. of chopped walnuts (292 calories)

A.M. Snack (77 calories)

  • 1 medium orange

Lunch (360 calories)

P.M. Snack (350 calories)

  • 1 large apple (148 calories)
  • 2 Tbsp. of natural peanut butter (202 calories)

Dinner (422 calories)

Meal-Prep Tip: Gather ingredients for tomorrow’s dinner, Slow-Cooker Vegetable Minestrone Soup, so it’s ready to start cooking on Low tomorrow morning for 6-8 hours.

Daily Totals: 1,699 calories, 84 g protein, 142 g carbohydrates, 34 g fiber, and 94 g fat

Make It 1,200 Calories: 

  • Reduce to 1 tablespoon of chopped walnuts at breakfast 
  • Reduce the P.M. snack to half an apple and omit the peanut butter.

Make It 2,000 Calories: 

  • Increase to 1 1/2 cups of yogurt at breakfast 
  • Add 1/3 cup of unsalted dry-roasted almonds to the A.M. snack.

Day 2

Breakfast (324 calories)

A.M. Snack (214 calories)

  • 1/4 cup of unsalted dry-roasted almonds

Lunch (381 calories)

P.M. Snack (37 calories)

  • 1 medium sliced bell pepper

Dinner (485 calories)

Meal-Prep Tip: Keep some leftover Slow-Cooker Vegetable Minestrone Soup for dinner tomorrow.

Daily Totals: 1,441 calories, 55 g protein, 154 g carbohydrates, 42 g fiber, and 76 g fat

Make It 1,200 Calories: 

  • Change the A.M. snack to 1/3 cup sliced cucumber.

Make It 2,000 Calories: 

  • For breakfast, add 1 slice of whole wheat toast with 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter
  • Increase to 1/3 cup of almonds at A.M. snack
  • Add 1/4 cup of hummus to P.M. snack 
  • Increase to 1 whole avocado at dinner.

Day 3

Breakfast (491 calories)

  • 1 cup of low-fat plain Greek yogurt (179 calories)
  • 1/4 cup of raspberries (20 calories)
  • 3 Tbsp. of chopped walnuts (292 calories)

A.M. Snack (214 calories)

  • 1/4 cup of unsalted dry-roasted almonds

Lunch (381 calories)

P.M. Snack (77 calories)

  • 1 medium orange

Dinner (485 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,647 calories, 70 g protein, 150 g carbohydrates, 45 g fiber, and 87 g fat

Make It 1,200 Calories: 

  • For breakfast, reduce chopped walnuts to 2 tablespoons
  • Change the A.M. snack to 1/3 cup of sliced cucumber
  • Reduce to 1/4 of an avocado at dinner.

Make It 2,000 Calories:

  • Increase to 4 tablespoons of chopped walnuts at breakfast and 1/3 cup of almonds at A.M. snack.
  • Add 1/3 cup of dried walnut halves to P.M. snack.
  • Increase to 1 whole avocado at dinner.

Day 4

Breakfast (324 calories)

A.M. Snack (183 calories)

  • 1 medium bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 cup hummus

Lunch (381 calories)

P.M. Snack (214 calories)

  • 1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds

Dinner (493 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,594 calories, 92 g protein, 130 g carbohydrates, 34 g fiber, and 86 g fat

Make It 1,200 Calories: 

  • Remove the hummus at the A.M. snack
  • Swap the P.M. snack for 1 clementine.

Make It 2,000 Calories: 

  • For breakfast, add 1 slice of whole wheat toast with 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter
  • Increase to 1/3 cup of almonds and add 1 clementine to P.M. snack
  • Add 1/2 cup of cooked quinoa to dinner.

Day 5

Breakfast (491 calories)

  • 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup raspberries
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

A.M. Snack (324 calories)

  • 1 medium apple
  • 2 Tbsp. of natural peanut butter

Lunch (381 calories)

P.M. Snack (77 calories)

  • 1 medium orange

Dinner (414 calories)

Meal-Prep Tip: Reserve two servings of Chicken & Kale Soup for lunch on Days 6 & 7.

Daily Totals: 1,686 calories, 84 g protein, 162 g carbohydrates, 36 g fiber, and 89 g fat

Make It 1,200 Calories: 

  • At breakfast, reduce the walnuts to 1 tablespoon
  • Remove the peanut butter from the A.M. snack.

Make It 2,000 Calories: 

  • Add 1/4 cup of unsalted dry-roasted almonds to P.M. snack
  • Add 1/2 avocado to dinner.

Day 6

Breakfast (324 calories)

A.M. Snack (324 calories)

  • 1 medium apple (122 calories)
  • 2 Tbsp. of natural peanut butter (202 calories)

Lunch (393 calories)

P.M. Snack (152 calories)

  • 1/3 cup of sliced cucumber (6 calories)
  • 1/4 cup of hummus (146 calories)

Dinner (399 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,592 calories, 67 g protein, 185 g carbohydrates, 32 g fiber, and 68 g fat

Make It 1,200 Calories: 

  • Remove the peanut butter from the A.M. snack
  • Remove the hummus from the P.M. snack.

Make It 2,000 Calories: 

  • For breakfast, Add 1 slice of whole wheat toast with 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter
  • Add 1 orange to the P.M. snack
  • Add 1/2 serving of Guacamole Chopped Salad to dinner.

Day 7

Breakfast (324 calories)

A.M. Snack (214 calories)

  • 1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds

Lunch (393 calories)

P.M. Snack (183 calories)

  • 1 medium bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup of hummus

Dinner (466 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,580 calories, 73 g protein, 177 g carbohydrates, 36 g fiber, and 69 g fat

Make It 1,200 Calories: 

  • Change the A.M. snack to 1 clementine
  • Remove the hummus at the P.M. snack.

Make It 2,000 Calories: 

  • Add 1 slice of whole grain toast with 1 tablespoon of natural peanut butter to breakfast
  • Increase to 1/3 cup of almonds at A.M. snack
  • Add 1 serving of Everything Bagel Avocado Toast to dinner.

Don’t Like the Meal Plan But Still Want to Eat Healthier?

Here are 10 quick and easy tips to make it easier!

  1. Eat a variety of foods: Aim to eat various types of fruits, vegetables, grains, protein sources, and healthy fats to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs.
  2. Choose whole, unprocessed foods: These foods are often more nutritious and lower in added sugars, unhealthy fats, and sodium.
  3. Limit added sugars: Added sugars are usually found in processed and packaged foods and drinks and can contribute to weight gain and health problems.
  4. Eat enough protein: Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues and can help you feel fuller for longer.
  5. Choose healthy fats: Healthy fats can help improve cholesterol levels and provide many other health benefits.
  6. Don’t skip meals: Skipping meals tends to lead to overeating later in the day, so eat regular meals and snacks to keep your energy levels stable.
  7. Stay hydrated: Drinking plenty of water is essential for maintaining health. Drink eight cups of water (or more) daily.
  8. Control portion sizes: Pay attention to the size of your portions, especially regarding high-calorie or unhealthy foods. Using smaller plates and bowls can help you control your portion sizes.
  9. Eat slowly: Take your time when you’re eating. Eating slowly can help you feel satisfied with smaller portions.
  10. Get enough fiber: Fiber is essential to a healthy diet and can help you feel full and satisfied.

About the Healthy-Eating Meal Plan

This meal plan presents a week of healthy, uncomplicated recipes perfect for beginners and experienced cooks who want to make life easier and increase their healthy food intake.

Healthy eating means filling your plate with nutritious whole foods such as grains, fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and legumes. All of these give essential nutrients, like fiber. It also means keeping things like added sugars and saturated fats to a minimum.

The objective is to assist you in feeling your best, and occasionally you require a boost to get going. If you’re a beginner at cooking or just feeling overwhelmed, this easy-to-follow meal plan is for you. We concentrate on straightforward recipes with short ingredient lists, integrate plenty of pantry staples, and repeat meals throughout the week to make your time in the kitchen more efficient.

This meal plan isn’t meant to be rigid – so make it work for you! Tune in to your body’s hunger and fullness cues, and don’t deny yourself of cravings. It’s alright to enjoy a sweet treat or glass of wine every now and then – this can actually help promote a healthy lifestyle in the long run. Whether you make one dish or multiple, it’s here to provide motivation and inspiration!

Learn more about eating healthy on a budget here!

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