Healthy Meal Plans Under 1,000 Calories

by Andrea Cespedes Google

    For most people, a regular meal plan with fewer than 1,000 calories is not healthy. Women need at least 1,200 calories per day while men need at least 1,500 calories per day to provide adequate energy and nutrition. If you have checked with your health care provider, and he has approved you to follow a plan with fewer than 1,000 calories, strive to make it the healthiest plan possible.

    Healthy meals plans under 1,000 calories feature micronutrient-rich foods that have few calories per serving. You should emphasize leafy green vegetables, very lean proteins, nonfat dairy and small amounts of whole grains at every meal. Each of your three meals should contain between 300 and 325 calories. Although fats are high in calories, the Institute of Medicine says you still need about 22 g, or 20 percent of total calories, daily to promote healthy skin and hair, proper hormone function and vitamin absorption.

    Have one poached egg, a glass of skim milk, a slice of whole wheat toast, 1 tsp. of peanut butter and a plum for breakfast. At lunch, make a large salad with 3 cups of romaine lettuce, 2 oz. of grilled chicken, 1 cup sliced cucumber and a light creamy dressing. Have five woven wheat crackers on the side. For a mid-afternoon snack, have three fresh apricots and 6 oz. of nonfat, plain Greek yogurt. At dinner, broil 2 oz. of tilapia and have it with two corn tortillas, 1/4 of an avocado and 1 cup of steamed zucchini. This meal plan contains 966 calories.

    Blend together a smoothie with 1 cup of nonfat, plain yogurt, eight frozen strawberries and 1 tsp. of flaxseed oil for breakfast. At lunch, mix together 2 oz. of water-packed tuna with 1/2 tbsp. of low-fat mayonnaise and chopped celery. Serve in a whole-wheat English muffin with sliced tomatoes. For dinner, have 1/2 cup of black beans with 1 cup of brown rice, 1/4 cup of salsa and 1/2 oz. of mozzarella cheese. For dessert, have a cup of skim milk with a peach. This meal plan contains about 985 calories.

    Start breakfast with 3 oz. of extra-lean ground turkey sautéed with fennel seeds and oregano wrapped in a whole-wheat tortilla with 1 oz. of mozzarella cheese. In the mid-morning, have 1 cup of puffed-rice cereal with 1/2 cup of blueberries and 4 oz. of skim milk. For lunch, have 1 cup of low-fat cottage cheese with a small chopped apple, 1 tbsp. of raisins and two rye crisp crackers. At dinner, stir fry 4 oz. of tofu with 1 cup of sliced red peppers and 1/2 cup of broccoli. Serve over 1/2 cup of steamed quinoa for a total daily plan with about 975 calories.

    About the Author

    Andrea Cespedes is a professionally trained chef who has focused studies in nutrition. With more than 20 years of experience in the fitness industry, she coaches cycling and running and teaches Pilates and yoga. She is an American Council on Exercise-certified personal trainer, RYT-200 and has degrees from Princeton and Columbia University.

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