Jan. 3, 2012 at 1:00 AM ET
It’s time to jump into your meal plan!
Stick to a daily schedule of three meals and one afternoon snack. This pattern allows you to eat something every 4 to 5 hours, which helps keep your body properly fueled and energized. This also means you should nix those extracurricular nibbles, bites, and tastes throughout the day -- it will save you literally thousands of calories each week.
Aim for 1,200 to 1,500 total calories a day (on the lower end of that range if you have less than 20 pounds to lose). You can spend your daily calorie allotment however you’d like at this point in the challenge, but if you prefer to follow set menus, visit my website for sample meal plans that do all of the math work for you.
Want to find other TODAY Health fans? "Like" us on Facebook