Looking to drop 10 pounds by summer? This plan is the perfect guide: It contains delicious meals with the right balance of lean proteins, high-quality carbs and healthy fats to give you fast and effective results. Plus, each tasty option has plenty of nutrient-packed and fiber-filled produce, providing loads of vitamins and minerals to keep you feeling full and satisfied.
Here’s how it works:
Choose one breakfast, lunch, and dinner option each day, plus one to two snacks to help keep your appetite in check. You can mix and match any of the breakfasts, lunches, dinners and snacks. Feel free to repeat meals and snacks as often as you’d like.
Indulge in non-starchy vegetables (see the list below) in unlimited quantities at any time throughout the day, particularly when you get hungry between designated meal and snack times. And of course, drink plenty of water during meals and throughout the day.
RELATED: Get the Drop 10 TODAY grocery list
If you’re keeping track of calories, the meal plan provides between 1,400 to 1,600 calories per day. Men and very active women can increase their protein portions at meals.
Each lunch option contains no more than 400 calories.
Before starting your meal, drink 16 ounces (2 cups) of water, and have as much additional water as you’d like during your meal. Frontloading with water can take the edge off your hunger.
Follow my 3Ps: Meals must be packed with ample protein and 2 cups of produce (specifically non-starchy veggies from the unlimited list above), and you’ll need to power down. Protein and produce pack a one-two punch against hunger, helping to satisfy your appetite and showering your body with good-for-you nutrients. And by powering down electronics, you’ll be present and more mindful during the meal.
And finally, sit down and slow down. Take a seat and take the time to own your meal. Slow the pace of your eating — this will enhance digestion and allow you to be more aware of hunger and fullness cues.
1. Drop10 salad
Mixed greens topped with 5 ounces of protein (chicken, turkey, salmon, shrimp or tofu), ½ cup beans and unlimited non-starchy veggies. Dress with 1 teaspoon olive oil + unlimited vinegar or fresh lemon juice (alternatively, you can use 2 tablespoons low-calorie vinaigrette).
2. Open-faced turkey & Swiss sandwich
One slice whole-grain bread layered with 4 ounces turkey, 1 slice of Swiss cheese, 1 tablespoon mustard or hummus and preferred vegetables (lettuce, tomatoes, onions, etc.) and 2 cups of baby carrots on the side. *If preferred, nix the cheese and enjoy your sandwich on 2 slices of bread.
3. Soup and salad
Two cups of lentil, black bean or hearty-vegetable soup and salad layered with non-starchy veggies and dressed with 1 teaspoon olive oil and unlimited vinegar or fresh lemon juice (alternatively, you can use 2 tablespoons of low-calorie vinaigrette).
4. Cantaloupe and cottage cheese
Half of a cantaloupe with 1 cup low-fat cottage cheese topped with 2 tablespoons chopped walnuts, pecans, almonds or pistachios and 2 cups non-starchy vegetables on the side (for example, cherry tomatoes, cucumbers or bell pepper sticks).
On a bed of baby spinach leaves + ½ whole grain pita.
With 1 cup non-starchy vegetables on the side.
7. Restaurant fare: chicken or fish with veggies
5 ounces cooked fish or skinless chicken (grilled, baked or broiled) + lots of steamed, grilled or roasted veggies on the side.
Remember to plan for one or two snacks a day, here are some great options!
For more diet and fitness advice, sign up for our One Small Thing newsletter!