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Easy, low-calorie recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks

For our seventh annual USA TODAY Weight Loss Challenge, we are offering a low-calorie diet plan to help you lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks. And we're going to keep it simple.

To lose a pound a week, you need to cut about 500 calories a day. Your specific caloric needs are determined by several factors, including your muscle mass, current weight, height, age and activity level. But as a general rule, a sedentary woman can lose weight on about 1,500 calories a day; a sedentary man can consume about 1,800 calories a day, says Chicago-based registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner, author of The Flexitarian Diet. Some people may have to go a few hundred calories lower to lose weight, and some will be able to go higher.

Blatner came up with dozens of healthful low-calorie meals and snacks for the Weight-Loss Challenge. The breakfasts are all about 300 calories, lunches about 400, dinners about 500 and snacks about 150 calories. Most of the meals are relatively high in fiber and low in saturated (animal) fat.

You can mix and match breakfasts, lunch, dinners and snacks to suit your tastes and create a customized menu. For a 1,500-calorie plan, you might eat breakfast, lunch, dinner and two snacks a day. For the 1,800-calorie plan, consider doubling the breakfast portion and then eat lunch, dinner and two snacks a day, Blatner says. The program includes simple recipes you can make at home and meals you can get when you're dining out (at left are lunches, below are dinners and breakfasts).

To read the full article and print out the recipes, click here

 

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