Each Meal Plan consists of a week's worth of meals. If there is a food item that you do not like and would like to replace it with another food, you can do so by clicking on the "Food Substitutions" at the top of the Meal Plan page. These Food Substitutions will give you several other options from which to choose.
Also, a printable Shopping List is available for your convenience (simply click on "Shopping List" at the top of the Meal Plan page).
How to use the Meal Plans
Please note that each meal plan is based on a weight loss of 1/2-2 pounds per week. A sensible approach to dieting with slow, consistent weight loss is more likely to be maintained for life.
Menus will not go below 1400 calories per day, as this is the minimum amount necessary to meet your daily nutrient requirements. If the calorie level determined for you is below 1400 calories, you may want to consider increasing your exercise. However, if you are unable to do that, you will still lose weight, it will just be at a slower pace (approximately ½ pound per week).
Please note that the menus do not exceed 2400 calories per day. If your weight management plan exceeds 2400 calories, you can use the Food Calorie Counter to add snacks to your meal plan to increase your calories.
Simply choose the Meal Plan below that fits your lifestyle best -- Convenience-Based (if you don't do a lot of cooking or are always "on-the-go," these plans incorporate frozen and quick-prep meals), Recipe-Based (if you enjoy cooking and have the time to create some delicious and healthy dishes!), or Combination (the best of both worlds!). All Meal Plans have been carefully balanced for proper nutrition, customized to your calorie level.
Note about Brand Names: You may have noticed that the Meal Plans do not contain brand names. Brand names were purposely left off of the Meal Plans so as to give members greater freedom of choice. CaloriesCount.com members live in different parts of the U.S. and even in other countries. The CaloriesCount.com team did not want to alienate members who might not have certain brands at their local grocer. Additionally, brand names can give a "commercial" appearance. Thus, the calories for various items are listed on the Meal Plans in an effort to help guide members in choosing items that are similar in nutritional content. For example, if you prefer sugar-free peach flavored tea, you may substitute this for one of the other beverages listed on the Meal Plans. Or, if you prefer fat-free vanilla cookies, these could be substituted for the chocolate version. These Meal Plans are meant to be used as a guide in helping members choose a healthy diet that falls within an appropriate calorie level. Feel free to make changes as you see necessary (at similar calorie levels) and click on "Food Substitutions" for additional options.
We hope you enjoy your meal plans.
Beyond Week 6:
Meal plans can be very helpful, which is why there are several different types (including recipe-based, convenience-based and a combination plan) included on this site. Meal plans are a great way to help you get started and introduce you to new, healthier eating habits. However, at some point, all good things must come to an end. There is no way to provide an "endless supply" of meal plans. Further, it would be impossible to eat according to a certain meal plan all the time. At some point, you will be very comfortable making healthier, better-for-you choices on your own. But, you can take baby steps. If you've finished the meal plans on this site, then use them as a guide for specific meals. The meal plans provide great ideas for snacks, dinner, breakfast, etc. So, if you sail through the morning until mid-afternoon but have trouble deciding on dinner -- look to the meal plans. Or, if you are tired of the same old snacks look to the meal plans for new recipes and suggestions. Remember, the meal plans are a little like training wheels -- soon you will not need them any more -- because you will have learned the tools and information to maintain a healthy "balance."