If you want to create healthy eating meal plans that are 1500 calories a day, you need to select food that is nutritionally dense but calorically light. To achieve this, base your diet plan on lean proteins, fresh vegetables and fruits, legumes, seeds and whole grains.
Sample 1500 Calorie Healthy Eating Meal Plans
Spread your calories out evenly over the course of the day. This is the best way to ensure your metabolism stays on track and you don't become so hungry you are tempted to overeat. With that in mind, the most effective way to divide your daily caloric intake is to have three meals of about 425 calories each, and two snacks of about 100 to 125 calories each.
Add two of your favorite low calorie snacks to each daily menu plan to make up 1500 calories.
If you need help downloading the printable meal plan, check out these helpful tips.
Choose one of the following breakfasts each day. Breakfasts are between 400 and 450 calories.
|Meal 1|| One cup Fiber one cereal or similar high fiber cereal |
1/2 cup nonfat milk
One small banana
1 ounce slivered almonds
|Meal 2|| One egg, poached |
One English muffin
2 teaspoons butter
|Meal 3|| 1/2 toasted cinnamon raisin bagel |
1 tablespoon peanut butter
One medium-sized apple
|Meal 4|| Spinach, mushroom, and parmesan frittata |
1 slice whole wheat toast
2 teaspoons butter
|Meal 5|| Banana berry smoothie ||430||Combine all smoothie items in a blender and process until smooth.|
|Meal 6|| Fruit and yogurt parfait made with: ||426|
Choose one of the following 400 to 450-calorie lunches each day.
|Lunch 1|| Tuna salad sandwich made with: |
|Lunch 2|| Chicken Caesar salad made with: ||445|
|Lunch 3|| Baked sweet potato |
1/2 cup black beans
2 tablespoons salsa
2 tablespoons plain non-fat yogurt
8 ounces lowfat milk (to drink)
|427||Top sweet potato with beans, salsa, and yogurt|
|Lunch 4|| Pita and hummus sandwich made with: |
1 small banana
|Lunch 5|| Turkey Avocado sandwich made with: ||407||Mash avocado and Dijon mustard together and spread on bread.|
|Lunch 6|| Black bean burrito made with: ||400|| |
Each of the following dinners has between 400 and 450 calories.
|Dinner 1|| Hamburger made with: ||450|| |
|Dinner 2|| Soup made with: ||420|| To make soup: |
|Dinner 3|| Taco salad made with: ||450|
|Dinner 4|| 6 ounces broiled salmon |
Salad made with:
6 spears steamed asparagus
1 cup fat-free pudding
|Dinner 5|| |
Stir-fried chicken and asparagus
One cup steamed brown rice
|Dinner 6|| 1/2 grilled skinless chicken breast |
1 sweet potato, baked
1 cup steamed broccoli
While you want to stay fairly close to these numbers above to balance your food throughout the day, allow yourself a certain amount of flexibility. Remember that the total amount of calories you eat over a day or week is more important than the precise count at each meal.
If you plan your meals using nutritionally dense, whole foods you will probably find yourself eating larger volumes of food than you are used to, but with fewer calories.
Low Calorie Snacks
Choose a few healthy snacks that you enjoy and keep them on hand. Planning snacks is an important part of healthy eating, and will help you resist the urge to raid the vending machine or whip up a batch of cookies. Each of the following snacks has about 100 calories unless otherwise noted.
- 10 dry roasted, unsalted almonds
- 3/4 ounce raw, unsalted husked sunflower seeds
- 1/2 to 3/4 ounce shelled walnuts
- One ounce unsalted pumpkin seeds
- Three ounces cubed tofu
- 1/3 of an avocado, sliced
- Celery ribs dipped in three tablespoons hummus
- 1 medium banana
- Cherry tomatoes - one cup has 27 calories
- One to two cups mixed berries
- One cup julienned carrots, sweet potatoes or turnip
- Two cups melon balls
- 1/2 cup 2.9 percent milk fat probiotic yogurt
Keeping hydrated will moderate your appetite and make you feel and look better overall. The best way to achieve this is by drinking adequate amounts of water. In between cups of water, skip the sodas and gourmet coffee in favor of beverages that will not only quench your thirst, but also provide you with beneficial antioxidants and bioflavonoids. Try these nutritious and refreshing beverages:
- Green tea with lemon
- Soy milk (132 calories per cup)
- Green smoothies
- Dandelion root tea
Calorie restricted diets can sometimes lead to nutritional imbalances and deficiencies. This is especially true when dieters rely on artificial sweeteners or nutritionally vacant prepackaged diet foods. Executed properly, however, a reduced-calorie diet can be far more nutritious than the standard American diet. When you choose only the highest quality, most nutrient-dense foods, you can actually increase nutrient consumption while reducing caloric intake.
A Diet for Life
Focusing on foods that pack a maximum nutritional punch with a minimum of saturated fat, calories and additives will not only slim your waistline, but also reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke. This is an eating plan that you can continue for the rest of your life. Once you are in the habit of healthy eating, counting calories will no longer be necessary, but proper nutrition should remain a priority.