7-Day Eating Plan

Featured Article, Healthy Recipes and Nutrition
on April 1, 2012

No one wants to lose weight only to gain it back. But how do you stay at a healthy weight for life? We tapped the experts at the National Weight Control Registry (NWCR) to find out. The NWCR tracks folks who have lost at least 35 pounds and kept it off for one or more years, compiling reams of data on what works—and what doesn’t—when it comes to weight loss and weight maintenance. One key component—in addition to regular exercise—is sticking to a 1,200-calorie-per-day diet, divided into three meals and two snacks. The NWCR says this strategy seems to work best for the majority of successful losers. We worked with registered dietitian Ashley Koff, co-author with fitness star Kathy Kaehler of Mom Energy: A Simple Plan To Live Fully Charged, for a week’s worth of meals to get you started.


Breakfast: ½ whole grain tortilla, filled with 3 scrambled egg whites (3), lightly sautéed veggies in 1 tsp. olive oil and topped with hot sauce: 287 calories

Lunch: ½ whole-wheat pita stuffed with 1oz. roasted turkey, ¼ cup avocado and mixed shredded veggies: 204 calories

Dinner: Veggie burger topped with ¼ avocado, grilled onions and 2 tbsp. salsa: 258 calories

Snack: 1 cup peaches tossed with lime juice, red pepper flakes, topped with ¼ cup ricotta or cottage cheese: 230 calories

Snack: ¾ cup edamame tossed with ¼ cup avocado, 1 chopped tomato, onion, basil, lemon juice and red wine vinegar: 305 calories

Total: 1284 calories



Breakfast: ½ whole-wheat wrap, 3 scrambled egg whites, salsa and 1 tsp. basil pesto: 169 calories

Lunch: 3 oz. chicken and ½ c. whole wheat pasta with 1 tsp. basil pesto: 299 calories

Dinner: Tomato stuffed with 3 oz. crabmeat mixed with vinaigrette, parsley, tarragon, served with lemon wedges, baby carrots and celery: 220 calories

Snack: 1 tbsp. almond butter ½ cup almond milk and cinnamon blended together and topped with ½ of a sliced banana: 170 calories

Snack: ¾ cup grilled pineapple topped with cinnamon, 6 oz.  plain Greek yogurt, 3 tsp. shredded unsweetened coconut: 306 calories

Total: 1164 calories



Breakfast: 3 scrambled egg whites over 1/2 cup white beans smashed with garlic and rosemary, steamed spinach, sautéed onions and a slice of avocado: 242 calories

Lunch: ½ toasted whole wheat bagel spread with 1 tsp. low-fat, plain cream cheese, topped with ½ c. edamame and veggies: 333 calories

Dinner: Mixed greens with a mixture of ¼ cup avocado, tomato, cilantro, minced garlic, and juice of ½ a lime and topped with 3 oz. steamed or grilled pink shrimp: 163 calories

Snack: 1 apple with 1 tbsp. nut butter: 180 calories

Snack: 1 Pure or Luna bar: 170 calories

Total: 1087 calories



Breakfast: 1 gluten-free waffle topped with 1 tbsp.  almond butter, 4 thinly sliced strawberries: 226 calories

Lunch: ½ whole grain tortilla spread with tomato sauce, fresh basil leaves and 1 oz. goat cheese: 176 calories

Dinner: Salad with ½ cup roasted butternut squash, tossed with shredded raw kale, 10-15 slivered almonds and ½ tbsp olive oil, lemon juice, salt & pepper: 231 calories

Snack: 1 cup black bean soup topped with ¼ cup fresh salsa and 1 tbsp. plain Greek yogurt: 249 calories

Snack: 1 oz. goat cheese on top of 1 apple, sliced: 170 calories

Total: 1053 calories



Breakfast: 1 slice whole-wheat bread spread with 1 tbsp. almond butter and topped with cut-up strawberries: 196 calories

Lunch: ½ of a whole wheat pita stuffed with a mixture of 3 oz. shredded chicken breast, 6 oz. plain Greek yogurt, chopped celery, cucumbers, red grapes halved, Dijon mustard, chopped dill, and a trace of honey: 342 calories

Dinner: Salad of arugula, ½ pear (sliced), 1 tbsp pumpkin seeds, 1 tbsp. dried cranberries or cherries, 1 tbsp. shredded cheese, lemon juice, salt, pepper: 219 calories

Snack: Coconut water plus 1 oz. almonds: 223 calories

Snack: ¼ cup hummus stuffed into mini tomatoes and celery: 182 calories

Total: 1130 calories



Breakfast: Smoothie: ¼ avocado, 1 cup coconut water, 1 cup blueberries,  juice of half a lime, 1-2 drops stevia natural sweetener, ice, 1 scoop protein powder: 284 calories

Lunch: ½ of a whole-wheat pita stuffed with 3 oz. canned salmon mixed with lemon juice, cucumber, tomato, onions and lettuce and sprinkled with 1 tsp. sesame seeds: 309 calories

Dinner: 1 slice 7-grain bread, spread with 1 tsp. olive tapenade, topped with 3 scrambled egg whites, onion and tomato: 203 calories

Snack: 3 hard-boiled eggs, yolks discarded & replaced with 2 tbsp. hummus, sprinkled with paprika and served over lettuce or with cut-up veggies: 101 calories

Snack: 1 oz. roasted turkey, 1 oz. cheddar cheese, 1 tsp. honey mustard, and thinly sliced green apple rolled into two romaine lettuce leaves: 169 calories

Total: 1065 calories



Breakfast: 4 oz. plain Greek yogurt sprinkled with cinnamon + 1 tbsp. dried tart cherries and slivered almonds: 203 calories

Lunch: 1 slice whole-wheat bread topped with 3oz. shrimp mixed with 2 oz. Greek yogurt, chopped scallions or onions, dill and chopped cucumbers: 211 calories

Dinner: Chicken lettuce cups: butter or romaine lettuce leaves stuffed with 3oz. shredded chicken, ½ cup corn, salsa and ¼ cup avocado: 301 calories

Snack: Smoothie made with ½ cup frozen cherries, protein powder, 1 cup almond milk, cinnamon, cardamom and 10 cashews: 342 calories

Snack: 1 oz. organic turkey, 1 tbsp. basil pesto, 1 slice whole wheat bread, plus tomato or cucumber slices: 263 calories

Total: 1319 calories