Eating fewer calories is a good way to lose weight, and planning your meals and snacks can be an effective way of making sure you stick to the 1,000 calories you budgeted for the day. Use the guide below as a sample menu.
Oatmeal is a good breakfast option because it is low in calories and fat but high in fiber, which helps to keep you full. One cup of regular oatmeal has 300 calories. If you add one teaspoon of brown sugar (11 calories) and 1/4 cup of skim milk (25 calories), your breakfast total will be 336 calories.
A small banana has 90 calories. Bananas, like other fruits, are high in natural sugar that your body will metabolize quickly. You can pair the banana with a tablespoon of dry-roasted cashews, which will be another 49 calories. This makes your snack 139 calories.
Soup and salad make a great lunch option. Choose a can of soup that is around 100 calories or fewer. Progresso has a line of soups geared toward dieters that have fewer than 100 calories. Make your own salad with fresh greens and vegetables (10 calories). For salad dressing, use a half-tablespoon of olive oil (50 calories) and the vinegar of your choice. A tablespoon of balsamic vinegar has 14 calories. This brings your lunch total to 174 calories.
For dinner, make a vegetable-rich pasta. One cup of wheat pasta contains 174 calories, and vegetables average 10 calories per serving, even if you're using mixed vegetables. A half-cup of marinara sauce averages 100 calories (check the label). Add all of these together for a dinner of 284 calories and a daily total of 933 calories.
With almost 70 calories remaining in your 1,000-calorie day, you could choose to have an ultra-light beer (64 calories), a snack of carrots and hummus (35 calories), or a half-cup of nonfat plain yogurt with vanilla added (60 calories).