So you’ve got weight loss goals and you don’t have a plan. You don’t know what to eat, when to eat, how much to eat, or what to get at the grocery store. You might also feel motivated at the idea of losing weight, yet discouraged, because you don’t know where to start. This is exactly why we’re going to give you a free 7-day weight loss meal plan and teach you how to tweak it to fit your goals, lifestyle, and food preferences.
A 7-day weight loss meal plan exactly what it sounds like – it is a meal plan that you follow to achieve your weight loss goals. The goal of a 7-day weight loss meal plan is to provide a detailed outline of meals and snacks for each day, ensuring that you consume the right balance of nutrients while creating a calorie deficit to promote weight loss.
If you’re looking for a way to lose weight that incorporates whole, real foods, recipes, and snacks, then following a 7-day weight loss meal plan may be the way to go for you. If you’re not looking to lose weight, and you’re looking to achieve another aesthetic, health, or performance goal, following a weight loss meal plan is not for you. Instead of just slashing calories, and eating well under what your body needs to achieve weight loss, we recommend following a meal plan that is anywhere from 200-400 calories below your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE). If you’re not sure what that is, we do have a free calculator online.
Whether or not you’re looking to lose weight or follow a customized meal plan for another goal, there are many benefits to a meal plan and to following one.
- Structured Approach: Custom meal plans take the guesswork out of meal planning and ensures you have a clear roadmap to follow
- Portion Control: The meal plan specifies portion sizes, preventing overeating and promoting mindful eating habits.
- Nutritional Balance: A well-designed meal plan includes a variety of food groups, ensuring you get all the essential nutrients your body needs.
- Weight Loss: By creating a calorie deficit, the meal plan helps you shed pounds and reach your weight loss goals.
- Convenience: With a meal plan, you can save time on grocery shopping and meal preparation.
Meal plans are a great tool to help you prioritize eating, implement structure, and give you guidance on what to eat and when. When used correctly, especially when working with a dedicated nutrition coach meal plans can actually help you lose weight in a healthy and sustainable way. However, it is important to note, that meal plans are not the end all, and when blindly followed they can be more of a band-aid rather than a tool.
Now, it is worth noting, that meal plans often do not work. Why? Well, a lot of meal plans that you can find on the internet are templates, cookie cutter plans, and most importantly, not made for you or your goals. If you are looking for customized meal plans, we do recommend consulting with a professional nutrition coaching company like The Swole Kitchen. We recommend scheduling a free nutrition consultation with the nutritionists at TSK to see if customized meal planning and nutrition coaching is right for you (most likely it is, especially if you’re starting or well into your weight loss journey). The reason why we recommend working 1:1 with a dedicated coach is so that you can not only achieve weight loss results in a very sustainable and healthy way, but so that you can learn how you got those results so you can maintain them long after coaching ends.
RECOMMENDED: Schedule a Free Nutrition Consultation
Creating a 7-day weight loss meal plan requires careful consideration of your dietary needs and goals. Here are the steps to create an effective meal plan:
1. Determine Your Calorie Needs
Calculate your daily calorie needs based on factors such as age, gender, weight, height, and activity level. This will help you establish a calorie deficit for weight loss. You will also want to figure out your macros (macronutrients i.e. protein, carbs, fat) to optimize body composition so you don’t lose muscle mass on your weight loss journey.
2. Choose Nutrient-Dense Foods
Select foods that are rich in nutrients but low in calories. Include plenty of fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats in your meal plan. The more real, not packaged food you can eat, the better.
3. Plan Your Meals and Snacks
Divide your daily calorie allowance into three main meals and two to three snacks. Distribute your calories evenly throughout the day to maintain energy levels and prevent excessive hunger. You need to prioritize not only following your 7-day weight loss meal plan but your eating times as well. If you’re not losing weight because you’re skipping meals and because work is more important than your lunch, then the reality is, your goal and the tools you need to use/behavior you need to have to do it, is not a priority.
Consider Portion Sizes
Pay attention to portion sizes to avoid overeating. Use measuring cups, a food scale, or visual cues to ensure you’re consuming appropriate portions. Food scales should not be limiting, but instead, a great way to take a calculated approach to what you’re eating. Remember, your goal is weight loss, so you do need to be in a caloric deficit. Eyeballing is not the way to go if you’re looking to achieve your weight loss goals in a timely manner without unnecessary frustration.
Include a variety of foods to make your meals enjoyable and to ensure you get a wide range of nutrients. Experiment with different flavors, textures, and cooking methods. Seasonings are a big one here instead of relying on sauces or dressings (which have a ton of unnecessary calories) to give your food zest and flavor.
Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and support your weight loss efforts. Water can also help curb appetite and prevent overeating. We recommend drinking 1-2 cups of water (room temp) right upon waking, and incorporating 1-2 cups of water with every meal and snack to establish a water drinking routine. If you follow this, and have 3 meals and 2 snacks, you will have drank 12 cups of water by the end of the way which is about 96 oz. Nice!
Monitor and Adjust
Regularly monitor your progress and make adjustments to your meal plan as needed. Listen to your body and make modifications based on your hunger levels, energy levels, and weight loss goals. This is where having and working with a nutrition coach would shine. It’s a lot of work to lose weight loss and it can be a difficult as well as a frustrating journey. Having a coach can really alleviate the confusion around your weekly meal plans, behaviors, habits, attitudes, and mindset, all while keeping you motivated, encouraged, dedicated and accountable to the weight loss process.
It is important to note that the meal plan that you can download for free here in this article is not for everyone. The reason? As stated previously, you need to figure out your caloric deficit to eat under your total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) in order to lose weight. The meal plan should act as a guideline, not an end all, for what you should eat, when to eat, and how much to eat. For example, if your TDEE is 2,100 calories, we recommend following the meal plan to eat anywhere from 1,700 – 2,000 calories daily to be in a deficit. A good weight loss goal per week is 0.5 – 1 lb of weight loss.
It is also important to note that in order to maximize your 7-day weight loss meal plan results is to exercise/get activity every day and to drink 90+ oz of water per day. We also recommend sleeping sufficiently (i.e. 7-9 hours per night) so that your body has a good amount of time to recover from the activity during the day. This means going for a couple walks a day or getting 30 – 60 minutes of constant activity each day. This will not only help your weight loss efforts but your overall health goals, too.
A 7-day weight loss meal plan can be a valuable tool in your weight loss journey. By providing structure, promoting portion control, and ensuring nutritional balance, it sets you up for success. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or registered dietitian before starting any new meal plan to ensure it aligns with your specific needs and goals.
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