Two Meal Plans for a 1,700 Calorie Per Day Diet

Eating a salad with lots of veggies will help you stick with your low-calorie diet.
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Dieting and cutting calories usually aren't easy unless you have a solid plan, including daily meal plans and a complete shopping list. A few kitchen tools will come in handy as well, such as measuring cups, measuring spoons, and a kitchen scale. You'll need to use them to measure portions until you get used to estimating serving sizes.

Planning Ahead

Start by planning your meals and snacks for a few days or maybe a week, depending on how often you go grocery shopping.

Put all those daily meals together and put together a shopping list so you can stock your kitchen with the foods you need. Buy the foods that fit your meal plans and avoid the high-calorie foods and treats that can derail your dieting effort. 

So how do you plan low-calorie meals? Of course, you'll need to know how many calories are in the foods you eat. The USDA's SuperTracker can help you with that. It's also important to choose nutrient-dense foods. Since you're cutting your calories, you'll need to make every calorie count. High-fiber, low-calorie fruits and vegetables, whole grains and low-fat protein sources should make up most of your daily menu. 

Meal planning isn't all that hard, but it can take a little practice, so here are two examples to get you started.

The first example is free of any artificial sweeteners, but you can add them if you'd like. The second meal plan incorporates zero-calorie beverages, but you can eliminate them if you prefer.

1,701 Calorie Meal Plan With No Non-Nutritive Sweeteners

Breakfast

  • Two eggs scrambled
  • One slice 100-percent whole grain toast
  • One tablespoon 100-percent fruit spread
  • One cup 100-percent apple juice as a beverage

Lunch

  • Wrap with one whole grain tortilla; one-half cup chopped chicken; three tomato slices; one tablespoon light mayonnaise; lots of lettuce; and one ounce shredded light cheese
  • One cup non-fat milk as a beverage

Dinner

  • One three-ounce sirloin steak
  • One cup cooked green beans
  • One medium baked sweet potato
  • One small glass red wine as a beverage

Snacks

  • Several glasses of water
  • Three-fourths cup plain yogurt with one tablespoon honey
  • One-half cup raw carrots
  • 14 walnut halves
  • One cup 100-percent grapefruit juice

Nutrition Information

  • Total Calories - 1,701
  • Total Fat - 29.6 percent (58 grams)
  • Total Protein - 24.3 percent (106 grams)
  • Total Carbohydrates - 41.8 percent (183 grams)
  • Sodium - 1,326 mg
  • Sugar - 118 grams
  • Cholesterol - 551 milligrams
  • Saturated Fat - 13 grams
  • Fiber - 26 grams

1,496 Calorie Menu With Non-Nutritive Sweeteners

Breakfast

  • One slice 100-percent whole grain toast with one tablespoon peanut butter
  • One cup non-fat milk
  • One-half grapefruit
  • One packet sucralose or stevia sweetener

Lunch

  • A salad made with two cups mixed greens; one-half can artichoke hearts; six cucumber slices, three ounces cooked shrimp; one-half cup cherry tomatoes; and two tablespoons balsamic vinegar as a dressing.
  • One small 100-percent whole grain dinner roll
  • Diet soda as a beverage

Dinner

  • One burrito made with one-half cup cooked, chopped chicken, one-ounce low-fat shredded cheddar cheese, three tablespoons salsa, one tablespoon fat-free sour cream and lettuce
  • One-half cup brown rice 
  • One-half cup black beans,
  • One small glass white wine

Snacks

  • Two cups air-popped popcorn (no butter)
  • One-half cup baby-cut carrots
  • One serving low-fat, sugar-free fruit-flavored yogurt
  • One orange
  • One apple with ten almonds
  • Several glasses of water with slices of lemon or lime

Nutrition Information

  • Total Calories - 1,705
  • Total Fat - 19.6 percent (37 grams)
  • Total Protein - 22.7 percent (97 grams)
  • Total Carbohydrates - 53.3 percent (227 grams)
  • Sodium - 1,717 milligrams
  • Sugar - 78 grams
  • Cholesterol - 260 milligrams
  • Saturated Fat - 9 grams
  • Fiber - 39 grams

I also have menus for 1,200 calorie per day and 1,500 calorie per day diets.

Please note: it's always a good idea to speak with your health care provider before making any major changes to your current diet, especially if you have any health conditions or concerns.

Additional Diet Tips:

  • Pack your lunch if you work or go to school because it's easier to control what you eat.
  • If you dine at a restaurant, choose a salad (go easy on the dressing and other high-calorie toppings), or opt for vegetable soup.
  • Drink plenty of water instead of high-calorie beverages.
  • Increase your physical activity, so you burn more calories.

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