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A Weight Loss Meal Plan For Moms

"I just had a baby 7 weeks ago. I have about 20 lbs to lose to get back to my pre-pregnancy weight. I have begun exercising but feel clueless on the foods that I should eat. I am looking for a sample menu to follow. I know not to eat processed foods or high calorie foods but I am just not sure where to start. Can you please provide a sample menu"? – Heather

Hi Heather,

In general, you are looking to get a balance of lean proteins, healthy fats and wholesome carbs. Try to have a balance of all three (or two out of three) at all meals and snacks.

Lean proteins: low-fat cottage cheese, eggs, turkey, chicken, lean meat, tofu, low-fat yogurt, skim or low-fat milk, beans

Healthy fats: avocado, olive and canola oil, nuts and seeds, olives

Wholesome carbs: vegetables, fruits, oatmeal, sweet or baked potatoes, brown rice, beans and legumes, whole grain breads or pasta

Here are some sample meal and snack ideas that will average around 1,600 calories (when you choose one breakfast, one lunch, one dinner and 2 snacks). If you are breastfeeding, you should add another 200-400 calories per day. Without knowing your weight or height or body type, it’s hard to estimate calorie needs . . . but I would not go much lower than 1,600, and not lower than 800 if you are breastfeeding.

Notice how there are lots of veggies included at lunch time, as well as dinner!

a bowl of oatmeal and berries


Peanut Butter and Banana Rollup: 1 small whole-wheat wrap (around 80-100 calories); 1 T natural peanut butter; 2 tsp low-sugar jam; 1 small banana; 1/2 cup skim milk

Yogurt or Cottage Cheese and Fruit: 1 container 6-oz. low-fat yogurt or ½ cup cottage cheese; 1 cup strawberries; 1 T wheat germ; 15 almonds

Hot Cereal with Fruit and Nuts: 1 packet plain oatmeal or other high-fiber cereal; 1 cup skim milk; 2 tsp sugar or maple syrup; 6 chopped walnut halves, chopped; 1 small diced apple

Dilly Scrambled Eggs and Tomato; Grapefruit: 2 eggs or 1/2 cup egg substitute; 1 small tomato, diced; 2 slices whole-wheat bread; 1/2 T trans-fat-free margarine; 1/2 tsp dill; 1/2 grapefruit.

Turkey Burger; Vegetables: 4-oz. white meat turkey burger; 2 tsp catsup; lettuce and tomato; 1 whole-wheat English muffin; 10 mini carrots; 1/2 red pepper

Hummus Wrap with Veggies: 1 whole-wheat wrap (no more than 180 calories); 6 Tbs hummus; 1 slice alpine-lace reduced-fat cheese; sliced red onion; 3 slices tomato; Lettuce; 1 sliced yellow pepper

Turkey Chili and Salad: 1 1/2 cups canned turkey chili; Salad with mixed greens and diced raw veggies, 1 T olive oil-based dressing

Open-Faced Turkey and Avocado: 3 oz. low-sodium turkey breast; 1 slice whole-wheat bread; 1/4 sliced avocado; 1 T low-fat canola mayo; 2 slices tomato; Romaine lettuce for top of sandwich; 1 cup cut-up raw vegetables like celery, cucumber, radishes, carrots, peppers on side

Split Pea Soup Salad: 1 whole (16 oz.) can of soup; Salad with mixed greens and 1 cup raw vegetables; 2 T olive oil-based dressing

Spinach Salad: 3 cups prewashed spinach; 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms; 2 hard-boiled eggs; 2 T low-fat shredded cheese; 1 T bacon bits; 2 T vinaigrette dressing; whole-grain crackers (serving size to equal about 120 calories)

Salmon Cakes:1 salmon cake (get these fresh or frozen) with 1 T low-fat canola mayo; 15 asparagus spears; 1/2 cup brown rice

Grilled Chicken: 4-5oz. chicken breast; 1/2 T teriyaki or BBQ sauce; 2 cups steamed broccoli; 1 tsp trans-fat-free margarine; 1 small sweet potato

Whole-grain Pasta with Turkey-Veggie Sauce: 5 oz. lean ground turkey breast; 1 T olive oil; cooking spray; 1 1/2 cups total diced veggies (carrots, mushrooms, onions, peppers); 1/2 cup tomato sauce; 1 1/2 cups cooked whole-wheat pasta

Chicken Sausage Supreme: 1 link chicken sausage, sliced; 1 T olive oil; 2 T low-sodium chicken broth; 1/2 cup each diced onions and mushrooms; 2 T low-fat sour cream; 1 T Parmesan; 1 1/2 cups whole-wheat pasta

1 large cinnamon toast rice cake; 1 T all-natural peanut butter

1 large apple and handful of almonds

Yogurt with no high fructose corn syrup

1 large rice cake; 2 T hummus; 1/2 sliced red pepper

1/4 cup roasted soynuts

1 cup edamame, in the pod


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