How to eat to lose weight: what a 1,500 calorie day looks like

By: Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D.  |  Friday, January 4, 2013
Did you know that one-third of New Year’s resolutions pertain to weight, diet and health? It’s true. Unfortunately, the majority of us are successful for no more than one week. You’re 10 times as likely to keep your healthy-eating resolutions, however, when you set an explicit goal—like, say, by following a meal plan.
Related: Lose Up to 2 Pounds This Week with This Meal Plan
Start your weight-loss resolution off on the right foot—and successfully lose weight—using this 1,500-calorie meal plan (a calorie level that most people will lose weight on). If you want to be even more precise, click here to find out how many calories you need to eat to lose weight.
A Sample 1,500-Calorie Day of Meals:
Breakfast
6 oz. nonfat plain Greek yogurt
1 cup blueberries
1 medium banana
Calories = 289
Don’t like this breakfast idea? You can find more ideas for breakfasts under 350 calories here. Or choose something on your own that falls between 300 to 350 calories.
Morning snack: 2 Tbsp. unsalted dry-roasted peanuts & 2 clementines. Calories = 177
Lunch
Avocado sandwich: Mix 1 Tbsp. low-fat mayonnaise with 2 finely chopped sun-dried tomatoes; spread on 1 multigrain sandwich thin. Top with ½ avocado, 2 oz. low-fat Swiss cheese and 2 tomato slices. Calories = 370
Overall, aim to make your lunch 350 to 400 calories. Here are a few more 400-calorie lunch ideas.
Afternoon snack: ¼ cup Black-Eyed Pea Dip (recipe below) & 12 baby carrots. Calories = 137
Dinner
Spice-Rubbed Steak with Sautéed Wild Mushrooms (recipe below)
1 cup wild rice
1 cup steamed Brussels sprouts
Calories = 531
Dinner should fall between about 425 to 525 calories. You can find dozens of 500-calorie dinner ideas here.
Total daily calories = 1,504
Spice-Rubbed Steak with Sautéed Wild Mushrooms
We love the flavor of wild mushrooms with seared spice-rubbed steak, but any type of mushroom will work. Like the rub in this steak recipe? Make a double, triple or quadruple batch to keep on hand for chicken and firm fish (swordfish, tuna and salmon) too. Store the steak rub in a jar or sealable plastic bag in your spice drawer for an instant dinner seasoning.
Black-Eyed Pea Dip
In this black-eyed pea dip recipe, black-eyed peas are pureed with extra-virgin olive oil, red-wine vinegar, garlic and thyme—a nice alternative to hummus. Try this protein-rich black-eyed pea dip with your favorite fresh vegetables or baked pita chips.