Skip the added sugar and bump up the protein to keep yourself full on this 7-day meal plan.
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One-Pot Lentil & Vegetable Soup with Parmesan
Credit: Antonis Achilleos

Sweet and desserts can definitely be part of a healthy diet, but sometimes it's easy to go overboard with added sugar, especially during the holidays, birthdays and other celebrations. And while sugar in moderation won't derail your whole diet, the reality is that most people eat way more added sugars than needed. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, on average, American adults consume 17 teaspoons (68 grams) of added sugar every day, which is far more than the American Heart Association's recommended max of 6 teaspoons for women and 9 for men. You might already be skipping the 12-ounce can of soda with 39 grams of sugar, but did you know a typical 5-ounce blueberry yogurt contains 11 grams of added sugar? That's 2 3/4 teaspoons or almost half of your daily recommended max. Over time, too much sugar can lead to major health issues like type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

Focusing on foods with protein and fiber can help you feel satisfied while skipping added sugar. The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.8 grams per kilogram of body weight, or you can multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36. To put this into perspective, for a 45-year-old woman with a sedentary lifestyle who weighs 150 pounds, that translates into 54 grams of protein daily. To get more specific, you can use the USDA's online calculator.

This 7-day no-sugar meal plan contains 75 grams of protein per day. And while this isn't a weight-loss plan per se, following this 1,500-calorie meal plan that skips added sugars and focuses on satisfying protein can help most people lose weight. For those with different calorie needs, modifications for 1,200 and 2,000 calories a day are included.

How to Meal-Prep Your Week of Meals:

  1. Make the One-Pot Lentil & Vegetable Soup with Parmesan for dinner on day 1 and lunch on days 2 and 3.
  2. Make the Minestra Maritata (Italian Wedding Soup) for dinner on day 5 and for lunch on days 6 and 7.
  3. Make the Copycat Starbucks Spinach & Mushroom Egg Bites for breakfast on days 2 through 4.

Day 1

Turkey Pesto Sandwich
Credit: Victor Protasio

Breakfast (364 calories)

A.M. Snack (59 calories)

  • 1 medium peach

Lunch (584 calories)

P.M. Snack (200 calories)

  • 1 cup edamame in pods

Dinner (306 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,512 calories, 65g fat, 93g protein, 140g carbohydrate, 34g fiber, 1,538mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit the morning and afternoon snacks and reduce the pesto from 1 Tbsp. to 1 tsp. on the sandwich at lunch.

To make it 2,000 calories: Add 1/2 cup unsalted roasted cashews to A.M. snack and increase to 1 1/2 cups edamame at P.M. snack.

Day 2

a recipe photo of the Copycat Starbucks Spinach & Mushroom Egg Bites
Credit: Jamie Vespa

Breakfast (302 calories)

A.M. Snack (315 calories)

  • 1 medium banana
  • 2 Tbsp. creamy natural peanut butter

Lunch (306 calories)

P.M. Snack (247 calories)

  • 32 unsalted dry-roasted almonds

Dinner (349 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,518 calories, 67g fat, 75g protein, 158g carbohydrate, 31g fiber, 1,482mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit peanut butter at A.M. snack and reduce almonds to 18 at P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Increase to 2 slices bread and 1 1/2 cups strawberries at breakfast, increase peanut butter to 1/4 cup at A.M. snack, and increase almonds to 1/2 cup at P.M. snack.

Day 3

Garlic Butter-Roasted Salmon with Potatoes & Asparagus

Breakfast (236 calories)

A.M. Snack (200 calories)

  • 1 cup edamame in pods

Lunch (306 calories)

P.M. Snack (249 calories)

  • 20 unsalted dry-roasted almonds
  • 1 medium apple

Dinner (522 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,511 calories, 70g fat, 90g protein, 136g carbohydrate, 31g fiber, 1,399mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit bread at breakfast and omit P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Increase to 2 slices bread at breakfast, increase edamame to 1 3/4 cups at A.M. snack, and increase almonds to 1/2 cup at P.M. snack.

Day 4

Cheesy Ground Beef & Cauliflower Casserole
Credit: Jason Donnelly

Breakfast (302 calories)

A.M. Snack (200 calories)

  • 1 cup edamame in pods

Lunch (357 calories)

P.M. Snack (288 calories)

  • 1 large pear
  • 12 walnut halves

Dinner (351 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,497 calories, 76g fat, 86g protein, 123g carbohydrate, 33g fiber, 1,786mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Increase to 2 slices bread at breakfast, increase edamame to 2 cups at A.M. snack, increase walnuts to 20 at P.M. snack, and add 1 serving Basic Green Salad with Vinaigrette to dinner.

Day 5

Bowl of Easy Italian Wedding Soup on a gray cloth background

Breakfast (264 calories)

  • 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup blackberries
  • 2 Tbsp. slivered almonds

A.M. Snack (200 calories)

  • 1 cup edamame in pods

Lunch (357 calories)

P.M. Snack (275 calories)

  • 1/3 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds
  • 1 plum

Dinner (415 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,511 calories, 79g fat, 99g protein, 103g carbohydrate, 27g fiber, 1,422mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit blueberries at A.M. snack and omit P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Increase blackberries to 1 cup and almonds to 1/3 cup at breakfast, increase edamame to 2 cups at A.M. snack, and add 1 serving Basic Green Salad with Vinaigrette to dinner.

Day 6

Apple & Peanut Butter Toast

Breakfast (275 calories)

A.M. Snack (187 calories)

  • 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup blueberries

Lunch (415 calories)

P.M. Snack (206 calories)

  • 1/4 cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds

Dinner (414 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,497 calories, 84g fat, 76g protein, 124g carbohydrate, 24g fiber, 1,355mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Reduce to 1/2 cup yogurt at A.M. snack and omit P.M. snack.

To make it 2,000 calories: Increase blueberries to 1 cup at A.M. snack, increase almonds to 1/2 cup at P.M. snack, add 1 large pear to lunch, and add 1 serving Basic Green Salad with Vinaigrette to dinner.

Day 7

Chicken Cutlets with Sundried Tomato Cream Sauce

Breakfast (264 calories)

  • 1 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cup blackberries
  • 2 Tbsp. slivered almonds

A.M. Snack (210 calories)

  • 1 medium banana
  • 1 Tbsp. creamy natural peanut butter

Lunch (415 calories)

P.M. Snack (157 calories)

  • 1 large pear
  • 2 walnut halves

Dinner (448 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,495 calories, 62g fat, 86g protein, 152g carbohydrate, 22g fiber, 1,115mg sodium

To make it 1,200 calories: Omit almonds at breakfast, omit peanut butter at A.M. snack, swap to a small pear at P.M. snack, and reduce to 1/4 cup rice at dinner.

To make it 2,000 calories: Increase almonds at breakfast to 1/4 cup, increase peanut butter to 1/4 cup at A.M. snack, and increase rice to 1 cup at dinner.