Nutrition

A fitness competitor's diet

This sample diet is provided for a 140-pound woman who is 30 years old and wants to lose 10-20 pounds.

woman's hand holding a basket of groceries

After finishing four weeks of the program, reassess your commitment and your progress. Repeat the four-week plan one or two more times, depending on how much weight you wish to lose, and follow the principles under "Maintenance Eating" when you're ready to resume a nondiet meal plan.

Week 1: starchy carbs at three meals

Meal 1: 6 egg whites scrambled with 1/2 cup mushrooms sautéed in cooking spray; 1/2 cup (dry) oatmeal

Meal 2: 6 oz.turkey breast; 4 oz. yam

Meal 3: 4 oz. water-packed solid white tuna; large salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, sliced red pepper (dressing: drizzle balsamic vinegar, Dijon-style mustard and dried basil on salad; mix and add sweetener if desired)

Snack: 2 scoops whey protein drink

Meal 4: 6 oz. chicken breast; 4 oz. baked potato; 1 cup broccoli

Week 2: starchy carbs at two meals

Meal 1: 1/2 cup (dry) oatmeal, cooked with 2 scoops whey protein

Meal 2: 6 egg whites, scrambled with broccoli and Pam-sautéed onions

Meal 3: 6 oz. chicken breast; 4 oz. yam; 1 cup steamed cauliflower

Snack: 6 oz. turkey breast; 1/2 cup fresh red pepper slices

Meal 4: 6 oz. cod, simmered in pan with 2 Tbsp. salsa; 8 asparagus spears; 1 small salad with Dijon-balsamic vinegar dressing

Week 3: substitute meal-replacement shakes at two meals

Meal 1: Meal-replacement shake

Meal 2: 6 oz. turkey breast; 4 oz. red skinned potatoes, cut up and Pam-roasted

Snack: 6 oz. chicken breast; fresh spinach salad with balsamic dressing

Meal 3: 6 oz. orange roughy; 2 mini ears frozen corn; 1 cup steamed zucchini

Meal 4: Meal-replacement shake

Week 4: starchy carbs at three meals (same as Week 1)*

Meal 1: 6 egg whites scrambled; 1/2 cup (dry) oatmeal

Meal 2: 2 scoops whey protein drink

Meal 3: 6 oz. cubed chicken breast tossed into large salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, sliced red pepper (dressing: drizzle balsamic vinegar, Dijon-style mustard and dried basil on salad; mix and add sweetener if desired)

Snack: 5 oz. turkey breast; 4 oz. yam; 1 cup steamed cauliflower

Meal 4: 4 oz. baked potato; 8 scrambled egg whites; 1 cup broccoli; 1/4 cup Pam-sautéed onions

*Or go back to Week 2, with only two starchy-carb meals. If your energy runs low, add back another starchy-carb meal. Continue cycling your weeks, making each different from the one before. Using the parameters laid out for you, consider planning your own week - for example, utilizing MRPs every other day at one meal per day. Just don't get stuck in a rut!

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