8-Week Slim Down Diet

If you want to lean out and still feel great, your diet is crucial to success. After all, if you don’t have the right levels of essential nutrients, it will be tough to build lean muscle while losing fat. That doesn’t mean starving yourself, either—eating too little puts your metabolism into slow-mo as your body holds on to every calorie it can.

These meals will fuel all your workouts during the eight weeks while helping you cut body fat. Feel free to mix and match your menu as you see fit. The meals follow a 40-30-30 formula of carbs-protein-fat. Take in more calories on active days, and drop some when you’re recovering to keep your metabolism from slowing down. (Get the “3 Diet Rules You Need to Follow” here.)

Breakfast

Meal 1:

  • 1⁄2 cup oats
  • 1 whole egg, plus 3⁄4 cup egg whites
  • 1⁄2 cup berries
  • Calories: 351, Fat: 7.5g, Carbs: 36.5g, Protein: 31.5g

Meal 2:

  • 2 whole-grain waffles
  • 4–5 hard-boiled egg whites
  • 1 tbsp natural nut butter
  • 1⁄2 cup fruit
  • Calories: 376, Fat: 9g, Carbs: 41g, Protein: 28g

Meal 3:

  • 2 slices whole grain bread
  • 1/2 cup no salt cottage cheese
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/2 cup cantaloupe
  • Calories: 420, Fat: 7g, Carbs: 38g, Protein: 26g

Meal 4:

  • 8 oz nonfat plain Greek
  • yogurt; 1⁄2 cup fruit;
  • 1⁄8 cup walnuts
  • Calories: 245, Fat: 10g, Carbs: 20g, Protein: 20g

Meal 5:

  • Omelet with 1 egg, plus 4 egg whites, bell pepper, tomato, spinach, onion
  • 1⁄4 cup low-fat cheese
  • 1 slice whole-grain toast
  • Calories: 380, Fat: 13g, Carbs: 23g, Protein: 35g

Meal 6:

  • 1⁄2 cup oats
  • 1 scoop vanilla whey protein,
  • 1⁄8 cup crushed walnuts
  • 1⁄2 cup berries
  • All mixed with hot water
  • Calories: 401, Fat: 15g, Carbs: 40g, Protein: 35g

Meal 7:

  • 1 whole egg, plus 3–4 egg whites scrambled,
  • 1⁄4 cup low-fat cheese, spinach, and tomato in 1 low-carb tortilla topped with 1⁄4 cup salsa
  • Calories: 425, Fat: 15g, Carbs: 25g, Protein: 35g

Meal 8:

  • 1 sprouted-grain English muffin
  • 1 fried egg
  • 1 piece ham
  • 1⁄4 cup low-fat cheese
  • 1⁄2 cup fruit
  • Calories: 390, Fat: 7g,Carbs: 35g, Protein: 25g

Meal 9:

  • 1⁄2 cup quick-oats oatmeal mixed with water
  • 8 oz nonfat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1⁄2 cup berries
  • Calories: 291, Fat: 2.5g, Carbs: 43g, Protein: 25g

Meal 10:

  • 1 cup whole-grain cereal
  • 1⁄2 cup 1% milk
  • 1⁄2 cup berries
  • Calories: 300, Fat: 5g, Carbs: 45g, Protein: 10g

16 Nutritional Rules for a Full-Body ShredShutterstock

Lunch

Meal 1:

  • 4 oz lean ground turkey over mixed greens
  • 1⁄2 small avocado
  • 2 slices lean turkey bacon
  • 15 baked tortilla chips; low-sodium salsa
  • Calories: 394, Fat: 11g, Carbs: 25g, Protein: 34g

Meal 2:

  • 3 oz sliced turkey breast in low-carb wrap
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, plus lettuce, tomato,
  • 2 tbsp avocado
  • Calories: 365, Fat: 10g, Carbs: 25g, Protein: 26g

Meal 3:

  • 4 oz tuna in water
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard on 1 slice sprouted bread
  • Salad made of lettuce, 4 grape tomatoes, 1⁄2 small bell pepper, 1⁄8 cup walnuts, 1⁄4 cup dried cranberries
  • Calories: 435, Fat: 11g, Carbs: 50g, Protein: 33g

Meal 4:

  • 3 oz smoked turkey breast on 2 slices whole-grain bread
  • 1 tbsp low-fat mayo; lettuce;
  • 1⁄4 cup low-fat cheese
  • 12 baked tortilla chips
  • Calories: 450, Fat: 12g, Carbs: 25g, Protein: 22g

Meal 5:

  • 4 oz chicken breast over mixed salad greens;
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sliced avocado
  • 1 slice sprouted bread
  • Calories: 324, Fat: 10g, Carbs: 18g, Protein: 39g

Meal 6:

  • 4 oz lean turkey burger in whole-wheat pita with lettuce, tomato, mustard
  • 15 baked potato chips
  • Calories: 331, Fat: 7g, Carbs: 35g, Protein: 30g

Meal 7:

  • 4 oz grilled salmon over large green salad with balsamic vinegar;
  • 2 brown rice cakes
  • 1 tbsp grated cheese
  • Calories: 395, Fat: 9g, Carbs: 40g, Protein: 26g

Meal 8:

  • 4 oz bison burger in whole-wheat pita with lettuce, tomato, mustard
  • 15 baked potato chips
  • Calories: 320, Fat: 7g, Carbs: 35g, Protein: 28g

Meal 9:

  • 4 oz grilled salmon
  • Kale sautéed with garlic, sea salt, olive oil
  • 1⁄2 cup brown rice
  • Calories: 328, Fat: 9g, Carbs: 34g, Protein: 30g

Meal 10:

  • 3 oz lean grass-fed beef
  • 1⁄2 cup brown rice, served over bed of romaine lettuce
  • Topped with 1⁄4 cup low-fat cheese
  • Flavored with optional onion, garlic, spicy salsa
  • Calories: 375, Fat: 12g, Carbs: 25g, Protein: 35g

Chicken Stir-Fry
Shutterstock

Shutterstock

Dinner

Meal 1:

  • 3 oz chicken breast
  • 1⁄2 cup marinara sauce
  • Grated cheese to taste
  • Served over 1 cup linguini; side salad
  • Calories: 412, Fat: 5g, Carbs: 65g, Protein: 35g

Meal 2:

  • 4 oz shrimp
  • 3⁄4 cup mixed vegetables stir-fried in 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1⁄2 cup brown rice
  • Calories: 450, Fat: 17g, Carbs: 35g, Protein: 33g

Meal 3:

  • 4 oz lean pork
  • 1⁄2 cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • asparagus spears
  • 4 oz sweet potato
  • Calories: 350, Fat: 8g, Carbs: 45g, Protein: 28g

Meal 4:

  • 4 oz chicken breast;
  • 1⁄2 cubed avocado
  • 1⁄2 cup corn kernels, sliced red and green bell pepper
  • Tossed with salsa 1⁄4 cup low-fat cheese
  • Calories: 454, Fat: 14g, Carbs: 33g, Protein: 38g

Meal 5:

  • 4 oz grilled salmon
  • 2 cups steamed broccoli or asparagus
  • 5 oz baked red potato
  • Calories: 363, Fat: 7g, Carbs: 32g, Protein: 26g

Meal 6:

  • 4 oz grass-fed flank steak
  • Baby spinach sautéed with 1 tbsp of olive oil, sea salt, garlic, pepper to taste
  • 5 oz sweet potato
  • Calories: 400, Fat: 20g, Carbs: 35g, Protein: 26g

Meal 7:

  • 2 oz cubed chicken
  • Diced tomato; onion; green pepper; chilies
  • 1⁄4 cup low-fat cheese
  • 1⁄2 cup black beans
  • 2 tbsp avocado
  • 3 tbsp low-sodium salsa
  • All in 1 whole-grain low-carb wrap
  • Calories: 495, Fat: 12g, Carbs: 35g, Protein: 30g

Meal 8:

  • 4 oz 99% fat-free ground lean turkey, made into patties
  • 2 cups steamed broccoli
  • 1 small sweet potato with 2 tsp coconut oil
  • Calories: 380, Fat: 5g, Carbs: 35g, Protein: 33g

Meal 9:

  • Warm pasta salad made with 4 oz grilled flank steak served over mixed greens; balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup whole-grain pasta
  • Calories: 362, Fat: 8g, Carbs: 37g, Protein: 33g

Meal 10:

  • Fajita with 2 oz chicken
  • 1⁄2 cup black beans
  • 1⁄2 cup rice
  • 2 cups sliced bell pepper and onions, sautéed in skillet with spices and nonstick spray
  • Calories: 382, Fat: 3g, Carbs: 55g, Protein: 32g
yogurt-breakfast-1109
heatherwalker/Getty Images

heatherwalker/Getty Images

Snacks

About 150 Calories Or Less

  • 1 orange; 10 almonds; 1⁄2 cup nonfat yogurt
    Calories: 131, Fat: 6g, Carbs: 20g, Protein: 20g
  • 1 small apple; 1⁄2 oz unsalted mixed nuts
    Calories: 150, Fat: 9g, Carbs: 20g, Protein: 4g
  • Whey/casein shake blended with ice, 1 tbsp powdered peanut butter; add instant decaf coffee and/or cinnamon to taste
    Calories: 150, Fat: 3.5g, Carbs: 7g, Protein: 23g
  • 1 small apple with 1 tbsp natural almond or peanut butter
    Calories: 150, Fat: 9g, Carbs: 20g, Protein: 4g
  • 8 oz nonfat Greek yogurt with 1⁄2 cup melon
    Calories: 154, Fat: 0g, Carbs: 20g, Protein: 18g
  • 1 scoop whey protein with 8 oz almond milk
    Calories: 155, Fat: 7g, Carbs: 5g, Protein: 25g

ABOUT 200 CALORIES OR LESS

  • 1 medium apple plus 1 tbsp natural nut butter
    Calories: 167, Fat: 9g, Carbs: 22.5g, Protein: 4g
  • 1 medium apple with 1 oz low-fat cheddar cheese
    Calories: 186, Fat: 10g, Carbs: 19g, Protein: 7.5g
  • 1⁄2 cup 1% no-salt cottage cheese; 10 almonds
    Calories: 169, Fat: 7g, Carbs: 6g, Protein: 19g
  • 5 hard-boiled egg whites; 2 tbsp avocado; sliced celery; salt-free seasoning
    Calories: 155, Fat: 6g, Carbs: 4g, Protein: 20g
  • 1 medium apple; 10 almonds; cup of herbal or decaf green tea
    Calories: 167, Fat: 9g, Carbs: 22.5g, Protein: 4g
  • 1⁄2 cup fresh raspberries; 5 oz nonfat plain Greek yogurt; cinnamon; 1⁄4 cup almond slivers
    Calories: 210, Fat: 6g, Carbs: 20g, Protein: 20g
  • 3 oz grilled chicken; 2 tbsp avocado; sliced cucumber
    Calories: 204, Fat: 8g, Carbs: 7g, Protein: 25g
  • 1⁄2 sprouted English muffin; 1⁄2 cup 1% no-salt cottage cheese; 1⁄2 cup pineapple
    Calories: 210, Fat: 2g, Carbs: 11g, Protein: 22g
  • 1⁄2 grapefruit; 10 toasted almonds
    Calories: 175, Fat: 6g, Carbs: 29g, Protein: 4.5g
  • 1 low-carb protein bar such as Quest Bar
    Calories: 180, Fat: 7g, Carbs: 22g, Protein: 21g

ABOUT 300 CALORIES OR LESS

  • Smoothie made with 1 scoop vanilla whey protein, 1⁄2 cup berries, 8 oz almond milk
    Calories: 230, Fat: 7g, Carbs: 34g, Protein: 24g
  • 1 cup whole-grain cereal, almond, soy, or 1% milk, 1⁄2 cup strawberries
    Calories: 300, Fat: 5g, Carbs: 55g, Protein: 10g
  • Sprouted cinnamon-raisin English muffin with low-fat cream cheese; 1⁄2 cup berries
    Calories: 250, Fat: 6g, Carbs: 42g, Protein: 10g
  • Shake with 1 scoop whey protein mixed with water, 1 tbsp almond butter, 1⁄2 banana, all blended with ice
    Calories: 295, Fat: 10g, Carbs: 25g, Protein: 25g
  • 12 brown rice crackers; sliced bell peppers; 1⁄4 cup white-bean hummus
    Calories: 264, Fat: 7g, Carbs: 40g, Protein: 7g
  • 1 sliced medium apple; 1 tbsp soy-nut butter or natural peanut butter
    Calories: 242, Fat: 11g, Carbs: 25g, Protein: 8g
  • 6 oz nonfat plain Greek yogurt; 1⁄2 cup fruit; 1⁄8 cup chopped walnuts
    Calories: 240, Fat: 10g, Carbs: 20g, Protein: 20g
  • 2 slices sprouted cinnamon-raisin bread; 1 tbsp almond butter; 1 tbsp natural strawberry jam
    Calories: 310, Fat: 9g, Carbs: 48g, Protein: 12g