A calorie-controlled diet can help you manage your weight. Limiting your breakfast, lunch and dinners to 600 calories or less keeps you under 1,800 calories per day. In comparison, the typical American man consumes 2,640 calories per day, and women consume on average 1,785 calories per day. Aim to consume a range of nutrient-dense foods at each meal to promote a healthy lifestyle and a healthy weight.
Start the Day with a Nutritious Breakfast
Eating breakfast can help you control your weight and increase your chances of meeting your daily nutrient requirements. According to Clemson University, a balanced breakfast can include a high-protein food, such as a low-fat dairy product, a whole grain, a fruit or vegetable rich in vitamin C and a small amount of heart-healthy, unsaturated fat. Try a cup of cooked oatmeal, which has 166 calories, a cup of blueberries, with 84 calories, an ounce of pecans, with 201 calories and a cup of skim milk, with 83 calories. The meal has 534 calories.
Grab a Sandwich and Some Snacks for Lunch
Choosing whole grains instead of refined varieties can lower your risk for heart disease and help fill you up so you can eat less and lose weight. A large whole-wheat pita provides 170 calories. Spread 2 tablespoons of hummus on it for an additional 102 calories and some heart-healthy, unsaturated fats, sprinkle on an ounce of low-fat cheddar cheese, which has 48 calories, and add chopped raw vegetables, such as a cup of diced tomatoes for 32 calories. Round out your lunch with a medium, 62-calorie orange, a cup of carrot sticks for 50 calories and a hard-boiled egg for 71 calories. The meal has 535 calories.
Go Mexican for Your Meatless Meal
Make two burritos on small whole-wheat tortillas with 127 calories each. For the filling, mix a half-cup of brown rice for 109 calories, and a half-cup of black beans, which has 114 calories. Add a cup of chopped vegetables, such as tomatoes, onions and bell peppers. With a half-cup of sliced avocado adding 117 calories, this meal provides 594 calories. The beans are rich in protein, and the avocado provides healthy fats and vitamin E.
Keep Dinner Simple with Stewed Chicken
A 3-ounce portion of stewed chicken breast contains 143 calories. Choose skinless chicken to limit your intake of unhealthy saturated fat. Stew it with a cup of chopped onions, with 64 calories, and a cup of sliced mushrooms, with 15 calories. Serve the main course with a medium baked sweet potato, which adds 103 calories, as well as dietary fiber and vitamin A. Have 8 ounces of fat-free plain yogurt and a medium banana for dessert. The meal has 561 calories.
- U.S. Department of Agriculture: National Nutrient Database
- Obesity Research: Long-Term Weight Loss and Breakfast in Subjects in the National Weight Control Registry
- Journal of the American Dietetic Association: Meal and Snack Patterns are Associated with Dietary Intake of Energy and Nutrients in U.S. Adults
- U.S. Department of Agriculture and US Department of Health and Human Services: Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010