You don't need the processed bars and meal-replacement shakes; you can create healthy 200-calorie meals from whole, natural foods instead. Follow a 1,200- to 1,600-calorie weight-loss plan by eating six to eight 200-calorie meals daily. This provides enough calories to offer adequate nutrition and energy for your day. Eating fewer than 1,200 calories per day is not advisable for a woman, or fewer than 1,500 calories for a man. Each meal should feature some combination of whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and a small amount of protein.
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Almond Butter Pizza
For just 200 calories, create a decadent almond butter and fruit pizza. Use one-half of a whole-wheat English muffin as the crust, and spread it with 1 tbsp. almond butter and ½ cup of thinly sliced apple. The almond butter provides healthy unsaturated fats along with protein and vitamin E, while the muffin and apple offer fiber for healthy digestion.
Chicken Raspberry Salad
Toss together 2 cups spring greens with ½ cup fresh raspberries and 2 oz. of grilled chicken breast. Dress with 1 tsp. olive oil mixed with 1 tsp. raspberry vinegar and ½ tsp. Dijon mustard and top with 2 tsp. chopped walnuts. The chicken is a lean source of protein while the spring greens provide fiber and antioxidants. Olive oil and walnuts offer healthy unsaturated fats that absorb nutrients and help you feel satisfied.
A whole-grain corn tortilla provides just 50 calories. Top it with 1 tbsp. whipped light cream cheese, 1/8 of an avocado and 2 oz. of deli turkey. Have a kiwifruit alongside to fill out your 200 calories. The avocado is a source of vitamin K and potassium, while the kiwi offers vitamin C and fiber.
Oatmeal with Blueberries
Oatmeal is a filling whole grain cereal that satisfies any time of day, not just at breakfast. Cook up a packet of plain, instant oatmeal in water. Top with a sprinkling of cinnamon, ½ cup skim milk and ½ cup blueberries. Oatmeal provides soluble fiber, which can help lower your cholesterol. The milk is an important source of calcium and vitamin D, and the blueberries provide antioxidants.
Cottage Cheese Dip
Create a meal out of cottage cheese, vegetables and crackers. Stir together ½ cup of low-fat cottage cheese with 2 tbsp. fresh salsa. Use it as a dip for 1 cup of cut-up vegetables, such as red pepper strips, celery stalks, baby carrots and jicama wedges, and 5 woven wheat crackers. The cottage cheese provides protein and counts toward your dairy servings, while the vegetables and crackers offer filling fiber along with multiple vitamins and minerals.
Egg White Scramble
Egg whites contain only 16 calories each. Scramble four egg whites with 1 cup of fresh spinach and ¼ cup of sliced mushrooms in a non-stick pan sprayed with cooking spray. Top with ½ oz. of feta cheese and serve with a slice of whole-wheat toast. The spinach provides vitamin K and lutein, which supports vision health. Mushrooms contain several B vitamins and minerals.
For a satisfying dinner, make a scallop and vegetable sauté. In a non-stick cooking pan sprayed with cooking spray, sear 3 oz. of sea scallops season with a dash of salt and cracked black pepper. Remove from the pan and then sauté 1/2 cup of thinly sliced zucchini, 1 tbsp. of minced shallot, 1 minced garlic clove and ¼ cup of halved cherry tomatoes in 1 tsp. olive oil. Serve with 1/4 cup of steamed quinoa. The quinoa and scallops offer protein and the vegetables are full of vitamin A and potassium.
Steak with Peppers
For an iron-rich meal, season 2 oz. of beef tenderloin with black pepper and sea salt. Broil or grill to your desired degree of "doneness" and serve with 1 cup of sauteed red and yellow bell peppers. Add chopped herbs to the peppers including parsley, thyme and fresh basil. Make a side dish of roasted potatoes by thinly slicing 1/2 cup of new potatoes and spritzing with non-stick cooking spray. Sprinkle with Spanish paprika, salt and pepper; roast until brown and crispy.