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A Week's Sample Meal Plans for Boosting Your Metabolism

Here are meal ideas for a sample week’s metabolism-boosting plan. Use the information as a jumping-off point to plan your meals ahead. Pick foods that you love and are likely to incorporate without feeling like you’re on a restricted diet.

Each day is about 1500–1600 calories. If you require more calories, add another serving of a whole grain, lean protein, fruit, vegetable, or heart-healthy fat to the meal. Or add another snack to the day. If you require less, take a look at what the lower-in-calorie balanced meals and snacks look like.

Just another manic Monday

  • Breakfast: 6 ounces fat-free Greek yogurt, 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup halved strawberries, 2 tablespoons ground flaxseed (300 calories)

  • Lunch: Deli-Style Tuna Salad Sandwich, 16 baby carrots (350 calories)

  • Snack: 1 ounce pistachio nuts (160 calories)

  • Dinner: 2 ounces whole-wheat pasta, 3 ounces chicken, 1 cup broccoli, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 4 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (500 calories)

  • Dessert: 1/2 cup vanilla ice cream (200 calories)

Deli-Style Tuna Salad Sandwich

Prep time: 15 minutes

Yield: 2 servings

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

1/2 small red onion, chopped finely

1 celery stalk, chopped finely

Pinch of dill

2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley

6-ounce pouch of chunk light tuna fish

2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise

2 whole wheat pita pockets

  1. Combine all ingredients except the pita and spoon evenly into pita pockets.

Per serving: Calories 310; Fat 7.2g; Saturated Fat 0.8g; Cholesterol 49mg; Sodium 375mg; Carbohydrates 36g; Dietary Fiber 6.2g; Protein 28g.

Tasty Tuesday

  • Breakfast: 2 scrambled omega-3-fortified eggs, 2 slices whole-grain toast, 1 cup skim milk (400 calories)

  • Lunch: Veggie Mexican salad with 2 cups leafy greens, 1/2 cup sliced tomato, 1/2 cup black beans, 1 ounce part-skim cheese, 1 ounce avocado, 1/2 cup sweet corn, 1 tablespoon olive oil (470 calories)

  • Snack: 2 large graham crackers with 1 tablespoon nut butter (250 calories)

  • Dinner: 4 ounces grilled wild salmon with cayenne pepper rub, small baked sweet potato, 12 spears grilled asparagus (300 calories)

  • Dessert: 3 cups air-popped popcorn (100 calories)

Late start Wednesday

  • Breakfast: Energizing Citrus Ginger Smoothie (300 calories)

  • Lunch: Chicken and mixed vegetable (red pepper, mushroom, carrots) stir-fry (1-1/2 cups) with 1 cup brown rice, side greens salad with 1 tablespoon vinaigrette (500 calories)

  • Snack: Orange, 1 ounce dark chocolate (180 calories)

  • Dinner: Sirloin Tacos with Guacamole (620 calories)

Energizing Citrus Ginger Smoothie

Prep time: 5 minutes

Yield: 5 servings

1-1/2 cups low-fat plain Greek yogurt

1 inch fresh ginger, peeled

1/2 cup fresh orange chunks

1/2 cup fresh pineapple chunks

1/2 cup orange juice

1/2 cup ice

  1. Place ingredients into blender and blend until smooth.

Per serving: Calories 300; Fat 5g; Saturated Fat 3g; Cholesterol 10mg; Sodium 70mg; Carbohydrate 45g; Dietary Fiber 4g; Protein 20g per 16 ounce smoothie.

Sirloin Tacos with Guacamole

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 15 minutes

Yield: 5 servings

1/4 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 tablespoon chili powder

1/2 tablespoon black pepper

1 pounds lean sirloin steak

10 whole wheat tortillas taco-size

1-1/2 ripe avocados

1/2 small red onion, diced

1/4 cup diced tomatoes

1/2cup diced green or red pepper

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

  1. Mix 1/2 cup lime juice, olive oil, chili powder, and black pepper in a bowl. Baste sirloin with mixture and place on skillet.

  2. Cook sirloin on high for about 5 minutes on each side. Cut into 1 inch strips.

  3. Scoop avocado and all ingredients for guacamole and pico de gallo mix into bowl. Mash with a fork until well combined.

  4. Grill tortillas to warm up for 30 seconds on each side.

  5. Evenly spread sirloin and guacamole mix among the tortillas.

Per serving (2 soft tacos): Calories 620; Fat 25g; Saturated Fat 4g; Cholesterol 81mg; Sodium 400mg; Carbohydrates 60g; Dietary Fiber 13g; Protein 39g

Trying Vegan Thursday

  • Breakfast: Whole-wheat English muffin, 2 tablespoons peanut butter, 1/2 banana sliced, 1 cup soy milk (450 calories)

  • Lunch: Make your own salad: 2 cups romaine lettuce, 5 ounces pomegranate seeds, 1 cup diced firm tofu, 1/4 cup chickpeas, 1 radish chopped, 1/2 cup sliced fennel, 2 tablespoons Italian vinaigrette. 1 cup melon (500 calories)

  • Snack: Fruit and nut bar (200 calories)

  • Dinner: Veggie burger on whole-grain bun, 1 cup cooked spaghetti squash strands, 1/2 cup roasted pumpkin seeds (420 calories)

Stay Fit Friday

  • Breakfast: 1 cup steel-cut oats, 1/4 cup chopped nuts (375 calories)

  • Lunch: Waldorf wrap: Multigrain wrap with 3 ounces diced cooked chicken, lettuce, 1/2 cup diced apples, 7 walnut halves, 1 tablespoon mustard, balsamic vinegar (450 calories)

  • Snack: 2 medium oatmeal raisin cookies, 1 glass skim milk (250 calories)

  • Dinner: 3 ounce grilled shrimp mixed with 1/2 cup cooked whole grain (like quinoa), 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 cup Brussels sprouts (375 calories)

  • Dessert: 1 cup banana “ice cream” (only ingredient is blended frozen banana) (150 calories)

A more snacky Saturday

  • Breakfast: 3/4 cup whole-wheat cereal, 1 cup low-fat milk, 1 cup sectioned grapefruit (3-inch diameter) (300 calories)

  • Snack: 1-1/2 cup lentil soup with 1/2 cup spinach (235 calories)

  • Snack: 1/2 turkey sandwich: 3 ounces roast turkey, 1 slice whole-wheat bread. 1 peach (250 calories)

  • Snack: Frozen Yogurt Covered Blueberry Bites (120 calories)

  • Dinner: 2 slices pizza with whole-wheat crust (each 1/8 of a 14 inch pie), 1 cup braised kale (600 calories)

Frozen Yogurt Covered Blueberry Bites

Prep time: 5 minutes

Freeze time: 30 minutes–1 hour

Yield: 2 servings

1/2 pint fresh blueberries

6-ounce container nonfat vanilla Greek-style yogurt

  1. Line a baking sheet with wax paper.

  2. Using a toothpick, pick up one blueberry at a time and dip into yogurt until covered.

  3. Place on sheet and freeze bites for 30 minutes to an hour.

Per serving: Calories 121; Fat 0.5g; Sodium 39mg; Carbohydrates 21.5g; Dietary Fiber 2.5g; Protein 9g.

    Sleep-in Sunday

  • Late breakfast: 2 whole-wheat pancakes (6-inch diameter), 1 medium fresh peach, sliced, 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese (450 calories)

  • Lunch: Spinach salad (2 cups) with 1 hard-cooked egg, 1/4 cup dried cranberries, 1 tablespoons pine nuts, vinegar and olive oil (1 tablespoons) and 6 ounces low-fat Greek yogurt mixed with 1 tablespoons dark chocolate chips and cinnamon (500 calories)

  • Snack: 4 tablespoons hummus, 1 cup sliced jicama or any crunchy vegetable (150 calories)

  • Dinner: Japanese take-out: 1 cup edamame, 1 cup tofu miso soup, 2 rolls tuna and cucumber sushi with brown rice (500 calories)

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