7-days’ worth of meat free, dietitian-approved recipes

Your 7-day calorie-controlled, meat free meal plan to help lose weight.

Want to lose weight but don’t want to go on a crash diet? You go girl. As a dietitian, there’s nothing I despise more than a quick-fix weight loss program that extremely restricts what you can and can’t eat. They teach you nothing about healthy eating and ultimately, damage your relationship with food.

Instead, I’d recommended sensible, sustainable changes to your eating habits that help to create a small but effective calorie deficit. If you’re into maths, the average daily calorie consumption is 2,000 calories. For weight loss, you want to drop that to 1,500 calories.

This daily 500 calorie reduction will help you lose around half to one kilogram a week. I know, I know… that’s nowhere near as fast as silly detoxes and diet shakes… but there’s a reason I’ve labelled those approaches ‘silly’ in the first place.

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You see, when you cut your energy intake so drastically (read: you starve yourself), your body starts to burn through your lean muscle mass for energy. That’s *very* counterintuitive, because it’ll actually slow down your metabolism in the long haul. So, slow and steady wins the race. Literally.

To give you a helping hand, I’ve developed a 7-day, calorie-controlled meal plan to get you started on the right foot. Take note: there are no so-called ‘superfoods’ in sight – it’s just a wholesome balance of the five food groups, tailored to meet that daily target of 1,500 calories.

I’ve even included a little bit of chocolate! The best part? It’s entirely meat free – so it’s perfect if you follow a vegetarian diet or you’re trying to cut back on meat.

Monday

  • Breakfast: 2 slices of wholegrain toast topped with a quarter of an avocado, 2 hard-boiled eggs and a sprinkle of chilli flakes
  • Morning tea: regular skim latte and an apple
  • Lunch: garden salad with half a cup each of chickpeas and cooked quinoa, topped with 20g reduced-fat feta cheese and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • Afternoon tea: 170g tub reduced-fat Greek yoghurt and two passionfruit
  • Dinner: 200g fillet barramundi with one cup each cauliflower and pumpkin, baked in a teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil
  • Dessert: one cup of plain air-popped popcorn and 10 strawberries

Tuesday

  • Breakfast: half a cup of untoasted natural muesli, 170g tub reduced-fat Greek yoghurt and a banana
  • Morning tea: regular skim latte
  • Lunch: salad sandwich made of two slices wholegrain bread, 1 slice of reduced-fat cheese and mixed salad
  • Afternoon tea: one cup of veggie sticks
  • Dinner: tofu stir fry made of 150g tofu, three quarters of a cup cooked brown rice, one and a half cups of mixed vegetables and a dash of soy sauce
  • Dessert: two kiwi fruit

Wednesday

  • Breakfast: 2 slices of wholegrain toast topped with a quarter of an avocado, 2 hard-boiled eggs and a sprinkle of chilli flakes
  • Morning tea: regular skim latte and an apple
  • Lunch: garden salad with half a cup each of chickpeas and cooked quinoa, topped with 20g reduced-fat feta cheese and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • Afternoon tea: 170g tub reduced-fat Greek yoghurt and two passionfruit
  • Dinner: one cup of cooked wholemeal pasta tossed through a store-bought tomato and chilli pasta sauce and two tablespoons of reduced-fat ricotta cheese
  • Dessert: one cup of plain air-popped popcorn and 10 strawberries

Thursday

  • Breakfast: half a cup of untoasted natural muesli, 170g tub reduced-fat Greek yoghurt and a banana
  • Morning tea: regular skim latte
  • Lunch: salad sandwich made of two slices wholegrain bread, 1 slice of reduced-fat cheese and mixed salad
  • Afternoon tea: one cup of veggie sticks
  • Dinner: prawn stir fry made of 100g prawn meat, three quarters of a cup cooked brown rice, one and a half cups of mixed vegetables and a dash of soy sauce
  • Dessert: two kiwi fruit and two squares of dark chocolate

Friday

  • Breakfast: 2 slices of wholegrain toast topped with a quarter of an avocado, 2 hard-boiled eggs and a sprinkle of chilli flakes
  • Morning tea: regular skim latte and an apple
  • Lunch: garden salad with half a cup each of chickpeas and cooked quinoa, topped with 20g reduced-fat feta cheese and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar
  • Afternoon tea: 170g tub reduced-fat Greek yoghurt and two passionfruit
  • Dinner: haloumi burger made of two slices wholegrain toast, one thick slice of halloumi cheese, a handful of rocket and one teaspoon each mayonnaise and chilli jam
  • Dessert: one cup of plain air-popped popcorn and 10 strawberries

Saturday

  • Breakfast: half a cup of untoasted natural muesli, 170g tub reduced-fat Greek yoghurt and a banana
  • Morning tea: regular skim latte and 10 strawberries
  • Lunch: two slices of wholegrain toast topped with a 220g tin of reduced-salt baked beans
  • Afternoon tea: one cup of veggie sticks and a hard-boiled egg
  • Dinner: homemade veggie pizza made of one wholemeal wrap, one tablespoon of tomato paste, zucchini, capsicum, five olives and a quarter of a cup of pizza cheese

Sunday

  • Breakfast: two slices of wholegrain toast topped with half a cup of reduced-fat ricotta cheese, one sliced tomato and a drizzle of balsamic glaze
  • Morning tea: regular skim latte and an apple
  • Lunch: salad sandwich made of two slices wholegrain bread, 1 slice of reduced-fat cheese and mixed salad
  • Afternoon tea: one cup of veggie sticks
  • Dinner: stir fry made of one bunch of broccolini, three quarters of a cup of cooked brown rice and a tin of tuna in oil (drained), cooked in a drizzle of olive oil

Melissa Meier is a Sydney-based accredited practising dietitian. You can connect with her on Instagram @honest_nutrition.