Follow these guidelines to maintain a healthy weight

Updated: November 02, 2017

CALORIES

1,800-2,000 every day If you're very active you'll need more. Go below this amount and your metabolism may slow down, foiling your efforts to lose weight. A reminder: All weight-loss plans need to incorporate regular exercise (cardio, strength and flexibility) to be successful.

In our meal plan here, any combination of three meals and two snacks will add up to 1,800-2,000 calories. For example:

- Breakfast #2 (waffles and papaya): 455 calories

- Lunch #1 (hummus sandwich, soybeans and an orange): 513 calories

- Dinner #2 (salmon, quinoa, Swiss chard and squash): 461 calories

- Snack #1 (Triscuits/soy cheese/carrots): 232 calories

- Snack #3 (ice cream/grapes): 273 calories

Total: 1,934 calories

FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

10 servings daily Here's how to get your 10 using our meal plan and grocery list:

- Breakfast #3 (oatmeal/cantaloupe): 2 servings

- Lunch #2 (pinto bean salad/corn chips with guacamole): 2 servings

- Dinner #2 (salmon, Swiss chard, acorn squash): 2 servings

- Snack #1 (Triscuits/soy cheese/carrots): 1 serving

- Snack #3 (ice cream/grapes): 1 serving

- 1 banana: 1 serving

- 1 cup cubed honeydew melon: 1 serving

WHOLE GRAINS

8-10 servings daily Here's how to get your daily dose with our meal plan and grocery list:

- Breakfast #1 (cereal/toast): 3 servings

- Lunch #3 (veggie turkey sandwich): 2 servings

- Dinner #1 (Kasha and Pasta/spinach salad): 4 servings

- Snack #1 (Triscuits/soy cheese/carrots): 1 serving OR Weight Watchers Smart Ones' Santa Fe Style Rice and Beans: 1 serving

FISH

3 servings a week You can eat a variation on these meals weekly to meet your needs:

- Lunch #2 (pinto bean and tuna salad) 1 serving

- Dinner #2 (Gingered Salmon) 1 serving

- Dinner #3 (King Mackerel or Trout Enchiladas) 1 serving

SOY FOODS

1-2 servings daily

- Lunch #1 (with 1/3 cup cooked soybeans) 1 serving

- Snack #2 (soy yogurt): 1 serving

CALCIUM FOODS

2 dairy servings and 1 nondairy serving daily Strive for 1,000 mg of calcium per day, or 1,200 mg if you're over the age of 50. These options meet your requirements:

- Breakfast #3 (oatmeal/milk) + lunch #1 (hummus sandwich) + dinner #1 (Kasha and Pasta) = 1,068 mg

OR

- Breakfast #1 (cereals/milk) + lunch #2 (pinto bean salad) + dinner #3 (fish enchiladas) + snack #2 (soy yogurt) = 1,047 mg

FAT

In a 2,000-calorie diet, fat should make up less than 30 percent of total calories. Of that, less than 10 percent should come from saturated and trans fats. Here's how to keep your fat percentages where they should be using choices from our meal plan:

- Breakfast #1 (cereals with nonfat milk, toast with peanut butter) + lunch #1 (hummus sandwich) + dinner #1 (Kasha and Pasta With Lemon Pesto) + snack #1 (Triscuits with soy cheese) + snack #2 (soy yogurt with almonds) = 1,863 calories/50 grams fat, or 24% calories from fat, 3% from saturated fat.

- Breakfast #2 (waffles and papaya) + lunch #2 (pinto bean and tuna salad) + dinner #2 (Gingered Salmon) + snack #2 (soy yogurt with almonds) + snack #3 (lowfat ice cream and grapes) = 1,957 calories/47 grams fat, or 22% calories from fat, 4% from saturated fat.

- Breakfast #3 (oatmeal and nonfat milk) + lunch #3 (soy turkey sandwich and yogurt) + dinner #3 (King Mackerel or Trout Enchiladas) + snack #1 (Triscuits with soy cheese) + snack #3 (ice cream and grapes) = 2,049 calories/37 grams fat, or 16% calories from fat, 4% from saturated fat.

Additional healthy fat choices on our meal plan:

Olive oil

Almonds and walnuts

Avocados

Tahini (sesame paste)

Salmon (canned and fresh)

King mackerel and trout

Reduced-fat peanut butter

Soybeans (edamame)

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