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08 July, 2011

1,500-Calorie Meal Plan

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You know the drill – eat more fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, low-fat dairy. But putting it all together into a day’s worth of meals and snacks is time-consuming. Calorie needs vary from person to person, so it is important to learn the right amount for you by consulting with your doctor or other trusted health professional. A 1,500-calorie-per-day meal plan is safe for most people, but you may need more or less depending on your height, weight, age, sex and activity level.


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For breakfast -- the most important meal of the day -- have a toasted whole grain English muffin with 1/2 teaspoon of honey on each half, 1/2 cup of 1-percent fat cottage cheese and one medium pear for 318 calories. For your beverage, have black coffee or unsweetened tea, which both provide zero calories.


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Escape from your responsibilities midday by indulging in a chili cheese potato consisting of one medium baked potato, topped with 1 cup of homemade chili and 2 tablespoons of 2-percent reduced-fat shredded cheese. For your sides, have 1 cup of seedless grapes and 2/3 cup of raw sugar snap peas. This lunch provides 439 calories. Drink a large glass of water to wash everything down.


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For dinner, prepare chicken fajitas with 4 ounces of seasoned, boneless, skinless chicken breast, and about 1/4 cup each of sliced yellow onion and sliced bell pepper, cooked in 2 teaspoons of olive oil. Divide the onions, peppers and chicken on top of two small corn tortillas and top with 1 tablespoon of 2-percent reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese each. Serve with 1 ounce of whole grain tortilla chips, 1/2 cup of pico de gallo and water for a 521-calorie evening meal.


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To keep your metabolism running at its best, avoid going long periods of time without eating. Make a plan to eat something every three to four hours throughout the day. For snacks, munch on one medium banana; 1/2 ounce of almonds, which is about 11; and a large tomato, and sprinkled with a pinch of sea salt. All three snacks together equal 220 calories, for a day’s total of 1,498 calories.