Are you ready to banish boring diets? We are too! We know that diets which leave you feeling hungry, deprived, and all-round dissatisfied can never become a way of life… And if healthy eating doesn’t become a lifestyle for you, you won’t keep off the weight you lose—it’s that simple. That’s why we’ve created this easy to follow, 1,400 calories per day plant-based 4-week diet plan: It’s packed with vegan ( and hence low fat ) alternatives to classic hearty favorites and gives you some “wiggle room” to cheat here and there. So, let’s get started: Expect to lose at least 10 pounds in the next 4 weeks.
The 4-Week Meal Plan
For six days out of the week, you’ll get to pick one breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus two treats, from the plan below. What you choose is up to you; each meal is calorie-controlled to ensure you lose weight, so just pick your favorite options and enjoy! And, on day seven, you’re allowed to have a “cheat” day. On this day, you can either:
- Add a third treat or snack from the list below.
- Skip your two daily snacks and eat whatever kind of dinner you want.
- Skip your two daily snacks and have a dessert of your choice after dinner.
If you follow this meal plan properly, you should lose about 10 pounds by the end of the first month. Here’s the meals and snacks you’ll be able to choose from on days 1-6:
Breakfast: 300 Calories Per Serving
- 8″ whole-wheat tortilla + 1 tbsp peanut butter + ½ a banana, sliced.
- 1 cup vegan coconut yogurt + pinch nutmeg + ½ tsp agave nectar + 4 chopped apricots.
- ½ cup tofu scramble; 1 whole-wheat bagel; 2 pieces of celery filled with 2 tbsp hummus; 6 oz low-sodium vegetable juice.
- Strawberry Vegan French Toast: 1 slice whole-wheat bread dipped in almond milk mixed with 1 tbsp ground flax seed and cooked in 1 tsp vegan butter + 1 cup sliced strawberries.
- 1 cup toasted oat cereal + 1 cup soy milk + 2 tbsp tart dried cherries + 1 tbsp chopped walnuts.
- Mock scrambled egg sandwich: 1 whole-wheat English muffin + 1 half-cup tofu scramble + 1 slice vegan cheese (such as Earth Balance cheddar slices) + 1-2 slices tomato.
- 2 pancakes + 1 tsp honey + 2 tbsp almond butter + ½ sliced banana.
- 1 cup bran flakes + 1 cup soy milk + ¾ cup blueberries.
- 1 cup cashew yogurt topped with ½ a sliced mango and 1 tbsp granola.
- 1 whole-grain waffle + 1 tbsp sunflower butter + 1 sliced pear.
- 1 cup cooked oatmeal + 1 tbsp almond butter + 2 tsp maple syrup.
- Vegan breakfast burrito: 8″ whole-wheat tortilla + 1/3 cup tofu scramble + 1 tbsp tofu cream cheese + ½ tomato, diced + 1 sliced scallion.
- Vegan Peach Smoothie: 1 cup coconut yogurt blended with 1 cup frozen peaches + ½ cup calcium-fortified orange juice + ½ banana + 1 tbsp ground flaxseed + pinch nutmeg.
- Vegan parfait: 1 cup coconut yogurt, topped with 1 diced nectarine + 1 tsp honey + 3 tbsp sliced almonds.
Lunch: 400 Calories Per Serving
- 1 Veggie dog on a whole wheat bun topped with 1 tbsp guacamole. 2 celery sticks filled with 2 tbsp peanut butter.
- 1 Veggie burger + 1 slice vegan cheddar cheese + 1 tbsp barbecue sauce + lettuce, onion, and tomato + whole-wheat hamburger bun. 1 cup watermelon cubes.
- ⅓ cup whole-wheat couscous, cooked + ¾ cup chickpeas + ½ cup diced tomato + ½ cup diced cucumber + 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil + ½ cup firm tofu, cubed + salt and pepper, to taste.
- Black bean-tomato soup: 1½ cups chilled tomato soup + 2 tsp red wine vinegar + ½ cup black beans + ½ cup corn niblets + ½ yellow bell pepper + 1 tomato + 2 tbsp red onion; 15 organic tortilla chips.
- Asian spinach salad: 3 cups baby spinach + ½ cup cooked tofu strips (seasoned with garlic, ginger, and soy sauce, to taste) + ½ chopped apple + ¼ cup shelled edamame + ½ cup grated carrots + 2 tbsp Asian vinaigrette.
- Simple tofu curry: ½ cup cooked tofu, 1 cup cooked brown rice, topped with 2 tbsp curry sauce of choice.
- Quinoa bowl: 1 cup cooked quinoa, ½ cup chick peas, 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp parsley, diced + salt and pepper to taste.
- Cheesy vegan quinoa bake (one slice): Add 1 cup vegan cheddar cheese shreds to 1 cup cooked quinoa, stir until vegan cheese is melted. Add ½ cup nondairy milk + 1 tbsp ground flax seed + 1 tsp minced garlic + ½ tsp onion powder + ½ tsp salt. Blend together, add to roasting dish, top with bread crumbs and cook at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, or until firm. Cut and serve.
- Healthy grain bowl: 1 cup farro cooked in vegetable broth + ½ cup lentils + ½ tbsp olive oil + ½ cup corn niblets + ½ cup sliced cherry tomatoes + ½ an avocado, diced + 1 tbsp fresh basil + 2 tbsp nuts or seeds of choice + salt and pepper to taste, topped with 1 tbsp vegan ranch dressing.
- Wheat berry salad: 1 cup cooked wheat berries + 1 cup baby tomatoes, halved + 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, halved + 1 red onion, sliced+ 2 large leeks, diced + 1 tbsp pine nuts + 2 tbsp red wine dressing + ½ tsp salt.
- Vegan cheese and avocado sandwich: 2 slices of whole wheat bread, toasted + 2 slices vegan monterey jack cheese + ½ an avocado, sliced + 1 tbsp vegenaise + salt and pepper, to taste.
- 1 whole wheat bagel topped with vegan cream cheese + sliced tomato + salt and pepper to taste.
- Peanut butter and banana sandwich: 2 slices whole wheat bread, toasted, topped with 2 tbsp peanut better + 1 whole banana, sliced.
- 1 can vegetable soup + 2 slices of bread, toasted + 1 slice vegan cheese.
- 8″ whole-wheat tortilla + 2 tbsp hummus. One apple, sliced, topped with 2 tbsp peanut butter.
Dinner: 500 calories per serving.
- Sweet quinoa bowl: 2 cups cooked quinoa + ¼ cup unsweetened, dried coconut flakes + 3 sliced kiwis + 2 cups fresh pineapple chunks. For dressing, blend 1/3 cup fresh pineapple juice + 1.5 tbsp fresh lime juice + ½ avocado.
- Vegan pizza: One whole wheat pizza crust, topped with 2 tbsp pizza sauce + 2 tbsp hummus + greens of choice + sliced onion + 1 tbsp olive oil + salt and pepper to taste.
- 2 vegan burritos (prepackaged) + green salad topped with 1 tbsp balsamic dressing.
- 5 strips cooked tempeh + ½ cup cooked brown rice (seasoned with 1 tsp olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper, to taste) + 1 cup cooked broccoli.
- Two potatoes, roasted + 2 tbsp vegan butter + 2 tbsp vegan sour cream + 2 tbsp coconut “bacon” bits + salt and pepper, to taste. 1 cup broccoli and cauliflower, cooked.
- 1 vegetarian sausage served on a whole wheat bun, topped with mustard + diced onion. 3 celery stalks filled with peanut butter.
- Almond and pepper pasta: 1 cup penne noodles, cooked + one red pepper, cut into quarters, cooked in olive oil + 1/4 cup pitted kalamata olives + 1/4 cup coarsely chopped roasted almonds + 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves + kosher salt and black pepper to taste.
- One sweet potato burger (from package), cooked + one whole wheat bun + 2 tbsp guacamole + 1 tbsp vegan ranch dressing.
- Black beans and rice: 1 cup of rice, cooked + ½ a green pepper, ½ a clove garlic, ½ and onion, chopped and sautéed + ½ cup black beans, simmered in half a cup of vegetable broth + tbsp red wine vinegar + a pinch of cumin. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- 2 sweet potatoes, roasted + 2 tbsp vegan butter + salt and pepper, to taste. ½ cup rice, cooked + 1 tsp olive oil + 1 tsp lemon juice + salt and pepper, to taste.
- 1 cup tabbouleh + 3 falafel, cooked + 2 tbsp hummus.
- Vegan garden burger: One black bean burger, cooked + one whole wheat bun + 2 tbsp guacamole + sliced tomato + sliced onion + lettuce + 1 tbsp vegenaise + salt and pepper, to taste.
- Falafel wrap: One 8 inch whole wheat tortilla + 3 falafel + 2 tbsp hummus + 1 tbsp pine nuts + 2 tbsp diced tomato and onion + 1 tsp olive oil + salt and pepper, to taste.
- Takeout: 1 serving fried rice + 2 vegetarian spring rolls.
Snacks and Treats: 150 calories per serving.
- Half an apple, sliced + 1 tbsp peanut butter.
- 1 snack size portion (prepackaged) of apple sauce topped with 1 tbsp of diced nuts.
- 1 snack size portion (prepackaged) of vegan coconut, soy-based, or cashew yogurt. (Optional) top with 2 tsp granola.
- Three small pieces of dark chocolate.
- One slice of whole wheat toast topped with vegan butter and jam of choice.
- One serving of soda pop (with sugar), sweetened iced tea, or juice.
- One glass of wine or one beer.
- Two bite-sized brownies or miniature cupcakes.
- ½ cup coconut or cashew dairy-free ice cream.
- One crumpet or English muffin topped with vegan butter and jam of choice.
- Four crackers topped with vegan mock-cheese spread.
- 45 pistachios.
- 1 sliced bell pepper + ¼ cup hummus.
- ½ banana + 1 tbsp peanut butter.
Quick Tips for Ultimate, Enduring Diet Success
- Start on Sunday. Though researchers don’t know why, people who start their diets on Sunday have a greater chance of success.
- Eat colorful food off a plain white plate. You may eat 21% less this way because portions are better defined.
- Use a large fork rather than a small one. This gives our brains the sense that we’re eating a large amount of food, so we eat less portion-wise.
- Stay away from food-related media, like cooking shows, Instagram, etc. Looking at food causes dieters to eat 60% more snacks.
- Don’t overdo it on starch. Eat just one small portion of starch per meal to keep your insulin levels in check.
- Eat whole grains, especially at breakfast. This curbs hunger later in the day.
- Eat every 4 hours. If we go too long without eating, we become insatiably hungry—and overeat as a result.
- Carry healthy, low-calorie, high-protein snacks with you.
- Eat 15-20 grams of protein with every meal. Protein both helps you feel fuller longer and keeps your metabolism burning well.
- Eat fruits and veggies with every meal. Fruits and vegetables are low in calories but high in fiber. They therefore fill us up well without packing on the pounds.
- Talk to at least three other people about your new diet. Telling other people we plan to make a healthy lifestyle change essentially holds us accountable—after all, no one wants to look bad in front of their friends by giving up on their diet!
- Learn to say no to temptation—and other people. Our diets often get sabotaged by invites. Whether you’re being asked to go to the local bar after work or asked to attend a big family dinner, it’s easy to feel socially pressured into consuming more calories than you want to. The best way to avoid this trap is just to say “Thanks, but no thanks.” Stay home—or head to the gym instead.
- Don’t think about past failures. People who dwell on how seldom diets have worked for them in the past are more likely to give up in the present. Instead of thinking about your dieting past, visualize a successful, healthy future.
…And remember, first and foremost, that this plan isn’t really a “diet.” It’s your first step in creating a better lifestyle that will last for the rest of your life. In addition to helping you maintain a healthy weight, this plan will help protect you from a number of serious illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. The aim here is not to deprive your body; instead, it’s to fuel your body more effectively and efficiently. Good luck!