3 Weeks to a Slimmer You
Metabolism-boosting meal plan
Marissa Lippert, RD, designed this plan around foods high in antioxidants, healthy fats, caffeine, and protein—proven metabolism boosters. Try it (with our workout) for 21 days to drop up to 10 pounds. During the first week’s 1,200-calorie kickstart, lose up to a pound a day by choosing three meals and one snack. After that, add an additional snack per day.
Breakfast: Maple-Pecan Quinoa or Blackberry-Almond Smoothie
(approximately 250–300 calories)
• Maple-Pecan Quinoa
Cook 1/4 cup quinoa with 1/4 cup low-fat milk and 1/4 cup water according to package directions. Top with 1/4 tsp vanilla extract, 1 tsp maple syrup, 2 TBSP chopped pecans, and 1/2 cup fresh or frozen and thawed cherries.
• Blackberry-Almond Smoothie
Blend 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt, 1/2 cup fresh or frozen blackberries, 1/2 banana, 2 tsp hemp seeds (or flaxseed meal), a dash of cinnamon, and 1 tsp honey.
Breakfast: Vegetarian's Delight or Egg 'n' Toast
• Vegetarian's Delight
Heat up one Amy's frozen Tofu Scramble with Hash Browns & Veggies.
• Egg 'n' Toast
Have 1 poached egg with 1 slice multigrain toast, 1/2 grapefruit, 1/4 avocado with a squeeze of fresh lime, and a pinch of red pepper
Lunch: Spinach Salad or Veggie Soup
• Spinach Salad
Toss together 2 cups fresh spinach, 1 TBSP each toasted walnuts, blue cheese, and dried cherries, 1 sliced hard-boiled egg, 2 tsp walnut oil, and 1 tsp balsamic vinegar.
• Veggie Soup & Sides
Serve 1 cup ready-made lentil soup seasoned with 1/4 tsp cumin powder. Roast 1 1/2 cups carrots and fennel with 2 tsp olive oil, 1 clove garlic, 1 tsp thyme, a dash of cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste.
Lunch: Italian Tuna Sandwich
• Italian Tuna Sandwich
Stuff 1/2 (6-inch) whole-wheat pita with a mixture of 3 oz water-packed canned tuna, 1/2 cup white cannellini beans, 1 TBSP chopped red onion, 1/4 cup each chopped cucumber and grape
Dinner: Spiced-Up Steak or Chicken Pasta
(approximately 400–450 calories)
• Spiced-Up Steak
Season 4 oz grass-fed flank steak seasoned with 1/2 tsp cumin, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper, and grill. Top with 2 TBSP chimichurri sauce (blend together 1/4 cup cilantro, 2 TBSP parsley, 1 TBSP red-wine vinegar, 3 TBSP extra-virgin olive oil, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes; refrigerate leftover sauce). Serve with 1/2 cup warm black beans and 2 cups arugula drizzled with 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil and fresh lemon juice.
• Chicken Pasta
Combine 4 oz grilled chicken and 1 1/2 cups broccoli rabe sautéed with 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, 1 minced garlic clove, 1/2 tsp minced red chili, and 1/2 tsp orange zest. Serve over 1/2 cup whole-wheat penne.
Dinner: Mediterranean Wild Salmon or a Frozen Entree
• Mediterranean Wild Salmon
Bake 4 oz salmon with 1 cup artichoke hearts, 2 tsp capers, 1 tsp minced shallots, lemon slices, and salt and pepper to taste for about 25 minutes at 350°; sprinkle with 1 tsp chopped parsley. Serve with 1/2 cup cooked whole-wheat couscous with 2 tsp toasted pine nuts, 2 TBSP sautéed onions, and 1/2 cup sautéed mushrooms.
• Frozen Entree
Heat up one Kashi Mayan Harvest Bake or Spicy Black Bean Enchilada.
(approximately 100–150 calories)
• 1 mini Lärabar, such as Cashew Cookie
• 1 (12-oz) skim or soy latte with cinnamon
• 1/2 cup red grapes + 1 oz gouda or cheddar cheese
• 10 multigrain tortilla chips + 1/4 cup guacamole
• Apple + 2 tsp almond butter
• 1 cup low-fat kefir (plain or vanilla) sprinkled with 1/8 tsp cardamom and 1 tsp flaxseed meal
• 1 oz dark chocolate + 8–10 walnut halves
• "Affogato redux" made with 1/2 cup low-fat vanilla frozen yogurt topped with 1 shot of espresso
• 2 cups kale chips: fresh kale topped with 1 1/2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp lemon zest, baked at 300° for 20 minutes
• 4 oz low-fat Greek yogurt with 1/2 cup orange segments + 1 tsp honey
• 1 1/2 cups edamame in the pods sprinkled with chili powder and sea salt
• 1 cup pineapple or mixed melon topped with 1 TBSP shredded coconut and 1/2 tsp hemp seeds