1600 Calorie Diet Plans: Healthy Meal Prep Ideas For The Week

1600 Calorie Diet Plans: Healthy Meal Prep Ideas For The Week

1600 Calorie Diet Plans give you a structured yet flexible approach to your diet that can help you achieve your weight loss or weight management goals!

With four different 1600 calorie diet plans here and four more plans here, you have eight different meal plans to switch between on your 1600 Calorie Diet, giving you all the variety that you need to stay motivated.

From mouthwatering breakfast options to satisfying dinners featuring dishes like Spaghetti & Meatballs, Chicken Burrito Bowls, and Shrimp Tacos (just to name a few), this plan is brimming with healthy recipes that are not only delicious but also low in calories and packed with protein.

With these recipes, tips are included so that you can do breakfast, dinner and lunch meal prep for the week!

So, let’s jump in and see how these 1600 calorie diet plans can work for you!

What are 1600 Calorie Diet Plans?

1600 calorie diet plans are calorie-restricted eating plans, where the daily caloric intake is limited to approximately 1600 calories a day.

This type of diet is considered a moderately low-calorie diet and is often used for weight management or weight loss purposes.

The specific composition of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins, and fats) in a 1600 calorie diet can vary depending on individual preferences and dietary restrictions.

What Does 1600 Calorie Look Like?

Meeting your nutritional needs while staying within a 1600 calories a day limit requires careful meal planning.

  1. Carbohydrates: About 45-55% of total calories, which equates to roughly 180-220 grams of carbohydrates per day. Focus on complex carbohydrates like whole grains, vegetables, and fruits for sustained energy. However, these plans provide between 139-173g of carbs, since they are designed to be low carb.
  2. Proteins: About 20-25% of total calories, which would be approximately 80-100 grams of protein daily. Good sources include lean meats, poultry, fish, tofu, legumes, and dairy products. However, since these plans are high protein, they will provide 156-168g protein per day!
  3. Fats: About 20-30% of total calories, which amounts to 36-53 grams of fat per day. Opt for healthy fats like those found in avocados, nuts, seeds, and olive oil. Limit saturated and trans fats.
  4. Fiber: At least 25-30 grams of dietary fiber each day supports digestive health and promotes satiety.
  5. Micronutrients: Ensure you’re getting a variety of vitamins and minerals by including a colorful array of fruits and vegetables in your diet. Consider taking a multivitamin.
  6. Hydration: Stay well-hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Avoid sugary beverages and excessive consumption of caffeinated drinks.

It’s important to note that individual calorie needs vary depending on factors such as age, gender, activity level, and metabolism.

Also, remember that weight loss should ideally be gradual and sustainable, and it’s essential to focus on the quality of food you consume, portion control, and regular physical activity in addition to calorie intake for achieving and maintaining a healthy weight.

Why I Offer Structured Meal Plans for Weight Management

I offer tailored meal plans to assist individuals who may not be familiar with calorie counting or who struggle to keep their daily calorie intake within recommended limits, whether for the purpose of managing their weight or achieving weight loss goals.

These structured meal plans serve as a valuable resource, especially for those with busy lifestyles who may not have the time or expertise to consistently plan balanced meals. They serve as an initial step towards gaining a deeper understanding of what constitutes a healthy meal plan, including the importance of portion control and selecting nutritious foods.

Incorporating calorie control into these meal plans is particularly effective in helping individuals manage their calorie intake, ultimately leading to a calorie deficit, which is essential for effective weight loss.

Over time, as you follow these structured plans, you’ll likely develop a better grasp of how to maintain your calorie intake within your desired range.

It’s essential to acknowledge that these meal plans are not intended to be followed indefinitely. Food is not solely about calories; it’s also about culture, personal choices, and the enjoyment of eating. These meal plans are a valuable tool to help you establish healthy eating habits and achieve your initial goals. Once you’ve gained confidence in your ability to make informed food choices, you can transition away from structured plans while still maintaining a balanced and enjoyable approach to food.

Benefits Of Following Structured 1600 Calorie Diet Plans

Following a structured meal plan offers several benefits for individuals looking to improve their nutrition, manage their weight, or address specific dietary goals. Here are some of the key advantages:

  1. Improved Nutrient Intake: Structured meal plans are designed to provide a balance of essential nutrients, ensuring you get the vitamins, minerals, protein, carbohydrates, and fats your body needs for optimal functioning.
  2. Portion Control: Meal plans often specify portion sizes, helping you avoid overeating and maintain better control of your calorie intake. This can be especially beneficial for weight management.
  3. Steady Energy Levels: Well-designed meal plans distribute calories and nutrients throughout the day, helping to stabilize blood sugar levels and prevent energy crashes or intense hunger.
  4. Weight Management: Following a structured meal plan can assist with weight loss, weight maintenance, or even weight gain, depending on your goals and calorie levels. It helps you stay within your target calorie range.
  5. Consistency: Meal plans promote consistency in your dietary choices. When you know what to eat and when, it becomes easier to stick to your goals, whether it’s losing weight, building muscle, or improving overall health.
  6. Health Benefits: Depending on the specific plan, structured diets can offer health benefits such as improved heart health, better blood sugar control, and reduced risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and hypertension.
  7. Variety and Balanced Nutrition: Many meal plans encourage a variety of foods, which can lead to a more balanced and nutrient-rich diet. This variety can also make eating more enjoyable and prevent dietary monotony.
  8. Saves Time and Effort: Planning your meals in advance can save time and reduce the stress associated with daily food decisions. You can batch-cook or prepare ingredients in advance, streamlining your cooking process. We could all benefit from some dinner and lunch meal prep for the week, right?
  9. Educational: Meal plans often come with guidelines and educational materials that can help you learn about portion sizes, macronutrients, and balanced eating. This knowledge can empower you to make healthier food choices in the long run.
  10. Customization: Structured meal plans can be tailored to your specific dietary preferences, restrictions, and goals, whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, have food allergies, or follow cultural dietary practices.

How Many Calories Do You Need?

If you’re unsure whether 1600 calories per day is sufficient for your needs or if you’re curious about your specific calorie requirements, the first step is to determine your individual requirements.

You have two options to calculate your calorie needs: you can use the equation below or utilize an online calculator. Don’t worry; it’s a straightforward process, and I’ve provided step-by-step instructions.

The Mifflin-St Jeor Equation

I recommend using the Mifflin-St Jeor equation because it’s one of the most widely accepted formulas for estimating your Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR).

1500 calorie diet plan how to meal prep for weight loss

This equation provides a more accurate estimate of your BMR compared to the Harris-Benedict equation. Numerous research studies have demonstrated its superior precision, often estimating BMR within a 10% range of values obtained through indirect calorimetry measurement.

(Indirect calorimetry is considered the gold standard for research and clinical applications because it offers highly accurate, personalized data on calorie expenditure. However, it’s impractical, less accessible, and expensive for the average person. Hence, we rely on predictive equations like the Mifflin-St Jeor or Harris-Benedict equations.)

Weight Loss: How Many Calories Do I need?

Step 1: Finding Your Calorie Needs

The Mifflin-St Jeor equation helps you figure out how many calories you need when you’re just resting. This is called your “Basal Metabolic Rate” or BMR.

For Men:

BMR = (10 * your weight in kg) + (6.25 * your height in cm) – (5 * your age in years) + 5

For Women:

BMR = (10 * your weight in kg) + (6.25 * your height in cm) – (5 * your age in years) – 161

Step 2: Adding Activity

Your daily activities burn more calories than just lying around. To get a better idea of how many calories you burn overall, multiply your BMR by a number based on how active you are:

  • Sedentary (not much activity): BMR * 1.2
  • Lightly active (some exercise, 1-3 days a week): BMR * 1.375
  • Moderately active (exercise, 3-5 days a week): BMR * 1.55
  • Very active (exercise a lot, 6-7 days a week): BMR * 1.725
  • Super active (intense exercise, physical job): BMR * 1.9

Step 3: Weight Loss

If you want to lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than your body uses. Cutting around 500 to 1000 calories a day can help you lose about 1 to 2 pounds a week – a healthy pace.

So, take your BMR, multiply it by your activity factor, and then subtract 500 to 1000 calories. This gives you a target for how much to eat each day.

Or you could use this online calculator instead and minus 500-1000 calories from that to know how many calories per day should you be having on order to lose weight.

Lower Calorie Plans

If 1600 Calories is more than you want, or need, you can try:

Meal Prep Friendly Diet Plans

One of the keys to successful weight management is consistency, and healthy meal prep ideas for the week can help you achieve just that. These have the same meals as in this diet plan, but the recipes are adjusted to provide different amount of calories.

Meal Prep Menu

It’s important to make nutritious choices when you’re limited to 1600 calories a day.

1600 Calorie Diet Plans 
Meal Prep Menu

High Protein Meal Plans

These belong to another set and have different meals compared the set above.

What Makes These 1600 Calorie Diet Plans Effective

Meal Prep Convenience:

  • Meal prep-friendly recipes simplify daily meals, making them suitable for individuals with busy schedules and those new to structured meal planning. Incorporating a 1600 calorie meal prep routine into your lifestyle can make it easier to manage your calorie intake and stay on course with your health objectives. Some of my favorite healthy meal prep ideas for the week include turkey stuffed peppers, chia pudding, and chicken burrito bowl (all of which I’ve included in these meal plans!).

Advanced Preparation Options:

  • Larger portion recipes are available for advanced preparation of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, allowing for convenience and time-saving.

Calorie Control:

  • The meal plan is designed to reduce impulsive food choices and aims to provide a daily intake of 1500 calories, helping individuals stay on track with their calorie goals.

Flexible Calorie Options:

  • The plan offers free meal plans with calorie options spanning from 1200 to 2100, granting flexibility to choose the most suitable plan based on individual needs and goals.

Educational Value:

  • By following the plan, individuals gain a comprehensive understanding of what it means to adhere to a 1600 calorie diet plans, which can inform their future food choices.

Simple and Transparent Design:

  • The plan boasts a simple and transparent design, featuring detailed recipes and nutritional information for each meal category (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks).

Precision in Calorie Counting:

  • Accurate calorie and macronutrient calculations, relying on the USDA Food Central Database, ensure precision in calorie counts, which is crucial for effective weight loss.

Delicious Low-Calorie Options:

  • Notably, the plan includes low-calorie recipes that are both delicious and adjusted to fit into a low-calorie meal prep routine, making the journey toward weight loss more enjoyable and motivating.

How Do I Follow These 1600 Calorie Meal Plans?

You’ll find these plans organized from week 1 to week 4, but there’s no strict order you must follow.

We get it; eating the same thing for a whole week can get pretty dull. The good news is, you’ve got options!

Feel free to mix and match these four meal plans as you please since they all offer similar calorie and protein counts.

Choose based on what ingredients you have at home or simply what tickles your taste buds that day.

But wait, there’s even more variety available without straying from your calorie goals.

Take a look at my “1600 Calorie High Protein Diet Plan,” which brings four additional meal plans to the table. Think of it as a companion to this one, but with different recipes. That plan does not include tips for dinner/lunch meal prep for the week BUT you could meal prep for a lot of those recipes!

By using both of these plans together, you’ll have a grand total of eight plans to switch between, ensuring you have plenty of delicious choices to keep things exciting!

1600 Calorie Diet Plans

Whether you want to lose some weight, maintain where you’re at, or just get more organized with your meals, these 4 meal plans have fantastic recipes. With the 1600 calorie meal prep tips, you can enjoy portion-controlled, nutritious meals without the stress of daily cooking.

So here we go: a 1600 calorie diet to lose weight with healthy meal prep ideas for the week!

Week 1


1600 calorie diet plans healthy meal prep ideas for the week

Breakfast: Veggie Omelet with English muffin

Kickstart your morning with a satisfying Mushroom and Spinach Egg Scramble or Omelet, paired with a 100-calorie Thomas Light Multigrain English Muffin, boasting 8 grams of fiber, 1 gram of fat, 26 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of protein. Eggs, a breakfast staple, offer protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals for a satisfying and energizing start. Spinach and mushrooms add extra nutrients and antioxidants. Keep the calories low with just half a teaspoon of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper to taste!

Recipe

  • 1 Thomas Light Multigrain English Muffin (57g)
  • 1/2 cup sliced Cremini/brown/Italian mushrooms, raw (36g)
  • 1 cup fresh, raw spinach (30g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil (2.25g ) OR cooking spray
  • 1 large eggs, raw (50g)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Crack and beat the egg in a small bowl. Season with salt, pepper and set aside.
  2. Chop spinach and slice mushrooms. Heat oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. When hot, add mushrooms slices and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir fry for about 1-2 minutes, until the mushrooms are roasted and fragrant.
  3. Stir in spinach and keep cooking until wilted.
  4. Add beaten eggs and tilt the pan again to spread the egg mixture all over the pan. Slide onto plate and serve with 1 soft or toasted English Muffin.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 208.5
  • Carbs: 29g
  • Protein: 12g
  • Fat: 8.5g

How To Meal Prep

1) Slice mushrooms and chop up spinach and store in an airtight container. OR

2) Sauté the sliced mushrooms and chopped spinach in half the oil and store in an airtight container.


Lunch: Shrimp Tacos

Enjoy a delicious, low-calorie, high-protein meal with this nutritious shrimp taco recipe. It features lean shrimp, seasoned with onion powder, smoked paprika, ground cumin, and chili powder for great flavor without added calories. Use just 1/2 teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil for minimal fat. Opt for a Carb Balance Tortilla Wrap (70 calories, 5g protein, 3g fat, 19g carbs, and 15g fiber per tortilla) and fat-free sour cream for a satisfying, high-protein lunch. Don’t forget to measure out 300g of raw shrimp for this tasty dish!

Recipe

  • 1/2 teaspoon olive oil (2.25g ) OR cooking spray
  • 300g uncooked crustaceans shrimps or 225g cooked shrimps
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 (6-inch) Mission Carb Balance Flour Soft Taco/Tortilla Wrap (43g)
  • 1 tablespoon Breakstone’s Fat-Free Sour Cream (16g)

Instructions

  • Weigh shrimps, peel them and remove tails.
  • Add the shrimps to a skillet along with the olive oil and spices. Cook over medium-high heat until the shrimps are pink, flipping/stirring occasionally (about 5-6 minutes).
  • Assemble taco and serve with sour cream.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 370.5
  • Carbs: 23.5g
  • Protein: 66.5g
  • Fat: 7g

How To Meal Prep

  • Make packets of weighed and tail-removed shrimps.
  • Prepare the 2-3 days worth of shrimps in advance and keep refrigerated.
  • Prepare 2-3 days worth of shrimp tacos and refrigerate.
  • Prepare the whole week’s worth of tacos and wrap individual tacos in cling film. Place them in a zip lock bag. Lay flat in the freezer.

Dinner: Turkey Stuffed Peppers

Indulge in turkey stuffed peppers for dinner, featuring lean ground turkey for protein, cooked wild rice for fiber, and a variety of vegetables for essential vitamins and minerals. Lean ground turkey, with 93% lean and 7% fat, is a nutritious, lower-fat alternative to ground beef. Season it well and combine it with veggies, whole grains, and healthy fats for a satisfying and nutritious meal. This dish includes fat-free cheddar cheese for a cheesy experience with minimal saturated fat, promoting muscle health, satiety, and overall nutritional well-being.

Recipe

  • 1.5 large green bell peppers/sweet pepper (246g)
  • 3/4 cup cooked wild rice (without oil) (123g)
  • 300g uncooked ground turkey OR 225 cooked ground turkey (93% lean, 7% fat)
  • 1 garlic clove, minced (3g)
  • 1/2 small onion, diced (35g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 250g crushed tomatoes (from can)
  • 1/4 cup Kraft Shredded Fat Free Cheddar Cheese (28g)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (4.5g) or cooking spray

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare your rice and set aside. You will need 3/4th cup of boiled/steamed wild rice. Slice the peppers end-to-end and remove the seeds first
  • Place a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and crumble turkey with onion, garlic and seasonings over medium-high heat until meat is no longer pink, 6-8 minutes. Cool slightly. Stir in tomatoes,
  • Fill pepper halves with turkey mixture and place on a cast iron skillet, or baking dish.
  • Bake, uncovered, until filling is heated through and peppers are tender, 20-25 minutes. Remove and add cheese to the top of peppers and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until the cheese is melted

Nutrition Information

  • Calories: 807
  • Carbs: 60g
  • Protein: 68g
  • Fat: 31g

How To Meal Prep

1) Fully Prepared and Baked: You can store the prepared and baked stuffed peppers in an airtight containers for up to 5 days in the fridge. You can also freeze them for up to 2 months. Make sure that these are completely cooled. Place in a freezer-safe container. To re-heat, you can place the frozen peppers directly in the oven and bake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10-15 minutes, or microwave them for about 3-4 minutes. If you thaw them overnight in your fridge first, it will reduce the time needed to re-heat by a couple of minutes.

2) Fully Prepared and Unbaked: Simply assemble completely, cover with foil, and refrigerate for 2-3 days. When needed, just pop right in the oven with the foil and bake!

3) Prepare the filling in advance, then refrigerate up to 2 days or freeze up to 3 months before using.


Snack: Chia Pudding Cups

For a nutritious and pre-preparable snack, try Chia Pudding Cups paired with fiber-rich berries. Chia seeds, featured in this snack, are an excellent plant-based source of omega-3 fatty acid called alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), known for its heart-healthy benefits and potential to reduce inflammation. These seeds are also rich in both soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, aiding in weight management by promoting a sense of fullness and reducing calorie consumption. This delightful treat combines chia seeds, skimmed milk, sugar-free syrup, and blackberries or raspberries, offering a wholesome and satisfying snack option.

Recipe

  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds, dried (28g)
  • 1/2 cup skimmed milk (123.5g)
  • 1 tablespoon Cary’s Sugar Free Low Calorie Syrup (15 ml)
  • 1/8 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup fresh raspberries or blackberries (62g)

Instructions

  • In a bowl or mason jar, stir together chia seeds, milk, maple syrup and vanilla, if using. If you’re using a mason jar, you can put the lid on and shake the mixture to combine everything.
  • Once the chia pudding mixture is well combined, let it sit for 5 minutes, give it another stir/shake to break up any clumps of chia seeds, cover and put the mixture in the fridge to “set” for 1-2 hours or overnight. Top with berries and enjoy,
  • Chia pudding can be stored for up to 5-7 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 218.5
  • Carbs: 26.5g
  • Protein: 9.5g
  • Fat: 9.5g

How To Meal Prep

1) Chia pudding can be stored for up to 5-7 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Just top with fresh raspberries or blackberries when you are ready to eat.


Nutrition Facts For The Day

  • Calories: 1605
  • Carbs: 139g
  • Protein: 156g
  • Fat: 56g

Week 2

1600 calorie diet plans healthy meal prep for the week

Breakfast: Overnight Oats

Energize your mornings with Overnight Oats, a breakfast option that includes whole-grain oats, protein-packed almond milk, and vanilla protein powder. These oats are perfect for prepping in advance, providing sustained energy through complex carbohydrates. Fresh blueberries add flavor and contribute antioxidants and fiber to this nutritious morning meal.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup whole grain old fashioned rolled oats (40g)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (183g)
  • 1 packet vanilla protein powder (31g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (2g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup fresh blueberries (37g)

Instructions

  • In a mason jar or tupperware, combine all the ingredients (Except blueberries) and mix until well combined, making sure to stir up any chunks of protein powder that may be stuck on the bottom.
  • Cover with a lid and place into the fridge overnight.
  • Top with blueberries when ready to eat.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 329
  • Carbs: 37.5g
  • Protein: 31g
  • Fat: 5.5g

How To Meal Prep

  • Overnight oats can be prepared up to five days in advance.
  • When you’re ready to eat the oats, just pull them out of the fridge, top with blueberries and dive in.

Lunch: Chicken Fried Rice

Enjoy a healthy twist on Chicken Fried Rice that’s not actually fried! This dish features lean chicken breast for protein and fiber-rich brown rice for added nutrition. Ginger and garlic not only enhance the flavor but may also provide immune-boosting benefits. A combination of peas and carrots adds vitamins and antioxidants, while a controlled amount of healthy fats is used for cooking, making it a nutritious choice.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup cooked long grain brown rice (101g)
  • 200g boneless, skinless chicken breast (150g of cooked chicken)
  • 1/4 tablespoon toasted sesame oil (3.4g)
  • 1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots mix (74g)
  • 2 medium scallions/spring onions sliced, top & bulb (30g)
  • 1 teaspoon minced ginger (2g)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced (3g)
  • 1 large egg (50g)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce (27g)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a large non-stick wok or skillet, heat half the sesame oil over medium-high heat. Once hot, add chicken pieces, season lightly with salt and pepper and sauté until cooked through, about 5 – 6 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.
  • Return skillet to medium-high heat, add remaining sesame oil. Add peas and carrots blend and green onions and sauté 1 minute, then add garlic and sauté 1 minute longer. Push veggies to edges of pan, add eggs in center and cook and scramble.
  • Return chicken to skillet along with rice. Add in soy sauce and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 537
  • Carbs: 39g
  • Protein: 60g
  • Fat: 15g

How To Meal Prep

Make a big batch, cool for 5 minutes then divide into meal prep containers. Allow rice to cool before refrigerating or freezing. Refrigerate for up to 4 days and freeze for the remaining week! To reheat, microwave on medium-high for 2 minutes or until steaming.

CHICKEN FRIED RICE 1 WEEK MEAL PREP RECIPE:

  • 3.5 cups cooked long grain brown rice (707g)
  • 1400g boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 & 3/4 tablespoons toasted sesame oil (23.8g)
  • 3 & 1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots mix (518g)
  • 14 medium scallions/spring onions sliced, top & bulb (210g)
  • 7 teaspoons minced ginger (14g)
  • 7 clove garlic, minced (21g)
  • 7 large eggs (352g)
  • 10 & 1/2 tablespoons soy sauce (189g)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Dinner: Spaghetti & Meatballs

Indulge in a flavorful yet low-calorie, high-protein Spaghetti & Meatballs dinner. This dish features lean ground beef for protein with reduced fat content. Barilla Tomato and Basil Sauce add essential vitamins and antioxidants, while Barilla Protein Spaghetti boosts the meal’s protein content. Herbs and spices enhance the flavor without contributing excess calories, making this pasta dish a nutritious and tasty option.

Ingredients

FOR THE MEATBALLS (approx. 173g baked meatballs)

  • 230g uncooked lean ground beef (97% lean, 3% fat)
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley (0.8g)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Kraft reduced fat grated Parmesan cheese (4g)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

FOR THE SAUCE & SPAGHETTI

  • 1/2 cup Barilla Tomato and Basil (125g)
  • 56g Barilla Protein Spaghetti uncooked, or 200g boiled spaghetti

Instructions

FOR THE MEATBALLS:

Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a bowl, mix together the meatball ingredients until just combined. Roll the mixture into 8 meatballs and place on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, then turn the meatball. Put the meatballs back in the oven and cook for another 10 minutes, until they are nicely browned and almost cooked through.

FOR THE SPAGHETTI & SAUCE:

In the meantime, bring the marinara sauce to a simmer. Add salt and pepper if desired. Transfer the cooked meatballs to the marinara sauce, Cover loosely with a lid & simmer for about 10 minutes, till the meatballs are cooked through. Boil spaghetti, drain & toss with the sauce and meatballs.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 536
  • Carbs: 51.5g
  • Protein: 63.5g
  • Fat: 9.5g

How To Meal Prep

The cooked meatballs can be frozen, in their sauce, for up to 3 months. When ready to serve, defrost overnight in the refrigerator and reheat on the stovetop until the meatballs are hot in the center.

RECIPE TO PREPARE SPAGHETTI & MEATBALLS FOR THE WHOLE WEEK:

FOR THE MEATBALLS

  • 1610 g lean ground beef (97% lean, 3% fat)
  • 3 & 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley (5.6g)
  • 3 & 1/2 tablespoon Kraft reduced fat grated Parmesan cheese (28g)
  • 1 & 3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Roll the mixture into 56 meatballs, 8 meatballs for 1 meal. Either freeze just the meatballs, or meatballs with sauce, equally divided into 7 sections.

SAUCE

  • 3 & 1/2 cup Barilla Tomato and Basil (1225g)

SPAGHETTI

  • 392g Barilla Protein Spaghetti (dry/raw weight)

Snack: Brownie Cupcake

Enjoy a homemade brownie cupcake as a satisfying snack that can be incorporated sensibly into your weight loss or healthy eating plan. Treating yourself to such indulgences in moderation helps prevent feelings of deprivation and encourages a consistent and sustainable approach to your dietary goals.

  • 1 brownie cupcake

RECIPE FOR 12 BROWNIE CUPCAKES

Ingredients

  • 250g white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 60g Hershey’s semi sweet chocolate chips
  • 100g unsalted butter
  • 60g all purpose wheat flour
  • 50g Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C). Line a 12 cup cupcake pan with cupcake liners and set aside.
  • Melt chocolate and butter in a small microwave-safe bowl. You can microwave them together in 15 second intervals, mixing thoroughly after each interval just till melted and combined. Let it cool a bit till it’s warm or room temperature (it should only take a minute or two if you don’t heat the mixture too much in the microwave.
  • Meanwhile, place sugar and eggs in a medium sized bowl. Using a hand-mixer, beat sugar and eggs on high speed till light in color and heavy (around 3 minutes).
  • Now, add the melted butter-chocolate mixture to the sugar-egg mixture along with vanilla extract. No need to mix
  • Sift the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients ( all purpose flour, salt and cocoa powder).
  • Using a rubber spatula, stir JUST till combined. Do NOT over mix!
  • Evenly scoop the batter into the prepared cupcake liners either using an ice-cream scoop or regular tablespoon.
  • Bake for 25 minutes, or just until toothpick comes out clean. Baking time may differ a bit depending on your oven.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 195
  • Carbs: 28g
  • Protein: 2g
  • Fat: 9g

How To Meal Prep

1) Brownie cupcakes can be refrigerated for a week or frozen for 2 months! Store your week’s brownie cupcakes in airtight Tupperware.


Nutrition Facts For The Day

  • Calories: 1597
  • Carbs: 156g
  • Protein: 157g
  • Fat: 39g

Week 3

1600 calories a day meal prep menu

Breakfast: French Toast

Indulge in a nutritious and calorie-conscious French toast breakfast. This recipe features multigrain bread, providing whole grains and dietary fiber. A mixture of almond milk and eggs adds quality protein, while strawberries contribute flavor, vitamins, and antioxidants. What sets this recipe apart is its healthy balance, as it avoids the use of oil and butter during cooking.

Ingredients

  • 3 slices Sara Lee Delightful Healthy Multigrain bread(66g)
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, shelf stable (65.5g)
  • 2 large eggs (100.6g)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (4.2g)
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon (1.3g)
  • 1 tablespoon Cary’s Sugar Free Low Calorie Syrup (15 ml)
  • 2 medium strawberries (24g)

Instructions

  • Mix almond milk, eggs, vanilla extract, and cinnamon in a bowl.
  • Heat a non-stick skillet to medium-high heat.
  • Dip bread slices in the mixture till all the liquid mixture is soaked in it. Transfer the bread to the skillet. Cook until golden brown on both sides.
  • Serve with sliced strawberries & Cary’s sugar free syrup.
  • Do not use oil and butter in the cooking process.

Nutrition Facts

  • 319.5
  • 33.5g
  • 22g
  • 12g

How To Meal Prep

French toast tastes best when freshly made, but you can prepare 3 days worth of french toast as your breakfast meal prep.

Recipe to make French toast for 3 days’ breakfast::

  • 9 slices Sara Lee Delightful Healthy Multigrain bread(198g)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk, shelf stable (196.5g)
  • 6 large eggs (301.8g)
  • 3 teaspoons vanilla extract (12.6g)
  • 3 & 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon (3.9g)

Divide into three meal prep containers. This is your breakfast for the next three days. When ready to eat, reheat 3 pieces of French toast in the microwave and top with 1 tablespoon Cary’s Sugar Free Low Calorie Syrup (45 ml) and 2 medium strawberries (24g).


Lunch: Tuna Pita Tostada

Indulge in a hearty meal featuring Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran & Whole Wheat Pita, which provides a combination of whole grains, protein, and dietary fiber. The inclusion of light tuna, known for its lean protein and low calorie content, boosts the nutritional value. Red onion, lime juice, and herbs contribute antioxidants and delicious flavor without excessive salt. For an added crunch, you can bake the pita. The dish is further enhanced with the addition of fat-free sour cream for added richness.

Recipe

  • 1 Joseph’s Flax, Oat Bran & Whole Wheat Pita (37g)
  • 1 can light tuna, canned in water without salt, drained (165g)
  • 1 tablespoon red onion/shallot finely chopped (10g)
  • 1 teaspoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon cilantro or parsley. Finely minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons Breakstone’s Fat-Free Sour Cream(32g)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Ad strained tuna to a bowl with finely diced shallot or red onion, fresh-squeezed lime juice, garlic powder, minced parsley or cilantro, and cayenne pepper. Mix, add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Make pita tostadas by baking or toasting 1 pita, without oil until crisp.
  • Top with tuna mix and sour cream. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

  • 292
  • 16.5g
  • 50.5g
  • 3g

How to meal prep

The tuna topping can be prepared in advance.

Recipe to prepare 1 week’s tuna topping:

  • 7 cans light tuna, canned in water without salt, drained (1155g)
  • 7 tablespoon red onion/shallot finely chopped (10g)
  • 7 teaspoon lime juice
  • 7 teaspoon cilantro or parsley. Finely minced
  • 1 & 3/4 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 & 3/4 teaspoons cayenne pepper
  • Salt and pepper to taste

This is your whole weeks tuna topping for pita tostada. In a bowl, mix together all the ingredients and divide into 7 meal prep containers. On the day of, toast pita. top with tuna mix (from one meal prep container), and 2 tablespoons (32g) of sour cream.


Dinner: Chicken Burrito Bowl

This low-calorie Chicken Burrito Bowl is a healthy and flavorful option, featuring lean protein from boneless, skinless chicken breast, fiber-rich vegetables like red bell pepper and onion, and wholesome brown rice. It includes nutrient-rich ingredients such as black beans, corn, and salsa while keeping added fats minimal with the use of cooking spray and fat-free cheese. The result is a high-protein, low-calorie meal packed with essential vitamins.

Ingredients

  • 200g uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast or 150g cooked
  • 1 small red bell pepper sliced (74g)
  • 1 small onion sliced (70g)
  • 1/4 tablespoon olive oil (3.5g) or cooking spray
  • 1/2 tablespoon taco seasoning (4g)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 jar Mitchell’s Fresh Medium Salsa (212.5g), divided
  • 1/4 cup Goya black beans (61g)
  • 3/4 cup cooked long grain brown rice (152g)
  • 1/4 cup Goya Corn from can (62.5g)
  • 1/2 cup Kraft Shredded Fat Free Cheddar Cheese (56g)
  • 1/2 lime (34g)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400˚F (200˚C). Line a baking sheet with foil. Place the chicken, peppers, and onions onto the baking sheet and drizzle with oil. Sprinkle the taco seasoning evenly over both sides of the chicken breasts. Sprinkle salt and pepper on the bell peppers and onions, tossing to coat. Top chicken breast with half the salsa amount.
  • Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes. Rest chicken for 10 minutes, before slicing into strips.Add a base of brown rice. Top with a scoop of black beans, corn, remaining half salsa, cheddar cheese, cooked bell peppers, and onions, and sliced chicken. Garnish with fresh cilantro and a lime wedges.

Nutrition Facts

  • 748.5
  • 84.5g
  • 74g
  • 11g

How to Meal Prep

You can make 4 days worth of chicken burrito bowl as meal prep.

Recipe for 4 day dinner prep:

  • 800g boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 4 small red bell pepper sliced (296g)
  • 4 small onion sliced (280g)
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil (14g)
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning (16g)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 jars of Mitchell’s Fresh Medium Salsa (850g), divided
  • 1 cup Goya black beans (244g)
  • 3 cups cooked long grain brown rice (608g)
  • 1 cup Goya Corn from can (250g)
  • 2 cups Kraft Shredded Fat Free Cheddar Cheese (224g)
  • 2 limes (136g)
  • 4 tablespoons fresh cilantro

Divide into 4 meal prep storage containers. Detailed recipe instructions in the diet plan above.


Snack: Banana Protein Split

Curb your snack cravings with a nutritious Banana Protein Split. This delightful treat combines the natural sweetness and fiber of a small banana with protein-packed Oikos Non-Fat Greek Yogurt and a hint of vanilla protein powder. It’s topped off with strawberries for an added burst of flavor.

Ingredients

  • 1 small banana (101g)
  • 1/2 cup Oikos Non Fat Greek Yogurt (75g)
  • 1 tablespoon Hershey’s semi sweet (15g) chocolate chips
  • 1 medium strawberry (12g)
  • 1/2 packet vanilla protein powder (15.5g)

Instructions

  • Slice banana in half lengthwise and lay both sides in a bowl or on a plate.
  • Mix together protein and Greek yogurt and spoon on top of the banana slices.
  • Top bananas and protein mixture with sliced strawberry and chocolate chips.

Nutrition Facts

  • 268.5
  • 38.5g
  • 21.5g
  • 5g

How to Meal Prep

Protein banana split should be prepared on the day you will have it.


Nutrition Facts For The Day

  • Calories: 1629
  • Carbs: 173g
  • Protein: 168g
  • Fat: 31g

Week 4

1600 calories a day meal prep menu

Breakfast: Huevos Rancheros

Begin your day with a nutritious and low-calorie Huevos Rancheros breakfast. It combines a protein-rich large egg, fiber-filled Mission Carb Balance Flour Soft Taco, and Goya black beans for a well-rounded morning meal. Fresh salsa, cilantro, and a measured amount of olive oil enhance the flavor while providing vitamins, antioxidants, and a healthy fat profile for a satisfying start to your day.

Ingredients

  • 1 large egg (50.3g)
  • 1 (6-inch) Mission Carb Balance Flour Soft Taco/Tortilla Wrap (43g)
  • 2 tablespoons Mitchell’s Fresh Medium Salsa (30g)
  • President Fat Free Feta Crumbles(1″ cube) (28g)
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 tablespoon olive oil (3.5g) or cooking spray
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup of Goya black beans from can (61g)

Instructions

  • In a pan, heat half the oil, add beans, some water and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 5 minutes and smash with a fork.
  • Meanwhile, heat the remaining remaining oil in a non-stick skillet and crack the egg on it. Cook and; season with pepper. You can also poach the egg if desired.
  • Place 1 warm tortilla on a plate, spread the beans on it and top with the cooked egg. Sprinkle with cilantro top with salsa and crumbled feta.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 269
  • Carbs: 35g
  • Protein: 21g
  • Fat: 10.5g

How to Meal Prep

You can prepare the smashed beans mixture in for 3-4 days.


Lunch: Salmon with Bagel

Enjoy a heart-healthy Salmon with Bagel meal, featuring omega-3-rich pink salmon paired with a whole-grain Thomas Bagel Thin for added fiber and sustained energy. The use of Cajun seasoning enhances the flavor without excessively increasing sodium levels. Cooking the salmon in its natural oils aligns perfectly with a low-calorie approach, making it a nutritious and delicious choice.

Ingredients

  • 1 piece Thomas Bagel Thins (46g)
  • 200g raw pink salmom or 150g cooked pink salmon
  • 1 lime (67g)
  • 1 teaspoon cajun seasoning

Instructions

  • Drizzle salmon with lime juice then pat with the cajun seasoning.
  • Heat the pan on medium heat, then put a baking paper on it the size of the pan and then place the salmon over it. This method is used to cook salmon without oil. Salmon is going to release oil and will be cooking in it’s own oil. Fry salmon for 5 or 6 minutes (depends on the thickness). Don’t leave unattended.
  • Once the salmon is done cooking, transfer it to a plate and use a fork to flake it.
  • Transfer to a toasted or soft bagel thin and enjoy.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 384
  • Carbs: 32g
  • Protein: 45.5g
  • Fat: 10g

How to Meal Prep

1) Weigh seven portions of 200g of pink salmon and place in meal prep airtight containers or ziplock bag and freeze. Take one packet out the day you need it and follow the recipe as instructed above.

2) You can also marinate it with lime juice and cajun seasoning before freezing.

Marinated salmon packets for one week:

  • 1400g pink salmom, raw
  • Juice of 7 limes (469g)
  • 7 teaspoons cajun seasoning

Divide into 7 meal prep containers/ziplock bags.

On the day you need it, thaw one packet. and follow the instructions in the recipe above.

Dinner: Baked Chicken & Waffles

Treat yourself to a healthier version of the classic chicken and waffles with this modified, low-calorie recipe. It features boneless chicken breast for lean protein, Kodiak Carb Conscious Waffles Mix for whole grains, and reduced saturated fats by baking the chicken and using corn flakes. Cary’s Sugar-Free Low-Calorie Syrup and unsweetened almond milk are included to maintain controlled sugar levels, offering a lighter twist on this beloved comfort food.

Ingredients

FOR THE BAKED CHICKEN

  • 200g uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast or 150g cooked
  • 1/2 large egg, raw (25g)
  • 1.5 cups corn flakes Kellogg’s original (45g)
  • 1/4 tablespoon olive oil (3/4 teaspoon) (3.5g) or cooking spray

FOR THE WAFFLE

  • 1/2 cup Kodiak Carb Conscious Waffles Mix (53g)
  • 1/4 + 1/8 cup unsweetened almond milk, shelf stable (98g)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil (4.5g)

SYRUP TO DRIZZLE

  • 1 tablespoon Cary’s Sugar Free Low Calorie Syrup( 15 ml)

Instructions

FOR THE BAKED CHICKEN Crush cornflakes and keep aside. Cut the chicken breast into 3-4 pieces. Dip in 1/2 beaten egg then coat with crushed cornflakes. Brush oil or spray oil over them and bake/air-fry till cooked through and golden. When chicken is about to be done, prepare waffles.

FOR THE WAFFLES: In a bowl, whisk together the waffle mix, almond milk and canola oil. Pour on a heated waffle maker. This quantity can make you 3-4 waffles. Serve with syrup.

Nutrition Facts

  • 777
  • 61.5g
  • 65.5g
  • 31g

How to Meal Prep

1) You can prepare the chicken in advance and freeze it before or after cooking it.

Snack: Protein Shake

Energize yourself with a protein shake that combines the muscle-supporting properties of Teddies All-Natural Peanut Butter with vanilla protein powder. Blended with unsweetened almond milk, this shake provides a nutrient-rich option rich in healthy fats and essential vitamins. It’s an ideal choice for a balanced and fulfilling beverage.

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon Teddies All Natural Peanut Butter (16g)
  • 1/2 packet vanilla protein powder (15.5g)
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk (183g)
  • 1 tablespoon Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder (5g)
  • 8 ice cubes (optional)

Instructions

Place all the ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.

Nutrition Facts

  • Calories: 192.5
  • Carbs: 8.5g
  • Protein: 18g
  • Fat: 11.5g

How to Meal Prep

1) Protein shake needs to be prepared fresh everyday.


Nutrition Facts For The Day

  • Calories: 1623
  • Carbs: 137g
  • Protein: 150g
  • Fat: 63g

Do you have any healthy meal prep ideas for the week, that you would like me to include in the upcoming diet plans? Favorite foods or meals? Leave a comment below and I’ll definitely keep those in mind when I design the next meal prep menu!

Customized Meal Plans

While you can use a 1600 calorie diet to lose weight, I understand that this plan is not for everyone.

You can reach me for customized plans if these are:

Not Your Kind Of Meals? You can customize a 1600 calorie diet to align with various fitness goals by adjusting foods and recipes.

Not The Calories You Need? You can get the same meals in your plan but with different quantities and calories and macronutrient ratios!

Not aligned with your health? You can get meal plans that cater to your health conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, PCOS and other clinical conditions.

Tips For Success

Staying Motivated: Staying motivated can be challenging. Set realistic goals, track your progress, find support from friends or a support group, and focus on the long-term health benefits of your dietary choices.

Portion Control: Portion control is crucial to ensure you stay within your calorie limit. Measuring and weighing food, using smaller plates, and being mindful of portion sizes can help with this.

Cheat Meals: Occasional indulgences are okay if they fit within your overall calorie goals, but don’t use cheat meals as an excuse to overconsume calories regularly. Some people incorporate cheat or refeed days into their diet to temporarily increase calorie intake. This can help prevent feelings of deprivation but should be done in moderation and planned carefully to avoid overindulgence.

Different Recipes: Experiment with recipes, flavors, and cooking techniques to make your meal prep menu enjoyable. Involve family or friends in your dietary choices and explore new foods to keep things interesting.

Mindful Eating: Mindful eating involves paying full attention to your food, savoring each bite, and eating with awareness. It can help you enjoy your meals more and prevent overeating.

Meal Timing: Meal timing can affect hunger and energy levels. Some people find it helpful to eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day, while others prefer larger meals with snacks in between. Time your meals the way it suits you!

Exercise: Regular physical activity is important for overall health and can complement a 1600 calorie diet by helping you create a calorie deficit for weight loss or improve fitness. Consult with a fitness professional for a suitable exercise plan.

1600 Calorie Diet Plans: Frequently Asked Questions

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“To those following my diet plans, a heartfelt thanks for your dedication to health. While adjusting your lifestyle might be challenging, remember you’re not alone. I’m here to support you at every step.

Approach this journey with self-compassion; progress, not perfection, matters. Embrace challenges as learning opportunities, and celebrate achievements, no matter how small. Stay committed, and know I’m cheering you on!”



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