Video: No-cook diet is healthy & fuss-free

By Contributing editor
updated 7/31/2007 3:58:32 PM ET 2007-07-31T19:58:32

Help! I don’t cook, but I really want to eat better!

You don’t have to slave in front of a stove for hours to enjoy a nutritious, low-calorie diet. Check out this plan, which features a week’s worth of meals at 1,600 calories per day. Each dish takes minutes to prepare and requires virtually no cooking — as long as you can operate a toaster and a microwave, you’re set. (Use all the time you save to do something else productive, like shopping for the smaller clothes you’re going to need.)

Breakfast: Each option contains approximately 300 calories; choose one each day. Note: Coffee and other drinks are not included unless otherwise noted. Calories of individual meal components are shown in case you would like to mix and match to make your own combinations.

Strawberry-banana smoothie
Combine the following ingredients in a blender until smooth:
1 cup skim milk — 86
1 cup frozen strawberries — 52
1 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt — 106
½ banana — 53

Crackers and peanut butter
2 Wasa cracker servings — 100
2 level tbsp peanut butter — 188

Bran muffin and skim milk
One 4-oz VitaMuffin — 200
1 cup skim milk — 86

Waffles and veggie sausage
2 Kashi Go Lean Waffles, Original or Blueberry — 170
2 tbsp Aunt Jemima Lite syrup — 50
2 MorningStar Farms Veggie Breakfast Sausage Links — 80

Eggs, toast and fruit

½ cup Egg Beaters or 3 egg whites — 60
2 tbsp reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese — 40
1 slice whole-wheat toast — 75
1 tbsp I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter! Light spread — 50
½ grapefruit — 52

Whole-grain cereal with raisins
1 cup Barbara’s Bakery Shredded Spoonfuls (or any cereal with 120 calories, 6 grams of sugar or less and at least 3 grams of fiber per serving) — 120
1 cup skim milk — 86
2 tbsp raisins — 54

Breakfast burrito and juice

Amy’s Breakfast Burrito — 250
4 oz calcium-fortified orange juice — 55

Lunch: Each meal has about 400 calories and enough protein to keep you full for hours; choose one per day.

Image: fresh vegetables
Gregor Halenda Photography via Self
Turkey and cheese pita pocket
¼ lb sliced turkey breast — 120
1 slice reduced-fat Swiss cheese — 50
Whole-wheat pita — 170
1 tbsp reduced-fat mayo — 32
1 tbsp spicy brown mustard — 15
3 lettuce leaves — 3
3 medium-thick tomato slices — 11

Salad with grilled chicken
and chickpeas
4 cups mixed greens — 30
½ cup bell peppers, cored, seeded and chopped — 15
¼ cucumber, sliced  — 11
¼ cup sliced onions — 12
½ tomato, sliced — 11
1 cup Perdue Short Cuts Grilled Chicken Breast — 160
4 tbsp low-calorie dressing, such as Newman’s Own Lighten Up Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing — 90
¼ cup canned chickpeas, rinsed — 71

Peanut butter and jelly sandwich
2 slices whole-wheat bread — 133
2 level tbsp peanut butter — 188
1 tbsp low-sugar strawberry preserves such as Smucker’s Low Sugar — 25
½ cup baby carrots — 25

Tuna, crackers and vegetable soup
6 oz can of light tuna packed in water, drained — 150
1 tbsp reduced-fat mayo — 32
7 Reduced Fat Triscuit crackers — 120
1 cup Healthy Choice Country Vegetable soup — 100

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Lean Pocket and soup
Chicken Parmesan Lean Pocket — 280
1 cup Pacific Natural Foods Creamy Butternut Squash Light Sodium soup — 100
1 cup celery sticks — 16

Cottage cheese with wheat germ, nuts and fresh fruit

1 cup nonfat or 1 percent cottage cheese such as Light n’ Lively — 160
2 tbsp wheat germ  — 52
2 tbsp chopped walnuts or almonds — 96
1 cup berries — 60

Enchiladas with black beans and corn
Amy’s Black Bean Enchiladas — 360
½ cup canned corn — 66

Dinner: Each is approximately 500 calories; choose one meal per day.

Veggie burger and tomato soup
Boca Burger — 80
1 slice Kraft 2% Milk Singles, Sharp Cheddar cheese or American — 50
1 Pepperidge Farm whole-wheat bun — 120
2 tbsp ketchup — 29
2 cups Campbell’s 25% Less Sodium Tomato Soup — 180
1 cup steamed frozen green beans — 35

Pizza with side salad
Lean Cuisine Brick Oven Style Pizza — 320 to 350
2 cups mixed greens — 15
¼ cucumber, sliced — 11
½ tomato, sliced — 11
1 tbsp olive oil — 119

Lemon fish with rice and broccoli
5 large precooked shrimp — 27
2 tbsp cocktail sauce — 30
Healthy Choice Lemon Pepper Fish meal — 310
1 tomato, thickly sliced — 22
1 tbsp olive oil — 119

Chicken teriyaki
Healthy Choice Chicken Teriyaki — 280
1 cup edamame microwaved in the pod — 130
½ small cantaloupe — 75

Supermarket sushi and miso soup
2 California rolls — 360
1 cup miso soup — 50
¾ cup seaweed salad — 120

Bean chili and salad

2 cups Amy’s Organic Black Bean Chili — 400
2 tbsp reduced-fat sour cream — 51
2 cups mixed greens — 15
2 tbsp low-calorie dressing such as Wishbone Light! Just 2 Good — 50

Rotisserie chicken with pita
5 oz roasted skinless chicken breast — 235
1 tbsp barbecue sauce — 26
1 whole-wheat pita — 170
1 cup microwaved brussels sprouts — 56
1 tsp olive oil — 40

Snacks: Choose one roughly 200-calorie nibble per day.

Nuts or seeds
¼ cup almonds, peanuts, pecans, cashews, soy nuts, sunflower seeds or pistachio nuts in the shell — 200

Yogurt and banana
6 oz Dannon Light ’n Fit Nonfat Yogurt — 60
Medium banana — 105

Granola bar and orange
Kashi TLC Chewy Granola Bar — 120
Large orange — 86

Apple and cheese
Large apple — 110
Polly-O String-Ums String Cheese — 80

Crackers and cheese
4 Ry Krisp crackers — 100
2 The Laughing Cow Light Original Swiss wedges — 70

Soy crisps and hummus
1.3-oz bag Glenny’s Soy Crisps — 140
2 tbsp hummus — 46

Do-it-yourself trail mix
1 cup Kashi Heart to Heart cereal — 147
2 tbsp raisins — 54

P.M. sweets:Each has 200 calories or fewer; have one per day.

Chocolates
2 CocoaVia Original Chocolate Bars (or any portion of dark chocolate with fewer than 200 calories) — 200

Sliced apple with peanut butter
Sliced apple with 1 level tbsp peanut butter — 200

Ice cream
1 Skinny Cow Ice Cream Sandwich — 140

Natural applesauce
1 cup or 2 small containers Mott’s Natural Apple Sauce — 100

Hot cocoa and cookies
1 cup Swiss Miss Diet Hot Cocoa made with water — 25
1 Nabisco 100 Calorie Packs, Chips Ahoy! or Oreo Thin Crisps — 100

Joy Bauer, a contributing editor at Self, is a registered dietitian. This article was originally published in the July 2007 issue of Self.

For more information on healthy eating, check out Joy’s Web site at www.joybauernutrition.com.

Copyright © 2012 CondéNet. All rights reserved.

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