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Weight Loss

Sample 3-Day Weight Loss Menu

Remember to drink at least 4 to 8 ounces of water with all meals and snacks. Use this as a guideline only for the types and amounts of foods to consume in meals and snacks.

Day 1

Breakfast: 1 tofu fruit shake made of 1/3 cup soft tofu, 1 frozen banana and 1 cup milk or fortified soy beverage Snack: 4 whole grain crackers with cheese Lunch: Egg salad on rye bread, carrot sticks, 4 ounces cranberry cocktail Snack: ¾ cup yogurt Dinner: 1 cup lentil-vegetable casserole or stirfry with 1 cup brown rice

Day 2

Breakfast: 2 pieces whole wheat toast, 1 tbsp peanut butter, ¾ cup yogurt, 4 ounces grapefruit juice Snack: ½ cup berries Lunch: 1 cup minestrone (with beans) soup, 1 cup milk, whole grain roll or crackers, ½ cup pineapple Snack: 2 small apricots, small handful of nuts Dinner: 3-4 ounces chicken, baked squash, spinach and red onion salad, 1 piece whole grain bread

Day 3

Breakfast: Fruit salad topped with yogurt and nuts Snack: ½ an energy bar Lunch: Large tossed salad topped with beans, chopped meat or ½ cup tuna and 1 whole grain roll Snack: Fruit smoothie Dinner: 3-4 ounce fish fillet, ½ cup rice, lots of steamed vegetables

Commonly Asked Questions

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What are the best strategies for someone who is fairly fit but is trying to lose about 5-10 pounds?
The key strategies are to: - eat 3 balanced meals/day with the largest amount of food being vegetables and/or fruit accompanied always by 3-4 ounces of protein. De-emphasize starch. This doesn't mean eliminate it, but keep portions of pasta, rice, bread, etc. on the small side. - don't allow more than 3-4 hours to pass without eating - snack on such items as vegetables, yogurt, small amounts of nuts - stay well hydrated by drinking water with all meals and snacks - stay active As far as a detailed menu goes, this can be drawn up in consultation with a dietitian in private practice who would review your needs specifically to ensure the plan was based on your preferences and caloric needs.
If I'm not really hungry in the morning and I'm trying to lose weight anyway, isn't it okay to skip breakfast?
Although this seems like it may be logical, it will actually work against the way the body is physiologically programmed. When you first wake up, your body is in a fasting state. Your metabolism, which determines the speed at which you burn calories, is waiting to be revved up for the day. By eating within the first 2 hours of being up, you stimulate the process of burning calories. So, if you're not hungry the moment you first wake up, try to eat within this two hour window. If you can't eat a complete breakfast which would include both protein and carbohydrate foods, as a minimum aim to eat a piece of fruit and drink some water.
Are calories the only thing that matters if you want to lose weight?
No, it is actually rarely a simple matter of more calories resulting in more weight gain. It's also concerning if a person focuses on calories alone rather than on the quality and nutrient value of the calories. From my experience in counseling many individuals seeking weight loss and enhanced energy, the best results are achieved when adequate quality calories are consumed in a balanced and consistent pattern throughout the day. If a person needed 2500 calories a day and ate only 1500 but it was all from junk foods consumed in an irrational pattern, they would not likely achieve weight loss. They would also not achieve optimum energy and would ultimately experience symptoms of a weakened immune system due to chronic under nourishment such as more colds and flus. Remember that exercise is critical for weight loss, possibly just as important as what you eat.
When do you think is a good time to stop eating in the day?
Some people have heard that eating after 8pm is bad for their metabolism, energy and weight management. However, the point at which you stop eating depends on your lifestyle. Ideally, for good digestion and the prevention of heart burn, it is advisable not to eat within 1 to 2 hours of going to sleep for the night. If you are a shift worker and work well beyond 8pm, you would need to eat for energy on your job. If you are an athlete who trains early in the morning, you may want to eat an evening snack for added energy - especially if you can't eat first thing in the morning before a workout. If you have diabetes, you may also need a small bedtime snack to help stabilize blood sugar levels while you sleep.
Why do I get cravings at night?
Many health and weight-conscious people get cravings from dinner until bedtime. While their appetite is controlled during the day, from dinner until bedtime they can’t seem to get enough food into their system and find themselves grazing or nibbling. One of the main causes of this phenomenon is swings in blood sugar throughout the day due to irregular eating and missed meals. It can be particularly during cold and dark winter days when we spend less time outside and active. Other factors that may also contribute include: Dieting, eating too few calories can lead to cravings. Nutrient deficiencies, as we often crave what we lack. All-or-nothing thinking versus a more moderate approach; avoiding favourite foods can lead to carvings. Unhealthy choices, such as high-fat or salty snack foods, stocked in the cupboards. Emotions.
How can I manage food cravings?
Analyze why you’re hungry. Is it physiological or emotional? If it’s emotional, realize that eating won’t fill the “hunger” void you’re feeling. You’ll likely be more satiated listening to your favourite feel-good song or calling an old friend and catching up. If it is true hunger, determine exactly what you want; decide if you want sweet, salty, crunchy, creamy, savoury, hot, cold or otherwise. Eat exactly what you want. If you want a chocolate bar and don’t have one in your house, go and get one. Otherwise, you’ll eat your way to it anyway. You may start with a handful of this and a handful of that you'll still crave that chocolate bar in the end. Once you’ve got what you want, portion out a specific amount. Drink a glass of water since many of the foods people crave are high in salt or sugar. Don't feel guilty. If eating what you want leaves you feeling guilty, it’s not worth it. Aim to eat realistic portions, be aware of why you choose certain foods at certain times and leave it at that.
See all the FAQ's