How to Eat on the Negative Calorie Plan

Ready to eat to lose weight? Get started with this high-fiber and easy-to-follow sample one-day meal plan.

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How the Negative Calorie Effect Works (4:11)

The secret to eating for weight loss might seem elusive but it doesn’t have to be complicated or unrealistic. The key is to eat the right foods that will power you up instead of slowing you down. A low-fat, plant-based diet, without meat, dairy, or eggs, can help prevent issues like bloating, indigestion, and overall weight gain. You’ll get all the vitamins and nutrients – like fiber and fat – that you need from a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, and legumes that make up a balanced, wholesome diet. Healthy fats like oils are also a beneficial part of the diet but should be kept at a minimum.

Dr. Neal Barnard and his team of researchers at the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine have tested this diet in women who have had long-term weight problems and after 14 weeks, participants reported higher than average metabolic rates, which created a negative-calorie effect. This led their bodies to absorb and use more calories instead of losing them to body heat or retaining them as extra pounds.

Ready to eat to lose weight? Get started with this high-fiber (over 50 grams!) and easy-to-follow sample one-day meal plan.

Breakfast

Reach for whole grains and fruit for your first meal of the day. Make a bowl of 1/2 cup rolled oats with 1 cup of low-fat nondairy milk and 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon. Pair with 1/4 cup blackberries, 1/4 cup blueberries, and 1/4 cup raspberries. You’ll get about 307 calories to power you through the morning rush.

Midmorning Snack

If you’re hungry before lunch, enjoy one large banana, which offers about 121 calories and 3.5 grams of fiber to keep you going.

Lunch

During your lunch break, start with a 2-cup salad of leafy greens and beets dressed with freshly squeezed lemon juice or the zest of half a lemon. Then dig into a cup of lentil soup, which you can garnish with 2 tablespoons onion, 1/8 cup cilantro, and 1/4 cup apples. This salad and soup combo provides around 329 calories and 19.8 grams of fiber.

Midday Snack

Stay energized in the afternoon with two skewers of mixed fruit kebabs, like green grapes and juicy strawberries. You’ll get around 70 calories and 2 grams of fiber.

Dinner

For dinner, dig into a bean bowl of 1 cup brown rice, 1/2 cup kidney beans, 1/2 cup red peppers, 1/4 cup cilantro, and 1/2 cup romaine lettuce. This fiber-rich bowl delivers an estimated 361 calories and 13.14 grams of fiber. Enjoy with a simple side dish of 1 cup carrot sticks with 1/4 cup low-fat guacamole and 1/4 cup hummus. These crunchy bites provide approximately 165 calories and 7.8 grams of fiber.