1,500-Calorie Healthy Eating Meal Plans

Karen Frazier
Heart Healthy Food
Select heart healthy foods.

If you want to create healthy eating meal plans that are 1500 calories a day, you need to select food that is nutritionally dense but calorically light. To achieve this, base your diet plan on lean proteins, fresh vegetables and fruits, legumes, seeds and whole grains.

Sample 1500 Calorie Healthy Eating Meal Plans

Spread your calories out evenly over the course of the day. This is the best way to ensure your metabolism stays on track and you don't become so hungry you are tempted to overeat. With that in mind, the most effective way to divide your daily caloric intake is to have three meals of about 425 calories each, and two snacks of about 100 to 125 calories each.

Add two of your favorite low calorie snacks to each daily menu plan to make up 1500 calories.

If you need help downloading the printable meal plan, check out these helpful tips.

Breakfast

Choose one of the following breakfasts each day. Breakfasts are between 400 and 450 calories.

Food(s) Calories Special Instructions
Meal 1 One cup Fiber one cereal or similar high fiber cereal
1/2 cup nonfat milk
One small banana
1 ounce slivered almonds
420
Meal 2 One egg, poached
One English muffin
2 teaspoons butter
1/2 grapefruit
400
Meal 3 1/2 toasted cinnamon raisin bagel
1 tablespoon peanut butter
One medium-sized apple
400
Meal 4 Spinach, mushroom, and parmesan frittata
1/2 grapefruit
1 slice whole wheat toast
2 teaspoons butter
444
  1. Saute 4 sliced mushrooms in one teaspoon olive oil, adding chopped onion and minced garlic if desired.
  2. Stir in one cup chopped spinach and saute until spinach is just wilted.
  3. Pour two lightly beaten eggs into pan and cook until edges start to brown.
  4. Top with two tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese and place under broiler until golden brown.
Meal 5 Banana berry smoothie
  • 1 small banana, peeled, cut up, and frozen
  • 1/4 cup fresh or frozen assorted berries (such as raspberries, blackberries, and/or strawberries)
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons vanilla low-fat yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon flaxseed
  • 1 slice whole wheat toast
  • 2 teaspoons butter
430 Combine all smoothie items in a blender and process until smooth.
Meal 6 Fruit and yogurt parfait made with:
  • 1 cup lowfat vanilla
  • 1/2 cup granola
  • 1 cup blueberries
426

Lunch

Choose one of the following 400 to 450-calorie lunches each day.

Food(s) Calories Special instructions
Lunch 1 Tuna salad sandwich made with:
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 3 ounces water-packed tuna
  • 1 rib celery, diced
  • 2 tablespoons nonfat plain yogurt
3 ounces baby carrots
One pear
400
Lunch 2 Chicken Caesar salad made with:
  • 3 ounces roasted skinless chicken breast
  • 3 cups shredded romaine lettuce
  • 1/2 cup croutons
  • 2 tablespoons lowfat Caesar dressing
  • 2 tablespoons shredded parmesan
One medium-sized apple
445
Lunch 3 Baked sweet potato
1/2 cup black beans
2 tablespoons salsa
2 tablespoons plain non-fat yogurt
8 ounces lowfat milk (to drink)
427 Top sweet potato with beans, salsa, and yogurt
Lunch 4 Pita and hummus sandwich made with:
  • 1/2 whole wheat pita
  • 4 tablespoons prepared hummus
  • 1 cup spicy sprouts
  • 1/2 red pepper, sliced
1 ounce baked potato chips
1 small banana
440
Lunch 5 Turkey Avocado sandwich made with:
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 slices whole grain bread
  • 2 ounces turkey breast
  • 2 slices tomato
1 orange
407 Mash avocado and Dijon mustard together and spread on bread.
Lunch 6 Black bean burrito made with:
  • 1/2 cup mashed black beans
  • 1 whole wheat tortilla
  • 2 tablespoons salsa
  • 1 ounce shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free plain yogurt
400
  • In a saucepan, heat beans until hot.
  • Drain liquid from beans and mash them with cheese and salsa.
  • Spread beans on tortilla and wrap into burrito shape.
  • Spray a saute pan with nonstick cooking spray and place burrito in pan. Brown on all sides.
  • Serve topped with yogurt.

Dinners

Each of the following dinners has between 400 and 450 calories.

Food(s) Calories Special instructions
Dinner 1 Hamburger made with:
  • 3 ounces 95 percent lean hamburger
  • 1 hamburger bun
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 slices tomato
  • 1 slice lettuce
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise
1 cup berries
450
  • Broil or grill hamburger to allow fat to drip away
Dinner 2 Soup made with:
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • 1 cup cooked lentils
  • 1 chopped carrot
1 whole wheat dinner roll
420 To make soup:
  1. Spray a small saucepan with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Cook onions in pan until soft, about three minutes.
  3. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add chicken broth, thyme, lentils, and carrot.
  5. Simmer for 30 minutes.
Dinner 3 Taco salad made with:
  • 3 ounces of 95 percent lean ground beef seasoned with taco seasoning
  • 3 cups shredded iceberg lettuce
  • 1/2 cup kidney beans, drained
  • 3 scallions
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tablespoons salsa
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free ranch
  • 10 baked tortilla chips
450
Dinner 4 6 ounces broiled salmon
Salad made with:
  • 1 cup romaine lettuce
  • 5 cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons fat-free salad dressing
1/2 cup brown rice
6 spears steamed asparagus
1 cup fat-free pudding
430
Dinner 5

Stir-fried chicken and asparagus

  • 1 medium onion, cut in half and sliced medium thick
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 TBS chicken broth
  • 1 TBS minced fresh ginger
  • 1 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces (about 2 cups when cut)
  • 2 TBS soy sauce
  • 1 TBS rice vinegar
  • pinch red chili flakes
  • salt and white pepper to taste

One cup steamed brown rice

450
  1. In a large saute pan, heat broth until hot.
  2. Add ginger and stirl until fragrant - about 30 seconds.
  3. Add onion and cook for three minutes.
  4. Add garlic and cook until fragrant - about 30 seconds.
  5. Add chicken and cook four minutes or until chicken is cooked.
  6. Combine soy sauce, rice vinegar, and chili flakes. Add t pan with asparagus.
  7. Cook until asparagus is crisp-tender, about thre minutes.
  8. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Dinner 6 1/2 grilled skinless chicken breast
1 sweet potato, baked
1 cup steamed broccoli
425

While you want to stay fairly close to these numbers above to balance your food throughout the day, allow yourself a certain amount of flexibility. Remember that the total amount of calories you eat over a day or week is more important than the precise count at each meal.

If you plan your meals using nutritionally dense, whole foods you will probably find yourself eating larger volumes of food than you are used to, but with fewer calories.

Low Calorie Snacks

Choose a few healthy snacks that you enjoy and keep them on hand. Planning snacks is an important part of healthy eating, and will help you resist the urge to raid the vending machine or whip up a batch of cookies. Each of the following snacks has about 100 calories unless otherwise noted.

  • 10 dry roasted, unsalted almonds
  • 3/4 ounce raw, unsalted husked sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 to 3/4 ounce shelled walnuts
  • One ounce unsalted pumpkin seeds
  • Three ounces cubed tofu
  • 1/3 of an avocado, sliced
  • Celery ribs dipped in three tablespoons hummus
  • 1 medium banana
  • Cherry tomatoes - one cup has 27 calories
  • One to two cups mixed berries
  • One cup julienned carrots, sweet potatoes or turnip
  • Two cups melon balls
  • 1/2 cup 2.9 percent milk fat probiotic yogurt

Healthy Drinks

Keeping hydrated will moderate your appetite and make you feel and look better overall. The best way to achieve this is by drinking adequate amounts of water. In between cups of water, skip the sodas and gourmet coffee in favor of beverages that will not only quench your thirst, but also provide you with beneficial antioxidants and bioflavonoids. Try these nutritious and refreshing beverages:

Choosing Foods

Calorie restricted diets can sometimes lead to nutritional imbalances and deficiencies. This is especially true when dieters rely on artificial sweeteners or nutritionally vacant prepackaged diet foods. Executed properly, however, a reduced-calorie diet can be far more nutritious than the standard American diet. When you choose only the highest quality, most nutrient-dense foods, you can actually increase nutrient consumption while reducing caloric intake.

A Diet for Life

Focusing on foods that pack a maximum nutritional punch with a minimum of saturated fat, calories and additives will not only slim your waistline, but also reduce your risk of heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure and stroke. This is an eating plan that you can continue for the rest of your life. Once you are in the habit of healthy eating, counting calories will no longer be necessary, but proper nutrition should remain a priority.

1,500-Calorie Healthy Eating Meal Plans