Taking care of the heart and follow an eating plan is essential for a healthy heart. These meal plans are all that and more. They're designed to keep you at a calorie target that's right for you and help you get enough of nutrients you might be falling short on, such as calcium and fiber. On the flip side, the plans limit nutrients that, when eaten in excess, are linked with heart disease. It's important, too, to note the plans are practical, making use of leftovers so you aren't wasting food. Let's get started!
How to Use This Program
Pick the Right Plan
Calculate your daily calorie target: To estimate how many calories you need each day to stay at the weight you are right now, multiply your current weight by 12. The calculated result is your daily calorie goal if your aim is to maintain.
Choose the plan that is best for you: Start with the level closest to the calorie target you just calculated:1,200, 1,500, 1,800, 2,000 or 2,200. If you're between two levels, take your pick.
Customize Menus to Suit Your Tastes
Mix and match whole meals: Our meal plans are flexible, allowing you to swap meals within a category (e.g., breakfast or dinner) and still keep calories consistent.
Account for extras: Our menus don't include many (calorie-containing) beverages. But if breakfast just isn't breakfast without a little orange juice, and juice isn't on the day's plan, have some—knowing that 1/2 cup (4 ounces) delivers the calories of a whole orange, minus the 4 grams of fiber.
Assess and Adjust
Are you losing more weight than planned: or are you always hungry? You might want to bump up to the next calorie level. We all burn calories at different rates. The formula you used in Step 1 assumes a relatively low level of physical activity, so if you exercise regularly it may underestimate your calorie needs.
Are you eating too much?: If you're trying to lose weight and following the plans religiously, but the scale isn't budging, make sure you're not underestimating your portion sizes: measure, or weigh, everything you eat for a week and see if that jump-starts your weight loss.