7-Day Menu Planner: Low Calorie

This week's menu is for those looking for a lighter calorie count, but don't want to sacrifice flavor - we all have those weeks, don't we? Each meal in this plan is under 600 calories, although I do give options that might increase the count slightly. Whether you need a quick re-boot or a complete change of lifestyle, this menu can get you on the right track in seven days.

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I’m a big believer in moderation, but sometimes we just have to reel it in. One of the secrets to reeling it in is to plan your meals ahead of time and only have ingredients for those meals in the house. At least that’s what works for me! Another secret, however, is that reeling it in doesn’t have to mean sacrificing flavor and fun. This 7-day menu planner will guarantee that you continue to enjoy what you eat without blowing the calorie bank. You’ll find a lot of chicken and fish in this week’s plan because they tend to be the lighter, lower calorie proteins. If you’re open to breaking the rules or are just looking for fun and variety in your meals and don’t care so much about the calories, try substituting beef or pork where it makes sense. 

Don’t forget to “Grab Your Shopping List” by clicking the button above. I’ve listed everything so that you can be sure you have all you need. This week, I’ve included the ingredients for potato salad to go with the Balsamic BBQ Salmon on Sunday – just FYI. 

If you like planning your meals for week, you might also like to check out other weekly menu planners, including a 7-day plan for your air fryer or another 7 -day plan for your pressure cooker (or Instant Pot®). You can find all the Weekly Menu Planners here.

(The planned menu and grocery list has quantities for a family of four. You can alter the recipe quantities by clicking on the plus or minus buttons next to the serving size on the recipe card.)

Monday: Stir-Fried Zoodles and Vegetables with Tofu 

Zoodles (zucchini noodles) became all the rage a couple of years ago so if you don’t have a spiralizer to make your own zucchini noodles at home, you can probably find some already prepped in your grocery store’s produce aisle. This super healthy start to the week can be made on the stovetop OR in your air fryer. It has only 210 calories per serving, so you can double up on the portion size if you want to. You can also add chicken instead of tofu and only increase the calorie count to 277.

Tuesday: Tuna Greek Salad 

In warmer weather this delicious salad hits the spot. It’s full of healthy vegetables along with the traditional Greek flavors of feta cheese and olives. Use the very best tuna you can find and toss everything together with the Greek dressing for only 410 calories per serving. If you leave out the cooked pasta, you can cut the calories even more but I won’t make you do that. 

Wednesday: Korean BBQ Chicken Lettuce Wraps 

This deceptively easy recipe is so delicious and refreshing that it’s become part of my regular rotation. I have made this using chicken strips as well as ground chicken and both are delicious (the strips take a little longer to cook). You can use ground chicken or ground turkey for this meal that has only 310 calories per serving. You could also substitute beef or pork, but the calorie count will go up.

Thursday: Spring Green Salad with Marinated Chicken Breast 

This Spring Green Salad is one of my favorite salads. It’s bright and fresh and lemony and is perfect for spring. Alone this salad has 393 calories. Adding a marinated chicken breast (cooked on the stovetop, under the broiler or in your air fryer) to each serving adds another 200 calories for a total of 593, which is still under 600 and pretty great for a delicious and nutritious meal. 

Friday: Kung Pao Chicken with Rice 

There’s no need to order in when you can make a meal just as tasty at home. Kung Pao Chicken is a Chinese take out favorite, but is made with a deep fryer in restaurants. This home version has 352 calories per serving. If you want to add a cup of cooked white or brown rice, add another 200 calories onto the serving for a total of 552. Chicken is the leanest meat for this recipe, but you could substitute pork if you prefer (with a few more calories).

Saturday: Chili Lime Chicken Tacos

Saturday nights were made for fun and so were tacos, so they are a perfect match! Counting calories can be tricky with tacos, however, so if you’re being careful, watch how many toppings you add. These tacos with two (8-inch) flour tortillas will cost you 546 calories. Toppings like lettuce, diced tomatoes and 1 tablespoon of sour cream are another 37 calories, so keep that in mind. If you don’t have a pressure cooker to make this filling, simmer on the stovetop, covered for 30 to 40 minutes or use your slow cooker on high for 3 to 5 hours. 

Sunday: Balsamic BBQ Salmon with Mango Salsa

Finish off the week with an easy fish dinner. Balsamic BBQ Salmon has 339 calories and a portion of the mango salsa adds 45 for a total of 384. You could serve potato salad (made with low fat mayo) alongside for another 231 calories (615 total) or some mashed potatoes (made with 2% milk) and keep the calories under 600. I’ve put the ingredients for the potato salad in the shopping list for you.

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