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7-Day Meal Plan

7-day healthy menu plan

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A diet might seem limiting to some, time-consuming to others, and downright unappealing (no rice cakes, please!) to the rest of us. But before you pull out one of these excuses, we dare you to try this healthy menu. Yes, you may have to buy new things at the grocery store or get crafty in the kitchen, but if you're really up for losing weight, it's worth the effort.

Lisa MacDonald, nutrition manager at Miraval Life in Balance, a destination spa in Tucson, Arizona, created this menu of nutrient-rich meals, balancing carbs with protein and fat in every bite. The best part: It's flexible. Mix and match as your taste buds see fit (guys, check out the special notes that address your need for bigger portions). And if you love one meal, feel free to eat it seven days a week!

To figure out the right portion size, use these approximations from the American Dietetic Association:

* 1 teaspoon = the tip of your thumb to the first joint
* 3 ounces of meat = a deck of cards
* 1 cup of pasta = a tennis ball
* 1/2 cup of veggies = a lightbulb
* 1 1/2 ounces cheese = three dominoes

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See More: Healthy Eating , Food & Recipes , Fitness Tips , Diet & Fitness , Dinner