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1,500 calories a day meal plan for men and women – vegetarian

If your goal is to lose weight, a meal plan can be a useful way to help.

Many people choose to take on a calorie-controlled diet to help them lose weight and manage their food intake. But it’s important to make sure it’s the right option for you first. 

There are different types of vegetarian diets, but all vegetarians avoid eating meat, poultry, and fish. The most common type is a lacto-ovo vegetarian diet, which includes dairy foods and eggs, and our menu plan is based on this. 

With careful planning a vegetarian diet can meet your nutritional needs whatever your age.

Our 1,500 calorie vegetarian meal plan is both calorie and carb counted for your convenience, and contains at least five portions of fruit and veg per day. Across the week we’ve calculated an average of around 1500kcal per day to help you reach your goals. 

We’ve included the value for fibre too to help you make sure you are meeting your nutritional requirements. We know lots of people in the UK aren’t eating enough fibre, so it’s important to try and include good sources in your diet every day.

The recipes within this plan serve anywhere from 1-6 people. You can either reduce the quantities to serve as many people as needed or look at the chef’s tips to see if the recipe can be made in bulk and frozen for a later date. This will also help reduce waste. 

Before you begin this meal plan

If you want to lose weight and keep it off, research shows that the best diet is one you can stick to. So, think about how the meal plan would fit in with your daily life and diabetes management. It is not easy starting the journey to losing weight but remember there is support out there to help you. 

Before starting any healthy eating programme, please read how to choose your meal plan to make sure you follow the plan that's right for you. 

Please speak to your diabetes health care team before making significant changes to your diet. 

This is especially important if you treat your diabetes with insulin or other diabetes medications that increase the risk of hypos. Reducing your carbohydrate intake and changes to your body weight may mean your medication needs adjusting.

Important points about this meal plan

  1. This meal plan has taken nutritional information from our recipes and the sixth edition of Carbs and Cals, unless otherwise stated.
  2. A mix of whole milk and semi-skimmed has been used, but please use whichever you prefer. Any dairy alternative should be unsweetened and fortified with calcium. 
  3. These meal plans meet your recommended amount of fibre across the week. It's important to note that children under 16 years of age need less fibre than adults.
  4. These meal plans outline daily food intake, but it’s still important to remember to drink regular fluids. This includes plain water, plain milk, and tea or coffee without added sugar.

Disclaimer: every effort has been taken to make these meal plans as accurate as possible, but there will be some variation in nutritional values. Speak to a dietitian or your diabetes healthcare team if you have questions about your individual dietary needs. 

Your 1,500-calorie vegetarian meal plan

You can also download our 1,500 calorie vegetarian meal plan as a pdf (PDF, 86KB), which contains a full breakdown of the nutritional information per day.

Monday

Breakfast: Porridge made with uncooked oats and whole milk, with a 104g pear
Lunch: Cheese omelette paired with cherry tomatoes, rocket, cucumber and linseeds*
Dinner: Roasted cauliflower, paneer and chickpea curry and boiled spinach
Pudding: 125g plain low-fat Greek-style yogurt with 80g raspberries

Snacks: portion of blueberries, healthy hummus with sliced peppers, 20g portion of plain almonds 
Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk

Tuesday

Breakfast: No added sugar muesli with semi-skimmed milk and blueberries
Lunch: Small jacket potato and half a tin of baked beans
Dinner: Vegetable ragu and pasta
Pudding: Full of fruit sundaes 

Snacks: Apple with smooth peanut butter, 10g plain walnuts, cantaloupe melon and portion of spicy roasted chickpeas
Milk: 225ml whole milk

Wednesday

Breakfast: Two slices of rye bread with avocado and tomato
Lunch: Mulligatawny soup with a wholemeal pitta bread, plus two satsumas
Dinner: Bean and mushroom enchiladas with rocket leaves
Pudding: Cantaloupe melon and low-fat Greek yogurt

Snacks: One pear, one fruit and nut bar, 10g portion of plain walnuts
Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk

Thursday

Breakfast: Two wheat biscuits with semi-skimmed milk and a banana
Lunch: Tomato, olive, asparagus and bean salad
Dinner: Aubergine and courgette parmesan bake* with cooked couscous and boiled spinach
Pudding: One slice of malt loaf with 5g vegetable oil-based spread

Snacks: One mango, 30g portion of almonds, plain Greek yogurt with an orange and pumpkin seeds 
Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk

Friday

Breakfast: Two poached eggs on two slices of medium granary toast, with vegetable oil-based spread
Lunch: Roast butternut squash and red lentil soup
Dinner: Portobello mushroom burgers and a baked sweet potato
Pudding: 125g plain low-fat Greek-style yogurt with raspberries

Snacks: 10g portion of plain walnuts, portion of strawberries, cottage cheese on a crispbread with cherry tomatoes, portion of spicy roasted chickpeas 
Milk: 225ml whole milk

Saturday

Breakfast: No added sugar muesli with whole milk and blueberries
Lunch: Cauliflower and leek soup
Dinner: Butternut squash and borlotti bean stew with cooked quinoa
Pudding: Apple strudel

Snacks: One apple, portion of spicy roasted chickpeas, plain Greek yogurt, one orange, 30g portion of almonds
Milk: 225ml whole milk

Sunday 

Breakfast: Banana porridge made with uncooked oats, semi-skimmed milk and sliced banana
Lunch: Wholemeal pitta bread with egg mayonnaise – make the egg mayonnaise with two boiled eggs and a tablespoon of light mayo. Add tomato and cucumber
Dinner: Vegetable and chickpea tagine and cooked couscous
Pudding: One pear with 20g plain walnuts

Snacks: One orange, 125g low-fat Greek yogurt, three squares of dark chocolate and a portion of raspberries
Milk: 225ml semi-skimmed milk

*This contains a source of Omega 3. Omega 3 fats are good for your health and are found in oily fish. Linseeds, pumpkin and chia seeds, nuts (especially walnuts), seeded breads and leafy green vegetables are all good vegetarian sources. When you need to use oil for cooking, try rapeseed or flaxseed oil, which are both rich in omega 3. 

How much weight will I lose on a 1,500-calorie meal plan?

How much you lose from following this meal plan will vary depending on your age, weight, body composition, how active you are and more. Losing one to two pounds a week is a safe and realistic target for most people. 

The NHS BMI calculator is a useful tool that can tell you whether your current weight is within the healthy range and whether you need to consider losing some weight.

It is important to set yourself realistic goals for weight loss. Speaking to your healthcare team may be helpful starting point in setting a target that is achievable and can be maintained in the long term to help improve your health and diabetes management. Even small amounts of weight loss (around 5% body weight) can make a real difference. 

It’s also important to combine a healthy diet with physical activity. This can increase the number of calories you burn each day, as well as having many other benefits to your physical and mental health. 

Read more about exercise and diabetes

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