Whole-Food Plant-Based Diet Plan
EatingWell 2hrs ago

Whether you're following a completely vegan diet or just looking to change up your routine, it's always a good idea to focus more on unprocessed foods and eat more plants. In this healthy diet plan, we focus on a vegan whole-foods plant-based foods, meaning the emphasis is on beans, legumes, whole grains and nuts for protein instead of processed meat substitutes. Although some worry that they won't get enough protein without meat, that's definitely not the case if you plan your meals accordingly. Plus, plant-based whole-foods tend to be high in another important satiating nutrient: fiber. Aside from the many health benefits, fiber also works to keep us full which means you'll feel satisfied all day long. If you're looking to follow a whole-foods plant-based diet for weight loss, we set this plan at 1,500 calories, which is level most people with lose weight at plus included modifications for 1,200 and 2,000 calories per day depending on your calorie needs.

a bowl of salad on a plate: Bowl of spinach salad © Provided by EatingWell Bowl of spinach salad a bowl of salad on a plate: We map out a full week of plant-based whole-food meals and snacks that your taste buds will love. © Provided by EatingWell We map out a full week of plant-based whole-food meals and snacks that your taste buds will love.

What is a Whole-Food Plant-Based Diet?

A whole-food plant-based diet is a plan that focused mainly on unprocessed foods. Frozen fruits and vegetables as well as canned beans can certainly be included as they are minimally processed with few additives. Plant-based is a bit of a broad term that includes any diet that tries to focus on more plant-based non-animal options, like whole grains, legumes, nuts, fruits and vegetables. This can include vegan and vegetarian diets as well as people who try to limit their meat intake to once or twice a week. Whether you're completely animal-product free or simply looking to cut back, nearly 87% of Americans don't hit their vegetable servings each day so it's a good idea to focus on eating more plants.

See More: Plant-Based Diet for Beginners

Benefits of a Whole-Food Plant-Based Diet

There's a ton of benefits to a whole-foods plant based diet. Cutting back on meat and eating more plant-based foods helps lessen our environmental impact plus we can give back to our local farmers and community by participating in a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) share. Bonus: a CSA is a fun way to eat seasonally and try new produce. Of course, there are health benefits too. People who eat a plant-based diet tend to have a higher intake of fiber, an important nutrient found in fruits, vegetables, legumes and whole grains. Due to the reduced intake of meat and processed foods plus more fiber, a whole-foods plant-based diet has many health benefits, including lower body weights and a decreased risk of heart disease, diabetes and even some cancers.

Whole-Food Plant-Based Diet Food List:

  • Legumes: lentils, beans, and chickpeas
  • Whole grains: quinoa, wheat, oats, farro and more
  • Seeds: chia, flax, sunflower & pumpkin seeds
  • Nuts and nut butters: look for natural nut butters with just two ingredients (the nut, like almond or peanut plus salt)
  • Fruits and vegetables: frozen or fresh
  • Fats: like olives, olive oil and avocados

How to Meal-Prep Your Week of Meals:

  1. Make Lemon-Roasted Vegetable Hummus Bowls to have for lunch on Days 2 through 5.
  2. Prepare Olive Orange Vinaigrette to have throughout the week.

Day 1

a bowl of food on a table: roasted-chickpea-curry-bowl © Provided by EatingWell roasted-chickpea-curry-bowl

Breakfast (325 calories)

  • 1/3 cup muesli
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

A.M. Snack (305 calories)

  • 1 medium apple
  • 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter

Lunch (325 calories)

P.M. Snack (116 calories)

  • 15 dry-roasted unsalted almonds

Dinner (442 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,512 calories, 55 g protein, 151 g carbohydrates, 47 g fiber, 82 g fat, 1,159 mg sodium

To Make it 1,200 Calories: Omit the chopped walnuts at breakfast and omit the peanut butter at the A.M. snack.

To Make it 2,000 Calories: Add 1 serving Strawberry-Mango-Banana Smoothie to breakfast, add 1 clementine to lunch and increase to 1/3 cup almonds at the P.M. snack.

Day 2

a bowl of salad on a plate: Bowl of spinach salad © Provided by EatingWell Bowl of spinach salad

Breakfast (299 calories)

A.M. Snack (200 calories)

  • 1 cup edamame in pods

Lunch (360 calories)

P.M. Snack (206 calories)

  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds

Dinner (415 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,480 calories, 53 g protein, 151 g carbohydrates, 47 g fiber, 81 g fat, 1,104 mg sodium

To Make it 1,200 Calories: Reduce to 1/2 cup edamame pods at the A.M. snack and switch the P.M. snack to 1 clementine.

To Make it 2,000 Calories: Add 1 sliced sprouted wheat toast with 1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to breakfast, increase to 2 cups edamame at A.M. snack, add 1 medium orange to lunch and increase to 1/3 cup almonds at the P.M. snack.

Day 3

a plate of food with a knife: Apple and pecan stuffed butternut squash © Provided by EatingWell Apple and pecan stuffed butternut squash

Breakfast (299 calories)

A.M. Snack (266 calories)

  • 1 1/3 cups edamame in pods

Gallery: These Are Healthiest Vegetables You Can Eat, According to a Nutritionist (Redbook)

Lunch (360 calories)

P.M. Snack (241 calories)

  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds
  • 1 clementine

Dinner (343 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,509 calories, 53 g protein, 163 g carbohydrates, 48 g fiber, 80 g fat, 999 mg sodium

To Make it 1,200 Calories: Reduce to 3/4 cup edamame pods at the A.M. snack and omit the almonds at the P.M. snack.

To Make it 2,000 Calories: Add 1 sliced sprouted wheat toast with 1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to breakfast, increase to 2 cups edamame at A.M. snack, add 1 medium apple to lunch and increase to 1/3 cup almonds at the P.M. snack.

Day 4

a bowl of salad on a plate: Black-Bean Quinoa Buddha Bowl © Provided by EatingWell Black-Bean Quinoa Buddha Bowl

Breakfast (325 calories)

  • 1/3 cup muesli
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

A.M. Snack (95 calories)

  • 1 medium apple

Lunch (360 calories)

P.M. Snack (206 calories)

  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds

Dinner (500 calories)

Meal-Prep Tip: gather ingredients for Slow-Cooker Vegan Chili so it's ready to cook on low tomorrow morning for 8 hours

Daily Totals: 1,486 calories, 51 g protein, 190 g carbohydrates, 54 g fiber, 70 g fat, 1,159 mg sodium

To Make it 1,200 Calories: Omit the walnuts at breakfast and change the P.M. snack to 1 clementine.

To Make it 2,000 Calories: Add 1 serving Strawberry-Mango-Banana Smoothie to breakfast and add 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to the A.M. snack.

Day 5

a bowl of food on a table: Slow-Cooker Vegan Chili © Provided by EatingWell Slow-Cooker Vegan Chili

Breakfast (299 calories)

A.M. Snack (200 calories)

  • 1 cup edamame in pods

Lunch (360 calories)

P.M. Snack (206 calories)

  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds

Dinner (419 calories)

Meal-Prep Tip: reserve two servings of Slow-Cooker Vegan Chili to have for lunch on days 6 & 7

Daily Totals: 1,484 calories, 53 g protein, 157 g carbohydrates, 50 g fiber, 1,169 mg sodium

To Make it 1,200 Calories: Reduce to 1/2 cup edamame at the A.M. snack and change the P.M. snack to 1 clementine.

To Make it 2,000 Calories: Add 1 sliced sprouted wheat toast with 1 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to breakfast, increase to 1 3/4 cups edamame at A.M. snack, add 1 medium apple to lunch and increase to 1/3 cup almonds at the P.M. snack.

Day 6

a plate of food with a fork: Stuffed Sweet Potato with Hummus Dressing © Provided by EatingWell Stuffed Sweet Potato with Hummus Dressing

Breakfast (325 calories)

  • 1/3 cup muesli
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

A.M. Snack (206 calories)

  • 1/4 cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds

Lunch (376 calories)

P.M. Snack (100 calories)

  • 1/2 cup edamame in pods

Dinner (472 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,479 calories, 59 g protein, 207 g carbohydrates, 63 g fiber, 56 g fat, 1,103 mg sodium

To Make it 1,200 Calories: Omit the walnuts at breakfast and change the A.M. snack to 1 clementine.

To Make it 2,000 Calories: Add 1 serving Strawberry-Mango-Banana Smoothie to breakfast, increase to 1/3 cup almonds at the A.M. snack and increase to 1 1/4 cups edamame at the P.M. snack.

Day 7

a bowl of fruit: falafel salad © Provided by EatingWell falafel salad

Breakfast (325 calories)

  • 1/3 cup muesli
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup blackberries
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts

A.M. Snack (200 calories)

  • 1 cup edamame in pods

Lunch (376 calories)

P.M. Snack (95 calories)

  • 1 medium apple

Dinner (499 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,495 calories, 55 g protein, 193 g carbohydrates, 59 g fiber, 65 g fat, 1,272 mg sodium

To Make it 1,200 Calories: Omit the walnuts at breakfast and change the A.M. snack to 1/4 cup sliced cucumber.

To Make it 2,000 Calories: Add 1 serving Strawberry-Mango-Banana Smoothie to breakfast and add 2 Tbsp. natural peanut butter to the P.M. snack.

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