Protein plays a crucial role in building and repairing tissues, supporting muscle growth, and regulating our metabolism. A diet rich in protein can also help in weight management, especially if you’re planning to lose weight. A protein diet plan has a satiating effect, which means it helps curb cravings and keeps us feeling fuller for longer, making it a secret weapon in weight loss journeys.

Protein is also helpful in stabilizing blood sugar levels, preventing energy crashes and unhealthy snacking habits. If you’re not sure what a high protein diet is all about, jump to this section to read more about protein sources, muscle building, and more.

7-Day 1600-calorie Protein Diet Plan for Weight Loss

Day 1 1351 Kcal

To complete a 1600-kcal recommendation:

For breakfast, you can pair your muffin with your choice of fruit, like 1 medium-size apple

For lunch, these honey sesame chicken and broccoli goes well with a 1/2 cup parboiled rice.

For dinner, you can prepare some Italian Oven Roasted Vegetables to pair with your instant pot pork chops.

Reminder:

For dinner you need to make an extra 3 servings and store them separately and properly in the fridge, as you’ll be needing them for lunch on day 2, and dinner on day 5 and 7. While for snacks, you need to prepare three servings of this. One is for today and 2 servings are planned for snacks on day 2 and 4.

Tip: It’s a great idea to start this ahead of time on Sunday instead of Monday, so that you can meal prep in advance. Especially since Day 1 has longest meal prep and cooking time, a rough total of 2 hours to prepare and cook all of these meals for the day.

Day 2 1447 Kcal

For breakfast, enjoy a refreshing breakfast with the berry cottage cheese breakfast bowl. It’s a quick 5-min. prep so it won’t take too much of your time!

Remember to prepare 2 servings of your snacks, where 1 serving will be for your day 4 snacks.

For dinner, you can choose to make the lentils and dressing in advance, and store them in an airtight container in the fridge. Make two servings of this, as it’s the same meal planned for day 5’s lunch.

To complete a 1600-kcal recommendation:

For lunch, pair  your salmon with Italian Oven Roasted Vegetables that you prepared in advance.

Day 3 1466 Kcal

Your snack was (hopefully!) prepared in advance, so you just need to reheat it in the microwave.

To complete a 1600-kcal recommendation:

For breakfast, you can pair your muffin with your choice of fruit, like 1 medium-size banana. You can also listen to your body, and have this fruit as an AM snack.

For lunch, these baked shrimp and broccoli pair well with a 1/2 cup parboiled rice.

 

Day 4 1493 Kcal

Already have your lunch and snacks prepared? Then this will help you save time and energy for the day.

Prepping your dinner will only take 15-20 minutes so if you’ve already meal prepped your lunch and snacks, you’ll be wondering what to do with all the spare time you have on Day 4 of your high protein diet plan!

Day 5 1575 Kcal

Already have your lunch and snacks prepared? Then it will only take you a couple of minutes to prepare your wrap and reheat both meals in the microwave or oven!

To complete a 1600-kcal recommendation:

For dinner, don’t forget to pair your meal with your pre-prepared Italian Oven Roasted Vegetables. 

 

Day 6 1456 Kcal

Just like on Day 5, you only need to set aside time to make your breakfast and dinner which should only take up 50-60 minutes – and that’s for both meals!

At breakfast you can choose to pair your protein pancakes with your choice of fruit, like 1 medium-size banana.

And if you already have your lunch and snacks prepared, then you can pair your lunch with 1/2 cup parboiled rice.

Day 7 1570 Kcal

For Day 7, take time to enjoy the day and prepare your meals. But don’t worry, your breakfast, lunch and dinner will only take you a total of an hour to an hour and 15 minutes to prepare all of these dishes today!

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Note: Each person has different calorie needs depending on their age, weight, height, sex, physical activities and medical conditions. It is always best to consult a healthcare professional, especially if you have any pre-existing medical conditions. A dietitian may also be able to guide you on your weight loss journey, and be able to identify what approach can help you.

You might also want to look at our 7 Strategies to Stay Motivated on Your Weight Loss Journey We also have another similar meal plan to this, high protein low calorie meal plan.

Ingredient and Shopping Tips

We’re all about saving time, money, and making your eating habits work for you. Here are some additional tips to help you make this meal plan into a reality:

  • Start meal planning your high protein meal plan and grocery list on Friday and Saturday, and do shopping during the weekend. If you’re also looking for high protein snacks, check out some of our ideas.
  • While preparing food for later in the week, you can choose to pre-cut and roast or steam your veggies in advance too.
  • You can also choose to cut, prepare and season meat dishes with common flavors. For example, you can choose to prepare in advance the Honey Sesame Chicken and Broccoli and Baked Shrimp and Broccoli, as both of these dishes uses garlic, and have a common main ingredient which is broccoli. The same goes with the Instant Pot Pork Chops which also uses honey and garlic.
  • For the wraps, choose to buy one type of wrap for both of the recipes. For the ranch chicken wrap, you can choose to use leftover chicken from caprese chicken or cheesy stuffed chicken breast. This will help you save time, money and add flavor to your wrap.

Here’s a quick overview of the repeated recipes during this seven day high protein meal plan. These are the meals which require you to prepare two or three servings and store in the fridge.

RecipesNumber of servings to prepareDay and meal planned
Protein Blueberry Muffins2 servingsDay 1 and 3 Breakfast
Chocolate Protein Balls3 servingsDay 1 and 5 Snacks
Peanut Butter Protein Balls2 servingsDay 2 and 4 Snacks
Garlic Bread2 servingsDay 3 and 6 Snacks
Italian Oven Roasted Vegetables4 servingsDay 2, Lunch and Day 1, 4, and 5 Dinner
Instant Pot Pork Chops2 servingsDay 1 Dinner and Day 4 Lunch
High-Protein Lentil Salad Wraps**2 servingsDay 2 Dinner, and Day 5 Lunch
**Note that for the high-protein lentil wrap, you can choose to cook the lentils in advance, and prepare the dressing in advance too. But remember that you SHOULD NOT assemble this meal together with the sauce and veggies, in advance. Store them separately and then assemble it on the day you eat it to reduce your chances of food spoilage.

Some food safety reminders

As mentioned earlier, this meal plan calls for some meals to be prepared in advance to save time. Here are some food safety tips to keep in mind when preparing meals in advance:

  • Start with clean hands and surfaces.
  • Use separate utensils, cutting boards, and cooking equipment if needed, especially for special cases like if you have allergies, intolerances and dietary restrictions to avoid cross-contamination.
  • Use fresh ingredients and check expiration dates.
  • Keep raw and cooked foods separate.
  • Cook foods thoroughly and cool them quickly.
  • Store meals in airtight containers with labels and dates.
  • Thaw safely in the refrigerator, under cold water, or in the microwave.
  • Reheat to 165°F (74°C) before eating. Except for those that have different reheating requirements.
  • Use or discard leftovers within a safe time frame.
  • Trust your senses – if it smells off, looks odd, or has mold, discard it.

What Foods are High in Protein?

Did you know that it’s actually possible to follow a high protein meal plan without overspending on protein and whey powders? Contrary to popular belief, it’s actually possible if planned properly and in advance. But you do need to take time to do your research, and read food labels.

Which is better: animal-based or plant-based protein?

Naturally, animal-based protein sources are often considered to be higher in protein content than plant-based protein sources, both in terms of quantity and quality. However, it’s important to note that plant-based protein sources can still provide adequate protein when consumed in sufficient quantities and with proper combinations.

While individual plant-based sources may not contain as much protein as animal-based protein sources, combining different plant-based protein sources throughout the day can ensure that all essential amino acids are obtained. Additionally, plant-based protein sources typically come with the added benefits of being lower in saturated fat and cholesterol, while providing essential nutrients like fiber, vitamins, and minerals. With careful planning and attention to dietary diversity, individuals following a plant-based diet can meet their protein needs effectively while enjoying a wide range of health benefits.

To help you with your research here’s a list of both animal and plant-based protein sources:

Animal-based protein sourcesExamples
Lean meatChicken breast, turkey breast, lean cuts of beef (such as sirloin or tenderloin), pork tenderloin.
FishSalmon, tuna, trout, cod, tilapia
SeafoodShrimp, crab, lobster, mussels, scallops
Eggs and dairyWhole eggs or egg whites, yogurt, cottage cheese, milk, cheese
Plant-Based Protein SourcesExamples
LegumesLentils, chickpeas, black beans, kidney beans, edamame, tofu, tempeh
Soy productSoybeans, soy milk, soy yogurt
Quinoaquinoa is a pseudo-grain that is a complete protein source, containing all essential amino acids
Nuts and seedsAlmonds, peanuts, walnuts, chia seeds, hemp seeds, flaxseeds.
GrainsBrown rice, oats, barley, farro, amaranth, bulgur
VegetablesBroccoli, spinach, peas, Brussels sprouts, asparagus, artichokes
Vegetable-based Meat SubstitutesCommercial brands such as Beyond Meat, Impossible foods, Quorn.

How does a Protein Diet Plan help in weight loss?

A diet plan high in protein, doesn’t automatically mean that you’ll be shedding off fat after a day or two. But it is a nutrient in your diet that can help support the process, especially if partnered with a healthy lifestyle and regular physical activity. Here are some of the things which happen to your body when following a diet rich in protein:

Increased Satiety

Protein is highly satiating, meaning it helps you feel full and satisfied after meals. This can lead to reduced calorie intake overall, as you’re less likely to overeat or snack between meals.

Preservation of Lean Muscle Mass

When losing weight, it’s common to lose both fat and muscle mass. However, a protein-rich diet, combined with resistance exercise, can help preserve lean muscle mass. This is important because muscle tissue burns more calories at rest than fat tissue, helping to maintain a higher metabolic rate.

Stabilized Blood Sugar Levels

Including protein in meals can help stabilize blood sugar levels by slowing down the absorption of carbohydrates. This can prevent spikes and crashes in blood sugar, which in turn can help in reducing cravings for high-calorie, sugary foods.

Reminders when following this diet plan

Consult a healthcare professional

It’s always important that you know how to start, and when to stop reducing calories, or when to re-adjust your macros when on a weight loss journey. Consulting a dietitian can also educate you on how to jumpstart your weight loss goal and keep track of your progress.

Balance is always important

While protein is a priority, don’t remove other nutrients like carbs, or fat. Ensure your meals include a variety of foods to provide essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy fats.

Stay Hydrated

Adequate hydration is crucial for overall health and can support weight loss efforts. Aim to drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially as protein-rich diets can increase water needs.

Listen to Your Body

Pay attention to hunger and fullness cues. Eat when you’re hungry and stop when you’re satisfied, rather than relying on strict meal times or portion sizes.

You can also read more on mindful eating and why it’s important that you eat enough portions of your food rather than over-restricting yourself when losing weight.

Weight loss is a holistic journey

Relying on your diet alone to help you lose weight is not a good idea. That’s why it’s important that you pair your healthy diet with regular physical activity, and lifestyle changes such as reducing your alcohol intake, opting not to smoke, getting enough sleep, and learning how to manage your emotions and stress. By doing this, you can help yourself create a sustainable lifestyle.

FAQs on Protein Diet Plan

Can I follow a high protein meal plan if I have dietary restrictions or preferences?

As long as you don’t have medical conditions which limit your dietary options, then it’s possible! There are plenty of protein-rich foods to choose from, including both animal and plant-based options. Whether you’re vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or have other dietary preferences, you can tailor your protein meal plan to suit your needs.

Can I still enjoy my favorite foods while following a protein meal plan?

Definitely! Incorporating protein into your meals doesn’t mean sacrificing flavor or variety. You can still enjoy a wide range of foods, including lean meats, fish, tofu, legumes, nuts, seeds, and plenty of vegetables.

How quickly can I expect to see results from following a protein meal plan?

Results vary from person to person depending on factors such as starting weight, activity level, and adherence to the meal plan.