I’ve lost count how many people have come to me for fitness and weight loss advice that have spent years jumping from diet to diet only to become delusional about the lack of results.
The problem is that most diets are drastic and don’t allow you to eat so many different things. At the same time, they introduce long fasting periods, leaving you hungry and miserable.
That’s why I generally advise people to try out the 7-day shred meal plan. It’s easy to follow, not overly limiting what you can eat, and within just a few days, you’ll see some results.
How Does The Meal Plan Work
Basically, it all comes down to eating healthy foods in moderation and slightly limiting your calorie intake.
Some treats are still allowed to help keep cravings at bay, and your meals will be spread out to reduce hunger symptoms.
The advantage of this short-term approach is that your body won’t go into full starvation protection mode.
See, the longer you reduce your calorie intake for, the more your body will try to hold onto the flabby fat you actually want to get rid of. During these shorter 7-day shred periods, your body will react by burning fat for energy.
While it does take commitment, it’s so much easier to succeed over 7 days, than facing into an endless starvation diet. It wouldn’t be uncommon to lose 2 to 3 pounds in just one week, and after that, you can increase your calories again to normal levels.
So, let’s take a quick look at what you can and can’t eat during a shred week.
What Types Of Foods Can You Eat?
You can still eat carbs, protein, and fat, but you want to get them from healthy sources. I’ll provide more details of these in the next section, but it mainly comes down to lean meats, fatty fish, and plenty of veggies.
The good news is that you’ll be eating enough to fill you up to make sure you don’t constantly have to battle food cravings.
What Foods Should You Avoid?
High sugar and processed foods are what you want to avoid the most. You can still satisfy your sweet tooth with some fruit, but for the most part, it will come down to preparing your meals from healthy raw ingredients.
Anything that was highly processed in a factory is off limits, basically.
Now it’s time to give you information on how your 7-day shred plan needs to be balanced across macronutrients.
Lean cuts of beef, turkey, chicken, as well as lentils and beans are an excellent source of healthy protein.
But it’s also important to focus on preparation to preserve the nutrients and avoid turning something healthy into an unhealthy meal that will end up piling on the weight.
Experiment with boiled, grilled, baked or steamed meats and always avoid deep or even shallow frying.
Aim to get about 20% of your daily calorie limits from healthy proteins.
Fats have gotten a very bad reputation, but you should definitely not avoid them. As long as you limit saturated fats to a minimum, you will still take advantage of big health benefits by eating more white and fatty fish, nuts and seeds, as well as avocados, and extra virgin olive oil.
Aim to get about 30% of your calories from these healthy fats.
This is where you will get the bulk of your food intake from, and it’s important to aim for mainly veggies that will fill you up. Again, the important thing is to keep to whole and natural food sources.
Fill your pantry with green and leafy vegetables, beans, lentils, whole grains, oatmeal, and brown rice. You will also be eating some fruit on a daily basis, but in limited amounts to reduce your sugar intake.
Aim for about 50% of calories per day from healthy carbs.
What To Drink
Stick with water and tea. You should have at least 5 pints of water intake each day, so try and keep track of how much you drink in your food journal. I always recommend detox teas like turmeric and green tea as well. Just make sure you limit high-caffeine teas.
The 7-Day Shred Menu Plan
- Meal 1
- Meal 2
- Meal 3
- Meal 4
- Meal 5
- Meal 6
option 1: 1/2 cup oatmeal + 1/2 banana + 1/2 cup egg whites + 1 cup of berries (on the side)
option 2: 3 egg whites + 1 whole egg + 1 cup spinach + 1/2 cup veggies of your choice (tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms) + 1 slice of Ezekiel bread or other sprouted grain bread
7 day shred meal plan salmon and asparagus
4 oz. protein + 1 cup veggies
example 1) Grilled chicken breast with asparagus
example 2) Baked tilapia with broccoli topped with seasoned extra virgin olive oil
example 3) Sardines served with mixed greens salad
7 day shred meal plan rice veggies and tofu
4 oz. protein + 1 healthy carbohydrate (+ 1 cup veggies: optional)
option 1: 1 can tuna (in water) with 1/2 yam, and 2 tbsp. salsa
option 2: Grilled tofu with 1/2 cup brown rice and 10-12 walnuts
option 3: kidney beans with 1/2 cup quinoa & 1/2 sliced avocado
7 day shred meal plan apples and peanut butter
option 1: 1 scoop of protein powder + water or almond milk
option 2: 1 cup carrots or celery + 2 tbsp. hummus (see recipe HERE)
option 3: 1 apple + 1 tbsp. natural nut butter
7 day shred meal plan chicken salad
4 oz. protein + 1-2 cup veggies
example 1) 2 cups mixed greens + grilled chicken or turkey
example 2) lean beef burger + sautéed veggies (carrots, onions, peppers)
example 3) chickpeas salad (with peppers, mushrooms, parsley, lemon juice, etc.)
7 day shred meal plan protein shake
Meal 6 (optional)
option 1: 1/2 cup cottage cheese + cinnamon
option 2: 1/2 plain natural yogurt + cinnamon (you can add stevia for sweetness)
option 2: scoop of your favorite protein powder with water or almond milk
Once you complete the week, figure out a way to reward yourself. This shouldn’t be a trip to Dunkin Donuts, but rather some new clothing, a new handbag or even a trip to the spa.
While your diet is responsible for 70% of your weight loss, you will only get the maximum benefits and results by regularly exercising. Aim for 4 to 5 exercise days per week, even if it’s just a brisk 30-minute walk.
Do not starve yourself. It may take a bit of tweaking with timing and amounts of food, but you should be getting enough food in so you don’t feel hungry.
I have seen amazing results with so many people that have gone through a regular shred week. Because the goal is just a few days away, it’s a lot easier to stay motivated, and the results will speak for themselves.
The final tip I would give you is to join a social media group to share your results, struggles, and recipe ideas that you have found. The 7-day shred really has become a very social diet, so make sure you join us on our Facebook page.