July 22, 2024

If you’re trying to lose weight, research suggests that eating a diet rich in antioxidants may help you achieve your goals. In this nutrient-rich meal plan for weight loss, we map out a week of delicious meals and snacks that include foods high in antioxidants. You’ll find richly pigmented produce and tons of healthy fats, such as nuts and salmon. To maximize nutrition, we skipped added sugars. While the occasional sweet treat won’t derail the health benefits of eating more antioxidant-rich foods, many people eat more added sugars than they realize, making weight loss challenging. Whether you’re trying to lose weight or are looking to up your nutrition, this meal plan can help. Let’s get started!

How We Create Meal Plans

Registered dietitians thoughtfully create EatingWell’s meal plans to be easy-to-follow and delicious. Each meal plan meets specific parameters depending on the health condition and/or lifestyle goal it is targeting and is analyzed for accuracy using the nutrition database, ESHA Food Processor. As nutritional needs differ from person to person, we encourage you to use these plans as inspiration and adjust as you see fit.

Why This Meal Plan Is Great for You

Antioxidants play an important role in keeping your body healthy by protecting your cells from damage caused by free radicals. When selecting recipes, we focused on antioxidant-rich foods, such as colorful berries, purple fruits, plums, healthy fats from fish and nuts, and deeply pigmented vegetables like kale and squash.

In this meal plan, each day includes at least 74 grams of protein and 29 grams of fiber—two nutrients that can help with weight loss by promoting feelings of fullness between meals. We set the calorie level at 1,500 calories per day, which is a level where many people will experience weight loss. For those with other calorie needs, we also included modifications for 2,000 calories per day. As with all meal plans, this is meant to serve as a sample antioxidant-rich meal plan for weight loss. Feel free to make substitutions based on your taste preferences, grocery haul and routine.

Frequently Asked Questions


  • ​​Is it OK to mix and match meals if there is one I do not like?

    Definitely! Meal plans are meant to be enjoyed, and of course, that means eating foods you love. In this meal plan, we aimed for 1,500 calories, at least 70 grams of protein and 28 grams of fiber and capped the sodium at 2,300 milligrams per day. If you’re closely monitoring calories, protein, fiber or other nutrients, you may want to opt for a swap that has a similar nutrition profile. Check out Antioxidant-Rich Dinners in 30 Minutes or Less and our Anti-Inflammatory Diet Center for more inspiration.


  • Can I eat the same breakfast or lunch every day?

    Yes! If that’s easier for your routine, go for it. Each breakfast is 318 to 387 calories, while lunch is 375 to 401 calories. These ranges are fairly close, so a simple swap should work for most people, though you could adjust a snack or two if needed.


  • Does added sugar cause weight gain?

    It’s impossible to generalize a single cause of weight gain, as factors such as overall diet, genetics, sleep, stress, hormones and physical activity can all play a role in body weight. That said, research indicates that a diet high in added sugars likely contributes to an increase in body weight. While added sugars can certainly be part of a healthy eating routine in moderation, many people eat more than they realize. Take a peek at the nutrition label and see where added sugars may make their way into your routine.


  • Why is there not a modification for 1,200 calories?

    We no longer provide modifications for 1,200-calorie days in our meal plans. The 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans suggests that limiting calories to 1,200 per day is too low for most people to meet their nutritional needs, plus it’s unsustainable for long-term health and well-being.

What Are Antioxidants?

Antioxidants are a group of nutrients that help prevent and repair oxidative stress in the body. Cell damage caused by unrestrained oxidative stress is linked to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, some cancers and inflammation. They’re often found in colorful fruits, vegetables, nuts and fish, such as salmon. Specific antioxidants include vitamin C, vitamin E, carotenoids, polyphenols, anthocyanins (responsible for the dark purple and blue color in fruits such as blueberries, plums and purple cabbage), as well as lycopene, found in tomatoes and watermelon. Eating a wide variety of fruits, vegetables and nuts can help provide an array of antioxidants to your routine. 

Antioxidant-Rich Foods to Focus On

  • Fruits (blueberries, plums, citrus fruits, cherries, pomegranate and more)
  • Vegetables (dark leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, tomato, squash, cabbage, sweet potato, beets and more)
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Legumes
  • Fatty fish, such as salmon and tuna
  • Coffee
  • Tea

How to Meal-Prep Your Week of Meals

  1. Prep Anti-Inflammatory Chicken & Beet Salad to have for lunch on Days 2 through 5.
  2. Make Carrot Cake Energy Bites to have as a snack throughout the week.

Day 1

Breakfast (387 calories)

A.M. Snack (158 calories)

Lunch (401 calories)

P.M. Snack (136 calories)

  • 1 (5.3-oz.) container low-fat plain strained (Greek-style) yogurt
  • ½  cup sliced strawberries

Dinner (409 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,491 calories, 81g fat, 81g protein, 118g carbohydrate, 32g fiber, 1,311mg sodium

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 serving Strawberry-Banana Green Smoothie to breakfast and add ¼ cup unsalted dry-roasted almonds as an evening snack.

Day 2

Jacob Fox


Breakfast (318 calories)

A.M. Snack (158 calories)

Lunch (375 calories)

P.M. Snack (95 calories)

Dinner (545 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,489 calories, 74g fat, 92g protein, 127g carbohydrate, 29g fiber, 1,882mg sodium

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 serving Avocado & Arugula Omelet to breakfast and add 1 ½ Tbsp. natural peanut butter to P.M. snack. 

Day 3

Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Melissa Gray, Prop Stylist: Shell Royster


Breakfast (318 calories)

A.M. Snack (238 calories)

Lunch (375 calories)

P.M. Snack (136 calories)

  • 1 (5.3-oz.) container low-fat plain strained (Greek-style) yogurt
  • ½  cup sliced strawberries

Dinner (417 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,484 calories, 63g fat, 74g protein, 171g carbohydrate, 29g fiber, 1,467mg sodium

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 serving Avocado & Arugula Omelet to breakfast and add 4 Tbsp. chopped walnuts to P.M. snack.

Day 4

Ali Redmond

Breakfast (387 calories)

A.M. Snack (62 calories)

Lunch (375 calories)

P.M. Snack (131 calories)

Dinner (548 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,503 calories, 82g fat, 81g protein, 120g carbohydrate, 29g fiber, 1,965mg sodium

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 serving Strawberry-Banana Green Smoothie to breakfast and 4 servings Carrot Cake Energy Bites to A.M. snack.

Day 5

Andrea Mathis

Breakfast (318 calories)

A.M. Snack (206 calories)

Lunch (375 calories)

P.M. Snack (136 calories)

  • 1 (5.3-oz.) container low-fat plain strained (Greek-style) yogurt
  • ½  cup sliced strawberries

Dinner (404 calories)

Evening Snack (73 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,512 calories, 62g fat, 79g protein, 174g carbohydrate, 36g fiber, 1,464mg sodium

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 serving Avocado & Arugula Omelet to breakfast and add 3 Tbsp. chopped walnuts to P.M. snack.

Day 6

Photographer: Stacy k. Allen, Props: Christina Brockman, Food Stylist: Jennifer Wendorf


Breakfast (318 calories)

A.M. Snack (144 calories)

Lunch (401 calories)

P.M. Snack (140 calories)

  • 1 cup low-fat plain kefir
  • 1 plum

Dinner (500 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,503 calories, 65g fat, 83g protein, 155g carbohydrate, 30g fiber, 1,516mg sodium

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 serving Avocado & Arugula Omelet to breakfast and add ¼ cup unsalted shelled pistachios to P.M. snack.

Day 7

Breakfast (387 calories)

A.M. Snack (138 calories)

  • ⅔ cup unsalted low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 plum

Lunch (401 calories)

P.M. Snack (136 calories)

  • 1 (5.3-oz.) container low-fat plain strained (Greek-style) yogurt
  • ½  cup sliced strawberries

Dinner (452 calories)

Daily Totals: 1,513 calories, 77g fat, 83g protein, 130g carbohydrate, 31g fiber, 1,420mg sodium

Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 serving Strawberry-Banana Green Smoothie to breakfast and add ¼ cup chopped walnuts to P.M. snack.

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