Ask Your Health Question and Get an Answer ASAP
Hello. Thank you for coming to JustAnswer with your question, and welcome.
You might consider making up your own meal plan. No one knows what you will eat and shop for better than yourself.
You can go down to as low as 1200 calories for healthy weight loss, but starting with a 1600 calorie diet is a wise choice. The most you should ever lose is 2 lbs per week---any more than than is not healthy. One lb. per week would be even better.
Whatever amount you start with, if it does not result in weight loss you can cut back further. Cutting back 500 calories per day should result in loss of 1 pound per week; 1000 calories less will result in 2 pounds lost per week.
A healthy diet consists of mostly vegetables and fruits (the more colorful, the better they are for you), whole grains, low fat or fat free milk products, lean protein sources (meats, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts and seeds). And is LOW on salt and sodium, cholesterol, trans fats, saturated fats, and sugar.
Here is a site with all the information you need: Aim for a Healthy Weight. There are many pages/tools within this site that can be helpful to you. In particular:
Here is a link to the Menu Planner. This will help you make your own meal plans.
And here is a link to the Food Exchange Lists that will give you an idea of the types of foods you should be shopping for.
When you are shopping, the easiest way to avoid hidden calories, fats, sugar and sodium is to buy fresh/frozen foods and prepare them yourself. But, if you do buy pre-prepared foods or condiments be sure to read labels to avoid things you don't want to eat.
Don't forget to get plenty of good quality water. 1.5 to 2 quarts of water in addition to the other beverages you drink will help you with weight loss and staying healthy.
By using the menu planner and making your own meal plans, it will give you the advantage of knowing what and why you eat certain foods and how much they are worth. This allows you to change meal plans when needed. And in time, your diet will become second nature to you---then it won't be a "diet" anymore, it will be a lifestyle.