Calorie Restriction with Optimum Nutrition
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Meals: Day 1
(perfect for Diabetics, too)


1 cup (5oz, 145g) Non-fat cottage cheese* 120 calories
23 nuts (1oz, 28g) Almonds, raw 160 calories
1 cup (5oz, 150g) Strawberries (or other berries) 50 calories
Nutrition Snack** (e.g. one Balance bar) 200 calories

Total breakfast Calories = 530

ZoneChefs - Let us do the dieting for you !


5 oz. (140g) Chicken breast, skinless, boiled, baked or roasted* 230 calories
½ cup (80g) Broccoli (steamed, boiled, or raw) 25 calories
½ cup (60g) Cauliflower (steamed, boiled, or raw) 15 calories
1 tbl Olive oil (extra virgin) 120 calories
½ tsp Herbs and Spices**** 5 calories

1 medium Orange 65 calories


Cook chicken (or other protein) as desired or use canned variety. Add to plate with broccoli and cauliflower. Add olive oil and herbs and spices. Have orange for dessert.

Total Lunch Calories = 460 calories

Snack: 1 cup non-fat yogurt * 120 calories
6 nuts (1/2 oz, 14g) macadamia nuts 100 calories

Total snack = Calories 220 calories


2 cups Green, leafy salad (may include lettuce, cabbage, spinach) 20 calories
¼ fillet (3oz, 90g) Salmon, canned low-salt or fresh-baked* 185 calories
7oz (200g) Sweet potato, baked 180 calories
1 tbl Olive oil 120 calories
½ tsp Herbs and Spices**** 5 calories
1 tbl Vinegar 5 calories


Sprinkle vinegar and ½ tbl olive oil and ½ herbs and spices over salad. Sprinkle ¼ tbl olive oil and remaining herbs over fish. Sprinkle remaining olive oil over sweet potato (have this for dessert).

Total dinner = Calories 515 calories

For more recipe ideas, visit our low-calorie cookbooks page.

Use this Quick-Jump Table to Access Each Day's Meal in a Seven-day Week:
Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4 | Day 5 | Day 6 | Day 7

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These meals are merely suggestions. Once you become familiar with nutritious, low-Calorie food choices, such as the ones above, menu and meal combinations are endless … so be creative!

* Vegetarians and Vegans
Adequate protein and omega 3 fats may be deficient in vegetarian or vegan diets. Other nutrients which are a bit tricky to get on a totally non-animal diet: vitamin B12 (no, fermented foods & spirulina do not contain it -- supplements are absolutely necessary for vegans and a good idea for the ovo-lacto); calcium, zinc, and iron (vegan iron is both relatively rare and not very bioavailable). It is especially important for veg(etari)ans to put their diets through nutrition software (see "References and Resources" below) to work out exactly how much you're getting of these & other nutrients. When you do your blood work, a ferritin test is especially important for veg(etari)ans. If you do not eat fish (or supplement with its oil), consider a flax supplement. In addition, true vegans are especially vulnerable to protein (amino acid) deficiency. Substitute meat, dairy and egg choices above with suitable vegetable-only protein products (tofu, rice-protein powder, beans, brewers yeast, etc). top of page

** Adding extra Calories
The number of additional Calories will depend on your sex, age, activity level, metabolism and length of time on CR. A good rule-of-thumb:

If you are losing more than 1 pound per week, you may be cutting Calories too fast.

One may add Calories by including extra nuts, olive oil or fruit. Alternatively, Nutrition Snacks*** may added – they are a good choice since one knows exactly how many Calories are in each serving. top of page

*** Nutrition Snacks: Bars, Muffins, Shakes and Mixes
The best Nutrition Snacks are based on recipes developed by others practicing CR. For example, check out Sherm’s Brownies and MegaMuffins as well as Walford’s Beyond The 120 Year Diet. These recipes were developed using nutrition-analysis software.

It is understandable that the convenience of commercial products may be desirable at times. The following products appear to be the least processed of the numerous brands available; they may be found in grocery or health-food stores:

Balance Bar (200 Calories per bar): there are several varieties offered by this brand; all are “Zone” balanced. The Outdoor bar seems best due to better-quality ingredients, least saturated fat and lack of vitamin/mineral fortification (you should be getting plenty from the remainder of your diet; otherwise, take a multivitamin). The Almond Brownie is also acceptable; however, it is fortified.

Nutribiotic ProZone bars and mixes (around 200 Calories per bar or mix serving): There are several varieties offered by this brand; all are “Zone” balanced. Like the Balance Outdoor bar, the ProZone bars and shake mixes contain quality ingredients and are not fortified.

Rebar (160 Calories per bar): Includes high-quality organic vegetable and fruit ingredients. It does not contain protein or fat. If using this product one may add, for example, raw almonds and non-fat yogurt, to “balance” the meal.

Balance Bar Trail Mix Bars - Fruit & Nut (210 Calories per bar): Includes organic and/or other high-quality ingredients in their meal-replacement bars. They also make a fruit/soy protein drink. top of page

**** Herbs and Spices
A low-salt, all-in-one spice mix, such as Veg-it or Spike, works well and is convenient.
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As noted in the Cautions and Hazards of the Calorie Restriction Society's web site, please lower Calorie intake very gradually. The four meals above roughly add up to around 1700 -1800 Calories per day. If you are just beginning CR, this regimen will probably be too low in Calories. To compensate, carefully add extra Calories to each meal (see this note**).
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