Lean in four weeks meal plan

Advice Andre Jackson
29 Apr 2014

Shed the fat with this exercise-friendly four-week fat-loss meal plan

Although following a structured exercise plan is vital to achieving your fitness goals, it’s just as important to get your nutrition right. You’ll find it a lot harder to get lean if you’re eating the wrong things – even if you think your diet is healthy because it doesn’t revolve around beer and burgers. That's where this lean in four weeks meal plan comes in. We can guarantee that you will lose weight and become more lean if you follow this plan to the letter, but we realise that's easier said than done. Even if you just use the plan as a guide to get an idea of the types of foods you should be eating, it's still a great weight-loss resource.

Processed foods and refined sugars are relatively recent additions to the human diet, so our bodies tend to store them as fat. Replacing processed carbs and sugars with fresh vegetables, healthy fats and animal proteins will help you to shed fat while maintaining muscle. When you're trying to lose weight, it's also essential that you choose foods that are rich in fibre, to keep you feeling full, and high in antioxidants and nutrients to regulate your blood sugar levels.

As well as following those simple principles, this weekly meal plan – devised by trainer Sion Colenso – cuts your daily calorie intake to around 1,800 calories, helping you to remove all the excess flab from your frame. It’s designed to get you lean in just four weeks, while giving you all the nutrition and energy you need to train hard, too.

Monday

Breakfast: 45g oats with 300ml skimmed milk and 1tsp honey; 200ml apple juice.
Snack: 120g low-fat yoghurt with blueberries and honey.
Lunch: Grilled chicken (1 chicken breast) salad sandwich on wholemeal bread.
Snack: Smoothie – blend 25g whey protein, 80g raspberries, 80g blueberries, 50g blackberries and water.
Dinner: 120g tuna steak with stir-fried broccoli, mushrooms, green beans, sesame seeds and oil; 70g brown rice.
Snack: 250ml skimmed milk.
Daily total: 1,835 calories, 136g protein, 229g carbs, 33g fat

Tuesday

Breakfast: Smoothie – blend 25g whey protein, 300ml skimmed milk, 100g strawberries and a banana.
Snack: 120g low-fat yoghurt, blueberries and honey.
Lunch: Tuna sandwich on wholemeal bread; 200ml skimmed milk.
Snack: Mixed nuts, raisins and cranberries.
Dinner: 100g chicken, bacon and avocado salad.
Snack: 1 apple with 2tbsp natural peanut butter.
Daily total: 1,802 calories, 131g protein, 219g carbs, 37g fat

Wednesday

Breakfast: Smoothie – blend 25g whey protein, 300ml skimmed milk, 100g strawberries and a banana.
Snack: 90g mackerel on 1 slice of wholemeal toast.
Lunch: 1 apple; chicken salad sandwich on wholemeal bread.
Snack: 1 banana.
Dinner: 120g fillet steak with spinach and 2 grilled tomatoes.
Snack: 100g low-fat cottage cheese and pineapple.
Daily total: 1,821 calories, 138g protein, 222g carbs, 35g fat

Thursday

Breakfast: 4 scrambled egg whites on 2 slices of wholemeal toast.
Snack: 1 low-fat yoghurt with blueberries and a handful of oats and honey.
Lunch: Smoothie – blend 25g whey protein, 80g raspberries, 80g blueberries, 50g blackberries and water; 30g brazil nuts.
Snack: 100g low-fat cottage cheese and pineapple.
Dinner: Tuna niçoise salad (100g tuna, mixed salad leaves, plum tomatoes, a red pepper and 4 new potatoes).
Snack: 250ml skimmed milk.
Daily total: 1,835 calories, 136g protein, 229g carbs, 33g fat

Friday

Breakfast: 45g oats with 300ml skimmed milk and 1tsp honey.
Snack: 10 radishes with balsamic vinaigrette.
Lunch: 1 can of tuna with beetroot; 1 low-fat yoghurt.
Snack: Smoothie – blend 25g whey protein, 80g raspberries, 80g blueberries and 50g blackberries with water.
Dinner: 120g barbecue chicken kebab with peppers and 70g brown rice.
Snack: 100g cottage cheese; grapes.
Daily total: 1,808 calories, 133g protein, 219g carbs, 34g fat

Saturday

Breakfast: 2-egg omelette with cheese.
Snack: Smoothie: blend 25g protein, 1 apple, 50g blueberries, 50g blackberries and a banana with water.
Lunch: 90g sardines on 1 slice of wholemeal toast.
Snack: 150g raw carrots and hummus.
Dinner: 100g grilled salmon with green beans, asparagus and 70g brown rice.
Snack: 200ml skimmed milk.
Daily total: 1,822 calories, 135g protein, 221g carbs, 36g fat

Sunday

Breakfast: 4 scrambled egg whites on 2 slices of wholemeal toast; 1 grapefruit.
Snack: Smoothie – blend 25g protein, 300ml skimmed milk, 50g blueberries, 50g blackberries and a banana.
Lunch: Tuna sandwich on wholemeal bread; 1 pear.
Snack: Mixed nuts and fruit bar.
Dinner: 120g fillet steak with 1 small jacket potato, spinach and 1 grilled tomato.
Snack: 1 apple with 2tbsp natural peanut butter.
Daily total: 1,840 calories, 140g protein, 228g carbs, 39g fat

5 nutritional tips to help burn fat 

Drink water and lots of it

Water is important in absolutely all aspects of fitness and nutrition and it’s surprising to a lot of people how key it is in burning fat. H20 is the medium in which most cellular activities occur, this includes the transport and burning of fat. In addition to this, consuming a lot of calorie-free water can actually make you feel full meaning that you’re less likely to start snacking. Try to drink between 2 and 3 litres of water per day, it sounds like a lot but it’s a genuine difference maker.

Reduce your intake of starchy carbs

Consuming a lot of starchy foods, like pasta, bread and rice (especially all at one) provides the body with more than it needs for glycogen stores and energy, anything that is left over will be stored up as fat. Researchers from the University of Alabama at Birmingham (USA) revealed that when 69 overweight people were given a diet with a modest reduction in carbohydrates for eight weeks, they had 11 percent less deep abdominal fat than those given a lower-fat diet. Further, during a second eight-week period in which calories were reduced by 1,000 each day, those on the lower-carb diet lost 4 percent more total body fat.

Get your 5-a-day

It’s drilled into our head on a daily basis but it is an important part of staying healthy and burning fat. Vegetables are laced with nutrients, packing maximum nutritional value into minimal calories, leaving you more full on less calories. Try to consume five servings a day of vegetables (not including fruit). It might sound like a lot but if you start working them into sandwiches, snacks and even junk food like burgers and pizza you can hit your quote with ease. 

Don't become overly reliant on fat burners 

While fat burners do help to reduce body fat they will not counteract poor eating habits. If you are taking any fat burning supplements it doesn't mean that you can then hit the kebab shop three times a week, you still have to watch what you eat and exercise. Unfortunately fat burners are not magcal pills that shed the calories for you, they are to be used alongside a disciplined exercise and nutritional regime. 

Limit your consumption of sugar 

Indeed, taking in simple carbs (sugars) prior to training does replenish liver glycogen stores and muscle, but too much sugar consumed at other times of the day will be stored up as fat. Of course we all need to satisfy our sweet tooth occasionally, sometimes a doughnut just hits the spot, but moderation is key, so limiting your intake of sugar to fresh fruit is advised most of the time. Also, remember the amount of sugar that can be found in certain beverages like fruit juice, that's a sneaky one. Try to replace sugary drinks with water, coffee or tea (with no added sugar...obviously.) 

For more great weight-loss plans, go to our weight-loss meal plans section.

Disqus - noscript

Not enough fat. This diet will not keep you satiated.

In addition.... Egg whites?! Are we in the 80s?!

i dont want to take whey protein
wat should i do

I've been doing this meal plan for almost two weeks. It's not easy (psychologically) but I've lost about half a stone so far.

Started this on Monday....Being adding in some extra protein and carbs after a workout. And some extra protein (tuna+whey) through out the day. Feel good and don't feel to hungry all the time. Going to keep it up for a month and see how the results pan out. I took a before pic so I will compare and publish if anyone is interested.......Ill post again soon

Started this yesterday, and noticed straight away that I've not snacked or even had the urge to, not much of a smoothie fan but so far so good

Did this diet for 2 weeks. For me it was really easy. Not hungry, no urge to eat bad stuff, and the food/shakes are really nice. I lost 3kg in 2 weeks. I stopped because i went on holiday (bad timing)

Hi I am thinking about starting this diet have you lost much weight?

Hi Michael. I'm not so much tracking my weight although I have lost a couple kilos. I am measuring progress by before/after picture. I can already see my lower abs starting to show slightly and that's where I was carrying the excess. Id recommend it. I am enjoying doing it

I've been doing this for about 2 months and lost a stone so far. Thursday's are a bit savage but no doubt the diet works. Be strong and keep going. I personally think it needs about 3 months commitment.

When is it best to work out using this meal plan?

i have started to gym and is it good to continue the diet plan .......gym and the diet plan is working for weight loss and maintain the figure of the body?

Questions.....

1. Portion sizes for fruit? ie. 120g low-fat yoghurt with blueberries and honey. How much fruit? How much honey?

2. As below, is there a substitute for the whey protein?

3. Whenever bread is mentioned - Is butter/spread allowed? What quantity?

4. Vegetables - Portion sizes? ie. 120g tuna steak with stir-fried broccoli, mushrooms, green beans, sesame seeds and oil. 70g brown rice.
5. Is soy sauce allowed with rice?
How can the calories be totalled for each day when the above values are not defined? Is there a more detailed version of this diet available?

Can I eat more carbs on training days? What's the best time to workout? Can I also take Whey protein pre and post-workouts?

would this diet loss muscle or help gain muscle

Thanks i will give it a try, but is there any alternative for berries??

I'm interested in seeing the before/after pics if you could spare the time. I'm on week 4 of this now, also taking photos on a weekly basis. Weight loss now minimal each week but training 5/6 days a week combined with the diet has made a noticeable difference to body form.

does anybody know how much this diet costs to do on a weekly basis? so how much to buy all the ingredients needed? thanks

Hi, I have recently completed the 4 week plan, however it took me about 5 weeks to get the results. I didn't follow this meal plan exactly, I substituted some different foods of my preference, but still same results. I started off at 202lbs at 15% body fat. I am now 189lbs at 9.4% body fat. I am much leaner and happier :) If you would like to see my results I will post a pic.

It would be interestig to see the results. What did you swap out?

You sound like a footballer wanting to play football without wearing his football boots.
p.s. you might have to eat one cow a day

What kind training would people do with this diet plan?

it costs about 49.71 pounds

Hi I would like to see the difference so I would request you to please share your picture. I am starting this plan soon.

I start this tomorrow is there a certain weight you have to be to do this?

I start this diet tomorrow is there a certain weight you need to be to do this?

about £31

What supermarket is this based off?

I use grapes or kiei

I just bought mind in tesco for £29 but if you go to the health store they sell oats there cheaper ive swapped some of the chicken meals for salmon a bag of 6 in iceland is £5

Hello,
Is this suitable for Builder (Bricklayer). or shall i bump up the Carbs a bit. My body fat is 13.2%. want to get leaner.
I'm just worry about, i might get hungry as being highly active job.

Can this be fully followed on a budget?

Koth, did anybody reply to your questions.

on the contrary , I have been on it for 4 weeks now and it is perfectly balanced, haven't felt hungry at all in between meals...

yeah i thought that was gross , but what I do is instead of 3 egg whites I do 2 whole eggs with 1 whites... did some research and i found out it is best mixing whole egg with just whites.

neither, its for leaning...most people bulk during winter and then lean for summer...bulking will build lots of muscle mass but although ur gaining size your muscle definition will suck, when you lean your cutting down carbs and fat dramically to define the muscle you have and let your abs show

1. As much fruit as you want, fruit is cheap and there is no burden on eating to much fruit.
2. its protein you can add more protein into the diet but it is well worth picking up the whey protein it will work out cheaper as a tub can last a decent amount of time.
3. wouldnt recommend butter to much fat, you could try a lower fat alternative maybe something like philedelphia or even peanut butter/almond butter little bit of extra protein aswell in those.
4. Again same as fruit theres no such thing as to many vegetables.
5. you can use sauces but lighly i personally use thai sweet chilli sauce but you should be ok to use soy sauce just dont be to heavy with it
--- Fruit and veg is free so they dont effect the calories

You can definitely do this quite cheaply but i would highly recommend eating fresh rather than frozen as frozen foods hold more water meaning the protein numbers will be misleadingly low

at first glance id say somewhere between lunch and dinner

its a leaning diet, if theres loads of fat in there how on earth do you expect to get lean? if that is how you feel about the diet youll never get lean because it is a very hard lifestyle to get used to and requires a bit or sacrifice

you might just wanna throw in a couple more snacks throughout the day keep the snacks similar just have a couple more but try it without doing that first see how you feel youll know if you need to change itvery quickly

Troy tanks for your responses, however, I would like your opinion about substituting 4 egg whites to say 2 whole eggs and 2 whites instead... would that be ok? the whites alone gross me out : ) thank you

Can't physically eat tuna without being sick, anyone got a replacement suggestion other than grilled chicken?

Be nice if this came with a shopping list!

I'm the same, anyone got any replacements? I'd imagine fish but..not sure

do you keep repeating this weeks meals or are the other 3 weeks available somewhere?

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