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Fat Loss Diet Plan: Burn Off That Stubborn Fat!

By: Erin Coleman, B.S. - Nutritional Science, R.D., L.D.,

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

fat loss diet plan

A fat loss diet plan and a few fat-burning workouts can help you achieve the physique you desire in no time.

The question is, which plans actually work and which are just fads (or worse, scams)?

We're here to help you find the best plan for you!

Your body stores extra calories as fat and burns it as fuel during times of energy restriction.

The human body is designed for this so it can function without food for a while if necessary.

To burn excess body fat, consume fewer calories than you burn off daily by eating less, increasing energy expenditure, or better yet both!

Women often require about 1,200-1,500 calories daily to drop fat, but your individual calorie needs may differ if you have a large frame or you work out a lot.

Let's dig into some popular fat loss diet plans and separate the myths from the facts!

Before you can lose weight, you have to understand why women gain weight. Here are the top 15 reasons!

Popular Fat Loss Diet Plans

Numerous fat loss diet plans can be successful.

The right plan for you is based on your preference and what you can stick with long-term.

Here are some to consider:

MyPlate Diet

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s is a simple meal plan that can aid in fat loss when used in place of a standard American diet.

Simply fill your plate the following way:

  • Fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables
  • Fill half of your plate with whole grains plus protein foods
  • Add dairy foods (or plant-based dairy alternatives) and healthy fats to each meal

Eating this way helps reduce your overall calorie intake for weight and fat loss, especially if you’re used to eating sweets, sugary drinks, fried foods, and other highly processed foods.

If the weight isn't coming off as you'd like, use smaller plates at mealtime.

1,200-1,400-Calorie USDA Meal Plans

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020 recommends healthy, well-balanced meal plans at different calorie allotments.

A Mediterranean-style USDA meal plan containing 1,200-1,400 calories per day, which is often safe and effective for weight loss in women, includes the following portions:

  • 1 ½ cups of vegetables
  • 1 to 1 ½ cups of fruit
  • 4-5 ounces of grains
  • 2 ½ cups of dairy foods or plant-based dairy alternatives
  • 3-4 ounces of protein foods
  • 4 teaspoons of oils
  • 100-110 extra calories

Portion sizes used in this meal plan include:

1 cup of fruit

  • 1 small piece of fruit
  • 1 cup of raw fruit or applesauce
  • 1/2 cup of dried fruit
  • 1 cup of 100% fruit juice

1 cup of vegetables

  • 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables
  • 1 cup of vegetable juice
  • 2 cups of raw leafy greens

1 ounce of whole grains

  • ½ cup of cooked bulgur, rice, pasta, or oatmeal
  • 3 cups of popped popcorn
  • 1 cup of ready-to-eat whole-grain cereal
  • 1 slice of whole-grain bread

1 cup of dairy foods

  • 1 cup of milk
  • 1 cup of plant milk
  • 1 cup of yogurt or dairy-free yogurt
  • 2 cups of cottage cheese
  • 1 ½ ounces of cheese
  • 1/3 cup of shredded cheese

1 ounce of protein foods

  • 1 ounce of meat, chicken, turkey, fish, or seafood
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 ounce of nuts or seeds
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • 1/4 cup of cooked peas or beans
  • 1/4 cup of tofu or soybeans
  • 1 ounce of tempeh
  • 2 tablespoons of hummus
  • 1/2 of a veggie burger
  • 1/2 cup of split pea or lentil soup

1 teaspoon of oils

  • 1 teaspoon of plant oil
  • 1 teaspoon of mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon of soft tub margarine
  • 1 tablespoon of salad dressing
  • 1/2 tablespoon of nut butter
  • 1/3 ounce of nuts or seeds
  • 1/6th of an avocado
  • 8 large olives

Improve your lifestyle and nutrition by incorporating healthy meals you can eat every day.

Low-Carb Diets

Low-carb diets help reduce your overall calorie intake for weight and fat loss.

Studies show that low-carb diets enhance weight loss, fat loss, and reduced cholesterol and triglycerides after a period of 12 months.

Such diets often contain just 20-60 grams of carbohydrates per day by limiting (or eliminating) breads, pasta, rice, potatoes, cereals, sweets, sugary drinks, fruit, corn, peas, beans, and other legumes.

Diets containing very low carb intakes can be difficult to maintain long-term or lead to fatigue during weight loss.

If this is the case for you, aim to consume at least the recommended dietary allowance (RDA) of 130 grams of carbs daily from fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds.

Eliminate white bread, white rice, regular pasta, sugary drinks, and sweets, while focusing on good carbs.

Ketogenic Diets

Ketogenic diets, or keto diets, are very low-carb diets that are low in protein and very high in dietary fat.

Variations of keto diets exist and include:

Classic Keto Diets

  • 90% fat
  • 4% carbohydrates
  • 6% protein

Modified Keto Diets

  • 82% fat
  • 6% carbohydrates
  • 12% protein

Medium-Chain Triglyceride (MCT) Diets

  • 73% fat
  • 17% carbohydrates
  • 10% protein

Modified Atkins Diets

  • 65% fat
  • 5% carbohydrates
  • 30% protein

Low Glycemic Index (GI) Diets

  • 60% fat
  • 10% carbohydrates
  • 30% protein

All versions of keto diets are much higher in fat and lower in carbs than the Institute of Medicine recommends, which is a macronutrient composition of:

  • 45-65% carbohydrates
  • 20-35% fat
  • 10-35% protein

While you don’t have to stick to a strict keto diet to drop excess weight and body fat, lowering carbs and increasing protein and dietary fat can boost satiety to help reduce your overall calorie intake.

These 7 principles of nutrition are always true, no matter what your diet consists of.

Plant-Based Diets

Plant-based diets are free from animal foods like meat, poultry, fish, seafood, eggs, and dairy products.

Studies show that eliminating animal foods helps significantly reduce body weight, body fat, and improve insulin resistance.

Switching to a plant-based, vegan diet means consuming the following whole foods:

  • Vegetables
  • Peas, beans, and other legumes
  • Fruits
  • Whole Grains
  • Plant milks
  • Other plant-based dairy alternatives
  • Oils, avocados, and olives
  • Nuts, seeds, and nut butters
  • Tofu, seitan, black bean burgers, and other vegan meat substitutes

Choose a good mix of protein foods, healthy fats, and fiber-rich starches at each meal to watch excess weight and fat melt off!

FM30X Fat Loss Meal Plan

FM30X is a weight and fat loss plan for women of all ages that’s backed by research with proven success.

When you sign up for the program, you’ll receive a custom fat loss meal plan for females, recipes, fat-burning workouts, motivational support from health and fitness experts, and much more!

The basics of the meal plan are you’ll fill:

  • Half of each plate with non-starchy vegetables
  • One-fourth of each plate with protein foods
  • One-fourth of your plate with fiber-rich starches
  • A small portion of your plate with oils or other healthy fats

You'll also consume 2-3 servings of dairy foods or dairy-free plant-based alternatives daily, reduce your overall calorie intake, and complete fat-burning workouts when following the FM30X meal plan.

That's why it's so effective at melting away fat!

JOIN OUR fit mother 30X PROGRAM

FM30X is the first sustainable weight loss program designed exclusively for busy mothers just like you...




FM30X is the first sustainable weight loss program designed exclusively for *busy* mothers like you...

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Sample Fat Loss Menus for Women

Use the Fit Mother meal plan to create your own fat loss menus. Examples include:

Day 1


  • Veggie stuffed omelet made with mushrooms, onions, spinach, bell peppers, canola oil, reduced-fat cheese, and seasonings
  • Cooked oatmeal
  • Coffee or tea


  • Cottage cheese
  • Pistachios
  • Strawberries


  • Veggie burger on a whole-grain bun garnished with lettuce, tomatoes, and pickles
  • Avocado slices



  • Grilled salmon
  • Steamed broccoli
  • Wild rice
  • Olive oil

Day 2



  • Carrots, celery sticks, or cherry tomatoes
  • Hummus


  • Grilled chicken or tofu
  • A bed of leafy greens plus cucumbers, tomatoes, mushrooms, and bell peppers
  • Italian salad dressing


  • A small banana
  • Reduced-fat cheese


  • Shrimp stir fry made with shrimp, onions, peppers, broccoli, other stir fry veggies, olive oil, peanuts, and seasonings

Day 3


  • Whole-grain toast
  • Avocado slices
  • Uncured turkey bacon
  • Coffee or tea


  • Non-fat Greek yogurt
  • Blueberries
  • Walnuts


  • Tuna salad made with celery and avocado oil mayonnaise
  • Greens plus tomato and cucumber slices


  • Weight loss protein shake


  • Turkey chili recipe made with very lean ground turkey, tomatoes, onion, kidney beans, and seasonings plus avocado slices

Day 4



  • Weight loss protein shake



  • Low-fat cottage cheese
  • Fresh cherries or raspberries
  • Sliced almonds


  • Turkey taco salad made with very lean ground turkey, greens, bell peppers, kidney beans, onions, salsa, seasonings, and reduced-fat cheese or avocado slices

Tips for Making Weight Loss Sustainable

To make sure weight loss is sustainable long-term, follow the simple healthy lifestyle tips below:

Drink Water When You Wake Up

Drinking water when you wake up in the morning helps prevent dehydration, energizes you, and can boost your metabolism.

Doing so makes it easier to avoid overeating during breakfast.

Aim to drink 2-4 cups of water each morning upon waking up, and consume at least 12 cups of water or other fluids throughout the day (including 2 cups of water before meals) to maximize fat-burning.

Find out what the easiest way to drink more water every day is!

Work Out Daily

It’s OK to take a day off here and there from working out, but aim to exercise most days of the week to achieve the best fat-burning results.

Choose fat-burning workouts for women, such as high-intensity interval training (HIIT), circuit training, strength training, and continuous cardiovascular exercise.

Try yoga or Pilates too, and change up your workout routine often to tighten and tone up for summer.

Exercise at least 30 minutes (up to 60 minutes if you can) most days.

Take breaks when needed to allow your body to heal properly.

Strength training for women over 40 is important to combat muscle loss and promote longevity!

Eat a Balanced Diet

A fat-burning diet for females that’s sustainable long term is one that’s well-balanced, such as FM30X.

It helps prevent nutrient deficiencies and gives you the energy needed to complete fat-burning workouts and stay active throughout the day.

Eat plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, protein foods, dairy foods (or vegan dairy substitutes), and heart-healthy fats.

Set a Regular Sleep Schedule

Go to bed at the same time each night and allow your body to get at least 7-9 hours of sleep to recover from fat-burning workouts, keep energy levels high, and prevent unwanted body fat gains.

Weight gain is associated with sleep deprivation due to hormone fluctuations that can increase your appetite.

Try this simple technique to fall asleep and relax your mind before bed!

See a Doctor Regularly

Seeing a doctor for regular health checkups makes weight loss more sustainable long term.

If you suffer from a health condition that can hinder weight loss, such as hormone imbalance associated with aging, hypothyroidism, or depression, your doctor works with you to establish an appropriate treatment.

The doctor may also be able to treat chronic high blood pressure, high blood sugar, or high blood cholesterol to lower your risk of developing a chronic disease.

Weigh Yourself Daily

Studies show that regular, daily weigh-ins are associated with significant weight loss and more effective than less frequent weigh-ins.

Step on a scale at the same time each day and record your results to stay on track with weight and fat loss long term.

Say No to Certain Foods

Cutting back on, or better yet eliminating entirely, certain foods and drinks is the key to long-term weight loss success.

Foods to nix include alcoholic drinks, sugary drinks like soda, fried foods, white gravies, high-fat meats, processed meats, baked goods, sweets, and refined grains (white bread and white rice).

Set Goals and Reward Yourself

According to numerous studies, goal setting is associated with long-term weight loss success.

Set goals for healthy lifestyle habits, body weight, and body composition.

Aim to lose 1-2 pounds weekly and 10% of your body weight initially.

Record your waist, hip, and thigh circumferences as well to track progress over time.

Reward yourself for meeting weight and body fat goals along the way or maintaining lost weight.

Choose non-food rewards, such as new clothes in a smaller size, vacation days, a massage, pedicures, or any other activities you enjoy!

Find out how to stay on track with weight loss goals by using feedback loops!

Getting Started with Fat Loss

Studies show that joining an organized weight loss program, such as Fit Mother Project 30X (FM30X), is associated with achieving and maintaining weight loss long term.

You'll have the motivational support and accountability needed to stay on track with a healthy weight for life.

When you're ready to give it a try, sign up for the free Fit Mom Jumpstart.

Give it a try today!

Erin Coleman

Writer, The Fit Father Project & Fit Mother Project

Erin Coleman is a registered and licensed dietitian with over 15 years of freelance writing experience.

She graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in nutritional science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and completed her dietetic internship at Viterbo University in La Crosse, Wisconsin.

Prior to beginning her career in medical content writing, Erin worked as Health Educator for the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Internal Medicine.

Her published work appears on hundreds of health and fitness websites, and she’s currently working on publishing her first book! Erin is a wife, and a Mom to two beautiful children.

If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…

Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:

  • The simple & delicious Fit Mother Meal Plan with easy recipes for you and your family.
  • The metabolism-boosting Fit Mother 30X Workout (under 90 min/week) to kickstart your metabolism for fast fat burning.
  • VIP email coaching where we’ll personally walk you through the program.
Learn More About FM30X

If you’re a busy mom who wants to finally lose weight, get healthy, and actually keep the pounds off for good, this is the simple program you’ll love sticking to…

Our Fit Mother 30X Program (FM30X) is the answer you’ve been looking for. Inside FM30X, you’ll receive:

  • The simple & delicious Fit Mother Meal Plan with easy recipes for you and your family.
  • The metabolism-boosting Fit Mother 30X Workout (under 90 min/week) to kickstart your metabolism for fast fat burning.
  • VIP email coaching where we’ll personally walk you through the program.
Learn More About FM30X

*Please know that weight loss results & health changes/improvements vary from individual to individual; you may not achieve similar results. Always consult with your doctor before making health decisions. This is not medical advice – simply very well-researched info on fat loss diet plans.

Join Fit Father 30X

The World’s First Weight Loss Program for Men 40+

Lose Weight. Keep it Off.

Fit Mother Project Fact-Checking Standards

Our Fit Mother Project Team’s deepest commitment is to helping you live healthier for both yourself and your family. And when it comes to online content, integrity and trust is everything. That’s why our Fit Mother Project staff-writers are all trained professionals in the field of health and wellness (registered dieticians, licensed personal trainers, and licensed physicians) – see the full team here. We rigorously run all of our articles through a rigorous editorial process to ensure the accuracy, simplicity, and utility of the information. And we aren’t just a team of “academics” sitting in an ivory tower. We are real people – with jobs, responsibilities, and families – working hard in the trenches and testing our tips & methods out to make sure you can stay healthy for family.

Here is what you can expect from us on our Fit Mother Blog and YouTube channel:

  1. All of our content is written and reviewed by licensed health professionals (dieticians, personal trainers, doctors).
  2. In nearly all of our articles, we link to published research studies from the most respected peer-reviewed medical & health journals.
  3. We include research-based videos to accompany our articles to make it easier for you to consume our content, put it into action, and see results.
  4. Inside our articles & videos, we do promote our free meal plans, workouts, and/or paid programs, because we know they have the potential to change your life.
  5. We openly take feedback here on our contact page. We welcome your content suggestions… and even feedback on grammar (we’d like to thing that we’re pretty OK at spelling and “stuff”).
  6. Above all, we are a community of likeminded men and women committed to living healthier. We do not advocate any health advice that we wouldn’t personally implement with our families. Because as far as we’re concerned, you’re our family too.

Thanks for checking out the blog. We can’t wait to support you toward greater health, energy, and vitality.

– The Fit Mother Project Team


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