Sample Fat Loss Diet 1 – Vegetarian

For the past two months I have been saying pretty much the same thing over and over again.

Eat clean, quick and tasty meals three to four times a day –  Include lots of vegetables – Drop the grains – Increase the good fat intake – Have a cheat meal once a week – Workout 3-5 times a week.

Now from a nutrition/diet stand point how does all this come together to form a days worth of food? Here is an example.


–       Goal: Fat loss, improved endurance & strength maintenance

–       Trainee is male, between 17-35 yr old, 185 lbs, 5′ 9″ and wants to lose ~ 15 lbs. Body fat percentage unknown.

–       Trainee works out 4-5 days a week with 2-3 days of weight training. Training is done between lunch and dinner.

–       Trainee is vegetarian. Eggs and dairy are OK. No meat, no poultry, no seafood.

General Notes:

* Women can use the same diet. Calorie intake should be reduced based on body weight. More tofu can be included.

–       3-5 meals a day. Portion control is recommended. Calorie counting is not.

–       1900-2100 total calories per day (= Body weight in lbs x 10-11 calories)

–       Protein

  • To be included in every meal. A total of ~ 150 gms per day.
  • Sources: eggs, whey protein powder, cottage cheese, cheese, milk

–       Carbohydrates

  • To be kept to bare minimum. A total of < 100 gms per day.
  • Sources: vegetables, fruits (only post workout), milk

–       Fats

  • To be included in every meal. Should account for ~ 50% of daily calories.
  • Sources: Olive oil, coconut oil, shredded coconut, macadamia nuts, almonds, avocado, egg yolk, flax seeds, walnuts, whole milk, butter, sour cream

–       One moderately sized cheat meal per week (< 600 calories). Cheat meal should preferably be immediately after workout session.

–       2-3 liters of water per day. More if possible.

Meal 1: [Breakfast]

–       Cocoa-Coffee Almond Smoothie

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • ¼ cup dry roasted almonds
  • ½ tbls cocoa
  • 1 tsp instant coffee


–       Banana Walnut  Smoothie

  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • ¼ cup walnuts
  • 1 ripe banana


  • ~ 500 calories, 35 gm protein
  • 5 min prep time

Meal 2: [Lunch]

–       Monster Veggie Omelet

  • 3 whole eggs + 2 egg whites
  • 1 cup cut mixed vegetables (spinach, mushrooms, bell peppers etc.)
  • ½ avocado
  • 2 slices cheese (or 2 ounces if weighing)
  • 1 tbls olive oil


–       Scramble de Amigos

  • 2 whole eggs + 3 egg whites
  • ½cup salsa vegetables (onion, tomato, jalapeno)
  • 2 slices cheese (or 2 ounces if weighing) as topping
  • 1 tbls sour cream, ½ cup beans & ½ avocado on the side


  • ~ 650 calories, ~45 gm protein

Meal 3: [Post-workout meal]

–       Post-workout shake

  • 1 scoop whey protein powder in water
  • 1 medium fruit or 1 cup mixed fruit


  • 25 gm protein
  • Should be consumed within 60 min after workout.

Meal 4: [Dinner]

–       Asian Vegetable Stir-Fry

  • 2 cups cut mixed vegetables (peppers, green onions, scallions, red cabbage etc.)
  • ¼ cup cashew nuts
  • 1 tbls olive oil
  • 2 tbls soy sauce

–       1 cup cottage cheese (preferably the unsalted kind)


–       Chili Paneer with Mixed Vegetables

  • 2 cups cut mixed vegetables (peppers, green onions, scallions, red cabbage etc.)
  • ¼ cup cashew nuts
  • 1 tbls olive oil
  • 3-5 ounces paneer


–       The Big-Ass Salad

  • 1 cup baby spinach
  • 1 cup vegetables sauteed in butter (peppers,  scallions, red cabbage etc.)
  • ¼ cup mixed nuts (dry roasted is fine)
  • 2 ounces shredded cheese
  • 2 ounces grilled tofu/paneer
  • 1 hard-boiled egg
  • 1 tbls olive oil + 1 tbls balsamic vinegar (dressing)
  • Top with fresh blueberries or strawberries


  • ~ 600 calories, ~ 30 gm protein


  • 1 scoop whey protein powder in water


  • 2 strings/slices/ounces of unprocessed cheese


  • Snack only if required.
  • Stick to protein rich sources.


–       This diet is just a sample. Increase or decrease total calories depending on activity level.

–       These recipes are just basic ideas. Please modify based on what is available in your pantry and what is considered awesome by your taste buds.


PS: Photo taken from this website. No idea where they got it from.

29 responses to “Sample Fat Loss Diet 1 – Vegetarian

  1. Sukanya July 20, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    That helps!! Often times, its an annoying task to come up with vegetarian diet recipes. It’s easier when someone else spells it out for you 🙂

  2. mssriram July 20, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Awesome! I could use the cocoa-coffee almond smoothie right about now!

  3. Sukanya July 20, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    Is there something like too much protein? What would be the recommended grams of protein to consume on a workout/non workout day?

    • RG July 20, 2010 at 5:50 pm

      Protein should be ~ 0.75 gm per pound of body mass on both workout days and rest days when you workout consistently. When you dont workout… say you for about 2-3 weeks or so… drop it down to ~ 0.6 gm per pound of body mass.

      Whatever be the case… get plenty of water.

  4. Pramod July 20, 2010 at 4:45 pm

    This is very useful. Thanks Raj.

  5. Viki July 20, 2010 at 4:53 pm

    What are your thoughts about beans? pinto / cannellini / ….

    I’ve been hearing awesome things about Quinoa for a good grain that’s protein rich as well.

    • RG July 20, 2010 at 5:53 pm

      Beans are fine except for their lectin content. This could lead to leaky gut issues in most folks.

      Quinoa is a great substitute for the usual wheat and rice. It also has a little protein (~4 gm per 100 cals)… but more importantly the protein in it is believed to be a complete protein (something you dont find in vegetable protein sources). All said and done… it still is a grain and it has the same negatives as any other grain… and contributes to a significant amount of carbs per serving.

    • RG July 21, 2010 at 9:41 pm

      More detailed answer to your questions Viki…

  6. Arch July 21, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    Hey Raj,

    Thanks for the sample meal. A couple of questions:
    – Why do you not recommend working out first thing in the morning?
    – If I ate all the cheese / oil you recommend, I feel like I’ll be the size of a house. As well, my body doesn’t seem to function without carbs (whole grain bread/whole wheat roti/brown rice etc.), do I really HAVE to get rid of fairly “healthy” carbs? (or is there no such thing)


  7. Lavanya July 26, 2010 at 8:20 am

    Hey super! It is so hard finding proper meal plans for vegetarians and this is brill! Ta!

  8. prabhu September 12, 2010 at 1:30 am

    good one bro. I was doing quite good when I was at ISB gymming everyday and almost had my 6 packs.. but have slagged for the last few months with a desk job. 🙂 this article was good and I think would help me start in a clean fashion..I never used to care about what I ate and hence my food was all sugar/salt, cheese. When I used to exercise I didnt worry but I guess now I should take care.. the video on Ernestine was awesome..truly inspirational. keep it going . 🙂

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  11. Manasi March 5, 2011 at 9:20 pm

    Hi Raj,
    Stumbled on ur blog thru jugalbandi. I am so inspired by all u have blogged about.
    When I first heard of the grain free diet, I shook my head and said IMPOSSIBLE, but I stand corrected , I have followed the Jugalbandits blog and I can see a positive change. I’d like to try this too My questions are:
    1- Can this be done phase by phase? I mean, can I make gradual changes to go grain free?
    2- My problem is I am a vegetarian and do not eat eggs, so is there some way I can make up for the loss of protein I would get otherwise thru an egg?
    3- I have a small child (and a traveling husband) so I find it very difficult to squeeze a workout leaving the child behind. is walking a substitute? if yes, how much?

    • RG March 7, 2011 at 12:06 am

      1. Definitely can be done phase by phase. Check my post on Transitioning to clean eating for more info.
      2. Vegetarian + no eggs is hard. But your choices are paneer, whey, yogurt, milk, fermented tofu, veggies, butter, ghee, coconut oil, olive oil, coconut milk, avocados, limited nuts. Add in some pre-soaked beans and you’re good to go.
      3. Walking is not a substitute for working out per se but is def better than nothing. Walk as much as you can. Stay as active as you can.

      If you need more specific advice, send me an email for a consultation request.

  12. Manasi March 7, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Thank U SO much! I am quite enthusiastic about this and will soon make a gradual transition.
    1 question: fermented tofu is the same as tofu ( as found in stores), right?

  13. Shubha March 14, 2011 at 3:05 pm

    Awesome…….. this is what I was looking for…. a Smaple menu…:D Can i substitute the egg omelette with Tofu? My hubby doesnt eat egg. and Also how much time shud one workout in the gym?? can u please tell me?

    • RG March 15, 2011 at 2:31 pm

      sure but I dont recommend much tofu… and definitely not for men!

      time at the gym – depends on what you’re doing. if you’re on the elliptical machine… then you’re better off not going to the gym!

  14. Shubha March 15, 2011 at 5:01 pm

    Okie Now I am completely convinced I want to, I need to and I can go grain free…. but again the question is how should I start it??? Should I start by shopping smart…alone?

    How can i start incorporating this into my daily lifestyle?

    U gave some lovely pointers… I hope to come back to u soon and say that I am eating real and I am so happy 🙂

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  16. Pooja April 28, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    Very interesting. I have come across conflicting information about legumes (beans, peas and lentils). Some say they are a great source of protein, others list them as carbs. The latter categorization was worrisome because Daal-Rice or Roti-Rice has been somewhat ingrained as a *balanced* combo of carbs and proteins.
    I noticed there weren’t any legumes in the menu you created but you do reccomend tofu. What are your thoughts on fresh/green beans and peas versus the dried variety versus legume-based products?

  17. Varali May 25, 2011 at 8:15 am

    Hi – May I ask what “starchy vegetables” might include? I am assuming potatoes aren’t recommended, so which others are?

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