The new year is here and the insanity of the season has come to an end. As the holiday fog begins to lift from our brains, we now have more time to focus on the intentions we set for 2024. Some people may have set intentions that are health-related, like moving your body more or eating more nutritious foods, and some may have set the goal of losing a few pounds. If healthy, sustainable weight loss is on your resolutions list for the coming year, having a plan for cooking nutritious, fat-burning meals can be a good place to start.
Meals that can help you lose weight or burn fat are those that are high in nutrients like protein, fiber, or healthy fats, and relatively low in added sugars or ultra-processed ingredients. To put together a helpful meal plan, we looked at some of our favorite recipes from our site that fit the bill, and we also asked our medical expert board members Tammy Lakatos Shames, RDN, CDN, CFT, and Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT, also known as The Nutrition Twins, to choose what they think are some of the most nutritious, delicious meals you can make this coming year.
From satiating high-protein meals to filling snacks and even some sweet desserts, here's a meal plan you can turn to when you need some healthy ideas for your week. Read on, and for more tips on how you can achieve your goals this year, check out these 20 Best High-Protein, Low-Calorie Foods.
Vegetarian Black Bean Omelet
You can whip up this omelet in a matter of minutes. The protein and fat from the eggs, as well as the fiber and protein from the black beans, can help you feel satiated and full until lunch.
Get our recipe for Black Bean Omelet.
This savory boost of protein will give you sustainable energy and keep you full the whole morning. You can even save yourself more time with this meal by cutting the vegetables ahead of time and keeping them in the fridge.
Get our recipe for Breakfast Hash.
Broccoli-Cheese Eggs in a Mug
For an easy protein-packed breakfast for one, this egg-in-a-mug is versatile and easy to throw together for busy mornings during the week.
Get our recipe for Broccoli-Cheese Eggs in a Mug.
Pear Cardamom Oats Smoothie
For a tasty smoothie that's a bit different than your usual go-to, turn to this pear cardamom smoothie—packed with gut-healthy fiber thanks to the oats!
Get our recipe for Pear Cardamom Oats Smoothie.
"Made with cottage cheese, 2% Greek yogurt, and eggs that pack in satisfying protein, these whole wheat pancakes also contain bananas and the juice of a lemon, making them far from your typical refined, nutrient-lacking, calorie-loaded pancakes," says The Nutrition Twins. "With only 320 calories, they're the ideal weight loss breakfast. Top with berries or another nutrient-packed fruit to increase the antioxidants and fiber."
Get our recipe for Banana Pancakes.
"Few things are more satisfying than a sandwich and this one packs whole grain carbs, protein from eggs, turkey, and cheese, plus healthy fat from avocado, all in 380 calories. This kind of hearty satisfaction will get you through to lunch without snacking," say The Nutrition Twins.
Get our recipe for the Sunrise Sandwich.
"While most waffles are calorie bombs that would never be a part of any fat-burning eating plan, these spare the fat and calories and have all the makings of a satisfying breakfast," say The Nutrition Twins. "Eggs rank high on the satiety index scale (a rating of how filling foods are), and oats are packed with soluble fiber, providing long-lasting satisfaction and cholesterol-lowering benefits with their fiber. Plus, the combination of protein from Greek yogurt, milk protein powder, and egg makes this a recipe to keep you satisfied for hours. Step up the antioxidants and fiber by topping with berries."
Get our recipe for Protein-Packed Waffles.
Chicken Burger With Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli
These chicken burgers are so simple and can make for a tasty lunch any time of year. The high protein count and low levels of saturated fat give this recipe its health appeal, but we certainly can't deny that the Sun-Dried Tomato Aioli is the star of the show.
Get our recipe for Chicken Burger.
Healthy Turkey BLT Salad
A BLT doesn't have to be in the form of a sandwich. This salad uses low-fat ranch dressing, bacon, roasted turkey, tomato, cucumber, and whole-grain croutons to make a protein-rich lunch creation that provides a small burst of fiber as well.
Get our recipe for Turkey BLT Salad.
Chicken Fajita Burrito
"Packed with healthy ingredients like black beans, onions, bell peppers, lime, and cumin, these burritos have all the makings for a healthy meal—and with only 355 calories," say The Nutrition Twins. "Just be sure to use the chicken breast, low-fat cheese, and go heavy on top by adding extra lettuce, tomatoes, and salsa to increase the nutrients and fiber and to make the meal even more satisfying while keeping the calories low. Sprinkle chopped bell peppers on top to support the body's defenses—a bell pepper has more immune-boosting vitamin C than an orange."
Get our recipe for Chicken Fajita Burritos.
Chicken Thigh Tzatziki Bowl
Sick of the same boring lunch salad? This protein-packed meal is the perfect tasty alternative when you need to spice things up.
Get our recipe for Chicken Thigh Tzatziki Bowl.
Chicken Under a Brick
Need something to prep for the week? This recipe cooks an entire chicken—perfect for throwing together any kind of meal!
"This fast and easy recipe provides a boost of protein to keep weight loss hopefuls feeling satisfied," say The Nutrition Twins. "It's only 280 calories, so you can add an energy-revving whole grain like 1 slice whole-wheat bread or 1/2 cup cooked whole wheat pasta or quinoa to boost fiber, antioxidants, and satisfaction. Round it out by adding a couple of cups of steamed veggies."
Get our recipe for Chicken Under a Brick.
Roasted Autumn Harvest Salad
Need a new salad to try? This sweet and savory salad is the perfect lunch treat when you're bored of your usual sad desk salad.
Get our recipe for Roasted Autumn Harvest Salad.
Macaroni and Cheese
"Anyone trying to lose weight would think mac and cheese would be off-limits, but this version uses Greek yogurt and has just 360 calories, whereas many other versions easily pack 500-plus calories," say The Nutrition Twins. "To really boost the fat-blasting potential, use low-fat cheese and increase the nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants by adding tons of vegetables, like steamed broccoli, bell peppers, and cherry tomatoes into the dish—you'll eat the same size portion for fewer calories. Use whole-wheat pasta for more nutrition and fiber."
Get our recipe for Macaroni and Cheese.
Low-Fat Grilled Pork Tenderloin With Pineapple Salsa
Cook up a tasty, high-protein, low-fat meal that you'll want to keep going back to. The pork tenderloin is tender and soaks the flavors of everything right up, and it's naturally a lower-fat cut of meat with only around 2.5 grams per serving.
Get our recipe for Pork Tenderloin.
Slow Cooker Turkey Cassoulet
"This slow-cooker recipe makes the ideal fat-burning dinner with the winning combination of a low-calorie meal (324 calories) with plenty of satisfying fiber from cannellini beans and vegetables (9 grams of fiber) and satiating protein from the turkey (34 grams)," say The Nutrition Twins. "We suggest doubling up on the carrots and celery, and adding spinach and other vegetables to really boost fiber and antioxidants."
Get our recipe for Slow Cooker Turkey Cassoulet.
Honey-Mustard Glazed Salmon With Roasted Asparagus
"Salmon is one of the best ways to get inflammation-fighting omega-3 fatty acids, and less inflammation in the body is linked with less body fat," says The Nutrition Twins. "Those anti-inflammatory benefits combined with the satisfaction of this protein-packed dish that's only 370 calories per serving, creates this fat-blasting dinner winner. Add a couple extra cups of steamed vegetables like broccoli, snap peas, and cauliflower to further boost fiber and nutrients. Choose wild salmon when you can avoid PCBs and other toxins that also create inflammation in the body and that can slow fat burning. The asparagus contains prebiotic fiber to help feed the good bacteria in your gut, which also can have a positive impact on body fat loss."
Get our recipe for Honey-Mustard Glazed Salmon With Roasted Asparagus.
Grilled Mexican Steak Salad
"This low-calorie dinner packs in healthy ingredients that boast nutrients, fiber, and protein," says The Nutrition Twins. "The flank steak keeps the salad lean, while the jalapenos, red onions, cilantro, lime, tomatoes, black beans, and avocado pack in antioxidants and fiber. The vitamin C in the cilantro, lime, and tomatoes enhances the absorption of the iron in the steak. This isn't your typical hum-drum salad, the flavor and nutrient combinations make it a weight loss superstar."
Get our recipe for Grilled Mexican Steak Salad.
Simple Chicken Scaloppine
"Italian cooking and weight loss dinner don't usually go together, but this recipe proves otherwise," say The Nutrition Twins. "Wrapped in prosciutto, this Italian dish seems like a decadent splurge, but with only 280 calories, it's ideal for weight loss since it will prevent you from feeling deprived and possibly overeating something decadent later. Boost fiber, antioxidants, and nutrients by adding a few cups of vegetables to the stock while cooking to pick up the flavor of the dish without excess calories. You'll even have calories to spare, so feel free to add a whole-grain roll."
Get our recipe for Simple Chicken Scaloppine.
Easy Scallops with Chimichurri
"While scallops feel indulgent, they are a lean, healthy protein and they fall low on the mercury scale since they aren't large predators, like other fish, so you can have them several nights a week if you'd like," says The Nutrition Twins. "This simple-to-make recipe is only 200 calories, so you've got a couple hundred calories to spare. Round it out with a large colorful salad and a small baked potato (and you can even add a dollop of sour cream), you'll pack in antioxidants and energy-revving good-for-you carbs."
Get our recipe for Easy Scallops with Chimichurri.
Classic Slow Cooker Chicken Recipe in Red Wine
"All you need for this dish is chicken, wine, and veggies (well, load up on extra, extra veggies), and you can call it a day—it's super easy to make," say The Nutrition Twins. "And if you don't have a slow cooker, no problem, combine everything in a pot on the stovetop or put it in a low oven. Either way, you'll get a satisfying meal with only 365 calories. Just be sure to go to town adding extra veggies for nutrients and fiber, and to fill up with fewer calories. Try carrots, parsnips, onions, mushrooms, and wilted greens."
Get our recipe for Classic Slow Cooker Chicken Recipe in Red Wine.
Grilled Mahi Mahi Salsa Verde
"With only 280 calories, this easy-to-make fish recipe helps you to meet the recommended minimum of two servings of fish a week, boosting your omega-3 fat intake," says The Nutrition Twins. "Double up on the salsa verde for extra fiber and antioxidants and serve it on a bed of quinoa and veggies for some complex carbohydrates and extra fiber."
Get our recipe for Grilled Mahi Mahi Salsa Verde.
Roast Chicken and Vegetables with Fall Spices
Sheet pan dinners can always come to the rescue when you need a healthy, easy weeknight meal—and this one has it all. Between the crispy roasted chicken and potatoes, you'll feel full and satisfied for the rest of the night.
Get our recipe for Roast Chicken and Vegetables with Fall Spices.
Whole-Wheat Pizza with Gruyère, Pancetta, and Caramelized Onions
Friday's pizza night just got a whole lot healthier with this deliciously flavorful whole-wheat pie! Pop open a bottle of wine and enjoy cooking this on a slow weekend evening.
Get our recipe for Whole-Wheat Pizza with Gruyère, Pancetta, and Caramelized Onions.
"Lighten up this version even more and make it healthier by cutting the pasta in half and adding a few cups of broccoli, mushrooms, bell peppers, cauliflower, and a thawed box of frozen spinach and using whole wheat pasta or chickpea pasta to increase protein, fiber, and nutrients," say The Nutrition Twins. "Swap half the cheese for low-fat cheese. This lower-calorie ziti will have even fewer calories than the 410 in the 'lightened up' recipe."
Get our recipe for Baked Ziti.
Seasoned Nut Mix
It's salty, it's crunchy, it's filling—what more could you ask for when looking for a satiating afternoon snack?
Get our recipe for Seasoned Nut Mix.
This refreshing snack is the perfect sweet treat in the afternoon, or makes for a delicious summery appetizer for a crowd!
Get our recipe for Caprese Skewers.
Baked Cherry Tomato & Feta Dip
It's our take on that famous baked feta pasta trend on TikTok—but we made it a healthy dip! Dip whole-wheat pita or fresh-cut veggies for a healthy take on a classic meal.
Get our recipe for Baked Cherry Tomato & Feta Dip.
"Topped with tomatoes, garlic, and basil, bruschetta is a nutrient powerhouse," say The Nutrition Twins. "The lycopene in tomatoes eases inflammation, boosts immunity, protects the skin from the sun's harmful rays, and fights against cancer. To make the bruschetta more satisfying, top it with canned chickpeas sautéed with tomatoes and diced jalapeño for real staying power from protein and fiber. Chickpeas are an excellent source of zinc and copper and ultra-important for the growth and function of immune cells."
Get our recipe for Italian Bruschetta.
"When you're trying to blast fat, half the battle is staying on track," say The Nutrition Twins. "Having quick, easy, and tempting satisfying snacks like these sweet protein muffins makes that a breeze! Make a batch of these over the weekend and grab one or two for a snack. You'll dodge the vending machine and stay satisfied for hours."
Get our recipe for High-Protein Muffins.
Fruit-Packed Mexican Paleta
"There are few things more fun to eat than food on a stick," say The Nutrition Twins. "This frozen treat on a stick satisfies a sweet craving with just 80 calories, hardly any fat, and anti-inflammatory goodness from fruit, which helps to make your body a more efficient fat-blasting machine. Less inflammation in your body equals increased fat burning, and these pops, which you can easily make by tossing the ingredients in a blender, are your ticket."
Get our recipe for Fruit-Packed Mexican Paleta.
Banana Coconut Ice Cream
If you're a fan of "nice" cream and you're looking for something creamy to enjoy that isn't dairy-based, this banana coconut dessert is the ideal candidate for your freezer!
Get our recipe for Banana Coconut Ice Cream.
Grilled Strawberry Shortcake with Balsamic
"You'd never believe this sweet and savory, charred-on-the-grill shortcake is low in calories," say The Nutrition Twins. "And just in case your taste buds weren't already in disbelief, strawberries soaked in balsamic vinegar top this number off and squash the need for your taste buds to look beyond this indulgent-tasting fat and saturated fat-free angel food cake."
Get our recipe for Grilled Strawberry Shortcake with Balsamic.
Dark Chocolate-Covered Almond Clusters With Coconut-Matcha Sprinkle
Did you know that eating dark chocolate can make you happier and healthier? Sounds like you need to prep a batch of these dark chocolate-covered almond clusters for dessert!
Get our recipe for Dark Chocolate-Covered Almond Clusters With Coconut-Matcha Sprinkle.
Savory-Sweet Grilled Fruit Kebabs With Yogurt and Honey
"Let's face it, you can never go wrong when you serve healthy fruit as dessert, it's going to be a winner in any weight loss plan," say The Nutrition Twins. "With only 140 calories and packed with antioxidants, this dessert is pretty high up on the chart when it comes to health. Made with vitamin-C-rich peaches, pineapple, watermelon, and fresh mint, the rich Greek yogurt only makes it even healthier with a boost of protein and calcium."
Get our recipe for Savory-Sweet Grilled Fruit Kebabs With Yogurt and Honey.
This article has been updated since its original publish date to include additional copy and proofreading revisions, as well as updated contextual links.