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7 Day Extreme Weight Loss Diet Meal Plan (PDF, Menu, Alternatives)

Many extreme  weight loss diets have been created over the years to encourage people to lose weight as quickly as possible.

Although they can help you lose the weight you want, there are safer ways to achieve this that don’t impact your health.

This article will cover everything you need to know about following an extreme weight loss diet plan and give you an alternative sample 7 day plan that can still help you lose weight sustainably, safely and healthily.

You can jump straight into the 7 day pdf of the plan here.

View 7 Day First Trimester Diet Plan PDF

What is an Extreme Weight Loss Diet?

An extreme weight loss diet is intended to help you lose lots of body weight in a short period of time. This is usually in the form of severe calorie restriction.

Typically 1-2 lbs of weight loss per week is considered healthy, but extreme diets often aim for much more. 

Although it sounds great, losing this amount of weight within this period of time can cause many harmful side effects. They an cause health issues and usually won’t even help with weight loss over the long-term as they aren’t sustainable. 

Issues With Following an Extreme Weight Loss Diet

May Cause Nutrient Deficiency

As extreme diet will often result in very low calorie intake, the foods you end up eating will often be limited. 

Foods such as nuts, whole grains and healthy fats like olive oil tend to be more calorie dense, but are still very healthy choices. However, since eating these foods means you hit the calorie targets more quickly, they may not be included.

This can lead to nutritional imbalance that can impact health in various ways depending on what nutrients you are deficient in. For example:

  • Nuts usually contain unsaturated fats, vitamin E and fiber
  • Olive oil contains lots of healthy monounsaturated fats and antioxidants
  • Whole grains are rich in fiber and B vitamins

Often these foods can help weight loss over the long-term despite being higher in calories.

For example, one study found overweight women eating almonds lost 3x as much weight as the control group that did not eat almonds (1).

Another study reviewing 15 studies of roughly 120,000 people found 3 servings of daily whole grains was linked to a lower BMI and less belly fat (2).

Weight Loss May Only Be Short Term

The issue with diets that are overly restrictive is that they are difficult to follow over the long-term.

This means once you finish the diet, you revert back to old eating habits and lose any benefit that following the diet had. Some studies find that dieters often end up heavier than before they started their diet (3, 4).

Therefore, if you want to lose weight or get healthier, a better alternative is to find a diet or sustainable way of eating that you can maintain indefinitely, rather than looking for a quick fix.

Extreme diets are often usually focused on just making money and therefore, make big promises in a short amount of time in order to sell more.

When these fail since they are too extreme and not backed by science, people move onto the next fad or weight loss product.

No Scientific Proof of Benefits

There are a few types of diet that have lots of scientific studies that prove they are effective across a range of factors, from long-term weight loss to particular health markers.

These include diets such as the DASH diet, Mediterranean diet and flexitarian-style diets.

Extreme diets don’t have many, if any, studies to support their use and the studies show often this type of dieting can be bad across a number of health markers. 

For example, one study found calorie-restrictive diets lead to reduced muscle mass (5). Having less muscle can cause your metabolism to slow.

Another study found that when people quickly lost huge amounts of weight, their metabolism was slow to adapt to their new weight and when they regained weight, their metabolisms didn’t speed back up (6). 

Even if health markers can improve in the short-term because of the weight loss, unless you change your habits long-term, health markers such as blood pressure and cholesterol levels may not last.

Can Lead to Cravings & Eating Disorders

Heavy restriction can lead to cravings. Although food cravings are still being researched, it is generally thought that cutting out foods you love completely makes you want them more.

This makes extreme deprivation an unsuitable long-term strategy. 

Restrictive diets may increase the risk of developing eating disorder tendencies in people of all sizes (7).

Foods to Eat on Pregnancy Diet for First Trimester

  • Fruits. apples, pears, berries, citrus fruits like oranges
  • Vegetables. All kinds of vegetables are great, but particularly cruciferous vegetables (e.g broccoli, cauliflower)
  • Whole grains. E.g brown bread, quinoa, bulgur wheat. These are rich in fiber.
  • Beans and legumes. E.g chickpeas, lentils, black beans. These are excellent plant-based proteins
  • Lean meat. E.g fish, chicken, turkey.
  • Low-fat dairy. E.g milk, eggs, yogurt. These contain less saturated fat than full-fat dairy, but be sure to check the labels for extra added sugars
  • Nuts and seeds. E.g almonds, walnuts, pistachios, flaxseeds and chia seeds.
  • Extra-virgin Olive oil. Choose extra-virgin varieties, which aren’t diluted with cheaper oils.
  • Fatty fish. E.g salmon, mackerel, tuna, herring.

All of these foods are highly nutritious and make up a balanced diet that’s great during your first trimester

Foods to Limit on a Pregnancy Diet Plan for First Trimester

By all means, treat yourself occasionally – but don’t make a habit of eating these foods regularly:

  • Junk foods: fast food and potato chips
  • Refined carbohydrates: white bread, pasta, crackers, flour tortillas, biscuits
  • Fried foods: french fries, donuts, fried meats
  • Sugar-sweetened beverages: soda, tea with added sugar, sports drinks
  • Processed meats: bacon, canned meat, salami, sausages
  • Trans fats: vegetable oil and margarine

What’s the Best Alternative Diet Compared to an Extreme Diet?

You’ll want to follow a diet plan that still allows you to lose weight, but in a sustainable, more gradual manner. This makes it a far more healthy way to eat and stops any yo-yo dieting that typically occurs with extreme diets.

Many experts recommend choosing a Mediterranean diet to follow both because of how healthy it is and how sustainable it is to follow over the long-term. US News ranked it as the number 1 diet.

Many credible organizations suggest following a Mediterranean diet for longevity and health. These include:

Many studies find very positive feedback from people following the Mediterranean diet across a number of different health markers. We’ve listed some studies alongside the health conditions below.

  • Lower risk of cardiovascular events, coronary heart disease,  (89)
  • Lower risk of coronary heart disease (1011)
  • Lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes (12)
  • Lower risk of breast cancer (13)
  • Lower risk of obesity (14)
  • Better cognitive function (15)

How to Follow a Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean diet pyramid below gives a good visual indication of what foods to prioritize.

At the bottom are common staple foods that are to be consumed in large amounts and more frequently. Portion sizes and frequency decline as you go up the pyramid.

The pyramid intentionally does not specify recommended weights of foods or calories. It is only meant to provide an overall look at healthy food choices and their relative proportions.

It does this because good health has been attributed to variation within the overall dietary pattern. The more variety you get within the specified relative allowances per category – the better.

7 Day Alternative Diet Plan

7 Day Alternative Sample Menu

In the meal plan are recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner.

 BreakfastLunchDinner
MondayBanana Yogurt PotsCannellini Bean SaladQuick Moussaka
TuesdayTomato and Watermelon SaladEdgy Veggie WrapsSpicy Tomato Baked Eggs
WednesdayBlueberry Oats BowlCarrot, Orange and Avocado SaladSalmon with Potatoes and Corn Salad
ThursdayBanana Yogurt PotsMixed Bean SaladSpiced Carrot and Lentil Soup
FridayTomato and Watermelon SaladPanzanella SaladMed Chicken, Quinoa and Greek Salad
SaturdayBlueberry Oats BowlQuinoa and Stir Fried VegGrilled Vegetables with Bean Mash
SundayBanana Yogurt PotsMoroccan Chickpea SoupSpicy Mediterranean Beet Salad

Snacks are recommended between meal times. Some good snacks include:

  • A handful of nuts or seeds
  • A piece of fruit
  • Carrots or baby carrots
  • Berries or grapes

View 7 Day First Trimester Diet Plan PDF

7 Day Plan of Recipes

Day 1: Monday

Breakfast: Banana Yogurt Pots

Nutrition

  • Calories – 236
  • Protein – 14g
  • Carbs – 32g
  • Fat – 7g

Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 225g /⅞ cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 bananas, sliced into chunks
  • 15g / 2 tbsp walnuts, toasted and chopped

Instructions

  1. Place some of the yogurt into the bottom of a glass. Add a layer of banana, then yogurt and repeat. Once the glass is full, scatter with the nuts.

Lunch: Cannellini Bean Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories – 302
  • Protein – 20g
  • Carbs – 54g
  • Fat – 0g

Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 600g / 3 cups cannellini beans
  • 70g / ⅜ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced
  • ½ tbsp red wine vinegar
  • small bunch basil, torn

Instructions

  1. Rinse and drain the beans and mix with the tomatoes, onion and vinegar. Season, then add basil just before serving.

Dinner: Moussaka

Nutrition

  • Calories – 577
  • Protein – 27g
  • Carbs – 46g
  • Fat – 27g

Prep time + cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 250g / 9 oz lean beef mince
  • 200g can / 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 200g can / 1 cup chickpeas
  • 100g pack / ⅔ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • Mint (fresh preferable)
  • Brown bread, to serve

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a pan. Add the onion and garlic and fry until soft. Add the mince and fry for 3-4 minutes until browned.
  2. Tip the tomatoes into the pan and stir in the tomato purée and cinnamon, then season. Leave the mince to simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chickpeas halfway through.
  3.  Sprinkle the feta and mint over the mince. Serve with toasted bread.

View 7 Day First Trimester Diet Plan PDF

Day 2: Tuesday

Breakfast: Tomato and Watermelon Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories – 177
  • Protein – 5g
  • Carbs – 13g
  • Fat – 13g

Prep time + cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • ¼ tsp chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp chopped mint
  • 120g / ⅝ cup tomatoes, chopped
  • ½ watermelon, cut into chunks
  • 50g / ⅔ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. For the dressing, Mix the oil, vinegar, chilli flakes and mint and then season.
  2. Put the tomatoes and watermelon into a bowl. Pour over the dressing, add the feta, then serve.

Lunch: Edgy Veggie Wraps

Nutrition

  • Calories – 310
  • Protein – 11g
  • Carbs – 39g
  • Fat – 11g

Prep time + cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 100g / ½ cup cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cucumber
  • 6 Kalamata olives
  • 2 large wholemeal tortilla wraps
  • 50g / ¼ cup feta cheese
  • 2 tbsp hummus

Instructions

  1. Chop the tomatoes, cut the cucumber into sticks, split the olives and remove the stones.
  2. Heat the tortillas.
  3. Spread the houmous over the wrap. Put the vegetable mix in the middle and roll up.

Dinner: Spicy Tomato Baked Eggs

Nutrition

  • Calories – 417
  • Protein – 19g
  • Carbs – 45g
  • Fat – 17g

Prep time + cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 red onions, chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded & chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced
  • small bunch coriander, stalks and leaves chopped separately
  • 800g can / 4 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 4 eggs
  • brown bread, to serve

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a frying pan with a lid, then cook the onions, chilli, garlic and coriander stalks for 5 minutes until soft. Stir in the tomatoes, then simmer for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Using the back of a large spoon, make 4 dips in the sauce, then crack an egg into each one. Put a lid on the pan, then cook over a low heat for 6-8 mins, until the eggs are done to your liking. Scatter with the coriander leaves and serve with bread.

View 7 Day First Trimester Diet Plan PDF

Day 3: Wednesday

Breakfast: Blueberry Oats Bowl

Nutrition

  • Calories – 235
  • Protein – 13g
  • Carbs – 38g
  • Fat – 4g

Prep time + cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 60g / ⅔ cup porridge oats
  • 160g / ⅗ cup Greek yogurt
  • 175g / ¾ blueberries
  • 1 tsp honey

Instructions

  1. Put the oats in a pan with 400ml of water. Heat and stir for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and add a third of the yogurt.
  2. Tip the blueberries into a pan with the honey and 1 tbsp of water. Gently poach until the blueberries are tender.
  3. Spoon the porridge into bowls and add the remaining yogurt and blueberries.

Lunch: Carrot, Orange and Avocado Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories – 177
  • Protein – 5g
  • Carbs – 13g
  • Fat – 13g

Prep time + cook time: 5 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 orange, plus zest and juice of 1
  • 2 carrots, halved lengthways and sliced with a peeler
  • 35g / 1 ½ cups rocket / arugula
  • 1 avocado, stoned, peeled and sliced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Instructions

  1. Cut the segments from 1 of the oranges and put in a bowl with the carrots, rocket/arugula and avocado. Whisk together the orange juice, zest and oil. Toss through the salad, and season.

Dinner: Salmon with Potatoes and Corn Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories – 479
  • Protein – 43g
  • Carbs – 27g
  • Fat – 21g

Prep time + cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 200g / 1 ⅓ cups baby new potatoes
  • 1 sweetcorn cob
  • 2 skinless salmon fillets
  • 60g / ⅓ cup tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • Bunch of spring onions/scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp capers, finely chopped
  • handful basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Cook potatoes in boiling water until tender, adding corn for final 5 minutes. Drain & cool.
  2. For the dressing, mix the vinegar, oil, shallot, capers, basil & seasoning.
  3. Heat grill to high. Rub some dressing on salmon & cook, skinned side down, for 7-8 minutes. Slice tomatoes & place on a plate. Slice the potatoes, cut the corn from the cob & add to plate. Add the salmon & drizzle over the remaining dressing.

View 7 Day First Trimester Diet Plan PDF

Day 4: Thursday

Breakfast: Banana Yogurt Pots

Lunch: Mixed Bean Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories – 240
  • Protein – 11g
  • Carbs – 22g
  • Fat – 12g

Prep time + cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 145g / ⅘ cup jar artichoke heart in oil
  • ½ tbsp sundried tomato paste
  • ½ tsp red wine vinegar
  • 200g can / 1 cup cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 150g / ¾ cup tomatoes, quartered
  • handful Kalamata black olives
  • 2 spring onions, thinly sliced on the diagonal
  • 100g / ⅔ cup feta cheese, crumbled

Instructions

  1. Drain the jar of artichokes, reserving 1-2 tbsp of oil. Add the oil, sun-dried tomato paste and vinegar and stir until smooth. Season to taste.
  2. Chop the artichokes and tip into a bowl. Add the cannellini beans, tomatoes, olives, spring onions and half of the feta cheese. Stir in the artichoke oil mixture and tip into a serving bowl. Crumble over the remaining feta cheese, then serve.

Dinner: Spiced Carrot and Lentil Soup

Nutrition

  • Calories – 238
  • Protein – 11g
  • Carbs – 34g
  • Fat – 7g

Prep time + cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • pinch chilli flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 300g /2 cups carrots, washed and coarsely grated
  • 70g / ⅓ cup split red lentils
  • 500ml / 2 ¼ cups hot vegetable stock
  • 60ml / ¼ cup milk
  • Greek yogurt, to serve

Instructions

  1. Heat a large saucepan and dry fry the cumin seeds and chilli flakes for 1 minute. Scoop out about half of the seeds with a spoon and set aside. Add the oil, carrot, lentils, stock and milk to the pan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes until the lentils have swollen and softened.
  2. Whizz the soup with a stick blender or in a food processor until smooth. Season to taste and finish with a dollop of Greek yogurt and a sprinkling of the reserved toasted spices.

View 7 Day First Trimester Diet Plan PDF

Day 5: Friday

Breakfast: Tomato and Watermelon Salad

Lunch: Panzanella Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories – 452
  • Protein – 6g
  • Carbs – 37g
  • Fat – 25g

Prep time + cook time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 400g / 2 cups tomatoes
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp capers, drained and rinsed
  • 1 ripe avocado, stoned, peeled and chopped
  • 1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 2 slices of brown bread
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • small handful basil leaves

Instructions

  1. Chop the tomatoes and put them in a bowl. Season well and add the garlic, capers, avocado and onion. Mix well and set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, tear the bread into chunks and place in a bowl. Drizzle over half of the olive oil and half of the vinegar. When ready to serve, scatter tomatoes and basil leaves and drizzle with remaining oil and vinegar. Stir before serving.

Dinner: Med Chicken, Quinoa and Greek Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories – 473
  • Protein – 36g
  • Carbs – 57g
  • Fat – 25g

Prep time + cook time: 20 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 100g / ⅗ cup quinoa
  • ½ red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 150g / ¾ cup tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • handful pitted black kalamata olives
  • ½ red onion, finely sliced
  • 50g / ½ cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • small bunch mint leaves, chopped
  • juice and zest ½ lemon

Instructions

  1. Cook the quinoa following the pack instructions, then rinse in cold water and drain thoroughly.
  2. Meanwhile, toss the chicken fillets in the olive oil with some seasoning, chilli and garlic. Lay in a hot pan and cook for 3-4 minutes each side or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and set aside
  3. Next, tip the tomatoes, olives, onion, feta and mint into a bowl. Toss in the cooked quinoa. Stir through the remaining olive oil, lemon juice and zest, and season well. Serve with the chicken on top.

View 7 Day First Trimester Diet Plan PDF

Day 6: Saturday

Breakfast: Blueberry Oats Bowl

Lunch: Quinoa and Stir Fried Veg

Nutrition

  • Calories – 473
  • Protein – 11g
  • Carbs – 56g
  • Fat – 25g

Prep time + cook time: 30 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 100g / ⅗ cup quinoa
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, cut into thin sticks
  • 150g / 1 ⅔ leek, sliced
  • 1 broccoli head, cut into small florets
  • 50g / ¼ cup tomatoes
  • 100ml / ¼ cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tsp tomato purée
  • juice ½ lemon

Instructions

  1. Cook the quinoa according to pack instructions. Meanwhile, heat 3 tbsp of the oil in a pan, then add the garlic and quickly fry for 1 minute. Throw in the carrots, leeks and broccoli, then stir-fry for 2 minutes until everything is glistening.
  2. Add the tomatoes, mix together the stock and tomato purée, then add to the pan. Cover and cook for 3 minutes. Drain the quinoa and toss in the remaining oil and lemon juice. Divide between warm plates and spoon the vegetables on top.

Dinner: Grilled Vegetables with Bean Mash

Nutrition

  • Calories – 314
  • Protein – 19g
  • Carbs – 33g
  • Fat – 16g

Prep time + cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 pepper, deseeded & quartered
  • 1 aubergine, sliced lengthways
  • 2 courgettes, sliced lengthways
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • For the mash
  • 400g / 2 cups haricot beans, rinsed
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 100ml / ½ cup vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander

Instructions

  1. Heat the grill. Arrange the vegetables over a grill pan &brush lightly with oil. Grill until lightly browned, turn them over, brush again with oil, then grill until tender.
  2. Meanwhile, put the beans in a pan with garlic and stock. Bring to the boil, then simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes. Mash roughly with a potato masher. Divide the vegetables and mash between 2 plates, drizzle over oil and sprinkle with black pepper and coriander.

View 7 Day First Trimester Diet Plan PDF

Day 7: Sunday

Breakfast: Banana Yogurt Pots

Lunch: Moroccan Chickpea Soup

Nutrition

  • Calories – 408
  • Protein – 15g
  • Carbs – 63g
  • Fat – 11g

Prep time + cook time: 25 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 1 celery sticks, chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 300ml / 1 ¼ cups hot vegetable stock
  • 200g can / 1 cup chopped tomatoes
  • 200g can / 1 cup chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 50g / ¼ cup frozen broad beans
  • zest and juice ½ lemon
  • coriander & bread to serve

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan, then fry the onion and celery for 10 minutes until softened. Add the cumin and fry for another minute.
  2. Turn up the heat, then add the stock, tomatoes, chickpeas and black pepper. Simmer for 8 minutes. Add broad beans and lemon juice and cook for a further 2 minutes. Top with lemon zest and coriander.

Dinner: Spicy Mediterranean Beet Salad

Nutrition

  • Calories – 548
  • Protein – 23g
  • Carbs – 58g
  • Fat – 20g

Prep time + cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients (for 2 people)

  • 8 raw baby beetroots, or 4 medium, scrubbed
  • ½ tbsp sumac
  • ½ tbsp ground cumin
  • 400g can / 2 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ tsp lemon zest
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
  • 200g / ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp harissa paste
  • 1 tsp crushed red chilli flakes
  • mint leaves, chopped, to serve

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/ gas 7. Halve or quarter beetroots depending on size. Mix spices together. On a large baking tray, mix chickpeas and beetroot with the oil. Season with salt & sprinkle over the spices. Mix again. Roast for 30 minutes.
  2. While the vegetables are cooking, mix the lemon zest and juice with the yogurt. Swirl the harissa through and spread into a bowl. Top with the beetroot & chickpeas, and sprinkle with the chilli flakes & mint.

View 7 Day First Trimester Diet Plan PDF

Alternative Diet Plan Shopping List

This shopping list corresponds to the 7 day plan, serving 2 people. No snacks are included.

View 7 Day First Trimester Diet Plan PDF

Life After the Meal Plan

Find More Recipes On Our Site

Your journey doesn’t end after 7 days of healthy recipes. It’s about finding recipes that can become staples in your household and creating eating habits that actually last.

We’ve got plenty of recipes online already. Just use the search function on our home page if you’re looking for a specific ingredient or check out our recipe page.

Disclosure

We would like to take a moment to note that this post is for information purposes only. It does not claim to provide medical advice or to be able to treat any medical condition. If you have any concerns regarding your health please contact your medical practitioner before making changes.