7-Day No-Sugar High-Protein Vegetarian Meal Plan


If you’re currently following a vegetarian diet or are considering eating more plant-based proteins, you may wonder if you’ll be able to get enough protein. It’s a valid concern—protein is made up of amino acids, often dubbed the building blocks of protein, and plays a vital role in all areas of the body, including muscle strength, bone density and digestion. Fortunately, there are plenty of plant-based and vegetarian protein options out there, which makes getting adequate protein both feasible and delicious. When protein-rich meat is off the table, it becomes more important to focus on eating a variety of healthy vegetarian protein sources, such as beans, lentils, nuts, dairy, eggs, soy and whole grains. 


In this high-protein meal plan, we focus on vegetarian sources of this vital nutrient by including a variety of protein-rich foods. Each day provides at least 75 grams of protein plus 28 grams of fiber for satisfying meals. We opted to skip added sugars and instead focus on nutrient-rich foods, including foods with natural sugars such as fruit, vegetables and unsweetened dairy. Added sugars are those added during food processing and go by several names on the ingredient list, such as high fructose corn syrup, honey, maple syrup and granulated sugar. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the average American consumes 17 teaspoons of added sugars each day. Though added sugars and sweets can certainly have their place in a healthy diet pattern, most people eat more added sugars than they realize. It’s worth looking at some of the foods in your pantry and seeing where added sugars are making their way into your daily routine. Because they don’t offer much, if any, nutritional benefits, they can add excess calories and displace more nutritious options. 


Because people often follow meal plans to lose weight, we set this plan at 1,500 calories a day, a level where many people will experience healthy, gradual weight loss. We also included modifications for 1,200 and 2,000 calories a day for those with other calorie needs. As with all meal plans, this is meant to serve as a framework for a healthy eating plan. Check out our vegetarian recipes, and feel free to swap snacks or meals as it works best for your routine. Aiming to eat more plant-based proteins but still want to include meat in your routine? The flexitarian diet can be a great option. 





Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet 

Whether you plan to cut out meat entirely or are simply aiming to reduce your meat intake, there are several benefits to eating more plant-based and vegetarian protein options. People who eat more vegetarian proteins tend to get more fiber than those who eat only meat proteins, thanks largely to the high-fiber content of foods like beans, lentils, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Likely related to the higher fiber intake, people who eat more plant-based proteins may also have improved heart health and a decreased risk of developing diabetes. Plus, research shows that eating more fiber, independent of other diet changes, can aid weight loss efforts.





High-Protein Vegetarian Foods to Focus On:

  • Beans and lentils
  • Nuts, including natural nut butters
  • Seeds (chia, flax, hemp, pumpkin and more)
  • Peas
  • Dairy (such as cheese, unsweetened yogurt, kefir and cottage cheese)
  • Whole grains (such as oats, quinoa, bulgur, brown rice, freekeh and whole wheat)
  • Soy, tofu, edamame
  • Seitan
  • Tempeh
  • Eggs



How to Meal-Prep Your Week of Meals:

  1. Make Lemony Lentil Soup with Chard to have for lunch on Days 2 through 5. 
  2. Make No-Sugar-Added Vegan Oatmeal Cookies to have for snacks throughout the week.



Day 1

Breakfast (384 calories)



A.M. Snack (125 calories)

  • 1 string cheese, mozzarella, low-moisture, part-skim (or 1-oz. slice cheese of choice)
  • 1 clementine


Lunch (501 calories)



P.M. Snack (82 calories)

  • ¾ cup low-fat plain kefir


Dinner (407 calories)



Daily Totals: 1,497 calories, 60g fat, 77g protein, 172g carbohydrate, 28g fiber, 1,800mg sodium


Make it 1,200 calories: Omit banana at breakfast, string cheese at A.M. snack and yogurt at lunch.


Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 serving Raspberry-Kefir Power Smoothie to breakfast and 1 serving Peanut Butter & Hemp Banana to P.M. snack.



Day 2

Jason Donnelly

Breakfast (318 calories)



A.M. Snack (130 calories)

  • ⅔ cup low-fat plain strained Greek-style yogurt
  • ¼ cup blueberries


Lunch (365 calories)



P.M. Snack (268 calories)

  • ¼ cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds
  • 1 medium orange


Dinner (433 calories)



Daily Totals: 1,513 calories, 63g fat, 81g protein, 175g carbohydrate, 32g fiber, 1,461mg sodium


Make it 1,200 calories: Omit yogurt at A.M. snack and almonds at P.M. snack.


Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 serving Peanut Butter & Hemp Banana to breakfast, 3 Tbsp. chopped walnuts to A.M. snack and ¼ cup guacamole to dinner.



Day 3

Fred Hardy

Breakfast (368 calories)

  • 1 cup low-fat plain strained Greek-style yogurt
  • 1 medium peach, sliced (or fruit of choice)
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped nuts, such as walnuts or almonds


A.M. Snack (155 calories)

  • 2 large hard-boiled eggs
  • Pinch of salt & pepper


Lunch (365 calories)



P.M. Snack (62 calories)



Dinner (572 calories)



Daily Totals: 1,522 calories, 62g fat, 77g protein, 175g carbohydrate, 29g fiber, 1,773mg sodium


Make it 1,200 calories: Reduce to 1 Tbsp. chopped nuts at breakfast and change dinner to 1 serving Vegetarian Chopped Power Salad with Creamy Cilantro Dressing.


Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 medium banana to A.M. snack, ¼ cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds to P.M. snack and 1 serving No-Sugar-Added Vegan Oatmeal Cookies to evening snack.



Day 4

Breakfast (318 calories)



A.M. Snack (141 calories)

  • ⅔ cup low-fat plain strained Greek-style yogurt
  • ½ cup raspberries


Lunch (365 calories)



P.M. Snack (230 calories)



Dinner (449 calories)



Daily Totals: 1,503 calories, 49g fat, 84g protein, 198g carbohydrate, 28g fiber, 1,626mg sodium


Make it 1,200 calories: Omit yogurt at A.M. snack and change P.M. snack to 1 clementine. 


Make it 2,000 Calories: Add 1 serving Salsa Scrambled Eggs to breakfast, 3 Tbsp. chopped walnuts to A.M. snack and 1 medium apple to lunch.



Day 5

Jacob Fox

Breakfast (368 calories)

  • 1 cup low-fat plain strained Greek-style yogurt
  • 1 medium peach, sliced (or fruit of choice)
  • 3 Tbsp. chopped nuts, such as walnuts or almonds


A.M. Snack (155 calories)

  • 2 large hard-boiled eggs
  • Pinch of salt & pepper


Lunch (365 calories)



P.M. Snack (35 calories)



Dinner (588 calories)



Daily Totals: 1,511 calories, 69g fat, 80g protein, 155g carbohydrate, 28g fiber, 1,713mg sodium


Make it 1,200 calories: Change A.M. snack to ½ cup blueberries and change dinner to Chickpea, Artichoke & Avocado Salad with Apple-Cider Dressing.


Make it 2,000 calories: Add 1 medium apple to A.M. snack, ¼ cup dry-roasted unsalted almonds to P.M. snack and 1 serving No-Sugar-Added Vegan Oatmeal Cookies to evening snack.



Day 6

photographer: Jennifer Causey, food stylist: Ali Ramee, prop stylist: Claire Spollen



Breakfast (318 calories)



A.M. Snack (141 calories)

  • ⅔ cup low-fat plain strained Greek-style yogurt
  • ½ cup raspberries


Lunch (334 calories)



P.M. Snack (230 calories)



Dinner (402 calories)



Evening Snack (88 calories)



Daily Totals: 1,513 calories, 54g fat, 78g protein, 193g carbohydrate, 30g fiber, 1,469mg sodium


Make it 1,200 calories: Omit yogurt at A.M. snack and change P.M. snack to 1 clementine. 


Make it 2,000 calories: Add 3 Tbsp. chopped walnuts to A.M. snack, ½ cup low-fat plain kefir to lunch, 1 serving Traditional Greek Salad to dinner and increase to 2 cookies (1 serving) No-Sugar-Added Vegan Oatmeal Cookies at evening snack.



Day 7

Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Emily Nabors Hall, Prop Stylist: Josh Hoggle

Breakfast (384 calories)



A.M. Snack (125 calories)

  • ⅔ cup low-fat plain strained Greek-style yogurt
  • ¼ cup raspberries


Lunch (334 calories)



P.M. Snack (88 calories)



Dinner (555 calories)



Daily Totals: 1,486 calories, 58g fat, 75g protein, 183g carbohydrate, 28g fiber, 1,630mg sodium


Make it 1,200 calories: Omit banana at breakfast and yogurt at A.M. snack plus change P.M. snack to ½ cup blueberries.


Make it 2,000 calories: Add 3 Tbsp. chopped walnuts to A.M. snack, ½ cup low-fat plain kefir to lunch and increase to 2 cookies (1 serving) No-Sugar-Added Vegan Oatmeal Cookies at P.M. snack.



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