The Joy's LIFE Diet: Sample Meal Plan

Joy’s Life Diet is a four-step weight loss plan that was designed by writer and nutritionist Joy Bauer. Bauer’s philosophy is that proper nutrition is the key to losing weight and keeping it off.

The Four Steps

Release: Stopping bad eating habits.
Relearn: Reprogramming your body to learn good eating habits.
Reshape: Reconfiguring your lifestyle to reach your goal weight.
Reveal: Maintaining your new figure.

What You Eat

Bauer believes that food is both fuel and medicine and that by eating properly you can get well, get fit and be lean. Joy’s Life Diet is a balanced eating plan that includes protein, whole grains and legumes, dairy, fruits and vegetables. You eat lean meat such as fish, chicken breast, and lean beef, as well as tofu and egg whites. Low carb veggies such as broccoli and leafy greens are preferable over starchy vegetables like peas and corn. All fruits are acceptable, such as strawberries, blueberries, melons and apples.

You should eat three meals on schedule daily and you can have one snack. Dinner should begin with a green salad or Life Veggie soup (see recipe below).

You can eat as much as you like of low carb veggies such as bell pepper, celery, cucumber and carrots and you should eat these whenever you feel hungry.

Sample Meals


1. Egg white omelet with spinach, mushrooms and low fat cheese

2. Muffin
Low fat cottage cheese

3. Low fat, whole-wheat pancake with strawberries

4. Egg and veggie wrap with dill scrambled egg whites, onion and red bell pepper. Add one slice of low fat cheese and wrap in a small whole-wheat tortilla.


1. Open face turkey sandwich with whole grain bread, deli sliced turkey, low fat mayo, lettuce and tomato
Carrot sticks
Celery sticks

2. Egg salad (whites only) on English muffin
Green salad with low fat dressing

3. Veggie sub with cucumbers, bell peppers, mushrooms, black olives, low fat cream cheese, vinegar and salt and pepper on a whole-wheat roll.

4. Open face tuna grill. Mix tuna with low fat cottage cheese, chopped celery and cucumber. Stir in one tablespoon of canned, drained white beans. Place a scoop on one piece of toasted whole wheat bread. Top with one slice of low fat cheese. Set under broiler until bubbly. Sprinkle with dried dill or basil.


1. Sirloin steak with spinach
Salad with low fat dressing

2. Turkey sausage with peppers and onions

3. Stir-fry chicken or tofu with broccoli, zucchini, bell pepper, onions, fresh ginger and Chinese Five Spice.

4. Grilled tilapia lightly brushed with olive oil and fresh-ground black pepper. Squeeze a fresh lemon slice over the top.
Large green salad with red onion and mushrooms. Top with low fat dressing.

5. Life Veggie Soup: The basic ingredients include garlic, onion, celery, mushrooms, carrots, zucchini, green beans, cauliflower, cabbage and tomato. Cook in a stockpot in vegetable stock and season any way you like.

Snack Ideas

  • Celery sticks with one level teaspoon of peanut butter
  • 1-ounce dark chocolate
  • 1/2 cup of low fat ice cream, sorbet, or frozen yogurt
  • 4-cups low fat (air-popped) popcorn
  • 1 small bag of soy crisps
  • 5-ounces of wine
  • 12-ounces of light beer
  • 10 raw almonds
  • 1 apple



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