One of the many requests I get for help is to do with nutrition and the most common is ideas for healthy meals to lose weight. If the request comes from my blog visitors or subscribers to my newsletter I normally refer them to Isabel De Los Rios’ Diet Solution Program because I think it is the best program online that goes into great detail about how to structure your diet correctly, how to choose the right healthy foods to eat to lose weight and is crammed full of healthy meal ideas not just to lose weight but increase energy and improve overall wellbeing.
However I realised that not everybody has the time to go through this program and fully implement the plan so I thought a good idea would to give you a plan of some healthy meals to lose weight you can start using now with a few guidelines to follow.
Healthy Meals to lose weight – Quick Guidelines.
1) Before you start work out how many calories roughly you need to eat every day to keep your body in a negative energy balance and burning fat. In my experience for men on average the figure is between around 1800 – 2400. For women it is somewhere between 1400-1800. Of course these are just estimates so to be definite you can use various calculations or log onto a site like www.fitday.com and add in a normal day’s food consumption and from this figure subtract 10-20% for your daily calorie target. This is dependent on the fact that you are currently just maintaining your weight and not gaining. If you have been putting on weight then reduce by more. Finding the right calorie level can take a little time so be prepared to test, track then tweak if needed.
2) Decide on a meal schedule that suits your daily routine. The healthy meals to lose weight I am proposing are spread out over 5-6 meals/snacks every day but you may find that it is easier for you to have 3 bigger meals or 2 big meals and 2 snacks. The main issue is finding a routine that works for you and easy to stick with. If you are struggling to lose weight on a particular meal plan then think about a different strategy or look at the food choices and portion sizes of your meals.
3) Limit the amount of processed food in the house. Yes I know for those of you with children this is hard to do but the less you have in the house the less chance you have of being tempted too much. For the best and quickest results then you need be eating as many healthy foods as possible.
4) In not sure what to have then you can´t go wrong with fruit or vegetables
5) Try to eat only when you have planned to or are really hungry. I know myself that it is very easy to graze on foods without thinking about it when I am feeling stressed or at a loose end. This one is tough to crack because we all have little habits and behavior patterns that kick in when certain emotions are evoked. Be more aware of how you feel and react in certain situations when it comes to food and make an attempt to avoid them as much as possible.
Healthy meals to lose weight – The plan
So let’s be clear these meals are not going to win any gastronomic awards but they are simple and functional and full of good foods to eat to lose weight.
NOTE: I do mention using protein shakes as a snack or meal option but you do not need to have them in order to lose weight. They are just an option. I have included them because they are
1) Convenient to use and organise
1) They are effective for filling you up and taking away hunger pangs.
c) If you opt for a quality brand they are full of beneficial vitamins and minerals so make them a healthier choice than most other things you could choose instead.
Go for a pure whey protein that provides about 20g protein with less than 2g carbs. If you are really leaning out then just mix with water or if not I use skimmed milk.
If you look around my site you will notice I recommend and use Prograde Protein, because I like the philosophy of the company when it comes to supplementation plus it tastes really good.
Other things to consider
Drink 2-3 litres of water a day
Use Spices and condiments to give flavour and stay away from ketchups or mayonnaise.
Have a treat meal or two as a reward if you have stuck to the plan rigidly all week.
Healthy Meal plans for Breakfast:
1 egg + 3 whites in an omelette
1 cup spinach 1 Green apple
1 green apple, 3 slices turkey bacon 1 cup strawberries
2 oz leftover meat from last night evening meal,1 cup cooked broccoli, 1 pear
Protein shake + piece of fruit.
For drinks water, green tea or black coffee are fine. I also take and omega 3 supplement but for health reasons not as a weight loss aid. If you have an interest in omega 3 and weight loss then you may want to read this article I wrote. Does Fish Oil help you lose weight? A quick explanation
Healthy Snack ideas– consume mid morning and mid afternoon
2 Tbsp Cream Cheese +2 Celery Sticks and 1 small green apple
2 hard boiled eggs, 1 cup blueberries
1 ounce raw walnuts, 1 cup strawberries
Protein Shake + handful of almonds
Healthy Lunch and Dinner meals
4 oz grilled chicken (white or dark) with courgette and tomatoes
Over a large salad made up of Romaine lettuce, cucumbers and celery
1 cup asparagus added to the salad or on the side.
4 oz salmon with sautéed asparagus
Colourful Salad with 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil and vinegar of choice dressing.
Grilled chicken on whole grain bread plus cut up vegetables and avocado
6oz steak with a big salad or loads of steamed veggies.
Chicken or Salmon with steamed veggies and sweet potato.
If you do want some starchy carbs such as bread rice or a potato then the best time is too have them with lunch or right after an intense workout.
If you like a glass of wine with dinner then go for it but keep it too one. Also when it comes to extras make your choice and have only that. So if you like some bread, wine or a small dessert with your meal then select one and have only that and keep it to a single serving. If you are consistently adding these on to your meals then you will find it difficult to lose fat. Trust me I know from experience.
Healthy Evening Snack options.
Here in Spain the tendency is to eat later so I don´t often need a snack later in the evening. However I know this can be a time when you are vulnerable to having a snack that is sweet so here are a few ideas that can help you stay on track.
Plain Natural Yoghurt, handful of walnuts – drop of honey to taste
Protein Bar or protein shake
Cottage Cheese with Frozen berries –stevia to add sweetness.
So there you have it a very simple approach to healthy meals for weight loss. Remember that eating these healthy foods for weight loss will also give you lots more energy so you have no excuse when it comes to being active in your life. Therefore for the best and fastest results be more active in general or start following an exercise program such as Turbulence Training.
Finally if you like these healthy meals to lose weight and are going to use them please come back and leave me a comment on how you got on.