Consuming a nutritionally balanced diet with enough calories and the right amount of macronutrients and micronutrients is not just essential for weight loss. It can also improve your overall health and wellness. But planning nutritious meals can be overwhelming if you’re just getting started on your weight loss journey.
If you’re having trouble planning nutritious meals, keep reading to find some simple, yet delicious, meals you can include in your weight loss plan.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day,” and that’s because it is. Eating a well-balanced breakfast can give you energy and provide you with other essential nutrients required for good health.
According to BetterHealth, eating breakfast can help with better weight management and may reduce the risk of diabetes and heart disease in the long term. Those who eat breakfast also are more likely to meet their recommended daily intake of vitamins and minerals compared to those who skip breakfast.
Here are some easy meals you can whip up for your next breakfast:
- Egg muffins – All you need is eggs and your choice of “fillings.” First, preheat your oven to 350° F and lightly spray your muffin tin. You’re then going to beat your eggs together with salt and pepper. Pour the egg mixture into a muffin pan and add any vegetables you want. Bake for 15-20 minutes and let the muffins cool before serving.
You can add vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms or greens into your egg muffins. To get even more protein into your first meal of the day, try adding in nitrate-free chicken, turkey sausage or grilled chicken.
- Smoothies – Smoothies can be a great quick breakfast option but should include the proper ingredients to be a balanced and complete meal or snack. A great formula for a nutrient-packed smoothie often includes protein powder, greens, low-sugar fruit, and fats, such as avocado, coconut milk or chia seeds.
- Protein oatmeal – Typically, oatmeal is loaded with heavy carbohydrates. To add some much-needed protein, stir in liquid egg whites as your oats are cooking. You could also stir in your favorite protein powder. Top your oatmeal with almond butter, cinnamon, and a small drizzle of honey, and you have a complete meal with protein, carbohydrates and healthy fats.
When you forget to bring your lunch to work or arrive home too tired to cook dinner, it’s easy to call a delivery service or go to your favorite fast-food restaurant. While going out to eat every once in a while is okay, this habit can result in an unhealthy lifestyle. Here are some simple lunch and dinner ideas that are quick, easy and require little cleanup:
- Sheet pan meals – Sheet pan meals are great if you want a simple meal with very little cleanup. Just pick your protein and vegetables, and this one-pan meal is ready to eat! You can combine chicken thighs with Brussels sprouts and sweet potatoes, chicken sausage with cauliflower and peppers, or salmon with asparagus and mushrooms. There are many sheet pan recipes online you can check out.
- Healthy protein bowls – Get your veggies, healthy proteins and carbs all in one dish. Simply choose a base (greens, sweet or white potatoes, cauliflower rice, wild rice, etc.), pick and cook your protein (chicken, grass-fed beef, fish, or ground turkey) and add a vegetable or two (broccoli, carrots, asparagus, squash, brussels sprouts, etc). You can top this healthy protein bowl with your favorite low-calorie sauce or dip!
Disclaimer: Always consult with your practitioner or other qualified healthcare specialists when considering changes to your health, diet or exercise routine. This information is not intended to substitute professional medical advice.
Counting Macronutrients for Weight Loss
Protein, carbohydrates and fats are called macronutrients and in general, it is important to include them in each meal. Typically it is recommended to aim for 20-30 grams of protein per meal and at least 2-3 servings of vegetables. From there, add additional carbohydrates or fats based on your macronutrient meal plan.
It is best to work with a registered dietitian who can create a specific calorie and macronutrient plan for you based on your lifestyle, habits and goals. The Registered Dietitians at ShapePro provide nutritional counseling to help you reach your weight loss goals.
Take time at the beginning of the week or on a Sunday to pick your recipes and meals for that week. Take inventory of your pantry and fridge to see what you need to purchase. Cooking and preparing meals and snacks in advance saves time during the week. Doing all of this will keep your diet on track and save money.
While it may seem easy to pick one or two recipes and eat those same meals the entire week, it is crucial that you create a variety of meals you enjoy eating. Eating a wide variety of proteins, vegetables, and fruits is important to help obtain all of the essential vitamins and minerals your body needs to maintain your health and reach your weight loss goals.
Ready to get started on your weight loss journey? Call 888-279-0099 today.