Even though you’ve heard the saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” (which is very true), when you’re trying to lose weight in Mississauga and Oakville what you eat for dinner can set you up for success or failure. A healthy dinner can make the difference between shedding unwanted pounds and feeling satisfied in the evening, verses overeating, gaining weight, and feeling sluggish when you wake up the next morning. Your focus for dinner should be getting lots of nutrients in your food while adding variety so you don’t get bored of eating the same foods eat night.
Start with vegetables. Fiber-rich, non-starchy veggies are an essential component of a well-balanced dinner as they support digestion, fill you up, and offer phytonutrients and minerals the body needs to perform at its top potential. Even though you should be eating veggies throughout the day when you’re trying to lose weight, dinner is no exception. Daily you need between 2 and 3 cups of veggies, depending on your age and gender, and should plan on including at least a cup of veggies (if not more) at dinner. You can easily get that amount in a soup loaded with carrots, celery and onions; a stir-fry with bell peppers, mushrooms and broccoli; a hearty salad made with leafy greens like spinach or kale; or a serving of steamed vegetables like asparagus or cauliflower. Aim to get a variety of colourful veggies in your meals so you can benefit from all the nutrients and vitamins they contain.
Lean protein is also a key factor at dinner for your in-home personal training Mississauga and Oakville weight loss program. Swapping out starchy foods like potatoes and bread for lean proteins is proven in the weight loss department. Choosing healthy sources of protein like chicken, fish/seafood, and nuts is linked to better weight management at dinner time, compared to fairer choices of protein like red and processed meats, according to research. Choose cooking methods for your proteins that are healthier like baking, poaching, sautéing, or steaming when you cook foods like skinless chicken breasts, salmon or pieces of turkey, for example. If you’re vegetarian you can up your protein intake with homemade chickpea and mushroom burgers, or try low-fat tofu or tempeh in stir-fries, tacos or burritos.
Healthy carbohydrates provide long-lasting energy and help regulate blood sugar which will leave you less tempted to grab that unhealthy snack before bedtime. This is because whole grains contain more fiber and digest more slowly, prolonging that “full” feeling. The key to carbohydrates (carbs) at dinner is portion control. On your dinner plate try loading up on veggies and a portion size of lean protein with half a cup of brown rice, quinoa or amaranth (for example) for a boost of healthy carbs.
Healthy fats at dinner are crucial, add a ton of flavour, and help keep you full so you’re less likely to overeat or sabotage your weight loss goals after dinner. When it comes to healthy fats, a small portion goes a long way. Sources of healthy fats like avocados, olive oil, grapeseed oil, or coconut oil offer an added bonus of being high in omega-3 fatty acids and help reduce inflammation in the body.
Lastly, in order to combat the ‘boredom factor’ from eating the same foods at dinner time, get creative with what you eat! Weight loss in Mississauga and Oakville should be sustainable, so try experimenting with weight loss friendly foods. For example, try using spiralized zucchini noodles or spaghetti squash for your spaghetti at dinner so you can eat a larger portion without overeating carbohydrates. Or substitute cauliflower for potato for a low-carb version of mashed potatoes. Make weight loss friendly meatballs with ground turkey, onions, finely chopped carrots and seasonings; or roll together a mixture of mushrooms, brown rice, and lean ground chicken in kale leaves for a healthy twist on cabbage rolls.
Once you’ve found four or five healthy dinner recipes that you enjoy, you can freeze individual portions to thaw on busy nights when you don’t have time to cook, setting yourself up for weight loss success!
For more ideas on healthy dinners you can make at home to aid in your in-home personal training Mississauga and Oakville weight loss goals, CONTACT US TODAY!
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