A healthy dinner for diet plan is the only true way to lose weight and maintain a healthy balance in your life. Having a healthy body is important, especially for someone who’s looking to tweak their body into perfection. And it all starts with food!
Don’t skip dinner to lose weight. Nosh on these 7 foods instead
Who said you need to skip dinner to lose weight? If you ask a nutritionist, they will actually give you an earful—because each and every meal is important. Instead, they’ll ask you to look for lighter and healthier alternatives that can be a part of your dinner plan. This will not just help you maintain your weight, but also help you shed a few kilos.
So, we’ve curated a list of seven weight-loss foods that you can eat for dinner:
You can never go wrong with soup. Just pick your favourite vegetable, cook it in a pressure cooker with some water, churn it in a blender, add a hint of lemon juice, salt and black pepper—and you are good to go. Soup is really good for your gut, plus it will keep you hydrated.
Also, soup is easy and quick to digest, so you don’t have to wait for hours for it to digest before going to sleep.
2. A bowlful of salad
When it comes to salad, you have unlimited options. You can nosh on chickpeas, black channa, sprouts, fruits, vegetables, and tofu. And all of them are loaded with fibre and everyone who wants to lose weight knows the importance of fibre in their diet plan.
We’re not talking about white rice idlis here. Rather, you should try ragi, oats, or brown rice idlis. You can also add some nuts like cashews and almonds to make your idlis healthier and more delicious. Sambar is the best accompaniment for idlis, but keep the spice and oil at an all-time low.
4. Grilled chicken or fish
Let’s face it, steamed chicken or fish are no good when it comes to taste. Steaming these meats just adds to the blandness. But the charred taste you get when you grill fish or chicken is just yum. Although both of them are rich in protein, both chicken and fish take time to digest so keep it as an option for the days when you have some time in hand. Sprinkle some lemon juice and relish with some salsa on the side.
From online pantries to grocery shops nearby you–you can find quinoa everywhere. You can toss the cooked quinoa in a salad, keep it as a side with a bowl of veggies, or just have it as it is. There are many ways to consume it just see what suits you better.
Again, quinoa is rich in important minerals like protein and fibre and it will give the feeling of fullness as well.
6. Cottage cheese
I’m sorry we don’t mean eating a bowl full of paneer butter masala or shahi paneer; rather, raw cottage cheese tossed with some rock salt and black pepper. This is another great source of protein and helps in keeping bloating away.
7. A bowl of lentils
Take a handful of lentils, throw them in the cooker with some water, and in just two or three whistles you will get a wholesome dinner. To add to the flavour of dal, you can add tomatoes, French beans, corn, and peas. If you are on a weight loss spree, then sprouts and moong dal are your best buds as they are low on carbs and high on fibre and proteins.
Do you know that according to a study if you incorporate fruits, vegetables, and low-fat dairy in your diet then achieving weight loss is quicker? Also, timing has a lot to do with weight loss and your metabolic rate so whatever you nosh on from the list above, just ensure that you have ample time to digest it before dozing off.
Weight Loss Diet: 10 Low Calorie Dinner Recipes
Low calorie and nutritious dinner meals are ideal for weight loss
- For effective weight loss, dinner should be light
- Low-cal meals with high nutrition value are ideal
- Try these low-cal meal recipes for healthy dinner
If you are embarking on a weight loss journey, there’s one advice you must have gotten from all corners – keep the dinner light. It’s so difficult to follow this tip as we have been doing just the opposite till now. Submitting to habit, we miss breakfast, gobble up something for lunch but for dinner, we settle down with a lavish large spread and savour it with all the time in the world. To successfully achieve the goal of quick weight loss, it really is important to have pale meals at night. And, foods that are nutritious but contain low amount of calories should be placed in your diet chart. Low calorie foods help you save extra calories that your body doesn’t need. Excess calories store themselves as fats.
Why Low-Cal Foods Are Good For Dinner?
Our body clock is naturally developed in a way that it responds differently at different times in a day. Always remember that the food we eat at night metabolises at a slower rate. One good reason that corroborates this fact is that our digestion system is the weakest at night. Just like our body and mind, our digestion system is wired to get some rest at night.
Now, if you are convinced to switch to low-cal dinners, another dilemma may hit you – what should you eat? Don’t fret. We are here to help you.
Here are some great low-calorie but nutritious dinner ideas –
1. Baked Chicken Seekh
This Mughlai low calorie meal in its baked form makes for a low-calorie but high-protein meal. The cherry on the cake is – it’s oil-free! And that’s what you exactly need to level up your weight loss regime.
Low-cal dinner: Baked chicken seekh
2. Mustard-Parmesan Whole Roasted Cauliflower
Cauliflower, known as gobhi in Hindi, is full of nutrients and contains negligible fat. Roasting will lend it a crunchy texture and smoky flavour. Make this low calorie Indian food a part of your new diet chart and you won’t miss your earlier regular meals ever.
Low-cal dinner: roasted cauliflower
3. Mixed Vegetable Salad
Think of fat-free and low calorie meal and salad crops up in the mind first. This salad is a melange of colours, hues, flavours and aromas. It fills up your stomach without adding extra fat.
Low-cal dinner: Mixed vegetable salad
4. Fish Curry Without Oil
Abound with good fats (read: Omega-3s) and devoid of calories, fish is an ideal option for a light and healthy, low calorie dinner. Loaded with a burst of flavours from coconut milk and tamarind, this dish is bound to bowl you over.
Low-cal dinner: Fish curry without oil
5. Low-Fat Celery Soup
Celery is revered for its health-benefitting and fat-burning properties. This low calorie soup is made dense by the use of celery broth. Combined with other flavourful vegetables, this soup comes loaded with wellness.
Low-cal dinner: Celery soup
6. Spicy Pasta
For Italian food lovers, this is the perfect dish to satiate their cravings. This Sicilian pasta is made with healthy veggies like broccoli and will taste heavenly with no cheese or with fat-free cottage cheese.
Low-cal dinner: Spicy pasta
7. Crunchy Vegetable Stir-Fry
Lots of veggies and lots of crunchiness – describes this healthful dish perfectly. Stir-fried with little oil and paired with herbs and spices, this low calorie Indian dish will whet your appetite like no other.
8. Baked Carrot Fries
These fries are just called fries and are not fried. Carrots, which are a storehouse of vital nutrients, add no fat whatsoever. In fact they help in easy digestion of foods further leading to eradicating fat from the body.
Low-cal dinner: Baked carrot fries
9. Mango Lassi Ice Cream
Dinner eventually leads up to craving for desserts. Weight loss doesn’t mean you have to kill your sweet cravings. Here’s a low-calorie, sugar-free dessert that will end up being a comforting companion in your journey.
Low-cal dinner: Mango lassi ice-cream
10. Detox Tofu Dessert
Here’s another sweet treat to satiate your sweet tooth. This low calorie treat prepared with health-giving tofu, fruits and honey, is not only low in fat content but also flushes out toxins from the body.
Don’t ever make the mistake of skipping your dinner. It’s essential to feed the body till the end of the day. Just the last meal of the day needs to be easier to digest. Try these low-cal recipes for dinner and fly away to your fitter self. If you know of any other dinner recipes that are low in calories, feel free to share with us in the comments section below.
Easy and Healthy Meals for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
Meal planning can be very helpful when trying to eat healthy.
Having a list of go-to meals that are both nutritious and easy to make can save you time and money, especially when the recipes use pantry staples or long-lasting ingredients that you likely have on hand.
Here’s are 28 easy and healthy breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, including some kid-friendly and low budget options.
1. Overnight oats
Overnight oats are an easy breakfast option that requires no prep time in the morning. Plus, they’re made with basic ingredients that won’t break the bank.
There are tons of overnight oat recipes on the internet, but I especially like these basic banana overnight oats.
2. Loaded avocado toast
Avocado toast can be a nutritious breakfast, as avocados are a good source of healthy fats and very filling.
Start with a toasted slice of 100% whole grain, rye, or sourdough bread. In a small bowl, smash together half of an avocado with some lime or lemon juice. Spread this on top of the toast.
For a protein boost, add one or two eggs, or smash white beans into the avocado for a vegan option. Top with crumbled cheese, chopped nuts, seeds, baby greens, or cherry tomatoes.
3. Broccoli and cheese egg bake
Eggs are an excellent source of protein, as well as several vitamins and minerals that are important for health.
Make this 12-serving egg bake in advance, and enjoy nutritious leftovers all week long for hassle-free mornings.
It’s a reader favorite on my recipe blog and highly customizable. Feel free to add sliced bell peppers, chopped spinach, or mushrooms, and sub any type of cheese or milk you have on hand.
4. Yogurt and fruit parfaits
Yogurt parfaits are enjoyable for both kids and adults, and you don’t even need a specific recipe to make them.
If you have some time in the morning, set out Greek yogurt, fresh fruit, granola, nuts, and seeds for your family to make their own parfaits. To keep the added sugar content low, use plain yogurt and granola that doesn’t contain a lot of sweeteners.
You can also prep the parfaits in advance. Put them together in individual jars and keep them in the fridge.
5. Chocolate cherry chia pudding
With only a handful of ingredients, chia pudding is a simple but filling option for breakfast. The best part is that you can put the recipe together at night and wake up to a creamy and delicious pudding the next morning.
Chia pudding can be made in many variations, but this chocolate cherry chia pudding is one of my favorites.
6. Bell pepper egg cups
For a simple, veggie-loaded breakfast, slice bell peppers in half lengthwise and remove the stems and seeds. Place them into a greased baking dish and cook them for 15 minutes at 350°F (175°C).
Remove the dish from the oven and carefully crack an egg into each pepper. Bake them for an additional 15 minutes or until the eggs are cooked to your liking. Garnish with herbs, red pepper flakes, or cheese before eating.
Note that cooking can destroy vitamin C. Therefore, a shorter cooking time is preferable when trying to preserve vitamin C content.
7. Peanut butter granola bars
Instead of settling for a store-bought option that might be loaded with added sugar, give homemade granola bars a try. Making them at home can save you money, too.
This recipe for peanut butter granola bars is easy to make and kid-friendly. Plus, it includes tips on making them vegan.
8. Italian pasta salad
Pasta salad can be a balanced, nutritious meal. It’s often made with cooked pasta, non-starchy vegetables, and meat, cheese, or beans.
Plus, pasta salad is served cold and keeps well in the fridge and lunch boxes.
Check out this Italian pasta salad for a healthy, affordable option. Add diced chicken, mozzarella cheese, or white beans for some protein, and use 100% whole wheat pasta for extra fiber.
9. Slow cooker lentil soup
“Dump and go” slow cooker meals are an easy option for lunches. Make them on the weekend to eat for lunch during the week, or throw together the ingredients in the morning to have a hot meal by lunchtime.
This crockpot lentil soup is loaded with veggies and uses pantry spices and ingredients.
What’s more, lentils are a source of plant-based protein and fiber, which will help keep you feeling fuller for longer.
10. Peanut butter and banana roll-ups
Peanut butter and banana is a winning culinary combo, and these roll-ups are great for kids.
Spread about 2 tablespoons (30 grams) of peanut butter on top of an 8-inch (20-cm) flour tortilla. Place a peeled banana toward the bottom of the tortilla, then carefully roll it up.
Slice it into bite-sized pieces. For a peanut-free option, use sunflower seed butter. If you want a little more sweetness, add a drizzle of honey on top of the peanut butter before rolling the tortilla.
11. Sweet potato black bean meal prep bowls
Taco or burrito bowls make a healthy lunch that’s easy to assemble.
Prepare the ingredients ahead of time, store them in separate containers in the fridge, and assemble your bowl when you’re ready to eat.
My sweet potato black bean meal prep bowls are made with nutritious ingredients and topped with an easy avocado lime dressing.
The healthy fats in the avocado will help you absorb more fat-soluble nutrients, such as the vitamin A carotenoids in sweet potatoes, from the meal
12. Healthy tuna salad with cranberries
Canned tuna is a budget-friendly ingredient to keep in your pantry for quick meals.
It’s also rich in protein and healthy fats that will keep you full and satisfied.
This healthy tuna salad with cranberries has super simple ingredients and can be served on bread, crackers, or even lettuce cups.
13. Veggie quesadillas
Veggie quesadillas are one of the easiest recipes to make, and they’re a good way to get kids to eat more veggies. Eating vegetables is linked to a lower risk of disease and longer life
You can use sliced onions and peppers, or any kind of leftover roasted or sautéed veggies that you have on hand.
Place a flour or corn tortilla in a skillet over medium heat. Sprinkle one half with shredded cheese, then add veggies and more cheese on top. Cook it for a few minutes, with the lid on the skillet, until the cheese is melted.
Fold the half of the tortilla without cheese over the other half. Remove it from the skillet, slice it into pieces, and enjoy it with guacamole, salsa, or sour cream. Feel free to add beans or chicken for more protein.
14. Fridge/freezer stir-fry
Making a stir-fry with ingredients you already have is an easy way to put a healthy meal on the table fast.
Stir-fries typically consist of protein, non-starchy veggies, and a carbohydrate, such as rice or noodles. Therefore, they’re balanced meals that will keep you full.
Heat a drizzle of oil in a large skillet or wok. Add diced chicken, sliced sirloin steak, shrimp, or tofu. Cook it for a few minutes on each side until it’s cooked through. Remove it from the skillet and set it aside.
Add 2–3 cups (300–450 grams) of veggies to the skillet with a little more oil. Cook it for a few minutes, and add the protein back into the pan.
For the sauce, whisk 1/4 cup (60 mL) of vegetable broth, 1/4 cup (60 mL) of low sodium soy sauce, 1 tablespoon (15 mL) of maple syrup or honey, 2 cloves of minced garlic, and 1 tablespoon of cornstarch. Pour the mixture into the skillet, and cook it until it thickens.
This should yield approximately four servings. Serve it with brown rice or whole wheat noodles if desired.
15. Baked potato bar with healthy toppings
Baked potatoes are one of the most affordable bases for a healthy meal. Plus, potatoes are incredibly nutritious, providing potassium, magnesium, iron, and vitamins B6 and C
Since they provide energizing carbs, top them with a source of protein, some non-starchy veggies, and a healthy fat for a balanced meal.
Check out several ideas on how to build a healthy baked potato bar for a family meal.
16. Caprese chicken breasts
For a delicious meal that’s on the table in 30 minutes, try chicken breasts made with caprese salad ingredients — tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.
This recipe includes instructions for making them in a single skillet. Make some pasta while they cook — or better yet, ahead of time — and you’ll have a balanced meal in no time.
17. Sheet pan pork chops and sweet potatoes
Sheet pan meals are the epitome of hassle-free cooking. Plus, they make cleanup a breeze.
This healthy sheet pan meal features pork chops, sweet potatoes, onions, apples, and pantry spices for a wholesome and balanced meal. The leftovers make a great lunch the next day, too.
18. Healthy mac and cheese (with veggies)
Mac and cheese is always a crowd-pleaser, and adding veggies to it brings the nutrition up a notch.
Making mac and cheese from scratch also means that you can control the ingredients and avoid excess sodium or unnecessary additives.
This healthy mac and cheese is kid-friendly and features both zucchini and cauliflower. It contains carbs from pasta, vitamins and minerals from veggies, and protein and fat from the cheese.
19. Taco salad
Taco salad is another recipe that you can prep in advance and assemble when you’re ready to eat.
Combine chopped romaine, cooked ground beef with taco seasoning, sliced cherry tomatoes, avocado or guacamole, shredded cheese, and pinto or black beans. Fun additions include sliced radishes, cooked corn, or crushed tortilla chips.
20. Slow cooker beef and broccoli
Beef and broccoli is a popular take-out dish that you can easily make at home with wholesome ingredients for a more affordable price.
Not to mention, it can be made in the slow cooker, which means there will be minimal cleanup.
Check out this slow cooker beef and broccoli recipe served over quinoa for a healthy meal.
21. Easy chickpea curry
Homemade curry is an easy vegetarian meal that’s perfect for busy nights. It’s incredibly flavorful, and you may even have all of the ingredients in your cupboard.
This is one of my favorite chickpea curry recipes to make for dinner. It’s ready in 20 minutes.
22. One-pot teriyaki chicken zoodles
You can’t beat a one-pot meal for an easy and healthy dinner, especially when it’s loaded with veggies.
These one-pot teriyaki chicken zoodles feature spiralized zucchini as a base, and they’re coated in a homemade teriyaki sauce.
Chicken breasts contribute filling protein, while pineapple chunks add some natural sweetness, fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
23. Salmon burgers with slaw
Figuring out how to add more fish to your diet can be intimidating, but this recipe using canned salmon makes it a lot easier.
Besides the salmon, these burgers have very basic ingredients and are easy enough for even the busiest of nights. Plus, they’re served over a cabbage slaw that counts as your veggies for the meal.
24. One-pot stewed tomatoes and eggs
Grab a can of tomatoes, some pantry spices, and a few eggs, and you’ll have a healthy meal in no time.
Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add a diced onion, a few minced garlic cloves, 2 teaspoons of smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon of ground cumin, and 1/4 teaspoon of chili powder.
Cook it for a few minutes until fragrant. Pour a 28-ounce (790-gram) can of whole peeled tomatoes into the skillet. Cook for 10 minutes over medium-low until the tomatoes break down. Create wells for four eggs with the back of a spoon.
Carefully crack an egg into each well, cover the skillet, and cook until the eggs set. Enjoy warm with pita bread. This makes two servings.
25. Lentil bolognese
Pasta and sauce has always been a simple dinner combination, but I like to increase the nutrition of this meal by making a bolognese from lentils.
Follow this recipe for lentil bolognese and serve it over pasta for a hearty, vegan dish. You can eat it with a side salad or steamed green beans for some extra veggies.
26. Make-ahead turkey meatballs
Turkey meatballs are a nutritious and versatile option to make in advance. You can serve them over pasta or on sandwiches or salads.
These easy make-ahead and freeze turkey meatballs use pantry staples, including old fashioned oats instead of bread crumbs, and they can be made with either fresh or dried herbs.
27. Caramelized onion and spinach grilled cheese
An upgraded grilled cheese is ideal for an easy dinner that will satisfy the whole family.
I love to make this recipe when I have extra caramelized onions on hand (they freeze really well, by the way) and spinach that I need to use.
Spread butter on one side of two slices of 100% whole grain or sourdough bread. Place one slice, buttered side down, in a skillet over medium heat. Top with a slice of cheese, followed by caramelized onions, a few spinach leaves, and another slice of cheese.
Put the other slice of bread, buttered side up, on top. Cover the skillet, and cook for a few minutes on each side until the cheese is melted. Enjoy warm.
28. Easy black bean and rice skillet
For a satisfying dinner that never disappoints, break out the trusty skillet and make this twist on rice and beans.
With just a handful of ingredients, it’s easy and highly nutritious. Black beans provide protein, brown rice contributes carbs, and shredded cheese serves as a source of fat, calcium, and protein. Plus, it has tomatoes and red onion.