Healthy Recipes To Help You Lose Weight

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As the pounds creep on it’s time to consider a healthy recipes to help you lose weight. Some habits are easier to buy into than others, and I hope these 8 tips are just that – habits you can adopt easily and effortlessly.

To lose weight, you must eat fewer calories than your body uses

Photo: Basket of fruits and vegetables

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have to eat less food. You can create lower-calorie versions of some of your favorite dishes by substituting low-calorie fruits and vegetables in place of higher-calorie ingredients. The water and fiber in fruits and vegetables will add volume to your dishes, so you can eat the same amount of food with fewer calories. Most fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat and calories and are filling.

Simple ways to cut calories and eat more fruits and vegetables throughout the day

Breakfast: Start the Day Right

  • Substitute spinach, onions, or mushrooms for one egg or half the cheese in your morning omelet. The vegetables will add volume and flavor to the dish with fewer calories than the egg or cheese.
  • Cut back on the amount of cereal in your bowl to make room for some cut-up bananas, peaches, or strawberries. You can still eat a full bowl, but with fewer calories.

Lighten Up Your Lunch

  • photo of peasSubstitute vegetables such as lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, or onions for 2 ounces of the cheese and 2 ounces of the meat in your sandwich, wrap, or burrito. The new version will fill you up with fewer calories than the original.
  • Replace 2 ounces of meat or 1 cup of noodles in broth-based soup with 1 cup of chopped vegetables, such as broccoli, carrots, beans, or red peppers. The vegetables will help fill you up, so you won’t miss those extra calories.

Dinner

  • Photo: Two soupsAdd in 1 cup of chopped vegetables such as broccoli, tomatoes, squash, onions, or peppers, while removing 1 cup of the rice or pasta in your favorite dish. The dish with the vegetables will be just as satisfying but have fewer calories than the same amount of the original version.
  • Take a good look at your dinner plate. Vegetables, fruit, and whole grains should take up the largest portion of your plate. If they do not, replace some of the meat, cheese, white pasta, or rice with legumes, steamed broccoli, asparagus, greens, or another favorite vegetable. This will reduce the total calories in your meal without reducing the amount of food you eat. BUT remember to use a normal- or small-size plate — not a platter. The total number of calories that you eat counts, even if a good proportion of them come from fruits and vegetables.

Smart Snacks

  • Most healthy eating plans allow for one or two small snacks a day. Choosing most fruits and vegetables will allow you to eat a snack with only 100 calories.

About 100 Calories or Less

  • a medium-size apple (72 calories)
  • a medium-size banana (105 calories)
  • 1 cup steamed green beans (44 calories)
  • 1 cup blueberries (83 calories)
  • 1 cup grapes (100 calories)
  • 1 cup carrots (45 calories), broccoli (30 calories), or bell peppers (30 calories) with 2 tbsp. hummus (46 calories)

RECIPES FOR WEIGHT LOSS

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If keeping fit is one of your resolutions this year, I am here to help with these awesome recipes for weight loss.

I have discovered that weight loss is highly dependent on what you eat. I took this experiment a while back and ate totally clean for a week. That meant no white stuff (white rice, white flour, etc), no sugar, very little oil and lots of vegetables and fruits in my diet. The results were impressive. About 5 pounds gone in a week!

I still love carbs though (who can resist freshly homemade cinnamon rolls like the one I had yesterday?!) But every now and then I really need my digestive system to breathe. So if you are looking for recipes to help you eat clean and lose some weight, here 10 recipes to help you crush your goals. They range from dinner ideas to tasty drinks to salads. So let’s take a look at the recipes for weight loss:

1. Chicken and Mushroom Stir-fry

I love stir-fry! That’s because it allows me the liberty to use any leftover veggies at home. And you can incorporate lots of vegetables into your stir-fry. Serve this delicious chicken and mushroom stir-fry over brown rice.

2. Shrimp and Vegetables Stir-fry

I told you I love stir-fry! And this combo of shrimp and vegetables is simply to die for.

3. Goat Meat Soup

If you are a lover of meat, skip the red meat for a leaner meat. That means goat meat. It is so low in fat that it has been termed the leaned meat. When made into a delicious soup, it is totally to die. So tasty, comforting and perfect for cold days! 

4. Ogbono Soup

This West African delight has as star ingredient Ogbono seeds, a variety of mango seeds with insane weight loss properties. Enjoy with a low carb fufu like oat fufu. 

5. Mango-Coconut Sorbet

This one is for all the ice cream lovers! Skip your regular ice cream and try this totally healthy mango-coconut sorbet instead. And you can make this in your kitchen – no ice cream maker needed. 

6. Coconut Hot Chocolate

If you are a hot chocolate lover like me, skip the regular waist-line-fattening hot chocolate for this healthy coconut hot chocolate made with coconut milk. It tastes so decadent yet it is totally clean! 

7. Lemon Grass Tea

I’ve been drinking lemon grass tea since I was a child. I loved it before for it’s amazing flavor. Now I love it even more for it’s amazing nutritional benefits. And I always drink it without any sweetener because the taste on it’s own is just so good! You can get lemon grass from health food stores or Asian stores. I often buy a great quantity from the farmer’s market in the summer then I freeze to drink all year long.

 Expert-Backed Tips for Safe and Sustainable Weight Loss

1. Implement Long-Term Lifestyle and Behavior Changes

When trying to lose weight, ban the word “diet,” suggests Albertson. Dieting can be unpleasant and make you hungry, so you constantly think about food, which is exactly what you don’t want when trying to lose weight. Instead, she recommends thinking of weight loss as a part of getting healthier and concentrating on taking care of your body first.

“Weight loss is complicated and you don’t have total control over the number on the scale, but you do have control over what you eat, how much you move and other factors that impact weight, such as stress and sleep,” says Albertson. She suggests setting SMART—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-sensitive—goals and rewarding yourself when you hit them.

2. Focus on the First 5% to 10%

Instead of saying, “I need to lose 25 pounds,” and overwhelming yourself with what seems like an impossible goal, look toward the health benefits that can come from even modest weight loss.

“Set smaller, achievable targets,” suggests Bennett. “Losing only 5% to 10% of your total body weight (TBW) can greatly improve your health and lower your risk for illnesses, such as type 2 diabetes, stroke, cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer.”

3. Reduce Your Intake of Ultra-Processed Carbs and Sweets

A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association reveals what you eat is most important for weight loss The pounds will come off more quickly if you improve the quality of the foods you ingest.

“One of the healthiest ways to shed weight is to reduce your intake of sugar and rapidly metabolized carbohydrates,” says Bennett. “In particular, you want to cut out or drastically curtail your intake of high-glycemic-load foods, such as sugary snacks, processed carbs and soft drinks. When you avoid or cut back on French fries, chips, crackers and the like, you’ll speed up your weight loss.”

4. Eat More Plants

Research shows a plant-based diet not only promotes weight loss, but is also easier to stick to than a low-calorie diet Plus, it’s nutrient dense and has numerous health benefits.

“Produce supports weight loss because it’s rich in fiber and water, which are both calorie-free yet take up space in your stomach so you feel full,” says Albertson. In fact, a Brazilian study found a direct correlation between increased fruit and vegetable consumption and enhanced weight loss[6].

Albertson suggests aiming to consume five daily servings of produce to start and working up to seven to nine servings a day. “Start your day with a green smoothie, have a salad or cut up vegetables with your lunch and eat fruit for snacks and desserts,” she says. “For supper, have more stir frys, incorporate veggies into your pasta dishes and stir them into soups.”

5. Pump Up Your Protein

Increasing your protein consumption can help reduce appetite and help prevent the loss of muscle mass.

“Eating around 25 to 30 grams of protein—two scoops of protein powder or 4 ounces of chicken breast—per meal can improve appetite control and manage your body weight,” says Dr. Albertson. “The best way to do it is to make sure you have one serving of high-quality protein per meal.”

Albertson also says women older than 50 need significantly more protein (1 to 1.5 grams per kilogram of body weight daily) than men and younger women (who require .8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily). “Women need more protein after 50, especially as they approach menopause, because decreases in the hormone estrogen result in a loss of skeletal muscle mass, strength and regenerative capacity,” she explains.

6. Drink More Water

Research shows drinking more water is associated with weight loss independent of diet and exercise. Ample water intake can help increase satiety and combat sugar cravings. Water is also necessary for lipolysis, the body’s process of burning fat for energy.

“I suggest following the eight by eight rule—8 ounces of water eight times throughout the day—for a minimum water intake recommendation,” says Florida-based celebrity trainer Jordan Morello who works for the fitness platform Sweat Factor. “My clients are usually surprised once they add this [rule] into their own routine [by] how much this simple thing can curb cravings and leave you more satiated throughout the day.”

Another water trick? Try drinking two cups of water before each meal. Studies have shown this simple move can increase weight loss as well

7. Eat a Well-Rounded Breakfast

Breakfast skippers, listen up. If you’re trying to lose weight, skimping on morning fuel is not the way to go. In fact, studies consistently show skipping breakfast is associated with overweight and obesity

Additionally, a study in the Proceedings of the Nutrition Society found people who don’t eat breakfast tend to have poorer quality diets overall, and they skimp on nutrients, such as vitamin D, calcium and iron.

But not just any breakfast will do. “To think more clearly, perform more efficiently and be in better moods, you want a well-rounded, blood-sugar-balanced first meal of the day with ample protein, healthy fats and what I call quality carbs like fresh berries,” says Bennett

Why Losing Weight Fast Isn’t the Best Goal

Though the allure of the “lose 5 pounds in a week” diet myth is strong, there are many reasons why speedy shedding may actually work against your best weight loss efforts.

First, when people lose weight rapidly, especially via fad or crash diets, they are typically unable to maintain it because the weight they lose is often more muscle mass and water and less fat mass compared to people who lose weight gradually.

“Maintaining lean muscle is important in weight loss because it plays a key role in metabolism,” says certified health coach and author of Sugar Shock and Beyond Sugar Shock Connie Bennett. “Muscle helps you burn more calories. But when you lose weight too quickly, you lose muscle and your body slows down calorie burning. Fast weight loss can even cause permanent slowing of metabolism.”

Rapid weight loss often leads to the dreaded yo-yo weight cycling many chronic dieters experience. In fact, a study of former contestants on NBC’s weight loss television show “The Biggest Loser” found the more pounds dropped quickly, the more the participant’s metabolism slowed. The study also found that the contestants regained a substantial amount of their lost weight in the six years following the competition.

Another Australian study of 200 participants in The Lancet found that while dieters in the study lost the same amount of weight, the group that lost weight slowly lost 10% more body fat and 50% less lean muscle than the rapid weight loss group

Further compounding the issue, when people lose weight rapidly, appetite often increases as metabolism decreases, making it almost impossible to keep the pounds off. A study in Obesity reports our bodies prompt us to eat 100 calories more per day for every pound lost[3].

Popular fad diets also very often result in nutrient deficiencies. “And rapid weight loss—especially when you cut carbs—is often largely water,” says registered dietitian Ellen Albertson, Ph.D., author of Rock Your Midlife. “What’s more, if daily calories are low, the body may also use muscle mass as fuel, further reducing metabolism, as muscle mass is metabolically active.”

The bottom line: Shedding weight sensibly is the way to go. Experts usually say a safe rate is losing around half a pound to 2 pounds a week. With that goal in mind, here are some tried-and-true ways to drop pounds and keep them off for good.

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