Everyone knows that making your own meals at home is a great way to lose weight. Restaurants generally pile on the grease, sugar, and salt, meaning you’re getting way more than you would cooking for yourself. Big restaurant portions are another culprit when it comes to overeating. If you’re your own chef, you can monitor your caloric intake and be the boss of what you put in your body. Avoiding foods that are high in fat, sugar, and simple carbohydrates is the way to go, but what if you just don’t have the time and energy to whip up a home-cooked, healthy meal after work? Here are some strategies and recipes to help you get started on a healthier lifestyle today, even if you’re on the go.
Mama always said it’s the most important meal of the day for a reason: your breakfast provides the energy you need to “power up” for your day and get moving. Maybe you think skipping breakfast to lose weight is a good idea—it’s not. Keeping your blood sugar stable helps to regulate stress hormones, meaning the food you eat is less likely to be converted into fat (especially around the belly). Make sure you get plenty of protein to keep you full until lunchtime, too! Here are some easy breakfast ideas when you’re on your way out the door:
Greek yogurt with honey, fresh lemon juice, and granola or nuts.
A homemade energy bar (way less sugar than store bought). Find the recipe here: http://dailyburn.com/life/recipes/homemade-energy-bar-recipes/.
Multigrain toast with healthy almond butter, sliced bananas, and honey.
It’s tempting to run out for a quick bite on your lunch hour instead of planning ahead, especially when midday hunger strikes. This is when fast food is hardest to avoid, but you can still have a tasty lunch at work without crossing the dreaded golden arches. Pack-ahead lunches are a great way to take control of your eating habits when you can’t be home, and you’ll save lots of money. Here are a few easy lunch ideas for a filling meal when you’re out and about:
Mediterranean spinach salad with sliced hardboiled eggs, chickpeas, olives, and vinaigrette dressing. Goes great with hummus and homemade pita chips!
For a cozy winter lunch, make a big batch of your favorite vegetable soup at home over the weekend and freeze individual portions. Pop some in the microwave for instant comfort food.
Spread some hummus on a whole wheat tortilla and fill it up with leftover quinoa and some sliced tomatoes for a tasty cold wrap.
Go for a classic BLT and substitute avocado for the mayo. This is good and good for you—a little bacon is fine in moderation.
Takeout again? Just say no to Styrofoam if you want to lose weight and maintain overall good health. A change in lifestyle will help you make better food choices, too, and a great way to shape up those habits is to cook your own dinners. Remember to make foods you like as well as trying the latest healthy trends—the important thing is to cook for yourself. A bacon cheeseburger you make in the comfort of your own kitchen is much better for you than a fast food concoction (especially if you use ground turkey). Here are a few healthy ideas to get you started:
Beans and rice. These are versatile staples for a reason! The weight destroyer program also advises you to add them to your diet. Whole grain rice keeps you full while beans provide plenty of protein, and they cook in about half an hour. There are many recipes you can use that pull double duty, too. For example, whip up some spicy red beans and rice with diced onions for dinner and put some on your salad for lunch the next day.
Burgers are easy dinners, but boring and full of fat. Try this variation: add fresh spinach and chopped feta to ground chicken and bake the burgers at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until done. Top with delicious balsamic-marinated tomatoes.
Don’t forget eggs! Breakfast for dinner is a great way to lose weight. A spinach and feta omelet is super simple and very filling.
Just because you’re eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up snacking between meals. Put down the Cheetos and try these delicious and healthy alternatives:
Fill small leaves of Bibb or Romaine lettuce with avocado puree and top with fresh cilantro. Way healthier than tortilla chips!
Top a sliced apple with nut butter or cheese slices. Cheddar, dill Havarti, and Gouda go well with sweet apples.
If you’re craving ice cream, try topping a scoop of vanilla with salted peanuts or almonds and chopped oranges. This delicious treat will keep you from filling up on plain ice cream, and provide plenty of energy and antioxidants. You can also go with frozen yogurt for an even healthier option.