People often want to know what foods you can/should eat for weight loss. Almost every single day my DM’s are filled with people asking me for a specific meal plan, or if I could guide them on what foods are good for weight-loss. “Lee, is honey good for weight-loss” or “I stopped eating avocados after I learnt how much calories they have!”.
With all this information out there, it can honestly be so confusing and conflicting knowing what and who to believe. For every site saying that you should cut carbs to lose weight, there are at least 10 other sites saying high carb and low fat is the way to go. Today I’ll show you how to create your OWN weight loss friendly meal.
How To Create The Perfect Weight Loss Meal
I like to add at least 2 cups of veggies to my meal (veggies should make up most of your meal) ! Vegetables are SO good for us, packed with fiber, vitamins, minerals and SO much more! Foods high in fiber add extra volume, and also take longer to digest which helps keep us full for longer! When it comes to creating the perfect weight loss meal, you want to try and eat foods that give you volume but also help keep you full! If you’re someone like me who LOVES big portion sizes, adding veggies is a great way to achieve that, without having to add too many calories!
If you don’t like veggies or find them boring, try finding fun and innovative ways to prepare them! My cauliflower pizza or bell pepper pizzas are a great example of this! Roast them, steam them, BBQ them, boil them… however you like it! Try adding some delicious spices to help give them that added flavour punch!
Add A Protein Source
What is a weight loss meal? My definition of that is one that helps keep you full and satisfied which enables you to be in a slight calorie deficit for the day. Making sure you add a protein source to your meals is SO important for so many factors.
Firstly, protein has been shown to decrease the hunger hormone ghrelin, and increase your levels of feeling full and satisfied after a meal which can in turn cause you to be less likely to overeat in the day. Additionally, when the body is metabolising protein it actually USES energy and burns calories to digest it! I like to include around a palm size of protein with most my meals!
For all my meals I try and include a protein source!
Here are just some of my favourites:
Meats: Chicken, turkey, beef
Fish: Salmon, Tuna, Hake
Eggs: Love this as a quick breakfast or snack!
Dairy: Cottage cheese, Greek yoghurt
Plant based: Chickpeas, beans, tofu, edamame
Add a Fat Source
This is the part where a lot of people try and skip out on. If you’re someone who does calorie counting, you may be well aware of how fats are higher in calories than proteins or carbohydrates. For this reason, when it comes to creating a weight loss meal, people think that they have to avoid fats at all costs. HOWEVER, eating fats is essential for our body to absorb certain vitamins (A,D, E, K) as well as loads of other bodily functions!
When it comes to weight-loss, although fats are slightly higher in calories they slow down the rate that your stomach empties during digestion. What does this mean you ask? This means that they can often help you STAY FULLER FOR LONGER & actually KEEP YOU SATISFIED after your meal!
This is why I much prefer being aware of your macro’s as opposed to just simply doing straight up calorie counting. There is so much more than just picking the lowest calorie option, and a lot more comes into play! Calorie counting can often make you miss important fundamental aspects of diet and is a very linear approach to weight loss. Counting and learning about macronutrients is a far better approach, especially if you are getting started on your weight loss journey. It can also be a great way to learn about portion size.
Carbs have gotten a bad rep in the past and has almost become the ‘face’ of weight gain. How many times have you heard people saying “ I can’t lose weight because I love carbs too much”. The truth is that carbohydrates are the bodies main source of energy!
It all depends on YOU and your personal lifestyle! If you are a very active person, a higher carbohydrate diet may be what helps keep you feeling your BEST. But if you’re someone more sedentary, a lower carb diet may be what energizes you. Now notice that I don’t say a ‘no carb diet’ because it is not necessary to cut out all carbs and it’s all about finding what is sustainable for YOU and your lifestyle.
I have a moderately active lifestyle and for that reason I include a moderate amount of carbohydrates! I find including carbohydrates has not only helped me see results through feeling stronger at the gym, but also has helped me to physically feel more energized.
When it comes to my carbohydrate choices, I like to pick (most of the time) whole grain complex sources. What do I mean by this? Ones that are higher in fiber (for reasons mentioned above). Complex carbohydrates are digested at a slower rate than simple carbohydrates!
It’s all about YOU, YOUR LIFESTYLE and what helps you FEEL your best! Here are some of my favourite carb sources: Home-made bread, brown rice, fruits, root vegetables like potatoes and sweet potato, whole-grain wraps etc!
Make It Delicious
Making sure that you are only eating foods that you ACTUALLY enjoy! DO NOT eat a food because you read somewhere online that it is good for weight-loss! Eat veggies that you like, and don’t force yourself to eat the ones you don’t. Make sure you’re creating texture differences! A fun way to do this can be including some roasted veggies & some raw veggies. This creates textures and different flavours. Adding spices & sauces can also be a delicious element. Every tried eggplant without spice? It tastes like trash! But ever tried it roasted with spices, some passata sauce over it and a little cheese? It’s honestly heavenly and makes you WANT to eat your meal!
This is all about it being a LIFESTYLE! Do what you can maintain for LIFE & long term!