So you want to get into the best shape of your life? Better start in the kitchen. Of course, putting in effort at the gym is extremely important. However, it’s far easier to shed calories in the kitchen than in the gym. Just think, how long does it take to burn off 100 calories?
If you’re going all out, perhaps 10 minutes.
How long does it take to drop 100 calories from your diet?
Replace the ranch salad dressing with a balsamic vinaigrette. However, going on a diet doesn’t mean you need to ditch flavor or starve yourself.
Here are some of our favorite healthy recipes for weight loss you’ll not only enjoy, but you’ll forget you’re even dieting.
Veggie Pasta With Italian Sausage
Normal pasta usually comes packed with high amounts of carbs and little else of nutritional value. When compared with 100% whole wheat bread and brown rice, standard pasta comes in at a distant third in terms of overall healthy qualities. That changes when you switch regular pasta with veggie pasta.
Yes, you can always swap in the zucchini curls or even spaghetti squash, but the consistency of those often leaves much to be designed (mouth feel wise).
Veggie pasta has a similar texture to regular pasta, so it holds up better with a meal such as this.
To prepare, use:
2 ounces of uncooked veggie pasta
1/2 cup spaghetti sauce
1 Italian chicken sausage
2 minced garlic cloves
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
Follow the instructions on the packaging to cook the pasta. While cooking, heat the sausage, then add the onions, garlic and the rest of the veggies. Allow everything to cook for about 12 minutes. Combine everything together and top it off with the Parmesan cheese.
In all, this makes a single serving, which comes with 494 calories and 32 grams of protein and 71 grams of carbs (depending on the sausage and pasta you pick up).
It’s a great dinner that gives you energy and protein for rebuilding muscles after a day in the gym.
A stuffed potato works as a great meal. Yes, it comes with carbs, so if you’re on a low carb diet this is not a desirable option.
However, we find it important to include carbs in the diet as it gives you the energy for improved gym performance.
If you’re not a huge fan of potatoes, you can always switch it out with a sweet potato or yam.
To make you’ll need:
1 potato (medium to large sized
1/2 cup of turkey chili (can switch with veggie chili if desired)
2 cups broccoli
1/4 cup shredded cheese
All of this can be done in the microwave. Pop the potato in the microwave for seven minutes, then remove and wrap in tin foil (do this after you remove it from the microwave).
All it to sit for another 5 minutes. While it sits, warm the chili and broccoli. You can put this on a stove top on low or pop it into the microwave for a few minutes.
When the potato has finished and a fork pierces the skin easily, cut the potato lengthwise, then add the chili and broccoli mixture with cheese on top. If you don’t like broccoli you can swap in your favorite vegetable (we like broccoli in this recipe as it provides a necessary crunch to the meal).
The entire meal will run around 499 calories with 30 grams of protein and 71 grabs of carbs.
Quinoa and Blueberry Breakfast Bowl
It’s very important for you to eat breakfast. It starts your metabolic rate off right and will carry you through the rest of the day.
If you’d like, you can consume a simple protein shake. It’s best to use the protein powder you buy in bulk as some of the single-serving options at the grocery store have excessive amounts of sugar.
Either way, make sure to read the national facts on the back. If, however, you’d like to mix it up a bit, here’s a great and healthy alternative for breakfast.
To make this you’ll need:
1 cup of quinoa
2 cups water
1 tbsp vanilla
2 cups blueberries
1 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Heat your oven to 400 degrees. Mix the quinoa, vanilla and water, plus a pinch of salt if desired and bring to a boil, then set to low. Allow it to simmer up low for 15 minutes until all the liquid is gone. Now, add in the blueberries, coconut oil and cinnamon. From here, place into a baking sheet and slide into the oven until it begins to bubble.
This combination makes four servings.
Each serving consists of 228 calories, 6 grams of protein and 36 grams of carbs.
Just because you’re staying on a diet doesn’t mean you need to cut out pizza. When you use this recipe you’ll feel not only satisfied, but there’s a good chance you end up breaking out this option for other meals as well.
To make you’ll need:
2 100% whole grain tortillas
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp lemon juice
To begin, place the tortillas into your microwave and warm for 30 seconds. Now, scoop out the avocado into a bowl and add the lemon juice. The lemon juice helps prevent the avocado from turning brown right away. Mix and spread over the top of the tortillas. Heat the olive oil on a skillet and fry your eggs. Now place the eggs on your tortillas.
You can also add any other veggies you might like, including cherry tomatoes, mushrooms, olives or anything else.
With the ingredients used within the recipe, you’ll have two servings. Each serving consists of 229 calories, 9 grams of protein and 14 grams of carbs.
If you want a quick way to boost the protein in this, turn to the canned meat section of your grocery store. Sprinkle on some canned chicken, tuna or even salad shrimp and let the mixture bake for a few minutes in the stove.
Meal Replacing Smoothie
As we referenced earlier, you can replace a meal with a protein drink. On average, you can net around 30 grams of protein for under 200 calories. If you want some added flavor, pour cinnamon into the drink. There’s also a peanut butter powder you can pick up.
Sprinkle some of this in and you’ll basically be drinking a chocolate and peanut butter cup protein drink at around 230 calories (or if you don’t need the full 30 grams of protein you can cut the calories and protein in half with a half serving).
To mix it up though, there are some great meal replacing super smoothies that cut the calories and boost your metabolism.
To make it you’ll need:
1 peeled and cored apple
1 cup red grapes (frozen is easiest)
1 tsp grated ginger
1/2 cup kefir
1/2 cup chilled, unsweetened green tea
1 tbsp honey
Toss everything into a blender and run it until smooth. You can remove the honey, if it’s too sweet or you’d like to remove sugar variants.
As is, a single cup serving is good for 130 calories, 5 grams of protein and 27 grams of carbs.
Leafy greens are very important for your diet. These super foods help with the function of nearly every organ in your body, so make sure to add it into your daily recipe routines.
For a delicious salad, use the following ingredients:
1 cup baby spinach
1/2 cup avocado
1/3 red onion
Handful of almonds
1 cup bean sprouts
1/2 cup parsley
1 tomato & Protein of choice
Chop up all of the ingredients and toss it together.
The beauty of this salad is you can mix and match to your taste. It is best to go with leafy greens instead of romaine lettuce as spinach, kale and other greens are packed with more antioxidants, which help your muscles recover faster after a workout. We also like to chop up some spicy peppers to give it a little heat (and crunch).
If you don’t want it too hot but enjoy the flavor, scoop out the seeds before adding to the salad. Jalapeno peppers are good, although we prefer the taste of Serrano peppers. These are spicier but offer great flavor. Remove the seeds and use one at a time until you identify your level of heat.
In terms of the protein of choice you have all sorts of options. You can take the remains of a roasted chicken you had for dinner the night before. You can use a can of tuna, or salad shrimp or hard boiled eggs. There are plenty of options to help keep this fresh.
For your dressing you’ll want to mix:
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp black pepper
Mix all of this together and drizzle over the salad. The lemon juice offers a nice, fresh taste, that goes great with tuna or other seafood in the salad. You can replace it with Dijon mustard if you don’t have lemon on hand.
With the salad dressing (and not including the protein) the salad is 220 calories, 5 grams of protein and 16.3 grams of carbs.
Salmon and Broccoli Bulgur Pilaf
Here is a delicious dinner you’ll completely fall in love with and will turn into a family favorite in no time.
To make it you’ll need:
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp ground pepper
Juice of a lemon
4 6-ounce salmon filets
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup bulgur wheat (medium grind)
1/2 cup broccoli florets
Chopped sun dried tomatoes
Set the oven to 400 degrees. As it heats, combine the Italian seasoning, salt, pepper and lemon juice into a bowl. Coat the salmon filets (if using frozen salmon allow the salmon to thaw before dipping). Place into the oven for around 12 to 15 minutes.
While the salmon sits, bring the stock to a boil and add in a pinch of salt, then add the broccoli florets and the bulgur.
Once it begins to boil turn the heat off, cover and set it aside. In about 10 minutes or so the wheat will absorb the liquid.
Now, spoon out the bulgur and place the salmon filet on top. Sprinkle the goat cheese and sun dried tomatoes over the top.
This makes four servings, which is perfect for the family dinner or for meal prep for the week. Each serving is 308 calories, 29 grams of protein and a total of 28 grams of carbs.
Salmon is the best seafood for this recipe as it is a fattier fish with a nice thickness. However, if you’re looking for a way to cut down on your dieting budget and want a fish that costs a bit less, you can go with any other fish that works for you.
Flounder works, and you can use tilapia, which is readily available and one of the least expensive fish you can purchase. If possible, it’s best to purchase wild caught fish over farm raised.
Just make sure you adjust the length of time you bake the fish for. The slender fish will bake relatively quickly.
Dieting doesn’t need to be a chore. In order to drop weight you need to burn more calories than you take in, but with some subtle adjustments in your kitchen, you won’t have much of a problem doing that.
By taking advantages of these healthy recipes for weight loss, you’ll see the weight drop right off in no time.
Combine that with the work you put in at the gym, you’ll discover a brand new body, a brand new way of life and a brand new you.