If you are looking to lose weight, you must have tried at least one food regimen or restrictive dieting that require cutting on certain high-calorie food groups. Well, you have been doing it all wrong. Despite popular opinion, weight loss does not depend on simple calorie reduction. On the contrary, the body needs calories to keep the metabolism functional. Nutritionists agree that the focus should be on diversity. Infusing your diet with healthy foods, combined with increased physical activity and controlled portion sizes is most likely to give the desired results. A balanced intake of vegetables, fruits, whole eggs, and cheese will not only make you lose weight faster but will also have a positive effect on your overall health and vitality.
We have compiled a list of 20 amazing recipes that will make the process of weight loss easy and fun!
Fresh strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries combined in a quick and easy smoothie recipe for a healthy start of the day. To make this morning drink sweeter, add some pure honey.
Fruits can be a very efficient addition to any weight loss diet. Even though fruits contain sugar, they have a low energy density so the body needs time to process them. In addition, they are high in dietary fiber which makes you feel fuller for a longer period of time and prevents the sugar from being released too fast into the blood. Berries have another important upside – they are rich in antioxidants which fight harmful free radicals in the body and keep us in good health.
Honeyed oats, crunchy pecans, dried cherries, and coconut flakes are just a few tempting ingredients in this healthy morning treat.
Oats are rich in soluble fibers called beta-glucans, known for increasing satiety and boosting metabolic functions. Make sure to stay away from processed oats because they are quite harmful and fattening.
Nuts are rich in fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Despite the concerns related to the high calorie and fat content, when consumed in limited amounts (a handful or two a day), nuts can improve your metabolic health and promote weight loss.
Use your favorite bran breakfast cereals to create these utterly delicious muffins. Complement with raisins, applesauce, and cinnamon and you have the perfect breakfast to enjoy on the run.
Half a cup of bran cereal contains up to 13 grams of fiber which, as we’ve mentioned, is great to keep you full.
Raisins make ideal diet addition in weight loss programs due to the fact that they are rich in natural sugar and can serve as a sugar replacement. In addition, these tiny fruits are also rich in fiber and nutrients like B vitamins, potassium, and iron.
Pancakes are always a good idea, but when they are made with healthy ingredients, they are even better. Make this fragrant and fluffy delight in no time, mixing the ingredients in a blender and baking in the oven, then top it with fruit slices or jam for extra healthiness.
The recipe calls for three eggs, one of the best foods for weight loss. Eggs are rich in healthy fats and protein so they make you feel full without contributing too many calories. Plus, they are packed with various nutrients (mostly in the yolk) and will make up for any ingredients you are depriving of in restrictive dieting.
This recipe is especially convenient when you need an idea to use up any leftover boiled eggs or when you simply need a hearty and flavorful breakfast.
Besides eggs, whose benefits were mentioned in the previous recipe, this simple dish contains another very healthy ingredient – asparagus.
Asparagus is a great source of inulin, soluble fiber that decreases your appetite. In addition, fiber in asparagus aids digestion, whereas vitamin K acts as a natural diuretic, reducing bloating and gasses in the stomach. This veggie is also rich in B vitamins that help regulate your blood sugar levels, which means reduced sugar crashes and, as a result, overeating.
Turn one of the most dreaded veggies into a spectacular delight in no time. It’s all about the spices!
Brussels sprouts are rich in vitamin A, potassium, folacin, and calcium. They have 25 calories and about 4 grams of fiber per cup. These cabbage-like veggies will keep you full, which makes them a great addition to your weight loss diet plan.
This recipe reveals the secret sauce used by restaurant chefs to turn bland vegetables into an amazing snack!
Snap peas have 35 calories per 1 cup. They provide 2 grams of protein, 3 grams of natural sugar and 2 grams of fiber, with no fat whatsoever. Crunchy sesame seeds are rich in proteins and minerals like magnesium and calcium, as well as vitamin E, all of which are good for the metabolism and regulation of blood sugar levels. The high content of fiber in both these ingredients increases satiety and improves digestion as well.
White beans combine with sour cream and cream cheese to create this amazing Italian-flavored dip.
White kidney beans act as starch blockers, i.e. they inhibit amylase, a starch-digesting enzyme that urns starch into absorbable sugar. Note: sour cream is an ingredient that is quite high in fat and calories, so alternatively, you can try reduced-fat or nonfat sour cream as a substitute. Other options are nonfat or low-fat yogurt, Greek yogurt, or cottage cheese.
Serve these juicy baby carrots cooked in a glaze made of honey and butter, flavored with lemon juice and ginger as an entrée.
Carrots are low in calories and fat, but high in fiber and water. Moreover, these veggies have a low glycemic index (GI 47) which, combined with fiber, helps control blood sugar levels and promote feelings of fullness.
Steamed broccoli? No one likes that. However, topping it with a tangy mixture made of buttery bread crumbs, red pepper flakes, and garlic will transform this plain food into a delicious starter or side dish.
Broccoli is low in carbs and calories, but high in fiber. Leafy greens like broccoli increase the volume of your dishes, without the unwanted increase of calories. Broccoli also contains calcium, which is known to facilitate fat burning.
This simple pasta dish filled with flavorful garden herbs will make you feel like dining by the Mediterranean Sea.
It is common belief that carbs are the main culprit for making us fat. However, high-carb foods are low in fat so, when they are part of a diverse diet and consumed in moderation, they are perfectly safe. However, it wise to opt for whole wheat pasta or rice pasta, which is much healthier and higher in fiber than processed pasta made of bleached flour.
Tabouli is a Middle Eastern dish traditionally made with bulgur (sometimes couscous), veggies like tomatoes and onion, and complemented with chopped parsley, mint, olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. There is literally no ingredient in this dish that is bad for you!
Bulgur is another ingredient that should become regular in your diet. This whole grain is rich in fiber which, as we know, makes you feel fuller on smaller amounts of food. The best part is that it cooks in 15 minutes.
This colorful salad is a lighter and healthier take on the beloved Mexican fast food. It is based on pre-packed ingredients for faster preparation, but we recommend using fresh ones whenever possible.
Even though meat has been considered unhealthy and weight-loss unfriendly, the high protein content proves the opposite. Processed meats are indeed harmful and should not be consumed, but protein-rich unprocessed meats will make you feel full, reduce cravings, and burn calories at the same time.
Whether trying to use up your Thanksgiving turkey leftovers or just want an easy, fulfilling snack, this recipe is the best solution.
Besides lean, unprocessed turkey meat, it is also packed with vegetables, chopped almonds, rich dressing, but also – fruits; namely, it contains two cups grapes and two cans of mandarin oranges, which make this dish a real festival of flavors and nutrients!
Note: instead of regular rice, opt for brown rice or wild rice.
Fresh spinach, dried cranberries and crunchy walnuts combined in a tangy, sweet, and sour dressing to produce a dish full of textures and contrasts.
Nuts and veggies are a combo you can’t go wrong with. However, the star of the show is the apple cider vinegar, one of the most popular ingredients amongst healthy eaters. Studies suggest that taking vinegar with meals that are high in carbs increases satiety and makes you eat less. In addition, this condiment controls blood sugar spikes, thus helping reduce cravings.
No healthy food list can go without fish. This tropical recipe combines tuna with tomatoes, hot jalapeño peppers, and sweet pineapple salsa.
Tuna is lean fish low in fat and calories, but high protein food, which makes it especially popular amongst physically active people and athletes. Note: to increase the protein intake additionally, opt for tuna canned in water, not in oil.
Recreating your favorite Chinese takeout at home has never been easier. This delicious fried rice dish combines juicy healthy seafood with tender ham, and sweet peas.
Shrimps are one of the most potent secret weapons against weight gain. They are high in protein but very low in calories (4 large shrimps have a total of 30 calories, 6 grams of protein and virtually no saturated fats). Shrimps, like all seafood and fish, are also very rich in iodine, a nutrient responsible for maintaining normal function of the thyroid gland, which is needed for proper metabolism functioning.
Probably the healthiest fish out there, salmon, combines with an easy sauce made of maple syrup and orange jam. The dish is richly seasoned with flavorful herbs and spices like cloves and anise to create a delicious, melt-in-your-mouth meal.
Oily fish like salmon is not only very healthy, but also very satisfying. The high protein content in salmon will make you feel full for longer periods of time during the day, while keeping the calorie intake low. Salmon is also high in omega-3 fatty acids, which fight obesity and metabolic issues by reducing inflammation. Other types of oily fish that should become a regular part of your weight loss diet are trout, mackerel, sardines, and herring.
Make these cute and delicious bites full of Italian flavors healthier by replacing store-bought piecrust with a homemade one. It is true that it will take you a bit longer to make, but you’ll be able to control the ingredients and make it healthier by adding, for instance, some oats or substituting common refined oil with a healthier option like olive oil.
In fact, olive oil should replace all types of harmful refined oils in all your recipes. It not only contributes Mediterranean flavor to your meals, but it increases the levels of serotonin, a hormone connected with satiety. Make sure you are using cold-pressed (extra virgin) olive oil.
#20 Sesame Noodles
Hot pasta smothered in a rich, spicy and nutty sauce made with peanut butter, red pepper, sesame seeds and ginger.
Ginger aids digestion and balances the metabolism, which makes it an excellent addition to any recipe you make (it is best if you use freshly grated ginger root).
Still, the star of the show in this recipe is peanut butter. While it might seem like it is one of the worst foods to consume when trying to lose weight, America’s favorite spread has been proven to be the exact opposite. Researchers have found that a diet that includes high levels of monounsaturated fats, like peanut butter, helps you lose weight and prevent heart disease. Snacking on natural, unsweetened PB in small amounts will help you control hunger without weight gain.