Dinner: Good End to a Perfect Weight Loss Day
Some people may call breakfast the most important meal of the day, but dinner deserves its fair share of attention, too. It can round out a good day of nutrition, or help you reach your nutrient goals if breakfast and lunch weren’t quite up to par. On the other hand, having an unhealthy, oversized dinner regularly can singlehandedly defeat your weight loss efforts.
Dinner can be healthy, great-tasting, and convenient, too. It just takes a little planning. Here are a few ideas for putting together that perfect weight loss dinner.
Pick Your Protein (and a Veggie)
You know the importance of protein. It keeps hunger at bay, helps control blood sugar, and helps you maintain lean muscle mass as you lose weight – so you can keep your metabolism up. You may have gotten in most of your protein and breakfast, lunch, and some snacks, but you can still include some protein at dinner.
Take your pick of chicken, turkey, fish, tofu, or any other lean protein. You don’t have to get facncy. Just serve it with a side of veggies, or toss it with veggies and some seasonings to make a stir fry. Even easier is choosing a high-protein BariatricPal Entrée. They are shelf-stable and ready in minutes, and there is sure to be one that fits your mood, from pasta to comfort food to Tex-Mex to Asian inspired.
Along with your protein and veggie, you may want a little starch and healthy fat. Get some good carbs from a baked sweet potato or cooked whole grain such as brown rice or barley, and consider having a slice of avocado or using a little olive oil in cooking to get those healthy fats.
Make It Family Friendly
You don’t necessarily need to make two separate dinners if you’re cooking for your family. There’s a good chance that you can make a meal that does double duty by fitting into your meal plan while satisfying even the pickiest eaters in your home. You may just need to get creative! Here are some ideas.
-Try breakfast for dinner with Protein Pancakes. You can stick to toppings such as fresh fruit, Greek yogurt, and lean all-natural turkey bacon or sausage.
-Let everyone pick their faves by setting up a pasta bar. You can offer regular pasta for the others, and stick to low-carb Protein Pasta for yourself. Get extra protein from ground turkey meatballs or grilled chicken breast, and let everyone enjoy their veggies from marinara sauce and cooked options such as broccoli florets, sliced mushrooms, and carrot slices.
-A burger bar is another great pick-your-faves option. Go bunless or try a lettuce wrap yourself, and offer plenty of toppings such as lettuce and tomatoes, low-fat cheese slices, and grilled mushrooms and onions.
Relax and Enjoy It
A relaxed dinner can help you wind down from the day, improve your mood, and help you prepare for bedtime in a few hours so you can sleep well and do it all over again tomorrow. Many people have more of a chance to relax at dinner than at breakfast, when you may be frantically getting yourself and your family ready for work and school, and lunch, when you may be at work or on the go between errands.
Make a conscious effort to relax during dinner. You can focus on enjoying your food. Notice the peace and quiet if you are by yourself, and enjoy the company if you are with your family and friends. Even just a few minutes can help you gather your strength, including mental strength for weight loss.
Your dinner can be an important key to your weight loss and health. With a few tweaks, you can bump up your nutrient intake and cut a few calories without taking much extra time to prepare. You may notice your weight dropping and your energy increasing if your dinner is a little healthier.
- Alex Brecher