By Ann Sullivan
With the hectic pace most of us experience in today’s world, eating fast and well is no simple task. For many people, it’s much easier to just grab what’s convenient, rather than what’s healthy or less fattening. With a little planning, however, it is possible to achieve both. Another key to slimming your waistline is not waiting too long to eat. That’s a trap many of us fall into which causes us to grab the wrong food or just plain eat too much. Here are nine meals which are super easy to prepare and will help slim that extra bulge at the same time.
1) Oats with Berries & Greek Yogurt
Oats contain prebiotics, which feed the good bacteria already present in our bodies. Probiotics, such as those found in Greek Yogurt, add to that good bacteria. Combine them with some delicious berries and you have a great start to your day. For some added protein toss in some walnuts, peanuts, or almonds. Studies have found people who eat nuts have lower belly fat content. Nuts also provide fiber, which will keep you feeling full longer. Blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, whatever you prefer, will add fiber, and provide antioxidants. They also have much less sugar than some other varieties of fruits. You can also combine Greek Yogurt with berries and nuts for a dessert alternative or light filling and nutritious fat-burning snack. Oats and berries can also be baked into snack bars. Add some coconut oil and eggs. Coconut oil reduces belly fat due to the high fatty acid content.
2) Whole Eggs & Cottage Cheese
They’re one of nature’s whole foods providing a complete protein and nutrient source. Yet, they’re often overlooked for the misconception they cause high-cholesterol. The truth is, eggs build muscle and burn fat at the same time. It’s simple enough to prepare a meal with eggs as the main protein. You can even keep hard boiled eggs on hand in the refrigerator. They’re a great “grab and go food” too. The problem most people encounter with eggs is not the egg itself, but rather what they use to garnish or accompany it. If you add green leafy veggies, such as spinach, or fresh berries with some cottage cheese, you’ll have a complete meal for breakfast, lunch, or a light bite that will leave you satisfied. Cottage cheese is filled with satiating protein while low in calories. Some call it the “dieters dream food.”
3) Salmon or Tuna with Tossed Salad
Also known as healthy fatty fish, salmon and tuna are also great sources of fat burning protein. They pack a punch when it comes to feeling full and satisfied. If you want to make a great simple meal, take fresh salad ingredients and add your favorite fatty fish. Salmon and tuna can easily be poached or grilled and diced or sliced up into the salad. If you like fruit in your salad, you can add some grapefruit or orange slices, which will also help to burn fat and calories and regulate blood sugar as well. If you’re not into having fruit in a salad, you can make a very simple dressing using apple cider vinegar, water, black pepper, and a little olive oil, which is also packed with the fatty acids that burn fat and keep you feeling full.
4) Steamed Greens with Whole Grains & Nuts
Here’s a simple recipe you can tailor to your taste buds. Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach, are full of magnesium, vitamin C, potassium, and folic acid. They help build and repair muscle tissue, and are rich in dietary fiber. To create a simple meal, wash your greens well and sauté in a pan with a dash of olive oil. You can round the dish off with a little brown rice or Quinoa. A small amount of a whole grain, about a cup cooked, will help prevent your body from storing fat. If you want to add a protein, nuts are a great addition. Nuts help the body build muscle and feel full by reducing cravings. Almonds and pine nuts are full of healthy fats, protein, fiber, magnesium, and vitamin E. They also promote weight loss by reducing hunger. Add some avocado slices for a creamy element.
5) Chickpeas with Tomatoes and Spinach Pasta
Beans and Legumes are high in protein and fiber which are beneficial to slimming your waistline. The fiber in the beans will help you feel full faster giving you energy, and the protein helps burn calories. Chickpeas, lentils, black beans, white, red, or pink kidney beans and peas are all an excellent replacement for carbs or fatty meats. With this versatile ingredient you can prepare simple meals which will help slim your waistline. If you buy fresh legumes, soak them overnight and rinse well before cooking. If you opt for a canned product, choose an organic one and rinse well before adding to your recipe. This will help prevent gas and get rid of any excess salt. One simple preparation is to simply toss a diced beefsteak tomato with a 2-cups of chickpeas. Add a drizzle of olive oil, some salt & pepper and toss with cooked spinach pasta.
6) Boneless Grilled Chicken Breast with Asparagus
Here’s another protein that is very versatile and a good source to build muscle and a strong immune system. It’s recommended to use the best quality you can. Free-range, organic without added antibiotics and hormones is always better. Any type of grill will work. Simply wash the chicken in a little salt water. Rinse and pat dry. You can brush on a mixture of olive oil and lemon juice with spices such as cilantro and pepper or paprika. Grill until there is no pink inside the chicken. Asparagus is considered a super-food, but, be sure not to over-cook it. It can get stringy and tough. Steamed or sautéed, it shouldn’t take more than 10-minutes. It’s another good choice to slim those extra pounds off because it’s loaded with soluble and insoluble fiber. Then slice a hard-boiled egg on top. This will add a nice creamy texture to the dish.
7) Lean Beef & Broccoli or Cauliflower
Lean beef is a great source of protein but be sure it’s lean. A great lean steak is the flat-iron steak – known in Brooklyn as “butter steak.” It doesn’t need to cook long – about 8-10 minutes on each side. You can grill it or broil it and it comes out as tender as butter. Add some steamed broccoli or cauliflower with sliced garlic and a drizzle of olive oil. Broccoli and cauliflower are in the family of cruciferous vegetables. They are high in fiber with a decent amount of protein. This means they’ll leave you feeling satisfied. If you miss those mashed potatoes, simply mash the broccoli or cauliflower. Add a drizzle of olive oil with a dash of salt and pepper and you’ll have one delicious side dish that will help you slim your waistline while feeling full and content.
8) Turkey Burger with Avocado & Tomato
Turkey is another lean meat high in protein and low in fat. For an easy meal, form fresh ground turkey into burgers and grill them. Add some avocado, lettuce, and tomato and you have a complete nutritious and filling meal. Avocados are a super-food that pair well with many dishes. They contain more potassium than bananas and are loaded with fiber. To prepare the avocado, simply slice it in half, remove the pit, scoop out the pulp and whip with a fork. Drizzle in a bit of olive oil and a dash of salt. From there you can add a spoon on top of the burger with a slice of tomato. The avocado is a great replacement for mayo or ketchup. To spice things up a bit, ads a slice of onion. Or, grill some chili peppers. They contain capsaicin, which has been known to increase fat burning and reduce appetite.
9) Spices to Promote Weight Loss
Prevention magazine reports these spices will promote weight loss and add delicious flavors to your meals. Turmeric is a yellow colored Indian spice rich in flavor and can be added to fish, meat, or vegetables. It’s reported to boost metabolism, which helps burn calories. Cayenne pepper is a spice that increases body temperature, thereby promoting increased metabolism. Just be careful not to add too much. It’s very potent. Cumin is reported to help you burn up to 3x more calories per day. It’s another universal spice that can be added to many types of dishes. Ginger helps control blood sugar levels and can be bought fresh in your local produce market. Garlic helps burn body fat and should also be used fresh and raw where possible. Black pepper is reported to boost fat burning cells. If you can’t tolerate black pepper, try the white variety.