Who doesn’t love carbs? Or sweets? I have an obsession with Reeses and blueberry muffins, and if I could eat them all day I would. I have noticed for myself that if I do not meal prep for the week, the idea of disco fries, pizza, and banana nutella pancakes sneak into my thoughts for lunch.
Now ideally, if you are looking to loose weight or eat clean, you want to avoid eating your favorite snacks in bulk and everyday, but what’s nice about flexible dieting is you can treat yourself here and there in order to not overindulge.
So let’s talk about food and calories. The average caloric intake to maintain current body weight for a male is ∼2500Kcal and for a female it is ∼2000Kcal.
1lb of body fat equals 3500 calories. To lose 1lb/week, decrease caloric intake by 500 calories per day
This does not mean skipping meals or eating minuscule portions. Include foods from all the basic food groups while avoiding or limiting intake of foods with high levels of saturated fat, trans fat, cholesterol, sodium and sugar.
And this is not telling you that carbs are the enemy. Carbs give you energy! So maybe don’t go crazy with pizza and bagels, but try having a sweet potato (hold the butter), or a baked potato, brown rice or whole grains (oatmeal, whole grain breads, etc.).
A healthy eating plan includes:
- Fruits,vegetables, whole grains, fat-free or low-fat milk products
- Lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, nuts
- Controlled portion size
I work an 8 1/2 hour work day and am on my feet all day, therefore I get hungry fast! I like to eat small meals throughout the day, but you may like 3 larger meals, that is totally up to you and you need to pick what works best in your schedule. I start off my work day with a smoothie (my go to is skim milk, tablespoon of yogurt, 1 banana, handful of blueberries, strawberries and a cup of spinach), I will then have a power crunch bar (these tend to curb my sweet tooth cravings), zucchini chicken parm boats (I meal prep a different lunch idea every week- recipe is below because they are too amazing to not share), carrots with hummus, then I finish my work day with a lean protein (preferably chicken, turkey, or fish- I don’t eat red meat) and a complex carb! Sometimes I treat myself to s’mores pop tarts too-tell no one!
If you are not ready to change your whole menu of eating try making healthy changes for just one meal!
Instead of an iceburg lettuce salad with ranch dressing try eating field greens with vegetables and light balsamic dressing!
Instead of steak and mashed potatoes try eating a leaner meat (chicken, fish, turkey) with mashed cauliflower or a sweet potato and some veggies with garlic!