Healthy Meal Plans to Lose Weight

2010 is all done, and 2011 is rolling in.. this means new years resolutions. One of the most popular new years resolutions are to get in shape, or perhaps shed a few pounds. Many people think that if they get a gym membership, and go a couple times a week this will be all they need to achieve their goals of getting in shape or losing some weight. WRONG. Weight loss is a journey…. and for some, it can be a very long journey at that. Gaining back your health includes an abundance of change. One of the largest contributing factors to weight loss is your diet plan. Today I will give you a few tips to get healthy and shed a few extra pounds with healthy meal plans to lose weight. No gym required.

The reason you have gained the weight in the first place has been your diet. Many people disregard breakfast. This meal is the most important meal of day because it starts up your metabolism. This is something that you really need to understand. You metabolism WILL slow down if you are only eat 2 LARGE meals a day, it will slow down if you are eating 2 small meals a day, and it will slow down if you are not putting the right fuel into your system.

To start off, cut out the simple sugars. These include white bread, sugar in your coffee, pastries, plain bagels, white pasta, cookies and most fast food.

Then, recognize the importance of water. Its huge. It gets your digestive system moving, and it helps rid of any toxins that are slowing you down.. literally.

Start eating a healthy breakfast. This should/can include, a bowl of cereal (Fibre One, Vector, Cheerios, nature valley) you should use low-fat milk, and for some extra nutrients add fresh berries, apples, or bananas.

You can also refer to the other breakfast healthy meal plans idea that I have previously posted.

Then.. about 3 hours later have a snack. This snack should include a fruit accompanied with a protein or a fat. So, lets say an apple with 10-15 almonds, or a low fat cheese.

So, if you work a job that is from 9-5, we are probably at about 2:30 or three o’clock. Now its lunch time. This should include a protein, a complex carbohydrate and some vegetables. This can be a piece of chicken breast, accompanied with a small sweet potato and a fresh salad. Avoid processed dressing. Try Balsamic vinegar and olive oil to put on your salad, and if you need to spice up your chicken try some Mrs. Dash sodium (salt) free spices.

Now, its about 5:30 you are hitting the road and your on the way home. Dinner time is creeping up, but if you’re sitting in traffic and you can feel your tummy growling. For times like these make sure you have something in your bag. This is when most people fail. Many people swing through the McDonalds drive through to get a burger to hold them until they get home. Terrible idea, AND it waste of money and chances are you will feel guilty afterward if you’re trying to get in shape! So.. always have a little granola bar in your bag. Not a granola bar that is loaded with sugar like a S’mores bar. But try something like Kashi or Nature valley. These can even be thrown into your dash board for desperate times.

Now you are home, and the family is getting hungry. You’re dinner, much like your lunch should consist of a protein, a complex carbohydrate and vegetables. This can include extra lean ground beef spaghetti sauce, whole wheat noodles, and a fresh spinach salad with any vegetables. Again, light on the dressing.

If your family enjoys stir fry. Sautee some frozen or fresh vegetables with some diced up chicken breast, and put it on a bed or brown, or wild rice.

Many of us deal with unsupportive families who are not willing to eat such foods, but this is about YOU.. not the entire family. IF they are not willing to be supportive and help make the changes, recognize what you are going after… YOUR HEALTH. Continue your healthy eating, and consider the fact that you recently had a granola bar, you can hold off for a few extra minutes to make your own plate.

Remember… drink at least 6-8 glasses of water a day. Drink with every meal. Its hard to get used to, but after a few days, your body and mind will thank you.

Key point here, DO NOT starve yourself. It will only come back to bite you. Eat frequently. When you are hungry.. EAT.. just make sure its healthy, clean food. With all of this information, you are well on your way to starting a fabulous diet that will not feel like a diet, it will become your lifestyle. It will help with your weight-loss and over all health. So, there you go, this is your new outline to starting your healthy meal plans to lose weight. In the upcoming articles, I will give you some more meal ideas and few extra tips to rid of the few extra pounds.

Five Food Groups Not Normally Associated With Preparing Healthy Meals

Here is a different take on preparing healthy meals for you and your family.

Our bodies are complex organic machines which can more than comfortably handle fats, carbohydrates, protein and anything else you might once have thought to be “unhealthy”, as long as we don’t continually barrage our bodies with heavily processed foods containing ingredients which act as toxins in our bodies.

It is only in very recent times that doctors have started to learn of this research and start to encourage their patients to more healthy meals containing much less of this one core ingredient, which is eaten by almost everyone, every day, without even realizing it.

So what is this critical ingredient?

Sugar – more specifically, Fructose which makes up approximately half of sugar as we know it.

Sugar is in basic terms 50% Glucose and 50% Fructose, and while Glucose is fine, the Fructose is now known to be a toxin in our systems.

So, while we have been diligently preparing what we have believed to be nutritionally balanced and healthy meals for our families, what we have been quite oblivious to is that sugar is contained in just about every processed food and condiment we place in front of our families daily.

Take Tomato and BBQ sauce – Eaten almost daily. These sauces contain more sugar than a can of soft drink, and that is way more than we need or our bodies can handle.

The challenge of creating healthy meals which contain minimal sugar but still taste great.

As mentioned in the title of this article, there are five core food groups we can turn to as a great starting points for creating delicious healthy meals the whole family will love. There are some basic foods you will also need to avoid if you are to create meals which are truly healthy, particularly for our kids.

Good foods which have no or low Fructose are:

Full fat dairy products:

Milk, cream, cheeses, yoghurt and butter all contain Lactose, a form of sugar which we have no trouble metabolizing and is not “bad” for us. Just don’t add flavourings (eg; flavoured milk or yoghurt) as the flavourings contain Fructose.

All meats:

Lamb, Pork, Beef, and all Game meats are fine as are Fish, Chicken Turkey, and Game birds. None contain fructose, and while lean is good, don’t panic about removing all the fat, as our bodies are comfortable with “managing” these types of fats.

Vegetables:

Most vegetables are low in Fructose and are great natural sources of natural vitamins and minerals and go perfectly with the foods mentioned above. Vegetables are a great healthy snack when eaten raw as well, so start encouraging your kids to eat vegetable “snacks” instead of heading straight to the pantry.

Eggs:

Eggs are a great source of protein and despite what we may have been told, are a healthy ingredient in any form.

Water:

No surprise here, but all too often our kids head straight for juices or sweet fizzy drinks which are loaded with sugar, so try changing to drinking water or milk with your meals.

So in a nutshell, the best and most healthy meals will contain some or all of the foods groups noted above. A good basic rule to work to is “if it tastes sweet, it most likely contains sugar, so avoid it if you can”.

Healthy Meals To Lose Weight

Eating healthy meals to lose weight that also are tasty doesn’t have to be an elusive proposition. It does take a strong determination on your part to resolve to do so. There are tons of recipes out there, healthy and not healthy. It is sometimes time consuming to weed through to the ones you really enjoy plus are healthy meals that will help you lose weight.

Having healthy meals helps you to lose weight partly by decreasing the desire to eat unnecessary calories. Our bodies often signal our brains that we need to eat because it is missing a certain nutrient. If we answer that signal by eating more of the wrong things devoid of nutritional value, your body will signal again. This can contribute to continual weight gain. Of course, our body doesn’t plainly say, “hey, I really need some vitamin C in here, could you eat an orange please?” We need to be aware of the value of our choices. We need to make a conscious effort to provide our bodies with well rounded meals. If we don’t do this, our bodies can’t be expected to function at their best. We will likely at some point develop health problems either from poor nutrition, weight gain or both. This affects our overall enjoyment of life.

Simple Changes To Make Meals Healthier

Changing your daily habits to include healthy meals each and every day may take some effort at first, but once you slowly change these habits, it will get easier. There are a few simple changes that will automatically cut out a lot of extra calories. These are minor changes that can have a major impact. They are things that should be considered in your overall plan to lose weight.

1. Use olive oil as much as possible when needing oil or a vegetable oil. No lard or saturated fats.

2. Avoid frying foods whenever possible. Baking is much healthier.

3. Avoid pure butter and even margarine (as most are full of chemicals). Use a butter specially made without transfat whenever possible. It is much more healthy for your heart.

4. Avoid meats with a lot of fat in them. Cut off the fat whenever possible.

5. Sit down when you eat. If your family resides with you, sit down together for meals.

6. Eat slower, chewing each bite at least 15-20 times before swallowing. This will help you enjoy your food more and give your body a chance to know when its full, avoiding overeating.

7. Limit your intake of sugary drinks like sodas and juices. They add unhealthy calories and actually cause you to want to eat more due to the fluctuation in blood sugar levels. Alcohol can have a similar effect.

Healthy Meals, Healthy Snacking, Healthy Lifestyle

In addition to choosing healthy meals, to lose weight will include watching your snacking habits too. Healthier snacks between meals will help you feel better and keep your blood sugar level more balanced. These are all lifestyle changes. It doesn’t mean you can’t have a piece of cheesecake or a bowl of ice cream now and then. On the contrary actually. If your daily nutrition level is good, then it will actually allow an indulgence now and then in a snack that is less than nutritious.

Healthy Meals Begin With Your Resolve

Deciding that you are going to have healthy meals to lose weight is half the battle. Some days you will be tempted to revert back to maybe some unhealthy habit, but resolve that you will find healthy meals that you enjoy. This will likely require some trial and error, but you will find them. Same thing goes with your snacking choices. Many diet plans out there can help you lose weight, but most diets are not healthy and they aren’t a plan for lasting weight loss. Only a lifestyle change that you make enjoyable will do that. So deciding on healthy meals to lose weight will be part of that overall health plan for your whole life.