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Top 7 Tips For Healthy Weight Loss Meal Planning

Posted May 08 2012 8:36pm

I’ve been sharing a lot recently about what I think about how to lose weight naturally and healthy weight loss meal plans , but I always love hearing from others and hearing different points of view. That’s why I decided to ask some of the top nutrition and weight loss experts out there for their top tips for all natural weight loss and healthy recipes.

I asked each of the experts to provide their favorite healthy recipe and to answer this question:

What do you think is the most important part of a healthy weight loss diet?

Here’s what they said!

1. Whole Foods Help You Lose Weight

“Focusing on a variety of whole foods and eliminating as much processed food as possible.  Eating foods as they are grown ensures you are taking in vital nutrients on a daily basis.  Eating regular meals and incorporating different foods each day is also essential, along with monitoring portions.”

Shana Hussin, RD is a registered dietitian and certified wellness coach, in the nutrition field for 12 years.  She posts healthy dinner meals along with categorized grocery lists and educational videos weekly at  www.gomealsgo.com .  She is commited to improving the health of your family!

Shana’s Recipe:

Thai Fettucini with Chicken and Red Peppers

image Weight Loss Spaghetti

Serves 6

Nutrition Facts:      

340 calories
8 grams fat
540 mg sodium
45 grams carbohydrate
7 grams fiber
24 grams protein

Ingredients:                                                                                                                

  • 1# boneless, skinless chicken breast, cut into 1″ strips
  • 1 red sweet bell pepper, julienned
  • 1/2 Tbsp butter
  • .25 tsp garlic salt
  • 8 oz whole grain fettucini or spaghetti
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1/4 creamy peanut butter
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • 2 Tbsp orange juice
  • 2 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 cucumber
  • 30 baby carrots
  • 12 Tbsp low-fat vegetable dip

Directions:  
Prepare pasta according to package directions.  In a large skillet, melt butter.  Saute chicken and peppers until juices run clear and peppers are tender crisp.  Sprinkle with garlic salt.  In a medium bowl, combine salsa, peanut butter, honey, orange juice and soy sauce.  Microwave for 1 minute; stir thoroughly.  Drain pasta and stir in salsa mixture.  Top each pasta serving with chicken and peppers.  Serve with raw cucumbers, carrots and dip.

2. Focus On Adding Healthy Foods

“For long term weight loss success, there needs to be a mental shift of attention toward what your body needs to bed in order to thrive, rather than harping on all the items you can’t eat. We need to focus on the nutrition and energizing foods that restore balance to the body, provide energy and promote health.” – Marra St. Clair

Marra St. Clair is the founder of Ritual Cleanse.

Marra’s Favorite Healthy Recipe:

In a Vitamix, blend:

1 frozen banana
1 giant handful of frozen spinach
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tbsp flax seed oil
½ cup raw, cold-pressed Almond Mylk (www.ritualcleanse.com)
1 scoop of your favorite protein powder (we recommend something organic)
Optional: sweeten with lucuma powder or agave.

Blend for 30 seconds to 1 minute and enjoy!

3. Eat A Simple Diet

“The best healthy weight loss diet is a simple diet that educates and explains. People who are working on losing weight have so much to think about when they start a program.  I find when people start and even think about beginning a program , the mental gymnastics creep in: what food can or can’t I eat? will I succeed or will I fail again?  will I be able to maintain my weight loss? Often people expect too much in too little time and give up before giving their new lifestyle a chance.  Many of us have fallen  prey to this self sabotage. Think about it, how often have we thought, I have two weeks before that [fill in the blank here] and I need to drop 10 pounds. It’s not realistic.

The first component of a simple weight loss plan is education. It must explain why we plan to eat certain foods going forward. In my book, I list the foods to avoid and describe what these foods do to your body. It’s a lot easier to refrain from certain foods if you know how and why they make us fat. Learning what not to eat makes it easier to swallow, pardon the pun, the foods that naturally helps us experience weight loss, reduce allover bloat and give us a better outlook on life. Eating organically, reducing wheat and dropping all processed foods from one’s diet will take weight off and keep it off. No points, no influx of protein products, consuming grapefruit or cabbage. Just good healthy food.

The second aspect to any healthy weight loss diet is planning. Successful weight loss begins at home. Shopping for and cooking foods at home, where added fats and sugars found in restaurant foods are eliminated, is key. Our crazy American schedules steal the time we need to think about the food/meals we should be eating. Instead we pull up to the local fast food drive through or order a pizza out of sheer exhaustion. I recommend using progressive recipes. These are recipes where the key part of Monday’s dinner, for example, will become the main ingredient in Wednesday’s dinner and Thursday’s lunch. Not only do these recipes make prep time a breeze, they save time and money since you bring lunch to work.” – Gigi Verrey

Gigi Verrey is the author of, Okay, So I Got Fat, available at  www.gigiverrey.com  or at Amazon.

Gigi’s Favorite Healthy Recipe

picture of Sweet Potatoes And Onions

One of my favorite examples of a healthy weight loss and progressive recipe is Sweet Potatoes and Onions. This recipe is great pared with any type of fish or meat and leftovers become Sweet Potato Soup and filling for a breakfast burrito is you so desire. Sweet potatoes and red onion are both have huge anti-inflammatory properties and are high on the anti-oxidant ladder too.

4. Eat More Fresh Fruits And Vegetables

“Consuming more fresh fruits and vegetables is the most important part of a healthy weight loss diet, along with replacing red meat with chicken, fish, legumes, and other low-fat sources of protein. However, in order to stay motivated, it is recommended that you slowly transition into this change.

Rapidly going from a diet robust with red meat to one based on fresh fruits and vegetables can lead you to give up due to the drastic nature of the change. Eat moderate amounts of a variety of fruits and veggies in the beginning, and stick with the ones you like best. Use the Internet to search for vegetable-based recipes – a wealth of tasty ideas are available.” - Andrew Schrage

Andrew Schrage is the co-owner of Money Crashers, a personal finance website designed to help people make smarter choices in areas like grocery shopping, college costs, and choosing the  best credit cards .

Andrew’s Favorite Healthy Recipe

As I transitioned away from red meat in order to shed a few pounds, one recipe I prepared quite often (and still do to this day) is a chicken and broccoli rice casserole. It’s simple to prepare, and is sure to be a hit with the whole family.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound of cooked chicken, cubed
  • 1 cup of cooked white rice
  • 1 twelve-ounce bag of frozen broccoli
  • 1 can of condensed chicken soup
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Directions

Combine all ingredients (minus the cheese) in a casserole dish, and place in the oven (preheated to 350 degrees). Bake for 30 minutes. Top with cheddar and cook for an additional five minutes, and then serve.

You can also substitute fresh steamed broccoli for the frozen broccoli, if you like.

5. Enjoy What You Eat

“The most important part of a healthy weight loss diet is eating healthy foods you truly enjoy.  This will help you reduce cravings dramatically, and help you to keep up the eating plan for the long term, so you can lose the weight for good.” – Suzanne Reilley

Suzanne teaches people how to live like a skinny person and lose the weight for good.  Find out more at  www.suzannereilley.com

Suzanne’s Favorite Recipe

Giada’s escarole and cannellini bean soup .  I love this because you get lots of nutrients from the greens, and protein from the cannellini beans.  The flavors are simple yet rich.

6. Eat Less Refined Carbohydrates

“I feel that eating less refined carbohydrates and processed foods laden with preservatives and sugar is the MOST important thing!  Eating more fresh whole foods, like fruits, vegetables, and healthy proteins and fats are ideal for not only boosting your metabolism, but also boosting your optimum health.” – Christie Korth

Christie Korth, CHC AADP is a holistic nutrition expert, founder and director of Happy & Healthy Wellness and author of The IBD Healing Plan.  Christie has studied at Columbia University, The Institute for Integrative Nutrition and the Clayton College of Natural Health. You can learn more about Christie at  www.happyandhealthywellness. com

Christie’s Favorite Healthy Recipe

Sweet Collard Green Stuffing

Free of: Casein, corn, dairy, eggs, fish, gluten

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10–15 minutes

Makes:  4 servings

Ingredients:

3–4 tablespoons olive oil
2 ribs celery, diced
3 apples, cored and diced
1 sweet onion, diced
1 carrot, grated
1 large bunch organic Collard Greens, stems removed and chopped
3 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice
Sea salt and pepper to taste.

Directions:

In a large pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add chopped onions, carrots, celery and apples. Cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add pumpkin pie spice and salt and pepper. Stir.

Add collards and mix, allow greens to wilt 12 minutes.

Add extra pumpkin pie spice if desired.

Tip: Serve with Orange Marmalade Turkey Burgers and Cranberry Sauce.

Per Serving Nutrition Facts

Calories: 64
Calories from fat: 6
Total Fat: 1 g
Saturated Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0 mg
Sodium: 27 mg
Total Carbohydrate: 15 g
Dietary Fiber: 3 g
Sugar: 8 g
Protein: 1 g
Vitamin A: 37%
Vitamin C: 22 %
Calcium: 8%
Iron: 6%

7. Don’t Diet, Live A Healthy Lifestyle!

“First of all, don’t make it a weight loss diet but a healthy life diet! This means there is no end to the healthy lifestyle, it is just that – a lifestyle. This includes pure, natural foods, the less processed the better – better yet completely unprocessed. Vegetables, fruits, lean protein, healthy complex carbohydrates, healthy fats, nuts and seeds. This means you can indulge from time to time (eat cake at a birthday party, indulge in a fabulous meal) and not feel guilty and still live a long healthy life!” – Kirsten Helle

Kirsten Helle is a personal chef and nutrition consultant that LOVES food. Kirsten transformed herself several years ago by shedding over 100 pounds. Passionate about helping others reach their goals also, she aims to inspire others to live a healthy, vibrant life. You can connect with Chef Kirsten on Facebook, Twitter  (@mesadevida) and watch her videos on YouTube. Learn more at  www.mesadevida.com

Kirsten’s Favorite Healthy Recipe

Healthified Mediterranean Pizza – with cauliflower crust!
picture of Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Makes 2 large pizzas
Crust Ingredients:

1 LARGE head cauliflower (or 3 cups shredded cauliflower)
2 large eggs
2 cups finely shredded mozzarella cheese
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried minced garlic (or fresh garlic)
1/2 tsp Kosher/sea salt

Oven preheated to 450 degrees.

Grate the cauliflower on a box grater, you’ll need 3 cups. Place the cauliflower crumbles in a large bowl and microwave them 8 minutes – do not add anything or cover – just pop the bowl in the microwave. Let it cool a few minutes before proceeding. Spray a cookie sheet or pizza pan with nonstick spray (or use a nonstick surface). In a medium bowl, mix the cauliflower with the rest of the ingredients. Pat the “crust” into a 9 to 12-inch round on the prepared pan. Spray the crust lightly with nonstick spray and bake for 15 minutes (or until golden).

Remove the crust from the oven and add the toppings:

1 cup homemade or high quality store bought pesto
2 cups fresh spinach
1 5 oz jar artichoke hearts, chopped fine
1 red bell pepper, minced
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 cups cooked chicken, chopped
1 cup feta cheese

Bake for an additional 10 minutes and serve. Enjoy!

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