Dinners Designed for Weight Loss

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When it comes to losing weight, often times the biggest struggle is deciphering the amount and type of food to eat for dinner. Most weight loss seekers fall into a bad habit of skipping breakfast and eating far too much of the wrong food later in the evening. In addition, a majority of people in the workforce eat many of their dinners out of the home, in restaurants and fast food establishments. As research studies have demonstrated, both of these scenarios are factors that lead to weight gain and yo-yo dieting trends. Consider the following research findings:

• Skipping breakfast is linked with a greater chance of obesity. People who skip breakfast are more than four times more likely to be obese than those who ate breakfast daily.

• Dining out in restaurants is linked to an increased risk of obesity. This is likely due to the super-sizing of portions and to excess saturated fats and calories.

So, what can you do? The key to losing weight and keeping it off for good does not have to be difficult. By following the four food guidelines below and sticking to either the Truestar recommended meal plans in our Weight Loss Section or the dinners outlined below, your weight loss success will be guaranteed!

The Top Four Food Guidelines for Weight Loss:

1. Eat a moderate size breakfast, a larger lunch and a small dinner. In addition, include one small snack daily either in the morning or in the afternoon. By doing so, your blood sugar will be regulated all day long making you crave less and lose weight.

2. If possible, stop eating by 7 PM. By practising this step and this step alone, you will quickly drop five pounds. If you must munch in the evening, make it a healthy balanced snack such as hummus (chickpea dip), veggies, yogurt, fruits and nuts.

3. Make sure all of your meals and snacks contain all three macronutrients - proteins, fats and carbohydrates. Most people “over do it” on the carbohydrates and are deficient in protein. In order to achieve your goal weight, protein is essential. Refer to the Truestar Meal Plans for options to make sure you are eating a sufficient amount of protein.

4. Include calorie-light, nutrient-dense foods into your daily diet such as whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lentils, lean proteins (chicken, fish, soy, egg whites) and good fats (olives, nuts, seeds, flax and fish oils).

Most of us are normally rushing in the door at dinner time. The top five recommended dinners outlined have been specifically designed for weight loss, are quick to make and can be prepared ahead of time for you and your family.

#1 - Grilled Salmon and Squash

Ingredients:
• 6 ounces of salmon
• 1/ 4 cup of boiled and mashed sweet potato
• ½ cup of baked butter nut squash
• 1 ½ tsp. of extra virgin olive oil

Instructions:
Preheat grill or oven. Season salmon with dill and lemon. Place on grill or in oven. Cook for 10 to12 minutes turning once or until fish flakes easily with a fork. Serve with mashed sweet potato and squash. Drizzle salmon and squash with a little olive oil and enjoy.

#2 - Greek Chicken Salad

Ingredients:
• 3 cups of leaf lettuce
• 6 ounces of grilled chicken breast
• ½ cup of chopped red tomatoes
• ½ cup of sliced raw onion
• ½ cup of sliced cucumber
• ½ handful of sliced, black pitted olives
• 1 ounce of crumbled low-fat feta cheese
• 1 tsp. of olive oil
• 1 tsp. of balsamic vinegar

Instructions:
Mix lettuce, tomatoes, sliced onions, cucumbers and olives in a large bowl. Top with grilled chicken, cheese and oil and vinegar salad dressing.

#3 – Veggie Parmesan

Ingredients:
• 1 veggie patty
• ¼ cup of tomato purée
• 1 tsp. of extra virgin olive oil
• 2 ounces of low-fat or non-dairy cheese
• 1 side salad, tossed

Instructions:
Prepare patty as per package instructions. In a sauce pan, add tomato purée, olive oil, a dash of pepper and chili pepper. Preheat oven to 375 ˚F. Place patty in a baking dish and coat with tomato sauce mixture. Add cheese over patty and sauce. Place into oven and cook until cheese is melted. Serve with a salad (2 cups lettuce, 2 slices tomato, 1/2 cup cucumber, balsamic vinegar).

# 4 - Grilled Chicken and Green Beans

Ingredients:
• 5 ounces of boneless chicken breast
• ½ cup of boiled green snap peas
• 2 ½ teaspoons of extra-virgin olive oil
• ½ medium boiled sweet potato

Instructions:
Preheat grill and grill chicken until fully cooked. Serve with green beans and sweet potato. Drizzle the chicken and green beans with olive oil.

#5 – Lox and Cream Cheese Delight

Ingredients:
• 3 slices of Wasa crispbread or 2 slices of whole-grain bread
• 1 ½ tsp. of light cream cheese
• 5 ounces of smoked salmon
• 3 slices of tomato
• ½ cup of peeled cucumbers

Spread cream cheese on bread. Top with lox, cucumber and tomato.

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