Have you ever been frustrated because you just cannot lose weight no matter what you do?
It can be the most frustrating feeling when you want nothing more than to lose weight, yet you always find yourself bingeing on late night dinners. If you can relate to this, know that I understand where you are coming from. Honestly, it is hard to switch from eating pizza at dinner to salad every night.
People are both habitual and emotional by nature. If we try to do too much at once, we set ourselves up for failure.
That is why I believe in finding foods that bring comfort while creating a calorie deficit. You do not need to give up your favorite foods to lose weight. You just have to make the right switches to help you reach your goals.
To do this, we first need to take a look at what foods you currently like.
Do you like pizza? Great! Let us swap some of those carbs for some nutrient-dense but low-calorie options.
Do you love a good Chinese dinner? No problem! Swap that out for some Thai alternatives, and you will get the same taste with a nutrient boost to go with it.
No matter what your taste preferences, I have you covered. Try out some of these delicious but healthy recipes for dinner to save calories on your favorite meals.
1. Collard Wraps
Collard wraps are one of the best ways to lose weight while saving a ton of calories. Just imagine any type of wrap you enjoy but with a 0-calorie tortilla.
They are delicious, and they leave you feeling light and fresh in a way that is hard to get with most meals. This makes it one of the best healthy recipes for dinner.
2. Portobello Pizza
Are you craving pizza but do not want the calories? This recipe has you covered.
Not only is it ridiculously easy, but it will conquer your cravings with that delicious home flavor you crave.
You do not like portobello? No worries! There are plenty of other recipes you can make, such as toast, cauliflower, or veggies as a base instead. The options are endless when you go digging.
3. Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein
I can hear you over the screen now: “Wait! Does that mean I don’t have to give up my Chinese takeout to lose weight?!”
Exactly! Except that you will be ordering takeout from your own kitchen in this case.
Spaghetti squash is an amazing substitute for carb-dense noodles. In other words, you can eat more until you are full without having to worry about overeating.
It is one of the best ways to fill up on nutrients without going overboard. This is definitely one you will want to save.
4. Cauliflower Mac-N’-Cheese
Are you craving a good mac and cheese? This recipe takes it to another level by making it both low-carb and vegan.
Yes, you read that right. This recipe is a keeper no matter what type of diet you might be on. Try adding it in when you get a cheesy craving and see if it takes care of that for you.
5. Sweet Potato Spaghetti
Of course, we have all had the classic spaghetti squash spaghetti (which, by the way, is a staple for me). However, sometimes it is easy to feel like you need a switch. This sweet potato spaghetti satisfies just that.
I absolutely love the savory taste of sweet potato and the feeling you get where you just finished eating a huge meal.
Sweet potato is relatively low-glycemic compared to noodles, meaning it keeps you fuller longer and does not spike your blood sugar. In other words, you will stay satisfied until it is time for bedtime – something I think we can all agree we need.
6. Crockpot Cauliflower Fried Rice
Sometimes, it is those sneaky grains that can quickly add up in unwanted calories.
Want to know an easy fix? Trade some of those grains out for low-calorie substitutes!
Do not get me wrong, grains are not bad at all. However, if you are looking to fill up to the brim while keeping things low calories, subbing grains for vegetables is an excellent way to do that.
7. Pizza Stuffed Peppers
Another pizza option!? I know you are getting excited! Stuffed peppers make for an excellent pizza base because they add in an extra boost of flavor.
Let us be real, half the battle in weight loss is an emotional one. We have an emotional attachment to food. But sometimes, all you need to overcome this is a little taste of home (the healthier version, of course).
8. Black Bean Burritos
If you are a fan of a good burrito, then worry no more. This black bean burrito is extremely satiating and delicious.
Beans are a great source of fiber, which means that they will keep you feeling fuller for longer without being very calorie-dense.
On top of that, they tend to mirror the tastes of some of our favorite comfort foods. This keeps you both psychologically and physically healthy when you are trying to cut.
9. Chipotle Bowls
Who does not love a good Chipotle bowl?
Choosing the best healthy recipes for dinner involves some flexibility. For this meal, I personally have tried swapping out the rice with cauliflower rice (for those of you who are going low-carb).
This meal has a great blend of healthy fats, carbs, and protein that make it a very balanced option.
(P.S. Does anyone else ever pronounce it Chip-Pot-el)?
10. Sushi Bowls
Have you ever had a sushi bowl? If not, definitely try one soon!
I am writing this from So-Cal where they are almost a staple. It is easy to make sushi. Just throw all the ingredients into a bowl and savor the flavor.
The cool thing about this bowl is that you (again) have the option to use either cauliflower rice or brown rice.
When it is extremely late at night, some people find that the extra blood sugar from carbs can make it hard to sleep. For this reason, low-carb options make a great dinner.
11. Bliss Bowl
How do I describe a Bliss Bowl to you? Imagine everything deliciously healthy and nutritious mixed into one bowl. Eating a Bliss Bowl is like eating a salad but with more flavor and the same health benefits.
Eating healthy foods does not need to be boring, and this bowl is one of the flavorful yet healthy recipes for dinner you can find.
12. Protein-Style Burger
Healthy recipes for dinner do not have to be restrictive. You cannot stand going without your burger? Thankfully, you do not have to. By simply substituting lettuce for the buns, you can have your burger and eat it too.
This specific burger is made perfectly juicy with special sauce to give you just that perfect burger joint taste. Making this allows you to savor that burger taste without sacrificing your health.
13. Zucchini Roll-Ups
If you have any Italian blood in you, I am sure you are craving a bit of pasta right about now. Thankfully, low-carb diets and pasta can still go hand in hand.
This zucchini Roll-up is a lasagna based dish that is perfect for people on Keto. The lack of pasta makes it way easier to cut body fat while still enjoying the dishes you crave. Just make sure to take it easy on the cheese if you are not on Keto and looking to cut quickly.
14. Spaghetti Squash Boats
These delicious boats are stuffed with mouth-watering goodness that gives you that delicious, satisfying pasta taste. But unlike regular pasta, this amazing dish will not leave you feeling heavy afterward.
Think alfredo pasta but without all the gunk. With this delicious and healthy pasta recipe, you are in for a real treat.
15. Peanut Chicken Zucchini Noodles
Last but not least is our peanut zoodle dish. I will admit that I am a little selfish for posting this one. I just LOVE a good peanut sauce, and this one fits the bill.
In case you have not yet tried a dish like this, try picturing a satisfyingly-creamy pad thai. Of course, this one uses veggie noodles as a base, so you can feel fresh and light as you hit the pillow.
1. Keep Your Blood Sugar Balanced
If you are wondering why swapping some noodles and rice could benefit weight loss more, it is because of blood-sugar balance.
The more stabilized your blood sugar is, the more your body will be able to burn fat. That is why it is essential to load your body with healthy carbs, fats, and proteins that will keep your blood sugar stable.
2. Commit to One
With so many diets out there, it can be tempting to bounce from one plan to the next. However, I find that balance is the absolute best way to go.
But if you really are set on doing a specific diet, then stick to it. Diets like Keto, Atkins, and Paleo can become ineffective if you mix them with the other types of diet.
3. Recognize What Your Cravings Are Telling You
Having a craving? Are you craving a particular food that a low-calorie version just will not take care of?
Then just have a bite or two. It is far better to indulge in a bite here and there than to have it build up and give in to a binge at some point.
If you tend to gravitate towards one specific food, keep an eye on what may be causing it.
For instance, if you crave sugar a lot, it could mean your body is out of wack or you are low in chromium. Craving chocolate? It could be a magnesium deficiency.
If you listen to what your cravings are telling you, you might be able to stop them in their tracks, making a healthy lifestyle an easy transition. It certainly helps that there are many healthy recipes for dinner, providing you with a lot of choices regarding what you want to eat.
Keep it up, and remember why you started. This journey you are on is so worth it!
More Healthy Recipes
At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.
Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.
One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.
When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.
So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.
Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day
This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.
Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.
When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.
Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity
One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.
Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.
An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.
When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.
Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day
Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.
We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.
By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.
Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment
While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.
I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.
You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.
Con #1: We Move a Lot Less
When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.
Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.
Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.
Con #2: Less Human Interaction
One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.
Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.
Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.
This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.
While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.
Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment
Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.
This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.
For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.
Con #4: Unique Distractions
Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.
For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.
To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.
Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.
We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.