Just because you’re on a diet to lose weight certainly doesn’t mean that you have to restrict yourself from eating the foods that you love. In fact, you can eat healthy and consume fewer calories and less fat without having to completely remove a food from your diet. This means that you will not have to feel deprived, but you will be able to get results as you slim down gradually and start to look and feel fantastic.
Check out the 1-day sample diet menu below. This is just one of many ways that you can pursue your diet so you won’t have to worry about any particular foods being removed from your plans while you’re working on shedding those excess pounds for good.
A Healthy and Hearty Breakfast to Start Your Day
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, so you definitely should not skip it. It will serve to jumpstart your metabolism and give you the natural energy that you need to get going for the day, and it will also help you stay focused and satisfied until it is time for lunch.
It is highly recommended that you begin your day with a breakfast that contains a lean protein, as that will help to control your appetite, as well as your calorie intake, for the rest of your day. You can have one egg white or one whole egg prepared however you like, or you can instead have a plant-based form of protein, such as tofu, which can also be prepared as a scramble just like eggs. Whichever you choose, make sure to also add some vegetables to the mix, such as mushrooms, leafy greens, onions, or even some sliced bell peppers. The more color, the better, as that means you will be getting a breakfast that is not only packed with protein, but also packed with vitamins and minerals that will benefit your overall health.
In addition to protein and vegetables, you can also have some fresh fruit or some freshly squeezed juice. And when it comes to carbohydrates, you do not have to deprive yourself either. Add a bit of starch to your diet, and get some much-needed fiber, by having a slice of whole grain toast or whole wheat toast with a bit of butter or a thin layer of fresh jam without added sugar.
Finally, when it comes to your breakfast beverage, you can have unsweetened tea or coffee, or you can simply go for a glass of water with lemon.
A Yummy and Filling Lunch to Keep You Going
After having a delicious breakfast, it is now time to focus on your lunch, which will help you continue moving through the rest of your workday. Around mid-day, you can simply have a salad that is loaded with raw nutrients that will definitely give you a boost of energy and nutrition. Grab about 4 cups of your favorite leafy green veggies, and add in a sliced red onion, some cherry tomatoes, some sliced cucumbers, and whatever other healthy ingredients you prefer.
You can then add your preferred dressing, whether that is olive oil and red vinegar or a sweet balsamic vinaigrette. Just don’t add a dressing that is packed with artificial colors and flavors, or preservatives and sweeteners, as that will undo the healthiness of this salad.
If you would like some carbs with your lunch too, add some toasted croutons to the top, making sure that they are whole grain or whole wheat and seasoned naturally with herbs. For more starches, you can have a baked sweet potato topped with a bit of cinnamon and butter, and you can drink some water to wash everything down, or you can opt for unsweetened iced tea to get some antioxidants and caffeine.
The Ideal Snacks to Enjoy Between Meals
A healthy snack in the form of a handful of nuts, some fresh fruit, or even some raw veggies could be just what you need to fulfill your cravings without giving in to temptation. Another option could be a small container of yogurt that has been naturally flavored with fruit and does not contain high amounts of sugar. You can even have some plant-based yogurt that is made from coconut milk, soymilk, or almond milk in order to cut back on the amount of fat that you will end up consuming.
With the right snacks, you will fill up your stomach and get a much-needed boost of nutrients to keep yourself going until dinner, as well as give yourself more energy to power through a workout if you head to the gym after work.
By choosing a low-calorie snack, you can avoid going over your daily caloric limit, and you will not have to feel hunger pangs that could tempt you to purchase a sugary soda or other unhealthy snack from the vending machine at work.
A Perfect Dinner to End the Day with a Satisfying Meal
By the time it is time for dinner, you will have eaten foods that are nutritious but low in fat and calories, so you do not want to undo your progress thus far. Instead, you want to keep the momentum going.
As you did with breakfast, you can focus on preparing a lean form of protein. If you are following a plant-based diet, this might mean tofu, tempeh, beans, lentils and other legumes, seitan, or quinoa, rice, and other whole grains. If you eat meat, your lean protein might be some fish or chicken. Prepare your protein by seasoning it simply with some salt, pepper, and herbs. Avoid sugary syrups that might taste good but are packed with calories and other artificial flavors. Keep it simple and be sure to pair your protein with delicious vegetables for more flavor.
Sides could include carbs like whole grain pasta topped with a pesto sauce, or you could steam some broccoli and cauliflower. You could also have a small salad of leafy greens, a baked potato or yam, or some brown rice. Once again, variety is the key, so you don’t want to restrict yourself. The more variety and the more color, the more nutrition you will be able to reap from your dinner.
A Sweet Yet Healthy Dessert
For dessert, you can enjoy some fresh fruit. Top your fruit with some melted dark chocolate for extra flavor and to get your chocolate fix without ruining your diet. You can satisfy your sweet tooth without having to indulge in sugar-laden cakes or cupcakes.
As you can see by the sample 1-day diet menu plan above, you do not need to restrict yourself from the delicious foods that you love. You can enjoy myriad flavors that come from the many ingredients that you can put together to make a hearty yet healthy meal for every time of day, whether you are getting started in the morning or ending your evening with a relaxing dinner.
The key is to focus on eating a wide variety of tasty, healthy foods that are nutritious and provide your body with what it needs to thrive, rather than restricting yourself from the foods that you enjoy and making your diet a torturous experience. In time, with consistency and a solid workout routine, you will start to see the number on your scale go down, and your waistline will slim down as well.