Watching your calories is an effective way to lose weight, but sometimes we get bored with the same old meals day after day. If you’re on the lookout for some variety in your diet, consider these healthy options that are still calorie friendly. As simple as it is, eating less and moving more really is the key for dieting success. That being said, variety is still the spice of life so keep things interesting.
Overnight Oatmeal for the Easiest Warm Breakfast Ever
Steel cut oats are remarkably nutritious and delicious, but who wants to get up early in order to stand at the stove and make breakfast? No thanks.
Before bed, I take a few minutes to get everything set and then I wake up to a fresh pot of oatmeal. In the morning, I simply reheat in the microwave a helping of the already-cooked oats with customized mix-ins like cinnamon or a hint of brown sugar. Because you’re in control of the toppings, you can keep your add-ons as low calorie as you need.
For this amazing and easy breakfast, you’ll need half of a cup of steel cut oats, 2 cups of water and a pinch of salt. Whatever mix-ins you additionally toss in when eating is up to you, but you may find that you enjoy the combination of oats and banana slices, apple chunks, raisins or even pumpkin puree. You can also opt for including a healthy fat such as some sliced almonds. For sweeteners and spices, you may like honey, maple syrup, brown sugar, cinnamon or pumpkin pie spice. When you’re trying to lose weight, be sure to use the sweeteners sparingly while appreciating the natural goodness of your steel cut oats.
Bring your water and salt to a boil. Pour in your oats and stir before leaving the pan on for one minute on a medium heat. Turn the stove off, put the lid on the pan, and go to bed. Roughly eight hours later, your oatmeal will be ready and wonderful.
This size recipe provides you with two helpings of roughly 150 calories each. Depending on your particular container of oats, a serving may also pack in around 5 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein as well as some iron, calcium and potassium. According to your meal plans for the rest of the day, carefully decide on your optimal mix-ins. If you need to start out the day with more protein, opt for adding two tablespoons of sliced almonds, giving you 2.5 grams of protein for around 65 calories.
Tortilla Wraps for a Tasty Yet Convenient Meal
If you’re sick of diet-friendly salads, splurge by adding a whole-wheat tortilla into the mix every now and then. With a lean protein and tons of tasty veggies, you can keep your wrap low in calories but high in satisfaction.
You’ll want a whole wheat tortilla as your foundation and then some savory and delectable toppings based on your personal preferences. Throw in some leafy greens including romaine, spinach or kale. Include a 3-ounce serving of a favorite lean protein like turkey, chicken or shrimp. Fill the rest of your tortilla with yummy vegetables like bell peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and onions.
You can simply layer your toppings on your tortilla and then fold over the ends in a burrito style or you can additionally microwave your roll for 30 seconds in order to get a nice heated wrap. Keep the wrap low calorie by avoiding fatty dressings and other condiments. If desired, squirt a little mustard or lemon juice on your toppings for some added flavor.
Depending on your weight loss goals and where you’re at now, you may find yourself willing on some days to budget in a slice of mozzarella cheese or a healthy fat like some avocado. Watch your portions and vary your toppings so that on any given day you’re still sticking to your overall goals.
Vegetable Stir-Fry That Keeps You Coming Back for More
If you’re stuck in a rut, consider trying a yummy stir fry, which is another veggie-centered option that still separates itself from the oft-dreaded diet food that is a boring salad.
Use the ingredients that you have on hand to make this a healthy and budget-friendly pick that satisfies your taste buds and wallet all at the same time.
While rummaging through your fridge and freezer, gather an assortment of delicious vegetables like broccoli florets, cauliflower, snow peas, asparagus, carrots, bell peppers, mushrooms and onions. Decide what healthy fat you want to also include, choosing an addition of something like walnuts or chopped chicken. Make sure to keep your portion size in check regarding such an add-on.
Prepare your veggies by cutting everything into chunks according to your size preferences. Coat a pan with a nonfat cooking spray and toss in all of your veggie components. Keep your pan on medium-high heat for a few minutes. As needed, prepare any additional elements, such as chicken, beforehand so you can add into your veggie pan such items at this time. Add in a low-sodium soy sauce or a homemade seasoning made from ingredients like olive oil, grated ginger and a little bit of salt and pepper. Stir well and continue to heat the dish for another minute to combine the flavors. Turn off the heat once your veggies are ready, being soft on the outside but still somewhat crisp on the inside. Let your dish cool, as needed, before you immediately dig in.
Make sure you’re only using a tablespoon or two of sauce, even when you’re dealing with a healthy fat like olive oil, so that your calorie count doesn’t end up skyrocketing. For a heartier meal, you can add in a healthy whole grain like a serving of brown rice. Prepare the rice separately and add it into your veggie pan when you’re adding in your sauce of choice. Make sure to stir up the contents of the pan well so the sauce and rice are nicely incorporated into your dish.