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The Proper Foods to Eat While Dieting

Updated on March 22, 2013

What to Eat When Dieting

When people think of dieting, they think of bland, boring foods, that leave them unsatisfied. This type of thinking leaves people hungry, fatigued, and discouraged in dieting (or healthy eating) altogether and they tend to gravitate towards convenient, easy, and in-nutritious foods once again.

I am here to inform you, that you can diet, eat healthy, and not become bored with your new lifestyle. There are a plethora of nutritious and delicious food combinations that will help keep you full and satisfied throughout the day.

The trick to a successful diet is eating whole, natural, raw, and real foods and learn how to prepare and cook your own meals at home.

Preparing and cooking your meals by scratch, at home, puts you in control of your diet and health. By cooking at home, you are in control of your ingredients and portions.

There are plenty of nutritious, healthy foods that your mind, body, and taste buds will enjoy, keeping you satisfied, full, energized, and on track when it comes to the healthy diet you strive for.

Dieting no longer has to be stressful and inconvenient.

Eating a healthy diet should become a lifestyle, not a temporary state of eating meant only for weight-loss.

For successful dieting, combine healthy foods to create low calorie, nutritious meals 4 to 6 time per day.

Foods to Avoid:

  • Frozen Dinners
  • Prepared Meals
  • Sweets and Treats (such as Ice Cream, cookies and Candy)
  • Soda
  • Fruit Juices
  • Energy Drinks
  • All foods high in sugar
  • Foods with additives and Preservatives
  • White Bread
  • White Rice
  • White Potatoes
  • Hydrogenated Oils, Corn Oil, Palm Oil, etc.
  • Cereals
  • Chips
  • Roasted nuts
  • Deli Meats
  • Deli Cheese (such as American Cheese)
  • Fatty meats (such as poor quality beef and pork)
  • Alcoholic Beverages

Healthy Foods:

  • Skinless/Boneless Chicken Breasts
  • High Quality Beef (Top Round Steak or 96% Lean Ground Beef)
  • White Fish, such as, Tuna
  • Eggs (Egg White) or Egg Substitute
  • Firm Tofu or Tempeh
  • Raw, Fresh Vegetables
  • Frozen Vegetables
  • Fruits
  • Plain, Nonfat, Greek Yogurt
  • Low Fat Cottage Cheese (Daisy Brand is the Best)
  • Oats
  • Whole Wheat (Natural and/or Organic) Breads
  • Sweet Potato
  • Quinoa
  • Brown Rice
  • Wild Rice
  • Natural Peanut Butter (or other nut butters, such as, Almond Butter)
  • Raw Nuts
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Flaxseed
  • Low Fat Cheese
  • Unsweetened Almond Milk (or Soy Milk)
  • Black Coffee
  • Unsweetened Tea

Breakfast:

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and should be the largest meal of the day. Make sure breakfast is made and eaten within the first hour upon awakening. Eating breakfast first thing in the morning will end muscle breakdown which occurs during sleep, and will allow the body to burn fat (and build muscle) for the rest of the day.

Breakfast should be consumed between 7 and 8am (or immediately upon awakening).

Breakfast Meal Ideas:

  • Fruit and Yogurt Parfait: plain, non-fat, Greek yogurt, fresh berries, oats, and nuts or seeds.
  • Protein Pancakes: protein powder, water, oats, whole egg (or natural peanut butter).
  • Oatmeal: oats, water, cinnamon, natural peanut butter (add protein powder for a boost).
  • "Grand Slam": scrambled egg whites, whole wheat toast with natural peanut butter, Greek yogurt, and fresh berries OR protein pancake, oatmeal, fresh fruit, and Greek yogurt.
  • Omelet: egg whites, fresh vegetables, and (1 serving) low fat cheese.
  • Smoothie: a blend of fresh fruit (and/or vegetable) and protein powder.

Early Lunch:

Early lunch should be a small meal or snack; the purpose of an early lunch/snack is to curb your hunger before late lunch or your next full meal.

Early lunch should be consumed between or around 10 and 11am.

Early Lunch Meal Ideas:

  • Half Sandwich: 1 slice of whole wheat bread, skinless chicken breast, vegetables, olive oil as dressing.
  • Brunch Sandwich: whole wheat English muffin, 1 whole egg (fried w/ cooking spray or hardboiled), and tofu or tempeh.
  • Peanut Butter Sandwich and Shake: 1 slice whole wheat bread, 1 tbsp natural peanut butter, and 1 scoop protein powder (mixed with water).

Late Lunch:

A late lunch should be a little smaller than breakfast, but just as balanced and nutritious.

Lat lunch should be consumed between or around 1 and 2pm

Late Lunch Meal Ideas:

  • Chicken Salad: chopped skinless chicken breast, chopped broccoli, (small) steamed sweet potato, olive oil (as dressing), salt and pepper (to taste).
  • Tuna Salad: 1 can tuna, green peas, celery, brown rice, olive oil (as dressing), salt and pepper (to taste).

Dinner:

Dinner should be one of the smallest meals of the day (preferably no more than 350 calories).

Dinner should be consumed around 5pm.

Dinner Meal Ideas:

  • Turkey Burger: small ground turkey patty, whole wheat roll (or zucchini slices), spinach, tomato, 1 serving cheese.
  • Steak and Potatoes: top round steak, baked sweet potato with olive oil, raw vegetables (such as salad).

Before Bed Snack:

Diet does not always mean giving up enjoyable things, like, late night snacks. Actually, it is beneficial to eat a snack that contains a protein called casein right before bed time. Casein is a slow digesting protein (casein can take up to 7 hours to fully digest) that will aid in the prevention of muscle breakdown during sleep.

A before bed snack should be consumed an hour before bed.

Late Night Snack Ideas:

  • Greek Yogurt
  • Low Fat Cottage Cheese
  • Casein Protein Shake

Portion Control:

When dieting, it is extremely important to keep your portions in control.

Over eating (eating too much in a single sitting) is one of the main causes for fat and weight gain.

Read nutrition labels carefully and eat as much as your specific diet allows.

Always Remember:

  • Eat a meal every 3 to 4 hours.
  • Always pair a good source of protein with a complex carbohydrate and a healthy source of fat.
  • Always include a source of protein in every meal.
  • Make sure each meal is properly balanced. Your meals should always have a higher protein content than carbohydrates, and a higher carbohydrate content than fat (always think protein first, carbohydrates second, and fat last).
  • Make sure breakfast is the largest meal of the day.
  • Eat when your hungry. Stop eating when your 80-90% full.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Don't (always) drink your calories.
  • Eat 4-6 low calorie meals per day (no more than 400 calories in one sitting).
  • Eat natural, raw, and whole foods.
  • Avoid foods with additives, preservatives, artificial ingredients and hormones.
  • Avoid sugar as much as possible.
  • Stick to natural and/or organic foods.
  • Combine diet with exercise for best results.
  • To lose weight, one must be in a caloric deficit (burning more calories than consumed in one day).
  • To keep track of calories, create a profile on websites designed to log and track calories consumed and burned.
  • Take vitamins daily.
  • Do it for your health and better living.

Tip:

For your convenience: prepare and cook meals on the weekends and freeze or refrigerate until ready to consume.

It Works!

By following this food plan I have lost a total of 40 pounds in just 12 months.

When I first began dieting, I only focused only on changing my eating habits. I went from eating fast food, frozen dinners, and treats, to eating whole, nutritious, natural, and raw foods.

Just by changing my eating habits I lost the first 20 pounds.

After changing my food habits, I then, began to add light to moderate exercise to try to get back into shape. When I felt my body and mind were ready, I then began lifting heavy weights and exercising 3 to 5 days a week.

After adding exercise 3 to 5 day per week I lost an additional 10 to 20 pounds.

I, personally, eat 5 to 6 meals per day and each meal I consume is no more than 300 to 360 calories. On an average day I eat a total of 1800 to 1900 calories. During days of heavy exercise I consume 2000 or more calories.

Diet and weight loss takes a lot of time, dedication, planning, and preparation, but the effort put into healthier living is worth the outcome.

I did not only diet to lose weight, I adapted this diet into my lifestyle to ensure healthy living and to continue to keep the weight off.

Before: 164lbs. August 2011.
Before: 164lbs. August 2011.
After: 124lbs. July 2012.
After: 124lbs. July 2012.

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    • nifwlseirff profile image

      Kymberly Fergusson 4 years ago from Villingen Schwenningen, Germany

      Congrats on your loss and keeping it off! Healthy eating is certainly the best way to go, and you list some great ideas for meals. I would typically avoid the protein powder -- they are often sweetened with phenylalanine (which I'm allergic to), but everything else - super!

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