In today’s post I’m going to reveal my formula for weight loss, and share with you three quick and easy recipes that are perfect for managing and maintaining weight loss.
In all mainstream diets, consuming fewer calories than you are burning is the universal rule. However, tracking calories can be tedious, so I have an amazing method for you which includes only a few steps. This method will still help you stay on track with what you’re consuming. But it’s a lot easier to be consistent with and uncomplicated to follow.
The example we’re going to use here is for a 5’5″, lightly active, 30-year-old woman who weighs 160 pounds currently and would like to lose 15 pounds in four months. For this example, this woman eats three meals a day, and for each meal, she’s going to need one to two palm-sized portions of protein, one to two handfuls of vegetables, one to two handfuls of carbohydrates, and one to two thumb-sized portions of fat.
Click here to use the really quick and easy calculator to know exactly how many calories you should eat and measurements of food that is tailored to your lifestyle.
If you want to calculate your perfect formula needs by hand, which I don’t suggest as the calculator method is much more efficient, but if you prefer to do the calculations that way, click here.
I will show you a step-by-step process for making those calculations, and then converting them into our handy dandy estimation method.
You’re going to want to get as much of your protein from lean sources, as possible. Here’s a chart showing recommendations for where to get your lean protein.
You can get your lean protein from chicken, lean cuts, and other types of meat, like lean ground beef. I love using ground turkey, as it’s a high quality, lean alternative to red meat.
Don’t forget that you can get protein from plant-based sources such as beans, quinoa, tofu, and tempeh. Here you can read more about plant proteins. In addition, fish is an excellent source of lean protein.
The reason you’ll want to make sure you are getting a good amount of lean protein for weight loss is that it will help you feel fuller for longer as it increases the hormones that help control your appetite.
Consuming a lot of protein will also help you retain that lean muscle mass as you are losing weight. You don’t want to lose any of that muscle while you’re losing weight; you want to lose fat instead.
Protein also helps you burn more calories because it has a thermic effect when your body tries to break it down for energy. Increasing protein intake helps to reduce cravings as well, as for vegetables, with the exception of potatoes, other starchy types of vegetables, and avocado. You can pretty much eat as many vegetables as you want.
You’ll want to try to consume as many different colors of vegetables as you can, because this increases the phytonutrients that you’re taking in that protect your body from different types of diseases and just keeps it in tip-top shape. Here’s a list of some vegetables that I would recommend incorporating.
So for our stir-fry, I used two fist sized portions of vegetables. For our Greek salad, as you can see, this is about two fist sized portions of vegetables, and for our taco salad, I went ahead and loaded up on the greens.
There are so many benefits to eating vegetables for weight loss. They have volume and very few calories, so it makes you feel fuller. The fiber and vegetables take a while for your body to break down, so you’ll feel fuller longer.
In spite of what you’ve probably heard, carbs are not your enemy. However, they’re not all created equal. You’re going to want to try to stay away from simple sugars and refined carbohydrates. That’s your white bread, your whole grain pasta, and your candy. On the flip side, you’ll want to have complex carbohydrates, and what makes them complex is their fiber content. The more in their whole form, the better, so if something’s milled or refined, it’s not as ideal. This is where your potatoes, like your starchy vegetables, come in, and the reason complex carbohydrates are better than simple sugars and refined sugars is because of their fiber content. They’ll break down slower in your body and won’t cause an immediate blood sugar spike or rush of insulin, which can cause insulin resistance.
But nobody is perfect, so if you’ve been staying on track all week and you want to eat a cookie, go ahead and have a cookie. It’s not going to kill you.
So while carbohydrates aren’t necessarily a bad thing for weight loss, some people tolerate carbs better than others, and this is where you have to test different fat-to-carb ratios out and see what works for you. And really, the best way to determine if you don’t tolerate carbs well is just to be self-aware and notice how you feel after having different types of carbohydrates. You’ll probably notice that those complex carbohydrates aren’t going to cause the same crash as having refined carbohydrates, and in some instances, simple carbohydrates are a good thing.
An important thing you can gain from eating carbohydrates is fiber. Complex carbohydrates contain lots of fiber, and fiber is really important for you to feel satiated. It’s important for your gut health, which affects so many things, even your brain well. Complex carbohydrates can help control your insulin response, your energy levels, and your body composition.
Some different types of healthy fats are avocados, olive oil, nuts, and seeds. There are a couple of thumb sized portions of fat in all the recipes I have made in this video.
Now while you may play with your carb and fat macro percentages you don’t want to go too low on the fat, because healthy fat actually helps promote better brain function and a lot of really important processes in your body, so you want to keep that at between 15 to 20 percent at your low end. Healthy fat promotes cardiovascular and brain health as well as supporting many other essential functions in your body.
When it comes to weight loss, having enough fat will help improve your body composition as well as help you feel full between meals.
Now let’s get started on those three easy delicious meals that are excellent for weight loss.
Taco Salad Recipe
So for our tasty taco salad, you’re going to want to grease your pan lightly and heat it up about a medium-high. Then you’re going to add your lean ground chicken or lean turkey. Add it to the pan, mix in some taco seasoning or you can make a Mexican seasoning blend, and then you’re going to want to brown your ground chicken or turkey. Meanwhile, you can make some tasty guacamole. Add three avocados into a bowl, add a quarter of a diced red onion, add the juice of half of a lime, add about a quarter teaspoon of garlic, salt, and pepper to taste, and then mash it up and mix it. Voila!
For your salad I encourage you to use as many greens as you’d like. Add your ground turkey or chicken, add your pinto beans, and top with guacamole and salsa.
For the greek salad, you’ll want to go ahead and prepare your quinoa according to package directions and then you’re going to want to quarter and dice up cucumber, and have one to two cups of cherry tomatoes prepared, add these to a bowl. Then you’re going to want to dice up bell peppers. Make sure you remove the seeds and the stem. Go ahead and dice that up and throw it into the bowl. All right, then we’re going to dice up a quarter of a red onion and also add that to the bowl, and add greens to the bowl as well. Mix to combine. Half your chicken, place it in a shallow pan, add half a teaspoon of olive oil to each half of the chicken, and brush to coat. Sprinkle the juice of half of a lemon onto the chicken breasts and then add the greek seasoning to both sides. Put it in the oven at 375 degrees until cooked. As for the Greek salad, you want to add three tablespoons of red wine vinegar, half of the remaining lemon, and Greek seasoning to taste. To serve, add your desired amount of quinoa, add your veggies, add your chicken, drizzle with some olive oil. Optionally add a little bit of feta cheese.
For our Asian stir-fry drain your block of extra firm tofu soak up as much of the liquid as you can with napkins or towels or a tofu press. Half the tofu and dice it into squares. Add three teaspoons of sesame oil to the pan. Once it is hot, add your tofu, and you’re going to want to just fry it a little bit on each side. Then you’re going to want to remove the tofu from the pan. Add in your frozen Asian vegetable blend and then you’ll want to add in soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, ginger, crushed red pepper. Mix that to blend, bring it to a simmer, and once the vegetables are cooked add back in the fried tofu so that it can soak up some of those juices. And to ensemble, add your brown rice, pop it with vegetables, and make sure you get a good amount of tofu in there as well. Then add your desired amount of sesame seeds and optionally drizzle with sriracha.
To recap, weight loss is about consuming less than you were burning.
You should cook meals that are filling but help create that calorie deficit. We do this by emphasizing lean proteins and including an abundance of vegetables while still getting a small number of carbohydrates and fat you want to always aim to be a little better than you were yesterday.
But don’t ever expect that you’re going to be able to overhaul your whole life quickly. Trying to be perfect is a recipe for disaster.
Small actions on a daily basis leads up to massive results. Also, no food is completely bad. Viewing foods on a spectrum of eating more to eat less, and don’t aim to be perfect, aim to be better than you were yesterday.