formula for weight loss meal, Caitlin smiling, and some images of healthy meals

My MAGIC FORMULA for Weight Loss: The Easiest Method + 3 Quick, Tasty Dinner Recipes

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Also note: While I am a certified nutrition coach, I am not a medical doctor. Information here is not intended to be a replacement for the advice you should seek from your doctor.

In today’s post, I’m going to reveal my magic formula for weight loss and share with you three quick and easy recipes that are perfect for managing and maintaining weight loss (click here for my 2022 goal setting for weight loss success).

In all mainstream diets, consuming fewer calories than you are burning is the universal rule. However, tracking calories can be tedious. This is why I came up with this amazing method that 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 a 5’5″, lightly active, 30-year-old woman, who currently weighs 160 pounds and would like to lose 15 pounds in four months. 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 a really quick and easy calculator to know exactly how many calories you should eat and what measurements of food are tailored to your lifestyle.

I will now show you a step-by-step process for making those calculations and then converting them into our handy dandy estimation method, which is at the base of my magic formula for weight loss.

Proteins

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. 

Images of proteins that we should eat more, eat some, and eat less
Graphic by Precision Nutrition

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 more high-quality and leaner alternative to red meat. In addition, fish is an excellent source of lean protein. 

Don’t forget that you can get protein from plant-based sources as well. Among them are beans, quinoa, tofu, and tempeh.

The reason you’ll want to make sure you are getting a good amount of lean protein is that it will help you feel fuller for longer as it increases the hormones that help control your appetite. Consuming an adequate amount of protein will also help you retain lean muscle mass as you are losing weight.  

Furthermore, protein helps you burn more calories because of the thermic effect it has during the digestion processes. Lastly, increasing your protein intake helps also to reduce unhealthy food cravings.

Veggies

Try to consume as many different colors of vegetables as you can as this increases the phytonutrients that you’re taking in with the food you are eating. These potent nutrients protect your body from different types of diseases and help to keep you in tip-top shape. Here’s a list of some vegetables that I would recommend incorporating more into your daily diet.

Images of ingredients grouped by the color
Graphic by Precision Nutrition

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 add a lot of volume and fibers to your meals while having very few calories, which makes you feel fuller.

Carbs

In spite of what you’ve probably heard, carbs are not your enemy! However, what is true is that they’re not all created equal. Indeed, you’re going to want to try to stay away from simple sugars and refined carbohydrates, like white bread, whole grain pasta, or candies.

On the flip side, you’ll want to have more complex carbohydrates. The more in their whole form, the better it is. This is where your potatoes and your starchy vegetables come in. The reason why complex carbohydrates are better than simple and refined sugars is because of their fiber content. Because of them, complex carbs break down slower in your body and don’t cause an immediate blood sugar spike or rush of insulin, which can cause insulin resistance. 

Images of carbohydrates that we should eat more, eat some, and eat less
Graphic by Precision Nutrition

Moreover, 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 and see what works for you. 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.

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. Besides, it’s essential for your gut health and can help control your insulin response, your energy levels, and your body composition.

Fats

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.

Images of fats that we should eat more, eat some, and eat less
Graphic by Precision Nutrition

While you may play with your carb and fat macro percentages, you don’t want to go too low on the fat. Indeed, healthy fat helps promote better brain function and regulates different vital processes 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 following my magic formula for weight loss.

1. Taco Salad Recipe

Grease your pan lightly and heat it up about a medium-high. Add the lean ground chicken or lean turkey. Mix in some taco seasoning or you can make a Mexican seasoning blend, and then 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. Finally, add your ground turkey or chicken, add your pinto beans, and top with some guacamole and salsa.

2. Greek Salad

For the greek salad, you’ll want to go ahead and prepare your quinoa according to the package directions. Then dice up the cucumber, and add it to a bowl along with one to two cups of cherry tomatoes prepared.

Then dice up the bell peppers. Make sure you remove all the seeds and the stem. Throw it into the bowl. Dice up a quarter of a red onion, add that to the bowl, and add also some greens. Mix well to combine.

Take half of your chicken, place it in a shallow pan, add half a teaspoon of olive oil, 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 the Greek seasoning to taste. To serve, add your desired amount of quinoa, add your veggies, add your chicken, drizzle with some olive oil. Optionally, you can add a little bit of feta cheese.

Asian Stir-Fry

Drain a block of extra firm tofu and dice it into squares. Add three teaspoons of sesame oil to the pan. Once it is hot, add your tofu, and fry it a little bit on each side. Then remove the tofu from the pan.

Add in your frozen Asian vegetable blend, along with some 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.

To ensemble, add some brown rice, pop in some 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.

My magic weight loss formula: some conclusions

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 portion of carbohydrates and fats. 

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. The goal is always to be a little bit better than the previous day! Small actions on a daily basis leading up to massive results.

Lastly, no food is completely bad. Viewing foods on a spectrum from eating more to eating less is crucial for understanding that you can eat everything you want, in the right amount!

❤️❤️Read About Me for details about my health journey; and, make sure you remember to sign up for my Newsletter and follow me on social❤️❤️!

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