Meeting daily nutrition recommendations is imperative in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. How you combine the guidelines throughout the day is up to you, but the simplest way to ensure that you're making healthy choices is to include fresh fruits and vegetables, lean protein and healthy fats in every meal. The average American diet consists of 2000 calories per day. However, when trying to lose weight or gain muscle mass your individual caloric needs will vary. An easy way to boost your metabolism, ward off hunger and replenish energy stores is by eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day. By eating less food more often you will better regulate blood sugar levels avoiding fatigue and over-eating later on in the day. Below are some quick and easy tips that will help set yourself up for success!
If you're running late, you may feel tempted to skip breakfast. However, by taking a just a few minutes to prep ahead you can create a nutritious breakfast that will fill you up and keep you satisfied until lunchtime. Stocking up on a few pantry staples will help with those busy mornings. My favorite breakfast staples are eggs, oats and items for smoothie packs. Some recipe ideas include overnight oats, egg muffin cups and smoothies. You can also cut up your favorite fruit and nuts, add one half to one cup of greek yogurt, topped with a dash of cinnamon and a tsp of honey for a delicious, well-balanced meal. Breakfast, when made thoughtfully can add a great amount of nutrition to your diet and pave the way for the rest of your day!
For lunch, stay away from cheeseburgers, on the go gas station grabs and cream based salad dressings, which are high in saturated fat and low in nutrients. Instead, opt for some of the fresh made sandwiches on whole grain bread, oil-based or vinegar dressings and brown paper sack meals. Lunch options are endless but here are some simple, easy to pack ideas; broth based soups, like Italian Wedding made with turkey burger, salmon patties with tomato and avocado slices or a grilled chicken breast sandwiches; *Gluten free whole-grain bun with lots of veggies, sprouts or lettuce of choice, and a small amount of low-fat cheese or a protein-filled spread like hummus. You'll be eating great sources of carbohydrates, lean proteins, and healthy fruits and vegetables all in the same delicious meal.
Choose something hot and satisfying for dinner so you won't feel tempted to go into the fridge for a midnight snack. With the right amount of prep work and recipe preparedness, dinner can be your chance to get creative and try NEW things! Bake, roast or steam veggies, add in a protein like grilled scallops, easy baked salmon. Have a meatless meal and make lentil sloppy joes or black bean burger patties. On busier days when cooking isn’t always an option, take a few minutes to get your crockpot ready in the morning. Crockpot meals save a ton of time, help eliminate stress and when made mindfully, pack a ton of nutrition in every bowl! Try to incorporate lots of brightly colored fruits and vegetables -- like spinach, broccoli, squash, carrots and beets. Add a small drizzle of olive oil, garlic, onions and spices to really bring out the flavors without cream based or cheese based items high in fats and calories.
LATE NIGHT SNACK
When choosing a late night snack be sure to keep it low in calories. Fresh fruit slices from melon, or veggies like cucumbers offer a crunch option, for a sweet tooth, you can try a 1/2C of vanilla yogurt with a teaspoon of honey and a few peaches, or for if it’s a salty mood you’re in, popcorn is a great low calorie option. Just be sure you read the label and avoid brands with artificial sweeteners and trans fats.