Don’t Skip Meals: Here are 5 Tips to Planning Weight-Loss Friendly Meals

Looking to lose weight? Create a plan that sticks.

Woman sits at table eating breakfast.

You may think that skipping breakfast or lunch will make the number on the scale drop quicker. The truth is that studies have shown that skipping meals can slow down your metabolism and cause you to gain weight, not lose it.

Thankfully, there are healthier and more effective ways to meet your weight loss goals—one of which is eating breakfast.

Here are a few tips to planning weight-loss friendly meals:

Make a meal plan that fits your routine

If you are often short on time, one way to stick with your healthy meal planning is by meal prepping early in the week. Meal prepping is when you either cook all of your meals in advance or prepare the ingredients in advance.

This allows you to either have pre-made meals or ingredients that you can quickly heat or throw together, saving you time and saving your diet from tempting take-out options.

Related: 7 Benefits of Meal Prepping

Feast on the fiber

Fiber-dense foods keep your gut healthy and keep you feeling full. Reach for whole grains, beans and legumes, veggies, and fruits. A little bit of fiber with every meal adds up throughout the day.

Pack in the protein

Proteins are digested slower than carbs, keeping you full longer and more satisfied between meals. Snacking on Greek yogurt and jerky and including high-quality meats and nuts into your meals can help you get the daily amount you need to keep yourself on track to weight loss.

Related: 7 High-Protein Meals for Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

Aim for fewer calories

Depending on if you want to lose weight or maintain your weight, take note of how many calories you’re eating each day. On average, cutting about 500 calories from your normal amount can help you get started on a good, consistent weight loss plan. You can use free apps that will help you keep track of your caloric intake.

Prevent the processed foods

"Processed food" is food that has been cooked, canned, frozen, packaged, or changed in composition (through means of preserving, fortifying, etc.) Unfortunately, processed foods often have higher amounts of sugar and sodium. Instead of indulging on these convenient packaged foods, try snacking on fresh fruits and vegetables; cooking fresh, unprocessed meats; and incorporating whole grains into your diet.

There are many healthy tips to consider when creating a healthy meal plan, such as keeping easy recipes on hand that are low calorie and nutrient dense. The key to an effective meal plan is finding one that you can stick with and best fits your lifestyle. Visiting a dietician can help you meet your goals and make the best choices for your body.

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