You must have heard that a healthy, low calorie dinner is a crucial part of a weight loss diet. However, what is more important to know is exactly what constitutes a low calorie dinner, and what are the food items you should avoid in your low calorie dinner recipes. After all, weight loss, if you want to do it the healthy way, is not just a simple matter of calorie counting. Choosing the right things to eat at different times of the day is equally, if not more important. Eat the wrong things, and you will neither be able to control your calorie intake, nor will you be able to improve your body’s metabolism and energy levels.
You don’t need a carbohydrate kick at night. Your body is preparing to sleep and its processes are slowing down. Respect that and eat light. If you have a heavy meal instead, you will not only be piling on the calories, but you will also affect the quality of your sleep. It is common knowledge that a heavy stomach is the perfect formula for a disturbed night’s sleep. And if you don’t get good sleep, your metabolism will be sluggish and your body will not be able to burn as many calories.
The Best Food Items
Ideally, a low calorie dinner should contain food items that are both substantial and light. Fresh vegetables (even steamed or lightly cooked will do), lean meats such as chicken and sea food, beans, tofu and a small portion of a whole grain bread are great for dinner. If you feel like something sweet, consider a bowl of fresh fruits.
Here are some of the most common diet traps that you need to avoid in your low calorie dinner recipes.
Diet Trap 1: High Calorie Additions
A lot of people start with the right idea for dinner, such as steaming fresh vegetables, but then they mess it up by adding creamy dressings, substantial portions of cheese, mayo or margarine. These ingredients can potentially add hundreds of calories to your salad. For salads, use dressings that have less calories than the usual choices for your weight loss diet, or use low fat sour cream. If you are cooking your vegetables, go easy on the grease. If you have to use oil, something like olive oil is both light and healthy.
Diet Trap 2: Finishing Your Food
You may have grown up hearing your mom tell you ‘finish what’s on your plate’, however, it is time to abandon that notion, if you are serious about your weight loss diet. It is more important that you don’t overeat. So, if there are leftovers on your plate, your stomach is not the waste-bin where you should be dumping them.
Diet Trap 3: No Starters
One great way to improve the level of satisfaction you experience with your low calorie dinner recipes is to incorporate healthy starters in your plan. Start with a soup or a light salad, and you will feel satiated with a lot fewer calories.
Diet Trap 4: No Variety
Once you know the good foods for dinner, such as chicken with its lean protein, it is important not to overdo them. If you have a chicken preparation nearly every day, you will soon get bored of it, and will set yourself up for a binge. So, when you you’re your low calorie dinner recipes, make sure you incorporate variety in your plan.