The best dinner combos for faster weight loss, according to a nutritionist – Eat This Not That

The question “what are we eating?” can be hard to answer, especially when you’re looking to shed a few pounds. There are so many ways to lose weight (from the keto diet to the Mediterranean diet, or just cutting calories altogether) that cooking dinner can seem like a monumental decision.

There’s no magic alchemy to creating a perfectly slimming supper, but as a nutritionist, I’m happy to say that there are healthy ingredient choices that work together to promote faster weight loss. Dinners built around a combination of nourishing fiber, healthy fats, and lean proteins are almost always a smart choice for boosting metabolism while keeping you full between meals.

Jump-start your weekly meal plan with these satisfying and weight loss-friendly dinner ideas. And did I mention tasty? Try any of these ingredient blends as a starting point for your evening meal, then check out these 22 Meals to Melt Belly Fat in 2022 for busy weeknights.

Mitch Mandel and Thomas McDonald

Going vegetarian doesn’t necessarily guarantee weight loss, but it can definitely help! A large German study from 2020 found that the less people ate animal products, the lower their body mass index was likely to be.

The researchers speculated that this could happen for two reasons. Not only are plant foods generally lower in calories than animal foods, but they are also higher in fiber, which helps keep hunger in check.

A combination of black beans, eggs, and salsa is a great way to skip the meat while getting plenty of protein. These veggie black bean omelets are a breakfast for dinner that incorporates all three.

Paleo Seared Ahi with Scallion Ginger Sauce
Mitch Mandel and Thomas McDonald

Think tuna has to come from a can (and look like cat food)? Think again ! Fresh ahi tuna is an easy to cook fish with a robust texture and a gorgeous pink color. It also packs tons of healthy fats and plenty of protein in a low-calorie package.

Create an even more colorful and nutritious palette by pairing this weight loss-friendly fish with green vegetables like bok choy, spinach or arugula. Then whip up a savory ginger-based sauce for drizzling, like the one in this Seared Ahi Tuna in a Ginger-Scallion Sauce recipe. You won’t believe this mouth-watering dinner has just 301 calories per serving.

roasted salmon with chickpeas
Courtesy of Kristine Kidd

You’ve probably heard of salmon’s high omega-3 fatty acid content. Their anti-inflammatory properties may do more than just improve heart health. Reducing systemic inflammation throughout the body can also set the stage for weight loss. In a study of European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, men and women who ate salmon three times a week for eight weeks experienced lower overall inflammation and lost a significant amount of weight.

Clearly, to lose weight, fish are friends! Dive into the salmon with this 30-minute Grilled Salmon with Chermoula Chickpeas. By flavoring grilled fish with lemon juice and dried spices, you’ll prepare a dinner with complex flavors for almost no extra calories. Served on a bed of chickpeas, this recipe is also packed with fiber to keep you satisfied.

Kale quinoa salad with apples and walnuts in two white bowls
Waterbury Publications, Inc.

News flash: You don’t have to cut out carbs to lose weight. In reality, including complex carbs like whole grains in your diet may actually help you reach your goal weight faster. Research has often associated a diet rich in whole grains with a significant decrease in body fat.

Although technically a seed, quinoa is classified as a whole grain and contains a host of high-impact nutrients like calcium, fiber and protein. Pair it with roasted veggies like sweet potato and kale and pre-cooked chicken for a handy protein in this kale and quinoa salad.

garlic prawns and kale
The Washington Post / Contributor

If you’re looking to lose weight on a Mediterranean diet, this one’s for you. A mix of shrimp, cannellini beans, kale and garlic is the ultimate Mediterranean meal. You’ve got protein from shrimp, filling fiber from beans and kale, and a low-calorie flavor of zesty garlic. Bonus: Cooking with garlic is a handy trick for reducing sodium while satisfying your palate.

Ready to prepare this mixture of light ingredients as a unique meal? Start by sautéing the prawns and chopped garlic cloves in a drizzle of olive oil. Once the shrimp are cooked through, add a few large handfuls of shredded kale and a can of rinsed and drained cannellini beans. Cook until kale is wilted. A pro-slimming dinner is served!

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