Crafted for you
Finding the right diet can be difficult. Is keto the right thing and go for eating a lot of fat? What about the raw diet and not cook anything? Or how about the Mediterranean or the Paleo or Intermittent Fasting?
Do any of these diets work? Yes. All of them. For somebody.
The truth is that every diet that changes the way you eat will help you lose weight if you follow it perfectly. They’re all designed to work a certain way, and they’ll work if you do it.
But can (or should) you eat nothing but fats for years at a time?
How much fish and olives can you handle?
Do you really want to only eat foods that are raw?
There is one type of diet that works for everyone – simple calorie consciousness.
The idea is the most fundamental of all: Take in less calories than you burn, and you’ll lose weight. We’ve included some good recipes for you to try.
How many calories do you need?
The number of calories you need will depend on several factors:
How much weight you need to lose
Use this Healthline calculator to figure out how many calories you need to maintain or lose weight.
2000 calories per day
For some people, 2000 calories a day is just right for losing weight. For others, 2000 calories will be too few. They’ll be tired and unfocused.
Use the calorie calculator to understand your daily calorie needs. Then lower your intake by 10% to 15%. If you increase your activity levels, you’ll need to increase your calorie intake.
The meal plans
The idea is simple: Below you’ll find a bunch of recipes for 300-calorie meals. There are thousands of them online. These will get your started, then you can look online for more that suit your tastes.
Eat four meals a day. Have some snacks. Keep you rblood sugar steady and don’t drain yourself with starvation. Try not to eat less than three hours before going to bed. It doesn’t matter if you eat dinner at breakfast if you only eat 300 calories.
Be very careful about drinks. A Starbucks latte is about 170 calories. You can easily add 500 calories a day by adding the wrong coffee drink, fruit juice, or soda. Low- or no-calorie drinks are the key. Then you will need to track those calories as well. If you drink water, coffee, or seltzer all day, you can just make four of these meals, and you’re good.
Watch condiments as well. Ketchup and some mustards have calories. Sweet sauces, like teriyaki, are packed with calories. Be sure to track what you put on your meals.
Vegetarian Black Bean Taco Salad
Author: One Lovely Life Prep
Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: About 20 minutes
Yield: 4 Servings
Black Bean Taco Salad – A gorgeous vegetarian taco salad with colorful veggies + a creamy dressing you’ll love! (Gluten-Free, Vegan-Friendly)
FOR THE BLACK BEAN TACO SALAD:
1 bag of romaine or mixed greens
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (about 1 cup)
1 cup cooked corn (fresh, frozen, or canned)
1 cup diced tomatoes or halved grape tomatoes
2 green onions, sliced
1/4 cup minced cilantro
1 avocado, diced or sliced
Chipotle Ranch Dressing, or your favorite dressing!
FOR THE CRISPY TORTILLA STRIPS:
6 corn tortillas, sliced into 1/8–1/4” strips
spray avocado oil or olive oil
FIRST, MAKE YOUR TORTILLA STRIPS:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly mist a baking sheet with spray oil.
Add sliced strips of tortillas to the baking sheet (trying not to overlap too much) and mist the tops of the strips. Sprinkle with salt.
Bake tortilla strips 10-12 minutes or until golden. Remove from oven and let cool slightly before adding to the salad.
MEANWHILE, PREPARE YOUR SALAD:
In a large bowl, combine salad greens, black beans, corn, tomatoes, green onion, cilantro, and avocado. Add tortilla strips.
Drizzle with chipotle ranch dressing (or your favorite dressing) and toss the salad to combine. (If you like, you can wait to add the tortilla strips until the very end. It’s up to you!)
Alternatively, you can set out the ingredients and let everyone build their own salad. This works great for kids!
Healthy Chicken Lettuce Wraps
These Healthy Chicken Lettuce Wraps are a low-carb, quick, and easy mid-week appetizer or main combining chicken (or another protein) with veggies, cashews, and a healthy homemade teriyaki sauce spooned over crisp lettuce leaves for a flavor-packed meal! Serve these Asian lettuce wraps alone or over a bed of rice/cauliflower rice for a healthy, wholesome meal!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Author: Olena Osipov
1.5 lbs. chicken breast diced
1 small onion finely chopped
2 garlic cloves minced
1/2-inch knob ginger minced
1 small zucchini diced
1 small bell pepper diced
1 cup cashews coarsely chopped
2 green onion sprigs chopped
1/4 cup cold water
2 tbsp soy sauce I used aminos
2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
1 tbsp rice vinegar
1/2 tbsp cornstarch
1 head of butter iceberg or Romaine lettuce, leaves separated
1 tbsp avocado or any oil for frying
Make sure all ingredients are chopped and ready.
Preheat large ceramic non-stick skillet on medium heat and add cashews. Pan fry until toasted, stirring constantly. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Return skillet to medium heat and swirl oil to coat. Add onion, garlic and ginger; cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
Add chicken and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Right before chicken is done cooking, in a small bowl add cold water, soy sauce, maple syrup, rice vinegar and cornstarch, whisk with a fork. Add to the chicken along with zucchini and bell pepper; cook for 1 minute or until sauce has thickened. Stir in cashews and green onions.
Serve chicken lettuce wraps immediately. To assemble, use 2-3 stacked lettuce leaves (depending on its thickness) and spoon desired amount of filling on top. If someone is very hungry, serve over a bed of brown rice or quinoa.
This fabulous recipe uses Greek yogurt to create an amazing marinade that makes the chicken incredibly moist. No one will guess that it has been lightened up and is not even fried! — Kim Wallace, Dennison, Ohio
Prep: 20 min. + marinating Bake: 40 min.
Makes 4 servings
1 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
2 garlic cloves, minced
8 chicken drumsticks (4 ounces each), skin removed
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1-1/2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
Olive oil-flavored cooking spray
In a large bowl or dish, combine yogurt, mustard and garlic. Add chicken and turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate 8 hours or overnight.
Preheat oven to 425°. In another bowl, mix flour, paprika, baking powder, salt and pepper. Remove chicken from marinade and add, 1 piece at a time, to flour mixture; toss to coat. Place on a wire rack over a baking sheet; spritz with cooking spray. Bake 40-45 minutes or until a thermometer reads 170°-175°.
Egg White Frittata
From Brunette Ambition by Lea Michele
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red pepper, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1/4 yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
8 egg whites (either separated or in a carton)
1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
2 cups fresh spinach
Preheat the oven to 375°F.
In a heavy skillet, add olive oil and bring to medium-low heat.
Sauté onions and peppers until vegetables are tender, about 7 minutes.
Sprinkle the mixture with salt and pepper.
Pour egg whites into the skillet and cook for 3 minutes.
Sprinkle the top with feta and spinach.
Put skillet in oven and bake, uncovered, for 8 to 10 minutes. (If you use whole eggs instead of egg whites, bake at 400°F.)
Loosen the edges of the frittata with a rubber spatula, and then invert onto a plate.
Better than Your Mom’s Chicken Soup
This soup is comforting and delicious, just want you want on a chilly day.
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 6 hrs.
Total Time 6 hrs. 5 mins
Course: Dinner, Soup
Servings: 8 people
4 cups chicken stock low-sodium
3 carrots sliced
1 cup onion chopped
1 tablespoon thyme leaves fresh
2 garlic cloves minced
9 to 12 ounces boneless and skinless chicken breasts cut into small bite-size pieces
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup corn kernels frozen or fresh
1 cup peas frozen
1/2 cup long-grain brown rice uncooked (we used Uncle Ben’s Instant Brown Rice)
Add all ingredients, except corn, peas and rice, to the slow cooker, cover and cook on low 6- 8 hours, or until carrots are tender and chicken is done. Add corn, peas, and rice the last 10 -15 minutes of cooking time.
Cook 1 large beaten egg in a nonstick skillet in 1 teaspoon melted butter: season with salt and pepper. Split 1 small warm baked potato and stuff with the scrambled egg. Top with 1 tablespoon shredded Cheddar and some sliced scallions.
Why it slaps: Low-cal dressing and heart-healthy salmon make this a winning wrap.
1 small whole-wheat pita:
3 ounces canned salmon: 110 calories
2 tablespoons low-calorie Caesar dressing: 32 calories
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese: 22 calories
1 cup raw spinach: 7 calories
Side snack: ¼ cucumber sliced with 2 tablespoons hummus (56 calories)
Time: 30 minutes prep
5 minutes cook
This nutty vegan treat doesn’t require any baking!
55g (1/3 cup) roasted unsalted peanut
30g (1/4 cup) raw cacao powder
Pinch sea salt
140g (1 1/2 cups) rolled oats
95g (1/2 cup) raisins
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
Roasted unsalted peanuts, extra, finely chopped, to serve (optional)
Sea salt, extra, to serve (optional)
Peanut butter filling
2 large (about 430g) ripe bananas, peeled, chopped
130g (1/2 cup) natural smooth peanut butter (no added sugar or salt)
65g (1/3 cup) raisins
60ml (1/4 cup) melted coconut oil
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp coconut flour
1/4 tsp sea salt
50g (1/2 cup) raw cacao powder, sifted
85g (1/3 cup) solidified coconut oil
80ml (1/3 cup) maple syrup
Grease the base and sides of an 18cm (base measurement) square cake pan. Line with baking paper, allowing the sides to overhang. Place peanuts, cacao, salt and 1 cup oats in a food processor and pulse until just finely chopped. Add the raisins, oil, maple syrup and remaining oats. Process until well combined. Press into base of prepared pan. Use a straight-sided glass to smooth the surface. Place in the fridge for 1 hour or until firm.
For the filling, use a high-speed blender to blend the banana, peanut butter, raisins, oil, maple syrup, flour and salt, scraping down the sides occasionally, until very smooth. Spread over oat base and use a spatula to smooth the surface. Place in the fridge for 2 hours or until firm.
For the chocolate topping, place ingredients in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water (don’t let the bowl touch the water). Cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes or until mixture is smooth and thickened. Pour over the filling. Smooth the surface. Place in the fridge for 6 hours or overnight to set. Cut into 18 bars. Sprinkle with extra peanuts and salt, if using. Store in a lined airtight container in fridge for up to 1 week.
This smoothie is just loaded with vitamins and minerals. You’ll get a whole day’s worth of vitamin C in just one smoothie, plus lots of calcium, magnesium, folate, and vitamin A.
1 cup sliced strawberries
1 cup nonfat milk
1/4 cup rolled oats
1 teaspoon honey
1/4 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup ice
Homemade Recipes You’d Like to Share?
Please comment below anything you’ve been munching on that may help someone else on their journey! We all come from different walks of life and one of the best parts about that is getting to experience new foods. Let us know what we should be trying out!