If you've lost weight by following a diet before, you may have gained it back just as quickly. The truth is, strict diets can be pretty darn efficient at providing fast short-term results, but they aren't always the most sustainable option for your health and wellness. And by sustainable, I mean your results typically fail to last long-term.
It should be mentioned that you're bound to lose weight by cutting out sugar and processed foods and greatly reducing your calories, as most diets require you to do. But the truth is, weight loss can happen naturally (and dare I say effortlessly) when you make long-term choices to eat nutritious foods full of fiber and antioxidant vitamins and minerals. Natural weight loss also occurs when you get 7-8 hours of sleep each night, manage your stress levels, exercise regularly and stay adequately hydrated throughout the day. As you can see, natural weight loss isn't just the result of a diet. Instead, it requires a complementary lifestyle full of health-supportive actions. And the good news is, self-deprivation isn't one of them.
In addition to the above points, one of the best ways you can support your natural weight loss goals is by making your own meals at home. Even if you don't feel you have the time to prepare all of your own meals, spending just two hours each week on easy meal prep can make all the difference in whether or not you meet your health goals. You see, the foods prepared by restaurants, bakeries and cafes may seem more convenient to eat, but they often contain high amounts of sugar, sodium, refined carbohydrates and rancid fats. Unfortunately, these are the exact culprits that lead to weight gain.
So, why bother suffering the health consequences of continually eating store bought meals? By preparing your own meals at home, not only will you gain control over the nutrients that go into your body, you'll also gain healthier cells. And healthier cells result in natural detoxification and increased energy.
Now, I'd like to put out a quick disclaimer and mention that life is all about balance and enjoyment. So, preparing the majority of your meals at home (roughly 80%) with healthy ingredients still leaves you room to enjoy your favorite treats once in awhile.That's the
1. Mini Frittatas
Having a good source of protein first thing in the morning is essential for promoting sustainable weight loss . This is because protein helps balance your blood sugar levels, rather than creating the rapid blood sugar crashes and spikes the way refined sugar does. Protein also helps to rebalance hormones, which is necessary for natural weight loss because your hormones regulate your metabolism.
That being said, eggs are a great source of protein to include for breakfast. Mini frittatas made from organic eggs and your favorite vegetables are a fun way to switch up the regular scrambled or fried egg breakfasts you might be used to.
2. Energy Balls
Energy balls are the ultimate healthy and energizing alternative to that mid-afternoon cup of coffee and donut. Coffee and donuts are a natural weight loss saboteur because they spike and crash blood sugar levels so quickly. And blood sugar spikes and crashes not only leave you in a vicious cycle of sugar cravings to bring your energy levels back up again, but sugary snacks also tell your body to store extra sugar that isn't being used immediately for energy as fat.
The best part about making energy balls at home is that you can customize the flavors hundreds of ways to suit your taste buds. All you need to make energy balls are dates, shredded coconut and a touch of pure vanilla extract. You can process the ingredients in a Vitamix blender or food processor and add other blood sugar balancing ingredients such as walnuts, almonds, sea salt and Sun Chlorella granules.
3. Chia Seed Pudding
Chia seeds are an excellent source of fiber, a nutrient that promotes natural detoxification and helps keep your appetite satisfied for longer. Chia seeds also contain omega 3 essential fatty acids, which studies show can help accelerate natural weight loss based on their natural anti-inflammatory benefits . Based on its nutrient profile, chia seed pudding makes an excellent snack or breakfast ingredient to promote sustainable natural weight loss.
Because chia seeds take on a jelly-like texture when they're soaked in liquid, they're a perfect ingredient for pudding recipes. To make chia seed pudding, all you need is a glass container, a non-dairy milk
A few other delicious combos include shredded coconut, lime juice and mango and blackberries, lemon and coconut.
If you thought pasta wasn't in the cards when it comes to natural weight loss promoting meals, you'll be happy to know that's not the case. If you've heard of "zoodles” before, they're a low-carb, nutrient dense alternative to regular pasta noodles, and that's because they're made with one ingredient: zucchini.
You can make pasta noodles from zucchini with a veggie spiralizer, or Vegetti which can be found at any home accessory store or ordered online.
Zucchini noodles can be prepared in batches and stored in glass airtight containers to last you the week. You can make your own custom pasta sauce such as
5. Smoothie Packs
Making smoothies is so much easier when all of the ingredients are already washed, cut and ready to blend, wouldn't you agree? This is why putting together a few smoothie packs on your meal prep day can motivate you to drink nutrient packed green smoothies during the week- even if you're tired and pressed for time.
A smoothie pack is simply a combination of your favorite fruits and vegetables, washed, chopped and tossed together in a Ziplock bag or glass mason jar. Store them in the fridge, and when you're ready to make a smoothie, simply place the
Adding a superfood nutritional supplement, such as a pack of Sun Chlorella granules (which are already pre-packaged in individual serving sizes for you) is another convenient way to increase the overall nutritional content of your smoothie. If you're in search of a delicious green smoothie combination, you may want to give our Chlorella Pina Colada recipe a try.
6. Savoury Quinoa Lunch Bowls
Quinoa is often referred to as one of the world's best superfoods because it's one of the only plant foods to contain all 8 essential amino acids, which means it's a great source of protein. And although most people may consider quinoa a grain, it's actually related to the spinach family.
Adding quinoa to your diet is easy due to its slightly nutty, yet versatile taste. For this reason, prepping a big batch of quinoa at the beginning of the week can become a lifesaver when you need a healthy meal in a pinch. You can make quinoa sweet by using it as a replacement to oatmeal and combining it with berries, Sun Wakasa Honey Plus or raw honey, almond milk and chopped nuts. You can also make it savory by adding it to salads, stir-fries and my favorite, quinoa lunch bowls.
A quinoa lunch bowl is just a name for vegetables and quinoa thrown into a big bowl and drizzled with some tahini and olive oil, and maybe even topped with some avocado. Chickpeas, chicken, ground turkey, lentils and ½ cup of sweet potato are other ingredients you may want to
As you can see, easy meal prep can taste delicious without spending hours in the kitchen. By creating the time in your schedule to make your own meals, you'll be on your way to promoting natural weight loss without ever having to think about a diet again.
About Brandi Black, RHN
Brandi Black is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist from Vancouver, B.C. Experiencing her own health challenges at a young age led her to become passionate about educating on the healing properties of food, and how to achieve hormone balance, clear skin and sustainable weight loss naturally. In her spare
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