In our dream world there would be constant grazing on carb heavy foods without the consequences. Sigh. But this is real life and we aim to lose fat, not pack it on. That’s why it’s important to eat a particular type of low-carb meal.
“Eating a low carbohydrate meal helps to lower your post-meal insulin level and insulin resistance which leads to healthy changes in metabolism and fat loss", says Jennifer Cohen Katz RDN, a culinary nutritionist at Fresh Balance Nutrition. The perfect meal is vegetables paired with lean protein that keep blood sugar levels stable and leave you feeling full longer. Examples: a baby kale salad with blueberries and slices of grilled chicken or gazpacho soup with chickpeas.
“Veggies are a huge part of losing weight in a healthy way because they’re low in calories and nutrient dense," says Katz. Especially compared to high-carb grains, which can contain essential nutrients, but block fat loss. Eat grains in small portions only once a day.
The other part of the healthy meal puzzle is protein, because it helps preserve your muscle which makes up a little of the weight you lose when on a diet. “A plan that includes some protein at each meal and some in snacks as well, will help you lose more fat tissue and retain more calorie-burning muscle tissue,” says Katz.
“Creating meals made up of lean, good quality protein and nutrient dense vegetables is only part of the weight loss equation,” she says. Katz advises you watch portion size and try a calorie counter app to make sure a too-high calorie intake isn't sabotaging weight loss.