For a filling, nutritious dinner, we usually recommend three main components:
– a lean protein source (chicken, turkey, ham, low fat beef, fish)
– either a starchy carb (rice, potato, whole grains, beans, etc) or a small healthy fat source (nuts, cheese, avocado, olive oil)
You may already have these as main components of your dinner, but making a few tweaks to some of these meals can make it even more beneficial for your goals. And that main tweak is to cook these ingredients INDIVIDUALLY, rather than as one combined dish.
What do we mean by this?
Opt for dishes that feature each of this foods separately (e.g. grilled chicken, baked potato, and vegetables prepared separately) rather than a meal that combines multiple macronutrients into one large amalgam (think of a dish like Lasagna). When you make meals likes these, there’s a greater chance that you’ll amass a large amount of calories without even noticing it, and without getting very full.
Further examples of “mixed” dishes that can get you into trouble are:
– macaroni and cheese
– pasta with meat sauce
– breaded chicken/pork cutlets
– pot pies
Having individual foods on your plate will help you better distinguish how much of each item you are actually eating. This will also allow the food to take up more space on your plate. If your plate is fuller, you will feel fuller after eating. Often times, eating for your goals is as much mental as it is physical.