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Plan Healthy Dinners

Article by Sky Taylor, Diet Bites

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How to Plan a Healthy Dinner Menu

While breakfast is the most important meal of the day, dinner is perhaps the least important. There isn't much activity involved in the day after dinner is over.

And we tend to groove into our more lazy hours as we wind-down for the big sleep.

Typically, those relaxing moments beckon the company of food - even when we aren't hungry.

Eating, a Naturally Pleasant Experience - But Late Night Owl Eating Generally Contributes to Unwanted Pounds

Eating is certainly a pleasant experience for most of us, but at this late hour - it's going to be really difficult to burn a significant number of calories.

The 'Eat Only Until Lunch' Diet Plan

Many moons ago when I was trying to ditch my saddlebags and loveless love handles, I went on a diet that was of my own making. It wasn't a very smart diet plan - but it did work wonderfully well. I lost more weight using this method than any other I'd ever tried.

I woke up each morning and I had a 'cut-off' time where eating and drinking were concerned. After 1 p.m. in the afternoon, it was just me and my shadow - and a couple of glasses of water.

Up until 1 p.m., I ate as much of any food that I wanted. My mother was so impressed with my 30 pound weight loss in just a matter of weeks that she decided to try joining me on the diet. By this stage of my life, I was already married and lived in my own house.

About she was about three days into the diet, I went to visit her and before I could say hello she yelled out, "I cheated! I'm sorry, but it was just too difficult. I had to watch your brother and father eat - and I couldn't resist."

I just smiled at her. Soon, I lost the weight and was back on track with my normal weight. And slowly but surely those pounds began to creep back on.

Therefore, this method of weight loss is not a good way to maintain ideal weight. And going without eating for long intervals of time can do a number on the blood sugar levels - thus impacting energy and endurance. If only I knew what then what I know now...

Calorie Intake/Output Determine Body Weight

In fact, the only diet plan that works in achieving permanent weight loss is a daily diet containing the number of calories that support the idea weight - and of course, these are balanced with activity.

Even a very poor daily diet that contains the number of calorie to support ideal weight will do just that - but it fails to support or meet the nutritional needs and requirements of the body.

For example, Janice enjoys the following healthy lunch: a sandwich prepared with whole grain 50-calories per slice bread, lean chicken, lettuce, tomatoes and a smear of mustard.

She also enjoys a boiled egg and 1/2 cup of light, reduced fat cottage cheese. And she also enjoys a plum.

Her total calories for the lunch equal about 400 calories. If Janice decided to eat a cupcake which contained 400 calories - the body would process them as 400 calories worth of energy just as it would the sandwich. The big defining difference is that the cupcake is basically void of nutritional values while the healthy lunch is packed full.

Malnutrition is Generally Found in Overweight Individuals

The cupcake would best belong in the Grain Group but if there was a Sugar Group, it would best fit there. On the other hand, Janice's healthy lunch contained the following food groups: Grain, Dairy, Protein, Fruit and Vegetable - all five. In addition, the consumption of fatty, sugar filled foods encourages the build-up of layers of fat in the abdominal area, even in thin people who embrace a poor diet.

Because overweight individuals tend to pack a lot of sweet treats as well as fatty foods into their daily diet over healthier choices, if they were tested, many would be found suffering from malnutrition.

Therefore, itís vital that you enjoy a satisfying dinner incorporating foods that stick with you for hours to come so that you are less likely to snack as you enjoy the remaining hours before bedtime.

Foods that have strong satiety powers include foods oozing with fiber content. Here is our short list:

barley

beans

bran

raspberries

eggs

oatmeal

cream of wheat

grits

sweet potato

pumpkin

pumpkin seeds

dates

egg noodles

chestnuts

kumquats

wheat germ

parsnips

raisins

strawberries

pumpkin

figs

apples

Brussels sprouts

Incorporate these foods into your dinner meal and youíll appease both your appetite and taste buds.  Continue

 

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