When most people thin bikini eating or summer prep, they think less. Less food, skip meals, smaller portions of everything, but that is not always the answer! In order to lose weight or lean out you have to eat; the key is paying attention to what you eat and how much. The diet world convinces women everywhere that to look lean you have to feel starving and really, nothing is further from the truth! Starving sets you up to binge or crave sugary foods, which is not the goal. Here are 5 foods to stock your kitchen with to help you look and feel your best this spring!
- Green foods: Pretty much if it is green, eat it! Kale, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, etc. are more nutrient-rich than you could ever imagine. Full of vitamin C, B vitamins, folate and iron, they add a nutrient punch to a woman’s day. Green foods are also high in fiber. When getting lean, you need to consume foods that help you feel full faster. The fiber and water content of veggies does just that. So, fill up on greens at meals and snacks!
- Portable protein: In addition to building lean muscle mass, protein helps you feel full faster and stay full longer after meals. One challenge with protein is that it typically has to be hot or cold and can take time to prep. So, to be prepared, stock your fridge with portable, on-the-go proteins for your busy day. String cheese, Greek yogurt, turkey/cheese/nut kits and hard-boiled eggs are great options. Beef/turkey jerky can also be a quick option that can be left at room temperature.
- Skins: A good rule of thumb with food is if it has skin eat it. But as one of my pro athletes once pointed out to me, the team dietitian, “Unless it’s chicken huh, Ame?!” He is right. Skin on meat should be removed, but the skin on sweet potatoes, potatoes, fruit, veggies and fatty fish should be eaten! That is where lots of the good stuff is nutrient-wise. So, don’t peel your apple, eat the center of the sweet potato or remove the oily skin from fish! Eat that fiber or healthy fat; it will do your body and your appetite good!
- High fiber grains: Most women think great bodies and carbs don’t go together. Wrong! Your workouts will stink, and you will be a cranky you-know-what, without carbohydrate in your day! Like the other foods, the key is eating the right carbs. Look for grains that are high in fiber and protein like quinoa, oats, farro and couscous. Oats at breakfast, quinoa in a salad at lunch and brown rice with lean protein and veggies at dinner will boost your energy and help you feel full longer from the fiber.
- Fat: Fat is a three-letter word that many women run from, but really healthy fat is essential to a healthy diet because fat helps you feel satiated or satisfied. You don’t need as much fat as you need carbs and protein, so think of garnishing your meals and snacks with healthy fat throughout the day. Sprinkle nuts in your oatmeal, dip an apple in peanut butter, put avocado on your lunch salad, lather celery and carrots with hummus and try salmon or trout at dinner with veggies for a nutrient-rich, satisfying day.