- A sampling diet of what to eat in one day has become popular in the media.
- Check out the lists of what not to eat, and what to include every day in your diet.
- Note these quick breakfasts and smart plan-ahead lunches for dieters on the go.
- What are the best times to eat?
- Convert your most loved dinner recipes into lower calorie everyday favorites.
- Almased.com is a good source of endless smoothie ideas and a whole lot more. Look for science-based everyday recipes and tips to make your life healthier.
“What I Eat in One Day” has gained huge appeal all around the internet and magazines. The advice seems to vary though, depending on whether you're Paleo, Keto, Vegan, Vegetarian, Low-fat, High Starch, trying to get healthy or simply trying to lose weight. Sometimes, it's all about fasting – that is, what you don’t eat all day long.
Of course, we’re always interested in food because we all like to eat. Most of us are on a diet of some kind (or have been), and often counting our calories or carbs. While this can be burdensome, we think we’ve got to do it because we’ve figured out the basics: if we want to lose weight, we must take in fewer calories than we exert. While that is true, most of us don’t like the mental gymnastics of eating by numbers. We all want the easiest way to achieve better eating habits, improved health, and ideal weight management.
Let’s get to the question: “What should I eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?” by first starting with the unavoidable: “What should I not eat?”
The obvious out of bounds foods for weight loss and health seekers are:
- Fatty meats and fatty foods, which include anything deep-fried. Even healthy vegetables are no longer healthy when dropped into the greasy fryer basket – whether plain or batter-dipped.
- Manufactured, processed and refined foods: Those "White Foods," like white sugar, white flour, and white bread, refined grains & cereals, white pasta, noodles, and white rice.
- Fast foods such as Big Macs, or the little Whopper junior, French-fries, fried chicken and fish, and sandwiches made with white bread and typically high sodium deli meats.
- Beverages that are empty of nutrition and high in fructose or sugars, including artificial sweeteners. No diet soda is a health drink. Even natural or ‘healthy’ fruit juices should be discouraged or diluted from a weight loss diet. Save your calories for chewing. (Unsweetened coffee and teas allowed.)
We love to eat, and that is a good thing when you manage to get in the right foods. Listed below are nutrient-rich superfoods, packed with antioxidants, protein, and omega-3s.
Include These or Their Backup Equivalents in Your Daily Diet – Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner.
You’ll be heart-healthy, reduce your risk of many diseases, such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity, and enjoy a healthier and increased lifespan.
BLUEBERRIES or acai berries, purple grapes, prunes, raisins, strawberries.
More antioxidants than any other North American fruit, blueberries help prevent cancer, diabetes, and age-related memory changes. Rich in fiber, vitamins A, and C, it also boosts cardiovascular health.
SPINACH or kale, bok choy, romaine lettuce.
Builds muscle and is a rich source of plant-based omega-3's and folate to help reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, and osteoporosis. Its high-lutein content fights macular degeneration.
YOGURT or soy yogurt or kefir.
Probiotic organisms boost your immune system and protect against cancer. Check out the label to be sure it notes: “live and active cultures.”
TOMATOES or red watermelon, pink grapefruit, Japanese persimmon, papaya, guava.
Red tomatoes are packed with the antioxidant lycopene. Processed tomatoes are just as potent as fresh ones. A lycopene-rich diet can decrease your risk of bladder, lung, prostate, skin, and stomach cancers and reduce the risk of coronary artery disease.
CARROTS or sweet potato, pumpkin, butternut squash, yellow bell pepper, mango.
Spiked with fat-soluble compounds called carotenoids, they’re associated with reducing cancer and the risk and severity of inflammatory conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Carrots are helpful to dieters as they have a low calorie density.
BLACK BEANS or peas, lentils, and pinto, kidney, fava, and lima beans.
Great for your heart, as are all beans, but black beans are full of anthocyanins, antioxidant compounds that have been shown to improve brain function.
WALNUTS or almonds, peanuts, pistachios, macadamia nuts, hazelnuts.
Richer in heart-healthy omega-3’s than salmon, walnuts are loaded with more anti-inflammatory polyphenols than red wine and half as much muscle-building protein as chicken. Other nuts provide one or two of these features, but not all three.
OATS or quinoa, flaxseed, wild rice.
Packed with soluble fiber, oats are known to lower the risk of heart disease. Due to its high-fiber, the carbs in oats are released slowly. Oats also provide 10 grams of muscle-friendly protein per serving.1
What You Should Eat for Breakfast
There so many things you can eat for breakfast that it’s hard to narrow it down. Since most of us seem to be in a rush to begin the day, we consider the quick and easy variety to be a good breakfast – and it can be. Just skip the Pop Tarts.
Grab and Go Favorites Come in a Multitude of Flavors:
For a healthy breakfast, Almased’s powdered meal replacement is one of the handiest things to keep in your kitchen cupboard.
The exclusive formula is neutral-tasting on its own, so you can flavor it any way you like. Add your most prized spices like cinnamon, cardamom, cocoa powder, or your favorite extracts like vanilla, almond, or coconut. It's also the perfect place to add in blueberries and other low-glycemic fruits when dieting. Check out these mouth-watering smoothies.
The combinations are endless!
Whether you are looking for a quick and easy yet healthy breakfast alternative, want to lose 5 or 50 pounds, or want to add some good nutrition to your diet, you can't go wrong with an Almased shake.
Pudding for breakfast? Oh, yeah! Chia seed is a superfood and its high in viscous fiber, too. These tiny gems make a healthy pudding that can be quickly prepared the night before. Use a container with a lid, add 1 cup of milk (nut milk, low-fat chocolate milk, rice milk), a ¼ cup of chia seeds, and your favorite spices or extracts. Include berries, or other fruit for variety. Sweeten lightly with maple syrup if you like. Shake it up and refrigerate overnight. Stir well in the morning – it is ready to go when you are.
For those who aren’t too keen on oatmeal, try this anyway! Use a sturdy plastic container that can take the heat and has a lid. The night before, put in about a ½ cup of oatmeal, cinnamon or other spices. Dried blueberries or cranberries will make it even more nutritious, and a bit of diced dates will add extra sweetness. In the morning, add 1 cup of boiling water, stir and cover for about 15 minutes. That’s it!
Cold cereal is the universally accepted fast-food breakfast. Even on a diet you can still indulge but go for granolas or a high-fiber, whole grain cereal and moisten with low-fat milk, nut milk or other plant-based milk. Top it off with ground flax seeds, or pumpkin seeds, and berries. See how good and tasty easy can be?
Don't discount the value of eggs in a healthy diet anymore! Eggs deliver protein, which is good for dieters. They're high in cholesterol but don't raise the cholesterol levels in most people. Eating whole eggs may reduce heart disease risk by modifying the shape of LDL, increasing HDL, and improving insulin sensitivity. What's more, eggs also promote fullness and help you eat fewer calories in the next meal.
Good eggs go bad when fried in lots of butter or accompany foods like bacon, sausage, cheese, and biscuits.
Instead, rev up your scrambled eggs by tossing in some spinach. And, hard-boiled eggs make an excellent portable breakfast that can be prepared ahead of time.
The Best Time to Eat Breakfast? 7:00 am
According to research, the time at which you eat could have a significant impact on your weight loss if you're dieting. The best time to eat breakfast is just after 7:00 a.m. or, between 7:00 – 11:00 am. It’s better to push your lunch an hour sooner rather than later, between 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm.
The difference could be because we use up energy during the day, and our mechanisms continually slow down as we move closer toward sleep time, reducing the rate at which we process food.
A recent study has shown that regularly sitting down to dinner after 8:00 pm can add an extra two inches to your waist.
Breakfast Bonus Tips:
- Blueberries are a real convenience food as they maintain most of their power in dried, frozen, or jam form. So, keep them on hand for toast topping, a cereal boost or Almased smoothies. Use fresh when in season and plentiful.
- Other nutritional breakfast toppings to boost nutrition and fiber include walnuts, chia seeds, and flaxseed. Sprinkle on top of yogurt and cereals or add into your favorite Almased shake.
What to Eat for Lunch
The most frequent and perhaps the best food for lunch is often soup and sandwich, salad and sandwich or sandwich and sandwich –the typical noon-time duos. The sandwich is one easy healthy lunch idea that makes it an ideal stand-by. Something as simple as two slices of bread sets the table for endless creations.
Start with whole grain bread, such as rye, oat, multi-grain, dark, crusty artisan, seeded and sprouted bread, too. Just make sure the label reads "whole grain." They each come with a unique flavor and all pack a punch of nutrition plus high fiber – ideal for weight loss diet.
Some of the best lunch recipes are the many sandwich fillings and spreads. Lean meats and cheese are the standards for sure, but even a meatless vegetarian sandwich can fill you up fast and satisfy hunger.
It's not just the old PB&J anymore
Think low-fat cream cheese and walnuts with fresh figs. And there are all sorts of plant-based deli slices now in a wide variety of flavors. Raw portobello mushrooms make a flavorful and filling meat substitute. Add a tomato slice, onion, and some sprouts to that, and you've got a complete meal.
Whole grain pita and pocket-type bread are perfect for hand-held nibbling. Traditional fillings like tuna or chicken salad can be reduced in calories by using lower fat mayo in your recipes. Grains, marinated veggies, beans, and leafy salad fillings can be packed in a separate container to be spooned in later for quick assembly at the table – keeping your meal fresh, not soggy.
On the side, show off some veggie trimmings that have eye appeal and crunch value. Carrot and celery sticks do not go out of date. Add a sprig of parsley with some slices of radish, green, red, or orange peppers, or cucumber cubes. Jicama spears make a great change. It’s all good.
Lunch ideas for work or school are best planned and packed the day before. If you don’t have time for a lot of peeling and prep work, most fresh veggies are available pre-packed, ready to eat. When aiming for fresh over processed foods, whole fruits are easily tossed in; a small apple, a pear, a whole tangerine, orange or banana. A small container of fresh grapes…not too tough!
Lunchtime Bonus Tips:
- Avocado toast is out of this world, especially topped with scallions and tomato or salsa. As a fruit, the avocado is somewhat high in fat, but it’s a healthy and satisfying fat that can occasionally be added to your menu, even when dieting for weight loss.
- To add in spinach from your list of superfoods, toss into your salads, drape it over pizza, or chop it up to top off a cup of soup. A spoonful of seasoned grains like rice and quinoa make jazzy appetizers or a full meal when artfully wrapped and rolled in large leaves of spinach.
- Walnuts make any salad look special so add a few and sprinkle on some ground flax seeds, too.
- Want chips with that? Think outside the lunchbox and go for non-potato chips such as dehydrated or baked kale chips and other non-fried veggies in chip form.
- Keeping some cooked black beans in the fridge is handy. Toss a few on top of a salad, into a bowl of soup or as a side garnish on your plate.
- For the easiest pack and go lunch, scoop a portion of Almased’s dry powder into the shaker bottle and serve as a meal replacement, adding spices if you like. Take it wherever you go, no refrigeration needed. When ready for lunch, add cold water and shake it up. Lunch is served.
What to Snack in Between
The Almased Figure Plan makes your meals count, and the high-quality protein that helps you retain muscle also keeps you full longer. But when dieting to lose weight, make sure your healthy diet program doesn’t allow too many hours between meals. According to Jamie Luu, RDN, LDN, of Almased USA, Inc., it’s okay to eat a healthy snack when hungry.
If you skip meals to drop weight, you can lose the ability to feel full.
So, drop the guilt and pack your smart pantry with easy, healthy snacks. Your low fat and fat-free snacks don’t have to be bland. Air-popped popcorn is only 90 calories for 3 cups worth and can be spiked by a variety of flavors like chili powder, turmeric, nutritional yeast, and onion, garlic or curry powders. Think Flavorful!
- Low-sodium tomato-vegetable juice - 50 calories per 8 oz. serving and lots of good vitamins A & C.
- Turkey Jerky - 1 ¼ oz. - It’s a low-fat power snack, just around 100 calories
- 5 Hershey’s dark chocolate kisses - 105 calories, antioxidants plus chocolate. Yum!
- Trail mix - such as 1 TBSP peanuts and 2 TBSP dried cranberries or raisins — 130 healthy calories – Easy to pre-measure into packets.
- Granola & Snack bars - Easy-Peezy to pack and snack anytime with plenty of flavors for variety. Check the labels first.
- Light mozzarella string cheese stick, individually packed. About 50 calories each, 48% protein.
The count goes on and on… ½ of a cantaloupe, a ½ cup of light fruit yogurt, a couple of thin slices of deli turkey, sliced tomatoes with a dab of feta, and even 8 shrimp with some cocktail sauce.6 Does this even sound like a diet?
According to nutritionists, the best food to eat at night would be healthy choices that enhance your sleep quality.7 Nibble when you need to but curtail the calories if you’re not truly hungry.
- Almonds – A source of melatonin and the sleep-promoting mineral magnesium
- Turkey – High protein and tryptophan, both of which may induce tiredness
- Chamomile tea – Shown to improve overall sleep quality
- Kiwi – Rich in serotonin and antioxidants
- Tart cherry juice - Sleep-promoting due to its high content of melatonin
- Walnuts – Promotes better sleep with melatonin and healthy fats
Best Dinner Recipes
Your best evening meals are the ones you like the most. Even highly motivated dieters can be tempted to go back to the old and heavier eating habits when cell memory kicks in. Don’t try to eliminate your favorites while dieting to lose weight. Better to adapt your taste buds to a lighter, more nutritious version of your favorites.
The staff at the Mayo Clinic offer 5 creative ways to makeover any dinner recipe into a healthier transformation. Learn these substitution tips to reduce the fat, calories, and salt in your favorite dishes:8
When looking to economize, it’s good to know that less expensive meals can be extra good for you, too. Think of plant-based proteins with plenty of vitamins, minerals and high fiber content such as beans (many varieties) and potatoes (even white potatoes). Cultures have thrived for thousands of years on life-sustaining whole grains.
Cheap dinner ideas are often the most nutritious.
Take advantage of the fact that more economical cuts of meat are often the most flavorful. Most any slow-cooking crockpot recipe will tenderize the toughest portions of meat. Simply pour off the liquid or simmering sauce when it's done cooking and place into a gravy separator to quickly drain off the excess fat. Or, refrigerate the liquid and when chilled, easily skim off the solidified fat on top.
Chicken recipes go easy on the pocketbook and are a dieter's delight when not fried. White meat chicken is always favored as it is less fatty than dark. Chicken breasts roasted naked or zested in citrus, stewed in soups or sauced up with a lower-fat, reduced calorie simmering sauce are designed to satisfy. The same cooking varieties go for beef and leaner cuts of pork.
So many herbs, spices, flavorings, and cooking methods mean you don’t have to be bored with your food.
Fish and seafood favorites are protein-rich and should be part of your diet plan. Don’t forget to satisfy your hunger with plenty of non-starchy vegetables. Different dinner ideas of every ethnic cuisine are readily available thanks to the internet.
Freely available at Almased.com are a wide variety of calorie-conscious dinner recipes to compliment The 4-Phase Figure Plan for quick weight loss. All their amazing dinner recipes are science-based, ranging from intelligent fasting to meal replacements and beyond.
In addition to the many scrumptious smoothie recipes, nutritionists have also provided easy to follow dinner recipes that taste great, feel good, and are perfectly planned for quality nutrition.15 Almased counts the calories, so you don't have to. Check them all out!
Almased is nutrient dense, packed with 27 grams of protein to retain muscle mass, support healthy blood sugar levels, inhibit the storage of new fat, and keep you feeling full!