Keeping dinner light – the secret to weight control
For most of us, dinner is the largest meal of the day. Not only does it tend to be the time of day when we are most hungry, but when we combine the snacks we munch on before dinner, any alcohol we indulge in, the dinner itself and then the sweet treats we tend to enjoy after dinner, it is not uncommon to see clients who are consuming more than 1000 calories after 6pm each day. It is no wonder so many of us find it hard to fend off the kilos.
While not always practical, one of the most powerful steps you can take towards losing weight, or at least keeping your weight under control is to keep your final meal of the day as light as possible. Not only does a light evening meal mean that you are more likely to wake up the next day and feel hungry for a breakfast meal, but eating light at night will help you to sleep better and support weight loss, if that is your goal.
The trick to eating light at night is to focus your meal around a lot more vegetables and salad and much smaller serves of protein – just a palm size piece of meat, chicken or fish. And if you do like to indulge in some wine or dessert, make a choice between a small serve of carbs, a couple of small glasses of wine or something sweet – not all three. Most importantly give yourself an eating cut off time – ideally we need at least 12 hours without food overnight which means switching off the kitchen lights at 8pm at the latest. If you must snack after this time, low calorie, low carb options such as popcorn, berries or low calorie hot drinks such as herbal tea or low sugar hot chocolates drinks are the better options.
And if you are in need of some 300-400 calorie light meal options, look no further.
Extra lean beef burgers which you can find at supermarkets contain as little as 80-100 calories per serve which means you can enjoy 2-3 naked burgers with plenty of salad for a light yet satisfying meal.
Prawn stir fry
Prawns are often overlooked for both their protein and low calorie content and an entire 200g of raw prawns contains fewer than 200 calories. This means that you can enjoy a prawn stir fry with a little soy sauce, veges and cauliflower rice for a low carb, low calorie meal.
A lean, high protein meat, turkey can be made into a tasty meatball or spaghetti sauce with zucchini noodles and extra vegetables and still clock in at less than 300 calories.
Grilled fish and roasted vegetables
While tuna and salmon are on the higher calorie side thanks to their rich omega 3 contents, if you stick to white fish and team it with a bucket load of low carb veges such as zucchini, eggplant, capsicum, onion and pumpkin, you will strike a perfect balance between low cal and low carb.
Salmon or tuna cakes
While a large fresh piece of salmon or tuna can bump up calorie intake, mixing a small can of tinned fish with some cottage cheese, grated vegetables, eggs, cheese and a light seasoning of breadcrumbs keeps the carbs and calories low for a great tasting quick and easy dinner.
Who said that eggs should be limited to breakfast? In fact a frittata pie made with eggs, grated vegetables and a little cheese equates to 240-300 calories in a relatively large slice and can be enjoyed with salad for a filling, nutrient rich lunch or dinner meal.