10 of the best dinners you can have for fat loss
You’ve fuelled up your day with the best breakfast for fat loss and have pretty much stayed on track all day. But come home time and you’re tired, on the edge of hangry and can’t give a single F to cook.
The decision you make here - what to eat for dinner for fat loss - could make all the difference with your ultimate goal and the never-ending "Why am I not ripped yet" complaining. Succumbing to that Papa John's temptation is not going to help, so maybe try one of these dinners from some top nutrition experts.
1. Watercress and rocket salad
No this isn't just leaves on a plate. Of course we want this salad to keep you full until breakfast (or at least bedtime). “Opt for a good source of plant-based protein and green leafy vegetables,” says Michela Vagnini, nutritionist at Natures Plus. “I would suggest a watercress and rocket salad with avocado, olives, sprouted beans, chickpeas and sunflower seeds. You could add extra organic tofu cubes if you need more protein or are feeling tired and rundown. "For a dressing mix lemon juice, coriander, thyme, a pinch of salt and extra-virgin olive oil, or serve with a dollop of hummus for flavour.
"This plate is a perfect post-workout meal if you are vegan and trying to lose weight as it is low in simple carbs and high in healthy fats, so it is a great way to keep your insulin levels stable and stimulate fat breakdown for energy production.”
2. Black bean and quinoa salad
This vegan option (like the first one) is championed by David Wiener, training and nutrition specialist at fitness app Freeletics. “Beans are incredibly low in fat and calories, but are packed with protein and healthy fats, while quinoa is an amazing, diet-friendly grain that is filled with protein to keep you feeling fuller for longer, and stop you overeating. Your salad can also include as many vegetables as you like and be tailored to your likes and dislikes, so try adding broccoli, chilli, asparagus and avocado to make it really filling, and delicious too.”
3. Teriyaki tofu with wholegrain rice
“Teriyaki tofu served on a small bed of wholegrain rice,” says Liam Mahoney, Grenade nutritionist. “This is a really easy and low-fat dish for mid-week meals when you can’t be bothered to cook. Tofu is a great source of protein, high in iron, calcium, the minerals manganese, selenium and phosphorous, and it contains all eight essential amino acids. Essentially, it’s so nutritionally satisfying it will reduce the risk of snacking later in the evening.”
4. Stuffed Portobello mushrooms
Wiener offers another late night winner. You can’t go wrong with mushrooms. They’re fat free, low in calories, and rich in antioxidants. To make this a filling dinner you can stuff the mushrooms with spinach, mixed peppers, onions and just a sprinkling of cheese for added flavour. They’re also delicious hot or cold and can be served with a salad or vegetables such as sweet potato, which is full of fibre and nutrients which can help you burn fat.”
5. Spicy grilled chicken and stir-fried spring greens
“When you are coeliac, you would normally stay away from highly refined/junk foods as they often contain some form of gluten,” says Vagnini. “Boost your fat loss even more with a dish that’s great for increasing the metabolism: serve grilled chicken, marinated with chilli or harissa sauce, with stir-fried spring greens. Chilli has a thermogenic effect and studies have shown that the consumption of chilli can help in accelerating weight loss through dietary modifications.”
6. Mexican cauliflower rice
“One of my favourite meals is Mexican cauliflower rice,” says Weiner. “Using cauliflower instead of regular rice is useful for keeping carb and calorie levels in daily guidelines when you don't have time to weigh out items. Mix it with onions, jalapeno’s, crushed tomatoes and a healthy lean protein source such as chicken breast or white fish.”
7. Miso-grilled salmon, sweet potato and broccoli
“I would recommend miso-grilled salmon fillets with sweet potato and broccoli,” adds Mahoney. “This is a delicious way to get in the healthy fats that your body needs, as well as giving you a good source of carbohydrates and fibre.”
8. Tuna steak with a fennel
“Go for a tuna steak with a fennel, avocado, shaved coconut and grapefruit salad,” says Vagnini. “Tuna and other oily fishes contain omega 3 fatty acids that could regulate leptin, a hormone which directly affects your metabolism’s choice to store calories as fat or burn them off. For a dressing, use ginger and pumpkin seed oil. In recent studies, ginger has shown a possible modulating effect into obesity through various potential mechanisms, including increasing thermogenesis, inhibition of intestinal fat absorption, and controlling your appetite.”
9. Courgette spaghetti with walnuts
“Courgette spaghetti with basil, parmesan pesto and chopped walnuts,” says Vagnini. “This recipe is full of good fats, healthy protein and fibre to keep you fuller for longer and maintain a healthy gut. Parmesan cheese made from grass-fed cows contains conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), a natural fatty acid found in meat and dairy products. Cows and other pastured ruminants such as goats and deer have a unique enzyme in their digestive system that converts the omega-6 fatty acids in green plants to CLA. Research has shown that CLA reduces body fat in animals by increasing the amounts of specific enzymes and proteins that are involved in fat breakdown.”
10. Chicken stir-fry with egg noodles
“Trying to be healthy when you can eat anything can be incredibly challenging, as you will often find yourself stuck for choice and opt for the unhealthier option,” says Mahoney. "You could make yourself a delicious chicken stir fry with egg noodles, to give you a satisfying feeling whilst eating healthy and getting a sufficient amount of vegetables in your dinner. It’s rich in protein - both from the chicken and the egg noodles, which are also a much healthier alternative to white rice.”
It doesn't have to involve hours of slaving away or making something Instagramable. Whipping up a nutritionally balanced, hunger pangs squashing meal is surprisingly easy - whatever your foodie preferences or needs.