A big part of eating well to lose weight is planning out your meals. Once you have an idea of what you will be eating at each meal, it's much easier to stay on track and resist temptation that will veer you off your healthy eating goals.
But if planning out each meal in advance sounds overwhelming, don't stress: registered dietitian Bari Stricoff told POPSUGAR what you should be eating at every meal to keep you blood sugar stable and help you lose weight. It's a simple formula, and you can use it to mix and match your favorite foods for a complete meal.
"When it comes to blood sugar regulation, the quality of meals compared to the number of meals is more important," she said. "Ensuring your meals have high-quality protein plus whole grain carbohydrates [and] healthy fats will have positive effects on blood sugar."
So if you're craving avocado toast, make sure it's on 100 percent whole wheat bread and paired with an egg or smoked salmon for some protein. Instead of just a piece of fruit for a snack, eat it with a handful of nuts for a boost of protein and fat.
She also said fiber, which is found in whole grain carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables, is important to help slow the release of sugar in the blood. If you combine the fiber with protein and fats, it also helps delay the release of sugar in the blood. When your blood sugar is regulated, you are less likely to store fat. Plus, you will feel satiated and won't be tempted to snack between meals.
Of course, eating in a calorie deficit is key to losing weight. But whether you eat five small meals a day or three larger meals a day, as long as they contain high-quality protein, whole grain carbohydrates or another fiber-rich food, and healthy fats, your blood sugar will be stable. This will keep you on track and help keep your weight down.