Maintaining a moderate calorie deficit is the key to losing fat, but what you choose to eat can help you reach your goals faster. Fat-loss coach Carter Good says candidly, "Your diet could consist entirely of chocolate cupcakes & Mountain Dew and you'd STILL lose weight so long as you're eating few enough calories." While that's true, eating junk isn't very filling, and you'll probably end up eating more throughout the day, which would lead to weight gain. Eating unhealthy foods also won't offer your body the nutrients it needs to feel your best.
So Carter recommends using this simple template to create the perfect meal to aid in fat loss — he uses it 80 to 90 percent of the time. It's ideal for those who don't like to spend a lot of time cooking because it's made of three basic foods:
- Low-cal veggies: These not only offer essential vitamins and minerals, but they're also packed with fiber to make your meal feel more filling so you eat less. Go for salad, broccoli, peppers, onions, asparagus, Summer squash, and zucchini.
- Lean protein: These help you feel more satisfied and are essential to build muscle, which burns more calories. Good examples include fish, lean steak, turkey, chicken breast or thighs, tofu, tempeh, and beans.
- Starchy carbs: These also add to the satiety of the meal and offer you sustained energy. Healthy carbs include potatoes, white or brown rice, yams, quinoa, and root veggies.
Carter shares some examples of meals he's created using this template to give you some ideas:
- Lean steak, rice, asparagus
- Chicken, potatoes, mixed veggies
- Salmon, quinoa, steamed broccoli
- Egg whites, red potatoes, onions, and peppers
There's a fourth food he mentions — healthy fats. The reason he didn't include them in the template is because he feels people already get their fill from their protein sources, oil, dressings, and sauces. His advice for healthy fats is, "You can definitely add some high-fat foods (nuts, whole eggs, avocado) to the mix. Just make sure you're watching portions because the calories in those suckers can add up quick!"
This is doable right? It's a simple way to think about meals to ensure you're getting the nutrition you need while still meeting your weight-loss goals. Carter says, "Start using this template in your daily nutrition plan. Use it, and I guarantee you'll have an easier time dropping fat & creating weight loss friendly meals."