You’re turning over a new leaf. You’ve joined the gym, you’re meeting your step goals, you’re doing everything right, but you notice you’re not making the progress you want. The number one complaint I hear from clients is that progress has come to a halt. A number of things can be going on. Some of the most common include:
- Unrealistic expectations: Weight loss and changes in your body do not occur over night. Be realistic. If you’re trying to lose 50lbs by your birthday and your birthday is a month away, you’re setting yourself up for failure and disappointment. Instead, set mini goals and focus on making small changes that will push you towards creating a sustainable lifestyle of health and fitness.
- You’re exchanging fat loss and muscle gains: This does happen. It is a myth that fat turns into muscle and that muscles weighs more than fat. But it is absolutely possible that you’ve loss fat and gained muscles mass and the scale is not giving you a completely accurate picture of what’s going on. In cases like these, it’s best to have access to a scale that shows lean body mass versus body fat mass, use circumference measures instead, or gauge the way your clothes are fitting these days. This way, you can see that progress is definitely being made, but it’s not “showing” on the scale.
- Your nutrition needs tweaking: I’m not one for pushing counting calories, macros, or anything else. But to some extent, you’ve got to keep track of what you’re consuming if you’re trying to lose weight. In my line of work and from my personal experiences, I know that this is the mountain that’s the most difficult to climb. There are lots of concerned, health-conscious people out there who really need guidance in learning how to plan and create nutritious meals at home.
Today I’d like to share just a couple of my favorite quick, easy, and nutritious meals. My favorite tip to share with my clients is to focus on whole foods. Fill your plate with fresh veggies and your protein of choice, then add a whole grain. Easy peasy, right?
My go-to, weeknight, healthy meals are sheet pan meals. Sheet pan? Yes, sheet pan. Basically, you fill one up with your protein and veggies and pop everything right into the oven together to roast into yummy, nutritious goodness. For example, we love these Sheet-Pan Fajitas, Paprika Chicken, and Balsamic Basil Chicken recipes. Either can be eaten alone or as a part of a salad, bowl, in a tortilla, or along side your grain of choice.
We are also big fans of handhelds. We love them and we can usually finagle the kids into
eating some portion of them without a lot of hassle. For that reason, some form of a burger, wrap, or sandwich is on our menu most weeks. Try these salmon cakes* one night when you’re feeling like having something light and fun. We also love this oven braised beef by Nom Nom Paleo. Trust me, these may be the most delicious tacos you’ll ever eat. Trust me.
Another option is a grain bowl. This is where you can get creative. You are completely in charge of what you mix and match. I love chicken, so I usually dice up a mixture of white and dark meat, season it according to my mood, and toss it in a skillet. I love to add spicy chick or black beans, onions, kale, peppers, mushrooms, you name it! The possibilities are virtually endless.
There you have it. In a pinch, these are my go-tos. They are fairly easy, packed with flavor and nutrients, and versatile enough to serve in a variety of different ways. Eating healthy does not have to bland, boring, or cumbersome. Remember to be mindful of portions and fill your plate with your vegetables first, a serving of protein, and grains last.
What are some of your favorite weeknight meals?
Happy Healthy Living!
*This is very similar to the recipe I use. I can’t find a virtual copy of my favorite. I do use canned pumpkin instead of sweet potato as I find the flavor more mild and appealing. Also, don’t forget to save yourself some time and purchase boneless salmon. Trust me on this. I’ve made this mistake enough to know that it matters.