Are your meals mostly starches- like bread, rice, potatoes, pasta or mostly protein like meat, beans, and eggs? Or are they full of fat from red meat and cheese? Meals lacking colors like these meals do tend to be calorie and saturated-fat heavy. They can sap your energy, and you can reach your daily calorie limit pretty quickly on these foods- and most people exceed when these foods are the foundation of their meals.
You don’t have to eat less to lose weight. In fact, you can eat more. My favorite way to eat as much as I want is to focus on veggies. Include them (and as many as you can) with every meal. Soon your body will crave them because they make you feel lighter, clearer, and more energetic.
I add greens (spinach, kale) to my morning smoothie, or sautee with my eggs. I always have a huge veggie-chocked salad at lunch, and at least 3 different veggies at dinner.
How can you become more veggie-conscious?
1) Start with veggies in your meal planning– what veggies are you going to include in your meal? Try to choose at least two colors for every meal (eggplant + tomato, broccoli + carrots, mushroom + spinach, onion + sweet potato)
2) Fill half your plate with veggies- pile them on! Veggies are full of fiber and nutrients and very low on calories (from 15 calories per cup of spinach, to 50 calories per cup of carrots). There are about 200 calories per half cup of most starches (pasta, rice, etc.) veggies make you feel full and satisfied without spiking your blood sugar the way white flour will.
3) Wash and cut veggies before putting them in the fridge. Some people get discouraged by prepping veggies. If you take 20 minutes to peel, cut, and wash veggies before putting them in the fridge, you can grab them easily for a quick meal or side dish.
Choose fresh, seasonal, local veggies whenever possible. These are at peak ripeness, taste best, and contain the most nutrients. Eat a variety of colors to ensure you are getting a spectrum of vitamins and minerals.