Have you ever been frustrated because you just cannot lose weight no matter what you do?
It can be the most frustrating feeling when you want nothing more than to lose weight, yet you always find yourself bingeing on late night dinners. If you can relate to this, know that I understand where you are coming from. Honestly, it is hard to switch from eating pizza at dinner to salad every night.
People are both habitual and emotional by nature. If we try to do too much at once, we set ourselves up for failure.
That is why I believe in finding foods that bring comfort while creating a calorie deficit. You do not need to give up your favorite foods to lose weight. You just have to make the right switches to help you reach your goals.
To do this, we first need to take a look at what foods you currently like.
Do you like pizza? Great! Let us swap some of those carbs for some nutrient-dense but low-calorie options.
Do you love a good Chinese dinner? No problem! Swap that out for some Thai alternatives, and you will get the same taste with a nutrient boost to go with it.
No matter what your taste preferences, I have you covered. Try out some of these delicious but healthy recipes for dinner to save calories on your favorite meals.
1. Collard Wraps
Collard wraps are one of the best ways to lose weight while saving a ton of calories. Just imagine any type of wrap you enjoy but with a 0-calorie tortilla.
They are delicious, and they leave you feeling light and fresh in a way that is hard to get with most meals. This makes it one of the best healthy recipes for dinner.
2. Portobello Pizza
Are you craving pizza but do not want the calories? This recipe has you covered.
Not only is it ridiculously easy, but it will conquer your cravings with that delicious home flavor you crave.
You do not like portobello? No worries! There are plenty of other recipes you can make, such as toast, cauliflower, or veggies as a base instead. The options are endless when you go digging.
3. Spaghetti Squash Chow Mein
I can hear you over the screen now: “Wait! Does that mean I don’t have to give up my Chinese takeout to lose weight?!”
Exactly! Except that you will be ordering takeout from your own kitchen in this case.
Spaghetti squash is an amazing substitute for carb-dense noodles. In other words, you can eat more until you are full without having to worry about overeating.
It is one of the best ways to fill up on nutrients without going overboard. This is definitely one you will want to save.
4. Cauliflower Mac-N’-Cheese
Are you craving a good mac and cheese? This recipe takes it to another level by making it both low-carb and vegan.
Yes, you read that right. This recipe is a keeper no matter what type of diet you might be on. Try adding it in when you get a cheesy craving and see if it takes care of that for you.
5. Sweet Potato Spaghetti
Of course, we have all had the classic spaghetti squash spaghetti (which, by the way, is a staple for me). However, sometimes it is easy to feel like you need a switch. This sweet potato spaghetti satisfies just that.
I absolutely love the savory taste of sweet potato and the feeling you get where you just finished eating a huge meal.
Sweet potato is relatively low-glycemic compared to noodles, meaning it keeps you fuller longer and does not spike your blood sugar. In other words, you will stay satisfied until it is time for bedtime – something I think we can all agree we need.
6. Crockpot Cauliflower Fried Rice
Sometimes, it is those sneaky grains that can quickly add up in unwanted calories.
Want to know an easy fix? Trade some of those grains out for low-calorie substitutes!
Do not get me wrong, grains are not bad at all. However, if you are looking to fill up to the brim while keeping things low calories, subbing grains for vegetables is an excellent way to do that.
7. Pizza Stuffed Peppers
Another pizza option!? I know you are getting excited! Stuffed peppers make for an excellent pizza base because they add in an extra boost of flavor.
Let us be real, half the battle in weight loss is an emotional one. We have an emotional attachment to food. But sometimes, all you need to overcome this is a little taste of home (the healthier version, of course).
8. Black Bean Burritos
If you are a fan of a good burrito, then worry no more. This black bean burrito is extremely satiating and delicious.
Beans are a great source of fiber, which means that they will keep you feeling fuller for longer without being very calorie-dense.
On top of that, they tend to mirror the tastes of some of our favorite comfort foods. This keeps you both psychologically and physically healthy when you are trying to cut.
9. Chipotle Bowls
Who does not love a good Chipotle bowl?
Choosing the best healthy recipes for dinner involves some flexibility. For this meal, I personally have tried swapping out the rice with cauliflower rice (for those of you who are going low-carb).
This meal has a great blend of healthy fats, carbs, and protein that make it a very balanced option.
10. Sushi Bowls
Have you ever had a sushi bowl? If not, definitely try one soon!
I am writing this from So-Cal where they are almost a staple. It is easy to make sushi. Just throw all the ingredients into a bowl and savor the flavor.
The cool thing about this bowl is that you (again) have the option to use either cauliflower rice or brown rice.
When it is extremely late at night, some people find that the extra blood sugar from carbs can make it hard to sleep. For this reason, low-carb options make a great dinner.
11. Bliss Bowl
How do I describe a Bliss Bowl to you? Imagine everything deliciously healthy and nutritious mixed into one bowl. Eating a Bliss Bowl is like eating a salad but with more flavor and the same health benefits.
Eating healthy foods does not need to be boring, and this bowl is one of the flavorful yet healthy recipes for dinner you can find.
12. Protein-Style Burger
Healthy recipes for dinner do not have to be restrictive. You cannot stand going without your burger? Thankfully, you do not have to. By simply substituting lettuce for the buns, you can have your burger and eat it too.
This specific burger is made perfectly juicy with special sauce to give you just that perfect burger joint taste. Making this allows you to savor that burger taste without sacrificing your health.
13. Zucchini Roll-Ups
If you have any Italian blood in you, I am sure you are craving a bit of pasta right about now. Thankfully, low-carb diets and pasta can still go hand in hand.
This zucchini Roll-up is a lasagna based dish that is perfect for people on Keto. The lack of pasta makes it way easier to cut body fat while still enjoying the dishes you crave. Just make sure to take it easy on the cheese if you are not on Keto and looking to cut quickly.
14. Spaghetti Squash Boats
These delicious boats are stuffed with mouth-watering goodness that gives you that delicious, satisfying pasta taste. But unlike regular pasta, this amazing dish will not leave you feeling heavy afterward.
Think alfredo pasta but without all the gunk. With this delicious and healthy pasta recipe, you are in for a real treat.
15. Peanut Chicken Zucchini Noodles
Last but not least is our peanut zoodle dish. I will admit that I am a little selfish for posting this one. I just LOVE a good peanut sauce, and this one fits the bill.
In case you have not yet tried a dish like this, try picturing a satisfyingly-creamy pad thai. Of course, this one uses veggie noodles as a base, so you can feel fresh and light as you hit the pillow.
1. Keep Your Blood Sugar Balanced
If you are wondering why swapping some noodles and rice could benefit weight loss more, it is because of blood-sugar balance.
The more stabilized your blood sugar is, the more your body will be able to burn fat. That is why it is essential to load your body with healthy carbs, fats, and proteins that will keep your blood sugar stable.
2. Commit to One
With so many diets out there, it can be tempting to bounce from one plan to the next. However, I find that balance is the absolute best way to go.
But if you really are set on doing a specific diet, then stick to it. Diets like Keto, Atkins, and Paleo can become ineffective if you mix them with the other types of diet.
3. Recognize What Your Cravings Are Telling You
Having a craving? Are you craving a particular food that a low-calorie version just will not take care of?
Then just have a bite or two. It is far better to indulge in a bite here and there than to have it build up and give in to a binge at some point.
If you tend to gravitate towards one specific food, keep an eye on what may be causing it.
For instance, if you crave sugar a lot, it could mean your body is out of wack or you are low in chromium. Craving chocolate? It could be a magnesium deficiency.
If you listen to what your cravings are telling you, you might be able to stop them in their tracks, making a healthy lifestyle an easy transition. It certainly helps that there are many healthy recipes for dinner, providing you with a lot of choices regarding what you want to eat.
Keep it up, and remember why you started. This journey you are on is so worth it!