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What you eat for dinner can have a major impact on your waistline because it often ends up being a source of bad calories from starch and sugar or unhealthy fats. You need to be particularly careful about what you eat during this meal more than any other meal of the day because it's usually the last meal of the day. It has a major impact because you are not going to be expending very much energy, and if you pick unhealthy foods you're going to gain weight easily. If your dinners haven't been the healthiest lately, try these 8 dinner foods to lose weight, as they can help you avoid unnecessary weight gain and keep you feeling satisfied the rest of the day.
Eating a healthy salad at the start of your dinner is always a good idea. Healthy salads are rich with satisfying fiber which doesn't add calories to your meal and will help you avoid overeating once you get to your main course. Just be sure that your salad is made the right way and doesn't have croutons or unhealthy salad dressings. Studies show that eating a salad at the start of your dinner can reduce your overall calorie intake by at least 12 percent. Salads will help you curb your appetite and you won't want very large portions. You can even lose weight if you eat mostly salad for dinner and prepare them the right way. Try to find natural salad dressings made with olive oil or other natural oil, or make your own.
It's a bad idea to pack on tons of starch and carbs during dinner. If you're going to eat carbs at all time, eat most of them at the start of your day so that you have plenty of time and opportunity to burn them off. Unless you plan on working out in the evening, your dinners should have a limited amount of carbohydrates in the form of grains or potatoes. If you are trying to lose weight you'll want to completely eliminate grains and starches, but no matter what you should have a large protein serving at dinner from fish or organic meat. The protein stabilizes your blood sugar and helps you avoid late night snacking.
If you aren't that sensitive to the effects of caffeine you should consider adding green tea to your dinner or coffee. The caffeine can help you control your appetite and stop you from overeating, and green tea in particular can boost your metabolism. Studies have shown that green tea boosts fat oxidation rates and that it can actually block the absorption of fat in your food. Drinking green tea before your meal can help you reduce your portion sizes, but you should be sure to drink it before and not during your meal for this effect. Green tea also has a slight metabolism boosting effect, so you'll burn more calories after your meal. If it affects your sleep cycle it's best to avoid caffeine later in the evening, but keep in mind that green tea has less caffeine than coffee and might work better for you.
Grapefruit is one of the best weight loss fruits, which is why it is allowed on the HCG diet, and research continues to point to its ability to burn fat and help you avoid overeating. Before your dinner, drink green tea and eat a portion of grapefruit and perhaps a salad, and you'll find that you aren't going to be very hungry when your entrÃ©e arrives. You'll end up eating fewer calories and grapefruit has compounds that can help your body burn fat and reduce the impact of extra calories. The best time to eat grapefruit is prior to your meal where the fiber and water content can have the most effect at reducing your hunger. It can lower your insulin levels, reduce the impact of carbs in your meal, and reduce the amount of calories that are converted into fat from your meal.
As mentioned previously you should try to add a large portion of protein to every dinner and limit your carbohydrate intake, but fish in particular is an excellent option for dinner. For one, fish is much lower in calories than other sources of protein, and it also has healthier fats. Fish has a unique effect compared to other sources of protein as well: it lowers your leptin levels. Leptin is a hormone associated with hunger and fat storage, and many varieties of fish have been shown to lower the levels of this hormone which can result in a lower appetite, higher metabolism and reduced fat storage. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish are also helpful at reducing inflammation which can help to treat metabolic syndrome and related problems that can lead to obesity.
Smoothies can be a great way to reduce your appetite without adding too many extra calories to your diet. If you aren't a big fan of salads, they can be a great pre-dinner meal that can reduce the amount that you eat during your dinner and help you with your carb cravings. What you put in your smoothie does make a difference, however, and you can't add tons of sugar or artificial sweeteners and expect good results. Avoid adding any sweeteners, either artificial or natural outside of stevia. You'll also have to be careful if you include whey protein in your smoothies; stick to organic brands that don't have any additives or sweeteners. Add fruit or veggies into your smoothies to make them more satisfying and filling, and you won't want to eat as much for your dinners.
Water isn't a food obviously but it can definitely help you eat less during your dinners. Try to limit alcoholic drinks at dinner which can make you want to eat more. Drinking water before eating your dinner will help you with digestion and you'll be less likely to overeat. Always have a glass of water with your dinner no matter what you are drinking; the extra fluid will help you stay hydrated especially when your dinner is higher in sodium. Studies have shown that you are less likely to overeat when you drink non-calorie beverages like water before eating a meal. The same effect occurs when you eat fruits that have a high water content like oranges or grapefruit.
Adding healthy fats like avocado to your dinner can be a great way to stay thin. The fat in avocados are not shown to cause weight gain and it is far better to add healthy fats to your dinner instead of carbohydrates and grains. The fat in avocados can reduce inflammation levels and lower your risk of heart disease, while helping you control your insulin levels. The fats avocados include oleic acid which is slowly burned by your body and it is not easily converted into fat. It can also improve your insulin sensitivity if you are at risk of developing diabetes along with other healthy sources of fat like coconut oil, olive oil, nut butters, or palm oil.