It seems like everyone is on a diet these days. While it’s widely contested which diet is best, the very act of dieting seems to have become one of the country’s national pastimes. The Boston Medical Center indicates approximately 45 million Americans diet each year while spending $33 billion on weight-loss products. These numbers are impressive, but often diets lead to yo-yoing results. You may lose 10 pounds only to gain it back (and then some) over the holidays or when life gets in the way of your overly-restrictive diet rules and limited calorie intake.
After years of unsuccessful dieting, many people turn to nutritionists to find a long-term weight-loss solution. Rather than asking you to cut out certain foods completely or restrict calories dramatically, a nutritionist’s job is to help you create healthy habits to find a well-balanced diet that complements your lifestyle. You can have your cake and eat it too — but your nutritionist will make sure plenty of fresh fruits and veggies are added into your meals as well.
Since most nutritionists practice what they preach, their diet is a good indication of what the rest of us should be eating. Here’s a peek into what they eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
Some nutritionists start their morning with a glass of 16 to 32 ounces of warm water with lemon. This concoction serves two roles. It rehydrates your body, which has gone without water for several hours, while the lemon helps to clean the liver to prepare your system for the day. Enjoy some coffee, but keep it black and devoid of milk or sugar. You’ve heard breakfast is the most important meal of the day, and nutritionists agree. Here are some of their favorites, according to Medical Daily.
- On a more leisurely morning, scramble together some eggs and veggies and throw them on top of a piece of wheat toast. Sprinkle with sea salt and chili pepper, or for a creamy texture, put some sliced avocado on top.
- When you’re in a rush, nothing beats a toasted English muffin topped with two tablespoons of your favorite nut butter and a large banana. Not only will you get your protein, carbs, and nutrients, but it’s undeniably easy to make as you head out the door.
During the workweek, you may need a portable lunch you can throw in your bag and eat at your desk, but over the weekend, your lunch may look a bit different depending on your plans. These are some tried and true lunch ideas that are nutritionist approved and easy to recreate for both an office lunch or a day at home.
- Whether you make this from scratch, use leftovers from dinner, or are out on the town, a burrito bowl should be fairly easy to recreate or purchase (look to Chipotle, Qdoba, or Pancheros Mexican Grill). Use a healthy grain like brown rice or quinoa as the base and then throw on some beans, lettuce, tomatoes, salsa, and guacamole. Burrito bowls are the perfect way to get your fill of whole grains, veggies, and healthy fats in the middle of the day.
- For an Asian taste, put some fresh, chopped vegetables and veggie pot stickers in a container and bring them to work. You can put them in the microwave with a splash of soy sauce. Or, if you’re eating lunch at home, you can quickly steam the veggies and pot stickers together for about five minutes.
At the end of a long day, you may want to gorge on the nearest carb, but by holding off and creating a well-balanced meal, you’ll find yourself eating less and feeling more satisfied. This is your last meal of the day, and most nutritionists recommend you eat early to allow your body time to properly digest the food before bedtime.
- Grill or bake some wild salmon. If you choose to bake it, take advantage of the oven being on by roasting some veggies or baking homemade sweet potato fries. For a healthy crunch, toss together a veggie-heavy salad. The salmon is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and protein while the sweet potato fries add in carbohydrates and antioxidants.
- A quick, easy meal to prepare in a pinch is a chicken stir-fry. Sauté chicken breast with red peppers, bean sprouts, carrots, and Chinese cabbage with a teaspoon of vegetable oil. Flavor with some low-sodium soy sauce and throw on top of cooked brown rice. This low-calorie meal is high in taste and uses very few ingredients.
Since following a nutritionist or dietitian’s food plan means you won’t be gorging yourself on pizza or subs, you may find yourself hungry between meals. Nutritionists suggest you never allow yourself to get overly hungry by being armed with healthy snacks to fill in the gaps.
- Throw an apple in your bag with a small container of chunky almond butter. When hunger strikes mid-morning or mid-afternoon, you can slice up an apple and dip it in the protein-packed nut butter for a quick, filling snack.
- Another easy-to-pack, easy-to-find snack is some plain yogurt and fresh fruit. Grab a one-serving carton of plain Greek yogurt and top it with fresh fruit. This mixture provides your body with enough fiber, fat, and protein to feel satisfied until the next meal.