3 Hearty Meals for Weight Loss

Lightning-Fast Fajitas

If you think losing weight requires you to drastically lower calories and go hungry, think again. Not all calorie-controlled foods are light and unsatisfactory. Indeed, healthy, hearty meals can be nutrient-dense yet low in calories. And because they provide whole foods that are rich in protein and fiber from vegetables, quality proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats, they help you fill up and provide lasting energy.

You don’t need to give up satiating fats like avocados, nuts, or olive oil either. These fats provide essential nutrients and can help control hunger, allowing you to wait longer between meals without hunger pangs.

While refined carbs travel quickly through the body and cause a drop of energy soon after you eat, whole grains and legumes help keep you full, which can help you manage your weight more easily.

Quality proteins are also essential for satiety and help you hold onto metabolism-boosting muscle. While in the past, many people thought that meant they had to rely on simple, bland foods (e.g., white meat chicken or canned tuna with a side of plain broccoli), we now know that flavorful, hearty meals fit perfectly into a weight-management diet.

Here are a few simple recipes to get you started!

Lightning-Fast Fajitas

Lightning-Fast Fajitas

There’s no need to go out to enjoy this filling favorite. Fajitas are simple enough to make even on a weeknight and provide loads of flavor.
Course: dinner
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: steak fajitas
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 322kcal

Ingredients

  • 3 garlic cloves pressed
  • 1 pound flank steak cut into strips
  • 1 Tbsp chili powder
  • 1 bag of frozen peppers and onions
  • Lemon juice
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • Salsa
  • Greek yogurt

Instructions

  • Sauté garlic in a skillet set over medium heat for about one minute.
  • Add beef and chili powder and cook until the beef begins to brown.
  • Add the peppers and onions, continuing to cook until the vegetables are warmed through and the meat is cooked. If you like your vegetables to be slightly charred and caramelized (restaurant style), turn the heat up to high for the last bit, stirring to ensure they don’t stick to the skillet.
  • Squeeze lemon juice over the dish and give it a final stir before removing it from the heat.
  • Serve with warmed tortillas, salsa, and Greek yogurt.

Nutrition

Fiber: 5g | Calories: 322kcal | Fat: 12g | Protein: 24g | Carbohydrates: 31g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Chef note: You can also use fresh peppers (1 red and 1 green or yellow) and onion (1 yellow) cut into strips. The frozen peppers and onions are just a simple way to save time.

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Chef note: If you like a bit more heat, you can also add a chopped jalapeno or some extra chili powder. And if you prefer less heat, you can use less chili powder (start with just 1 tsp).

 

Hearty French Lentil Soup

Hearty French Lentil Soup

This hearty soup provides comfort on a cold or rainy day. It’s so simple and tasty, you’ll want to make it again and again.
Course: dinner
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Lentil Soup
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 322kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 pound French green lentils
  • 3 yellow onions finely chopped
  • 2 leeks chopped, white part only
  • 3 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 8 stalks celery diced
  • 5 carrots diced
  • 12 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 8 Tbsp freshly grated parmesan cheese optional

Instructions

  • Place lentils in a large bowl. Cover with boiling water, and allow to rest for 15 minutes.
  • Drain the lentils and set aside.
  • In a large stockpot, sauté the onions, leeks, and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat. Add the thyme, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook for 20 minutes or until the vegetables are tender and translucent.
  • Add the celery and carrots and sauté for another 10 minutes.
  • Add the vegetable stock, tomato paste, and lentils. Cover and bring to a boil.
  • Lower the heat and allow the soup to simmer, uncovered, for about one hour until the lentils are fully cooked.
  • Taste and adjust seasonings. Then, add the red wine vinegar.
  • Serve hot with a sprinkle of parmesan cheese, and enjoy!

Nutrition

Fiber: 12g | Calories: 322kcal | Fat: 3.5g | Carbohydrates: 56g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Chef note: If you can’t find French lentils, you can also use common brown or green lentils.

 

Ratatouille Chicken

Cooking your meat and vegetables in one dish saves time and cuts down on cleaning. And this hearty chicken dish is packed with flavor and nutrition.
Course: dinner
Cuisine: French
Keyword: Ratatouille Chicken
Servings: 6 servings
Calories: 399kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 Japanese eggplants
  • 4 Roma tomatoes or other flavorful tomato
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow onion
  • 1 package of frozen artichoke hearts thawed, drained, and quartered
  • 2 Tbsp capers drained
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves minced
  • 1 tsp Cajun seasoning divided
  • 4 chicken breasts 1.5 pounds, cubed
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 6 Tbsp Asiago cheese grated (optional)

Instructions

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  • Slice eggplant, tomato, peppers, and onion into 3/4-inch pieces. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl.
  • Stir in the artichoke hearts, herbs, capers, oil, garlic, and half of the Cajun seasoning.
  • Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with spray oil and place the chicken into the dish. Then sprinkle the remaining Cajun seasoning on the chicken.
  • Spoon the vegetable mixture over the chicken and then drizzle the chicken stock over the top.
  • Cover and bake the chicken dish for 30 minutes. Then, uncover the dish and bake for another 30 to 45 minutes or until the chicken and vegetables are fully cooked. Sprinkle the top with cheese, if desired.
  • Serve alone, on a bed of spinach, or over cooked whole-grain pasta.
  • Enjoy!

Nutrition

Fiber: 10g | Calories: 399kcal | Fat: 16g | Protein: 40g | Carbohydrates: 22g
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Chef’s note: You can also replace the chicken stock with white wine for an even richer flavor.

When it comes to losing weight or dieting, many people believe they need to eat lean, light, clean meals. Only then can they cut calories enough to lose weight. Sadly, this type of thinking can cause diets to backfire, as drastically reducing calories and focusing on light meals only leads to one thing: hunger. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution: hearty meals like the three above that can help you lose weight and stay satisfied.