Losing Weight: Bulk up your Meals
It seems like almost everyone is trying to lose weight around this time of the year. Perhaps from over indulging during the holidays or becoming motivated with the beginning of a new year.
A lot of people find weight loss to be difficult, which is why I’m going to share an easy tip with you in hopes that it will help you on your way to shed a few pounds.
If you’ve read some of my previous posts or my “About Me,” you already know that I like to follow a macro-based approach to eating. However, sometimes, you still feel hungry while on macros, which brings me to…
Bulking Up Your Meals:
Personally, the worst thing about trying to lose weight, is the fact that you often feel hungry. Well, it doesn’t have to be that way!! This simple tip of “bulking up” your meals is going to help you feel fuller for a longer period of time, so that you can actually stay on track, instead of binging out of hunger!
Basically, “bulking up” meals means to add volume (aka vegetables) so that you can feel fuller from the fiber. Fiber will also help your digestion, which plays a HUGE role in weight loss. Now, there is one thing that you need to know if you are going to add some volume to your meals–with more fiber comes a need for more water. So, make sure you drink that H20! If you need tips on drinking more water or want to know the benefits, check out this post.
Alright, here are some of my favorite ways to crank up the volume of my meals:
1. Cauliflower Rice
Whoever invented this stuff is a genius! It’s such a simple idea, but it’ll really help out your meals. Plus, now they come in all different flavors, which is pretty awesome (just keep an eye on your nutrition facts and ingredients!)
I personally like the Hanover brand, but that’s because they’re usually on sale (you can find them in the frozen section.) As for flavors, I enjoy the original and their cilantro lime varieties as they are both dairy and gluten free.
So, how do I “bulk up” my meals with cauliflower rice? I add some to my regular rice! For instance, I’m currently “cutting,” which is a fancy way of saying “losing weight”, so my carbs are significantly lower than usual. I still enjoy the taste of brown rice, but only have about 1/4 cup of it in order to fit more snacks in throughout my day. This is where the cauliflower rice comes in perfectly! Especially, because lately I have been making my own version of Chipotle bowls–so that cilantro lime flavor is perfection!
This one might kind of be an obvious one, since salads are typically full of fiber and veggies. But, I still think it’s a good idea to bring up how they can help with weight loss efforts. Depending on what you put in your salad, they do not have to add up to a lot of calories. This means that a big salad can make a great snack or “filler” for when you’re feeling hungry.
When creating my salads, I try to stock up on lower calorie vegetables, such as cucumbers, carrots, and different varieties of lettuce (although there are a LOT lower calorie veggies). The things you need to watch in your salads, especially if you are trying to lose weight, are things like dressings, croutons, cheese, and other high calorie or fat foods. I like to drizzle just a little bit of olive oil and vinegar on top of mine.
3. Broccoli Slaw
I found this stuff at my grocery store a few years ago and have never looked back. It is great added to salads, stir fries, and just sautéed and served on it’s own!
4. Sautéed Vegetables
Again, another simple idea but one that can definitely pump up the volume on your nutrition! Some of my favorite veggies to saute and add to meals are:
-Spinach: It’s a wonderful source of iron for those muscles and is delicious in scrambled egg whites, stir fries, or just on its own with some garlic and onion.
-Cabbage: I love sautéed cabbage with onion as a side to pork or chicken
-Zucchini: You can make your own version of zucchini pasta and use it to bulk up regular pasta or eat it on its own–it’s super yummy!
-Cauliflower: I mentioned cauliflower rice above, but you can also use it to make mashed potatoes (or mix with them), or if you’re like me, I love cauliflower steamed and sprinkled with some season salt.
5. Stir Fries
You’ve probably noticed that I mentioned stir fries a few times in my examples above. Having stir fry as a meal is a great idea because you get to have your lean protein (chicken, shrimp, etc) and then load up on vegetables for an easy and weight loss friendly meal! Just be aware of those sauces!
Eating for weight loss does not have to be boring or lack flavor. And you shouldn’t feel like you are starving, especially if you start “bulking up” you meals. Let me know how this tip works for you! Do you have any favorite ways to add volume to your meals? Leave them below in the comments.