We love to eat, and we know you do too. Although committing to a consistently healthy diet may seem like a ton of work, it’s easier than you’d think. What’s our secret? Prepping meals, eating at home more often, utilizing fresh ingredients and, well, making our best efforts in the kitchen.
The foods we consume activate the metabolic process requiring the body to expend energy to break down and oxidize food molecules. The process provides the energy and anabolic reactions our cells need to function, and it’s often referred to as the thermic or thermogenic effect of food. What contributes to a food's thermic effect? How often you eat, the size of the meal, the meal composition, your body composition, age, genetics and more. The higher calorie count a specific meal or food item possesses the greater the thermic effect will be. What does that mean? It means, if you devour a large meal your body will expend energy to process them. Per ShapeSense.com, where you can find some great Fitness and Exercise Calculators, the thermic effect of food makes up 5-10% of the energy content of said food. Therefore, if your meal contains 600 calories around 30-60 of those calories will be burned as you digest and process those nutrients.
So, as we’ve uncovered, digestion requires calorie burn and certain foods require specific amounts of energy to process them. Livestrong.com explains, the body expends more energy to process proteins than it does for carbs and fats. Additionally, lean protein based foods may even make you feel more satisfied. Meats and high protein items are not the only options, the carbs you choose should contain high amounts of fiber. Tasty items like sweet potatoes, broccoli, apples and greens can boost the metabolism. Don’t be afraid to get spicy, spices such as chili peppers and paprika can also offer a helping hand in the metabolic process. Ever wonder why fitness experts love their low-sodium hot sauces and hot peppers?
Now that you’re thinking about your meals for the day, here are 4 FIT and fat burning meals that you can make from the comfort of your own home.
Broccoli Feta Omelet
Broccoli is a low-calorie veggie that contains fiber, vitamins and mineral. This cruciferous vegetable is a great source of beta-carotene and much, much more. This recipe from Health.com stood out to us because it also contains eggs (protein) and feta cheese that packs a punch of flavor. Full recipe here.
Strawberry Chicken Salad with Warm Citrus Dressing
In this recipe, we’ve got chicken breast and spinach as proteins. Spinach provides additional nutrients such as fiber, vitamins and potassium (to name a few) and the strawberries provide a sweet source of vitamin-c, dietary fiber and magnesium. This is an easy meal to prep that contains good-for-you ingredients. Full recipe here.
Santa-Fe-Style Vegetable Soup
Soup is one of favorites because you can toss all your ingredients into a slow cooker for the day and come home to dinner! This recipe by PopSugar is Paleo friendly and it’s packed with protein, if you’re vegan or vegetarian simply remove the chicken and use veggie stock instead. Ingredients like garlic and butternut squash are heart friendly and low in calories. Full recipe here.
Italian Style Stuffed Peppers
This PopSugar recipe is one you’ll be sure to love the leftovers from! The ingredients include red peppers, which are low on the calorie scale, but high in vitamin C. The protein included is ground turkey which is a great swap for ground beef. Ground turkey also contains selenium to assist with immune support and the other ingredients like tomatoes and basil provide an Italian style flavor. Full recipe here.
See? Healthy meals can contain delectable ingredients and make you feel great at the same time. These are types of meals we recommend in-between infrared sessions as well, they are satisfying yet nutritional and that’s what we look for in a meal! Healthy choices make for creative kitchen adventures so whip out your slow cooker and start cooking!
Have some recipes you'd like to share?
- "Thermic Effect Of Food". Shapesense.com. N.p., 2016. Web.
- "Highly Thermogenic Foods". LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., 2015. Web.
- "What Are Health Benefits Of Bell Peppers?". LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., 2013. Web.
- Anne Tourney. "Ground Turkey Nutrition Information". LIVESTRONG.COM. N.p., 2015. Web.
- "Is Feta Cheese Healthy?". Healthyeating.sfgate.com. N.p., 2016. Web.
- Cold, Flu & Cough et al. "Surprising Health Perks Of Peppers". WebMD. N.p., 2016. Web.
- "Calories In Butternut Squash, Baked | Nutrition, Carbohydrate And Calorie Counter". Calorieking.com. N.p., 2016. Web.