If you’re reading about different ideas for fitness meals, congratulations! You’ve either started your health journey, are in the middle of it, or are researching various ways to begin.
Whatever your case is, it’s a huge step even to begin thinking about improving your diet and overall lifestyle.
It all starts with a bit of planning, especially for your diet. What you consume every day has a massive impact on your health and respective goals.
If you’re trying to lose weight, a diet high in calories, carbs, and sugar will end up costing you in the long run. If your goal is to gain weight and muscle mass, meals that contain a lot of protein and other nutrients can help you get to where you need to be.
So what should you eat for your healthy meals? Well, it depends. That’s our least favorite answer to any health question, which is why we’re going to take an in-depth look at different delicious meals that will help you achieve your goals no matter what they are.
Price, nutrition content, and convenience all factor into this list. The biggest thing is, of course, the nutritional value of every meal. That will be weighed the heaviest, but having meals that are affordable and easy to make is essential as well.
Whatever your goals may be, there’s a meal for you. We’ve broken our suggestions into three categories: weight gain, loss, and overall healthy meals that can help you with anything.
Let’s look at some healthy, nutritious ingredients you can use to make delicious meals!
Protein, protein, and more protein. Okay, it’s not all about protein, but, it’s still an essential part of any diet. Protein becomes even more critical if you’re trying to become leaner and build muscle mass. This is because protein and its amino acids act as a foundation for the muscle tissue in your body.
Another massive factor is your overall calorie intake. Good calories, not empty ones, will be one of the primary reasons you begin to gain healthy pounds.
It is essential that, if you’re trying to gain weight, you don’t begin to eat anything and everything in your path. Empty calories, like those found in junk food such as candy or fast food, have too many negative effects to help you.
High blood pressure, heart complications, and unhealthy weight are just some of the effects that eating too many empty calories can have on your body.
Now that you know about empty calories and some nutrition facts you should be looking out for, here are our suggestions on meals and ingredients you should eat if you want to gain weight in the form of lean muscle.
For those trying to increase their muscle mass, you’ve probably heard all about the wonders of chicken. If you haven’t, you’re missing out on one of the best meal ingredients in terms of protein and price. Not to mention, it’s super easy to cook and has great flavor.
Chicken breasts, specifically, are full of protein and can be purchased in abundance for a reasonable price.
One ounce (28g) of chicken breast contains roughly 8.7 grams of protein. A typical meal would include around three to four ounces, so that’s between 26-34 grams of protein.
Not to mention, you can cook chicken breasts with almost any seasoning, sauce, and side. It can be anything such as cajun, soy, garlic, and so much more.
Whatever your taste preferences are, chicken breasts will be essential in helping you build the body that’s right for you.
High in protein and other nutrients? Check. Easy to make? Check. Cheap? Double-check.
To put it mildly, eggs are fantastic for any diet plan. They are by far the easiest and fastest to make on this list, plus you can cook them any way you want. Add in a bit of butter or olive oil plus your favorite seasonings, and you have a healthy, protein-rich, filling, and delicious breakfast.
Plus, you can get a dozen eggs from your local store for under $5. Two eggs cooked in whatever style you prefer will give you plenty of protein, vitamins, and a nice energy boost to start your day.
Most people eat a few snacks throughout the day to keep their energy levels up and their hunger down. If you're trying to gain weight and muscle mass, here are a couple of meals and snacks on the smaller side that can help you reach your goals:
Let’s make something clear: just because your health goal is weight loss does not mean you can’t eat any of the meals mentioned above.
Most meals and snacks such as eggs and chicken will play an important role throughout your weight loss journey. Not overindulging and making sure to portion everything out are the most important things to remember with foods like those. But, they are still healthy and can help keep you full throughout the day to avoid unhealthy snacking and meals.
Here are our favorite meals and ingredients if you’re trying to lose weight:
We’re generalizing a bit here as most leafy greens contain health benefits such as high amounts of fiber, vitamins, potassium, and calcium while having meager amounts of calories, carbs, and sodium.
But, odds are you’re not packing a bag full of spinach or kale to work or school. You certainly can, but why not spice it up a bit with a salad?
Salads are incredibly versatile as you can put whatever you want in them as long as they’re healthy ingredients. Trying to feel full throughout the day? You can add slices of chicken or another lean meat to boost the protein and make you feel full.
The best part is that salads will never get old as you can change your recipes however and whenever you want. Fruits and vegetables, meats, spreads, whatever! Everything in a salad is interchangeable.
This list isn’t ranked, but it would be hard for any other meal to rival salads if it were!
Salmon could easily fit in both categories, just like chicken and eggs.
We include it here because of its anti-inflammatory properties. Inflammation is a huge cause of unhealthy weight gain, so salmon is vital.
Also, salmon contains a lot of protein and healthy fats to help you stay full throughout the day.
Halibut, cod, tuna, and mackerel also share similar properties and can help weight loss.
There are tons of different snacks and small meals you can eat if you’re getting hungry during the day.
It’s essential to eat healthy foods to keep your energy levels up, especially when you’re trying to lose weight. Here are some of our favorite snacks that can help your weight loss goals:
You’ve heard suggestions for meals that are good for weight gain, loss, and everything in-between. Now that you’ve got comprehensive and informative meal ideas, it’s time to start putting together a plan.
We get it — lifestyle changes can be overwhelming, and Able is here to make these changes easier than ever.
Able is your assistant for all of your health needs. Sign up, record your health information, set your goals, and get going!
From calorie counting to fitness challenges to live chats with a dietitian, Able is with you through it all. Have fun with the happier and healthier you!
The macronutrients, appetite and energy intake | PubMed
Empty Calories | University of Michigan Health
Nutrition Data: Chicken, Eggs, Yogurt, Nuts, Rice, Leafy Greens, Salmon, Legumes | NutritionData
Dark Green Leafy Vegetables | US Department of Agriculture