Want to know how your dinner can work for you
? Nutritionists Stephanie Clarke, R.D., and Willow Jarosh, R.D., of C&J Nutrition, know exactly what you should eat in order to lose weight. Follow their advice and you should be shedding weight in no time!
Try to hit a range between 450 and 550 calories. If you are trying to drop some weight, aim closer to 450. If you are working on weight maintenance, especially if you are working out, stay closer to the 550 end of things.
45-55 percent of your dinner calories should be devoted to carbs. This works out to be 50-75 grams of carbs. If you are worried about eating carbs at night, don't be. As long as you stick to your daily calorie amounts, eating carbs with dinner isn't likely to cause you to gain any weight. It can also help curb your post dinner, pre-bed cravings for sweet and/or salty snacks.
20-25 percent of your dinner calories should be protein, about 25-35 grams. Protein helps your body rebuild and maintain muscle and since most of this work occurs at night, it is vital to make sure you get enough protein at dinner. Protein can also help you feel satiated which is another way to avoid those late night snack sessions.
Aim for 15-25 grams of fat or 30-35 perfect of your dinner calories. Instead of loading up on saturated fats like beef and cheese, aim for the monounsaturated fats like olive oil, sesame oil, coconut oil, avocado, olives, nuts and seeds.
To reach the over all recommended total of 25 grams a day, try to eat at least 8 grams at dinnertime. Do this by eating fiber-rich carbs like whole grains, starchy vegetables, beans, small amounts of fruit and fiber rich fats like avocado, nuts and seeds.
Aim to stay below 7 grams of total sugars. For added sugar, stay below 4 grams which works out to be about a teaspoon of any sweetener used in sauces or dressings.
In a perfect world you should eat your dinner two to three hours after your 3:30 snack. If you plan to exercise after work, have your snack at 4:30 so your set for a 5:30 work out making your ideal dinner time 7/7:30. Don't worry about eating too late at night. If you stay within your calorie range, eating late shouldn't impact your weight loss.