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Simple, delicious and easily prepared foods, including soup, sandwiches and salads, make weight loss easier. Broth-based soups, ample and generous salads with a variety of vegetables and legumes, and sandwiches that combine whole grains, lean meats and other healthy choices will help you stay full, slim down and maintain an energetic lifestyle.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends you fill half your plate with fruits and vegetables, then add whole grains and lean protein sources, along with a small amount of nonfat dairy to finish your meal. Soups, salads and sandwiches can fill these nutritional requirements. Smart planning makes these foods high in fiber and relatively low in calories, helping you to stick to a reduced-calorie diet for weight loss.
Choose broth-based soups for your diet, avoiding creamy or starchy choices. You can make a versatile, basic soup to keep in the refrigerator, dressing it up with protein, condiments and spices for additional flavor. Saute aromatics like onion, celery, garlic and carrots in olive oil spray, then add chicken or vegetable stock. Bring out flavor with tomatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, peppers and greens. Flavor your soup with herbs like basil and oregano; spicy favorites including cumin and chili; or bright citrus tones. If you're planning on soup for a meal, rather than a snack or starter, add legumes and whole grains or lean meat, like boneless, skinless chicken breast.
Be smart about your salads. Enjoy a variety of vegetables, accented with fresh or dried fruit. Keep calories under control by going light on the dressing or trying your salads with a sprinkle of balsamic vinegar or squeeze of lemon juice in place of heavy dressing. You can also enjoy salads based around legumes or whole grains, instead of traditional greens. Beans, nuts and lean meat can turn your salad into a meal.
Sandwiches can be a healthy diet choice, but you do need to choose ingredients wisely. You can enjoy homemade sandwiches or favorites from a sandwich shop. Use whole-grain breads and plenty of vegetables. Replace high-fat toppings, like mayonnaise, with mustard or low-fat dressings and go light on the cheese to keep your sandwiches healthy. Pair a sandwich with a salad, your favorite broth-based soup or a cup of nonfat yogurt.
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