A very common ‘dieting meal’ is the old tuna, brown rice and vegetables. And for good reason. It’s high in protein and fibre and low in fat. It’s also super quick and easy. To take this photo all I had to do was buy a 195g tin of tuna, a tub of instant brown rice and a tub of pre-chopped vegetables. In 5 minutes this meal was on the plate. It’s also incredibly volumous, filling the whole plate, so it takes some time to eat and really fills your stomach.
The thing is, it might be quick. It might be ‘perfectly’ balanced. However, it’s not all that appetising. Pre-chopped vegetables always look a little sadder than freshly chopped ones. Tuna in spring water is a little ‘dry’ and brown rice, well, it’s not everyone’s cup of tea! No wonder we don’t stick to strict diets long term! Who wants to eat like this at every meal?
The truth is, you don’t have to eat like this at every meal to to be healthy or lose weight. It’s definitely a fantastic option when you need something quick, easy and that nails those macronutrient goals, however if you don’t find a way to make your food enjoyable and interesting with enough variety, you’ll quickly find yourself wanting to rebel.
Firstly, if this was my meal, I’d plate model it by including a source of fat, using this addition to add flavour and texture. A generous dollop of aioli or an oily herby dressing would go well. Some cubed avocado with lemon juice would be a welcome addition or even a honey mustard vinaigrette with an olive oil base would be delicious.
Vary it up:
There are plenty of ways to whip up easy, weight loss friendly meals that don’t leave you bored and miserable. Swap brown rice for wholemeal pasta, cooked vegetables for salad and tuna for shredded chicken breast. Even within all those foods there’s plenty of mix and match combos you could create.
Of course, we also believe that through smart education you can also enjoy all your family favourite meals and achieve your weight and health goals long term!
Take home message:
At the end of the day, the only way that you are going to lose weight and keep it off (for longer than 12 months) is by creating habits, behaviours and routines that help you realistically and sustainably put healthy, energy controlled foods on your plate that keep you feeling full each and every day. Trying to stick to boring tuna, rice and vegetables is generally NOT the way to do that, but it can be a helpful option when you need one!
Tuna, Rice and Vegetables
- 195 g tuna, canned, in spring water drained, choose flavoured if you like
- 1 cup rice, brown, instant
- 1 bag steam fresh vegetables
- Cook the bag of steam fresh vegetables and instant rice in the microwave as per packet instructions.
- Combine drained tuna, cooked rice and vegetables for a quick lunch. Add your favourite sauce or flavours.
- 1 serve protein
- 1 serve carbohydrate
- 2 serves vegetables