A lean and toned body is mainly achieved through exercise. However, that’s not the only factor you need to consider. You should also eat the right kinds of food. This means consuming high-fibre and high-protein ingredients that boost your metabolism, help the body burn fat and build muscles. If you’re having trouble coming up with an effective meal plan, check out these easy diet recipes for a lean and toned body.
APPEAR LEAN AND TONED WITH THESE 10 EASY DIET RECIPES
1. RASPBERRY CHIA SEED PUDDING
Have a raspberry chia seed pudding for breakfast to boost your metabolism. Chia seeds are a nutrient powerhouse — they’re high in fibre and protein and contain all the essential amino acids.
With these health benefits, this raspberry chia seed pudding can keep your body energised, satiated and nourished even as you’re losing weight. As one of our easy diet recipes, this breakfast offering is very simple and only takes 5 minutes to prepare.
- 1 cup frozen raspberries, crushed
- 1 cup almond milk
- 1/3 cup chia seeds
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Place raspberries and chia seeds in a mason jar or glass container. Mix to combine the ingredients.
- Stir in almond milk. Then, add maple syrup and vanilla extract. Seal the container and shake for 1 minute or until the mixture is fully blended.
- Refrigerate the glass container for at least 4 hours up to overnight. When ready to eat, remove from the fridge and serve.
2. PEANUT BUTTER AND JELLY OVERNIGHT OATS
Since eating in the morning helps boost your metabolism, I’ve included another breakfast offering in our list of easy diet recipes. This peanut butter and jelly overnight oats recipe is a healthier spin on the popular comfort food.
It uses healthy ingredients and is very easy to prepare. The fibre and protein in this recipe will rev up your metabolism and will keep you satiated throughout the morning.
- 1/2 cup almond milk
- 1/2 cup strawberries, diced
- 1/4 cup old-fashioned oats
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- 1 tbsp peanut butter (or almond butter)
- Place almond milk, maple syrup and peanut butter in a large bowl. Mix to combine the ingredients.
- Stir in the oats. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to eat, transfer PB&J overnight oats into a bowl. Top with strawberries and serve.
3. TROPICAL CHICKEN SALAD
Tropical chicken salad is a delicious and flavourful dish that only takes 10 minutes to prepare. This dish is also healthy and low in calories, making it one of my easy diet recipes for a lean and toned body. Apart from protein and fibre that can keep you full and help you lose weight, you’ll also get a good dose of vitamins and minerals from the fruits in this easy diet recipe.
- 28g almonds, slivered
- 1 (170g) boneless and skinless chicken breast, shredded
- 2 cups spinach leaves
- 1/4 cup low-fat cottage cheese
- 1/3 cup pineapple slices
- 1/3 cup fresh mango, diced
- salt and pepper, as needed
- Place almonds, chicken, pineapple and mango in a large bowl. Toss to combine the ingredients.
- Stir in the cottage cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
- Put spinach on the bottom of a serving bowl. Pour chicken salad on top. Serve with avocado slices, whole-wheat crackers or your preferred side dish.
4. CRUNCHY OVEN-BAKED TILAPIA
My list of easy diet recipes include this crunchy oven-baked tilapia. Despite being a more substantial meal that our previous recipes, this healthy dish only takes 25 minutes to prepare. Apart from protein and nutrients, tilapia is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids.
These fatty acids help burn fat and regulate muscle growth. Thus, this crunchy oven-baked tilapia can help you achieve a lean and toned body.
- 4 (170g) tilapia fillets
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
- 1 tbsp reduced-fat mayonnaise
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp lime zest, grated
- cooking spray
- Preheat the oven to 220 degrees Celsius. Cover the surface of a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Place mayonnaise, lime juice, lime zest, salt, pepper and onion powder in a medium bowl. Mix to combine the ingredients.
- Put the tilapia fillets on the baking sheet. Brush the fish with mayonnaise mixture. Then, sprinkle breadcrumbs on top. Cover the surface with cooking spray.
- Bake fish for 15 to 20 minutes or until flesh flakes easily with a fork.
- Transfer to a platter. Sprinkle cilantro on top. Serve with a green salad, vegetables, brown rice or preferred side dish if desired.
5. GRILLED ROSEMARY CHICKEN BREASTS
Chicken breast is the go-to food for weight loss. With this grilled rosemary chicken breast recipe, though, you’ll never get tired of it. This recipe features juicy chicken breasts that are flavoured with lemon and rosemary.
As another easy diet recipes, this irresistible low-calorie dish is ready in under 30 minutes. Thus, it’s easy to incorporate this grilled rosemary chicken breast recipe into your meal plan for a lean and toned body.
- 4 (170g) boneless and skinless chicken breasts
- 1 medium lemon, finely zested
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 1/2 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1 tsp garlic salt
- 1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
- Preheat the grill to medium-high. Lightly oil the grill grates.
- Place lemon zest, 1 tbsp rosemary, garlic, salt, black pepper, red pepper and 1 tbsp olive oil in a small bowl. Stir until the ingredients are well-combined.
- Use 1/2 of the rub mixture to brush all sides of the chicken breasts. Cover chicken with plastic wrap for 10 to 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, add 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1/2 rosemary and 2 tbsp olive oil to the remaining rub mixture. Stir to combine the ingredients. Set aside.
- Put chicken on the grill. Cook for 4 minutes or until light golden brown. Flip and cook the other side of the chicken for another 4 to 6 minutes or until cooked through.
- Transfer chicken to a platter. Drizzle remaining rub mixture on top. Then, tent with aluminium foil for 5 minutes. Serve.
6. SALMON QUINOA BURGERS
My list of easy diet recipes for a lean and toned body includes this recipe for salmon quinoa burgers. You’ll only need to set aside 30 minutes to prepare this delicious dish.
The recipe also incorporates healthy ingredients that are packed with protein, fibre, omega-3 fatty acids and other essential nutrients. Not only will you be able to lose weight and achieve a lean and toned body, these salmon quinoa burgers can also help improve your overall health.
- 454g wild-caught salmon fillets, skin removed
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1 cup kale, chopped
- 3/4 cup quinoa, cooked
- 1/3 cup shallots, diced
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp Old Bay seasoning
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed
- Pulse 110g of salmon in a food processor. Then, finely chop the remaining salmon. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside.
- Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and kale. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté for 4 to 5 minutes or until shallots are tender and kale has wilted.
- Add shallots, kale, egg, quinoa, Dijon mustard and Old Bay seasoning to the bowl with the salmon. Mix to combine the ingredients. Then, use 1/2 cup of the mixture to form about 5 patties.
- Heat remaining olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add salmon patties. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Flip and cook the other side for another 4 to 5 minutes or until cooked through.
- Transfer to a platter. Serve with a green salad or your preferred side dish.
7. QUINOA MUSHROOM RISOTTO
I’ve added quinoa mushroom risotto to this list of easy diet recipes for a lean and toned body. Quinoa is an excellent source of protein, fibre and essential nutrients so it’s perfect for your weight loss meal plan.
This quinoa mushroom risotto is a healthier version of the classic Italian dish at only 370 calories per serving. Nevertheless, it’s still very creamy. The recipe also only takes 30 minutes to prepare.
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
- 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp thyme, chopped
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Place vegetable stock in a large saucepan. Let simmer over medium-low heat.
- Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium pan over low heat. Add mushrooms, 1 clove garlic, thyme and salt. Sauté for 6 to 8 minutes or until mushrooms are golden. Set aside.
- Heat remaining olive oil in a pot over medium heat. Add onions and 1 clove garlic. Sauté until onions are translucent.
- Stir in quinoa. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until golden. Pour white wine to deglaze the pan. Stir until wine evaporates.
- Add vegetable broth to the pot one ladle at a time and allow liquid to evaporate. This process will take about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat once quinoa is tender.
- Transfer to a serving bowl. Top with mushrooms and sprinkle Parmesan cheese if desired.
8. PESTO CHICKEN BAKE
You only need 30 minutes to prepare this 205-calorie pesto chicken bake. Thus, it’s one of my easy diet recipes that can help you achieve a lean and toned body. This recipe is packed with healthy, nutrient-dense ingredients, so you’re able to stay strong and nourished even while losing weight.
- 2 (227g) boneless and skinless chicken breasts,
- 1 medium tomato, thinly sliced
- 6 tbsp mozzarella cheese, shredded
- 4 tsp light basil pesto sauce
- 2 tsp Parmesan cheese, grated
- salt and black pepper, as needed
- Slice chicken breasts in half horizontally. Season with salt and pepper.
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place chicken on the baking sheet. Spread 1 tsp pesto sauce on top of each piece.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Remove from oven.
- Place tomatoes, mozzarella and Parmesan cheese on top of each piece of chicken. Bake for another 4 to 5 minutes or until cheese is melted.
- Transfer to a platter and serve.
9. SWEET POTATO AND BLACK BEAN BURRITO
Satisfy your craving for Mexican food with this sweet potato and black bean burrito. The protein, fibre and complex carbs in this 220-calorie meatless dish will keep you full and satiated for a long time — even as you’re going at it at the gym. As another easy diet recipes for a lean and toned body, this sweet potato and black bean burrito can be prepared in 25 minutes.
- 4 large flour tortillas
- 1 large sweet potato, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
- 1 (420g) can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 lime, 1/2 juiced and 1/2 cut into wedges
- 1/2 small red onion, chopped
- 2 cups kale, chopped
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, chopped
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed
- Heat olive oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add sweet potatoes, onions and cumin to the pan. Cook and stir for a minute or until ingredients start to brown.
- Cover the pan and reduce heat to medium. Cook ingredients, while stirring occasionally, for 5 to 8 minutes or until ingredients have softened.
- Stir in beans and chipotle peppers. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add kale, salt and pepper to the pan. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until kale starts to wilt. Drizzle lime juice on top.
- Place 1 cup of the sweet potato-black bean mixture on each tortilla wrap. Roll to form burritos. Cook over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip and cook the other side for another 2 to 3 minutes or until golden brown.
- Transfer to a platter. Serve with cilantro or low-fat sour cream if desired.
10. MUSHROOM BULGUR PILAF
I’ve included this satisfying mushroom bulgur pilaf in our list of easy diet recipes for a lean and toned body. It’s an easy recipe and only takes 30 minutes to prepare. Bulgur wheat is packed with protein, so this delicious dish can satiate you even if it’s lower calories. You’ll also have enough energy to maximise your time at the gym.
- 1 onion, chopped
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock
- 2 cups mixed mushrooms, trimmed and cut into strips
- 1 3/4 cups bulgur wheat
- 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 tbsp almonds, slivered and toasted
- 3 tbsp hazelnuts, toasted
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed
- Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Add bulgur wheat to the pan. Cook and stir for 3 minutes or until it starts to brown.
- Stir in vegetable stock. Bring mixture to a boil. Then, reduce heat to low and cover the pan. Cook until liquid is fully absorbed.
- In a separate frying pan, heat remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add mushrooms to the pan. Sauté until they are golden brown and tender.
- Pour mushrooms and cooking juices into the bulgur mixture. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cover the pan and cook bulgur pilaf until liquid has evaporated. Remove from pan and combine with almonds and hazelnuts.
- Transfer to a platter and serve.
Now that you’ve committed to reaching your ideal body weight, it’s time to work out and incorporate healthy dishes into your meal plan. If you want to maximise your time at the gym, it’s best to stick to easy diet recipes that don’t take too much time to prepare in the kitchen. These are healthy and delicious dishes packed with protein, fibre and other essential nutrients. Thus, these easy diet recipes can help you attain a lean and toned body.