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This Simple Sheet Pan Dinner Recipe Is a Weight Loss Dream

Meal prep doesn’t have to be complicated. Let us simplify it for you.
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Weight loss meals can get boring. If you've ever had chicken and broccoli for the third day in a row, then you know what we are talking about.

What if it didn't have to be so blasé? Just because you are working on your waistline doesn't mean you need to feel bored with a bland diet.

You can eat a variety of foods and enjoy them while pursuing weight loss. Instead of eating the same thing all the time, focus on three key components to a weight loss meal, and you'll find endless ways to meet your goals.

The three biggest components of a healthy weight loss meal are protein, fiber, and complex carbs. Our Moroccan Salmon and Quinoa Pilaf fits the bill and is a perfect example of a quick, balanced meal that you can pull together in minutes.

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quinoa pilaf salmon
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

It's protein-powered.

Aside from its heart-healthy Omega-3 content, salmon is chock-full of protein. If weight loss is your goal, eating enough protein is paramount to your success. Protein helps keep you full while continuing to be in a small calorie deficit.

Protein takes a significant amount of time to digest and has the highest satiety factor of the three macronutrients. When compared to fat and carbs, protein actually increases feelings of satiety and helps slow you down naturally.

Aim for at least a palm-sized serving of protein or a hand-length serving of fish at each meal. Try including lean protein options the majority of the time and focus on seafood twice a week to round out a healthy, protein-centric diet.

It's fiber-focused.

Next, you'll want to focus on getting plenty of fiber in your meals. Fiber helps slow down digestion and keeps you full with fewer calories. Similar to protein, high-fiber foods hang around in your stomach longer and contribute to greater feelings of fullness.

High-fiber foods include whole-grain options, fruits, veggies, and beans. The quinoa in this dish contributes a significant amount of fiber from the grain with a total of three grams per serving.

Other ways to add more fiber to this meal include roasting veggies alongside the salmon. Broccoli, onions, bok choy, and cabbage would all pair nicely with this meal and offer a huge fiber boost on the side.

cooked quinoa

It's carb-conscious.

Quinoa not only brings the fiber, but also contributes to this dish as a complex carbohydrate. Complex carbs are high fiber carbs that haven't been refined or processed.

Carbs like brown rice, whole wheat bread, potatoes, fruit, beans, and lentils are all wonderful high-fiber, complex carbs.

Any of these options could be substituted here instead of quinoa for endless meal varieties!

Looking for more? We've got you covered with these 35+ Sheet Pan Recipes That Are Beyond Easy to Make.

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Caroline Thomason, RD, LDN, CDCES
Caroline is a women's health Registered Dietitian and diabetes educator based in Northern Virginia. Read more about Caroline