Day 20: Find Weight-Loss-Friendly Meals | 30-Day Weight Loss-athon

Welcome to Day 20 of the 30-Day Weight Loss-athon.

All tasks in the 30-Day Weight Loss-athon are adapted from my 52 Weight Loss Missions program.

Read the steps first, then take 10 minutes to complete them.

Move fast, act quickly and stop over-thinking. Ready?

What You Need:

  • Recipe books
  • Take-out menus
  • (Online) menus for restaurants, cafes or other eat-in places you frequent.

Step 1

Today and tomorrow we’re going to focus on preparing meals that support your weight-loss goals.

Today we’ll expand the repertoire of healthy, weight-loss-friendly options on your menu. Then tomorrow we’ll set up a super-smart recipe system the whole household can use.

Note: Don’t worry if you don’t cook – neither do I. Toast is as Master Chef as I get. There’s help here for those of us who are domestically disabled, too.

First, we need to find a range of recipes that support our weight-loss efforts. This will probably mean recipes that are both:

  • Generally ‘healthy’ – reasonably low in calories, high in nutrients, etc,
  • Supportive of particular diet actions you chose on Day 4: Tweak Your Diet – such as eating more protein and vegetables or less fat.

How do you find recipes like this? You’ll need to do a little research and perhaps build up your library over time. But get started today.

Places to look include:

  • Healthy-cooking or low-fat recipe books
  • Healthy-cooking classes
  • Healthy-cooking recipes from friends
  • Magazines, especially health or slimming magazines
  • Websites on cooking for weight loss
  • Online forums
  • Government health websites.

Step 2

Next, we need to short-list this range of choices by catering (ha ha – a little pun) to your cooking preferences.

If you’re something of a gourmand, then include interesting recipes that tantalize your taste buds. If you’re easily bored by bland food, then pepper (hee hee there’s another one – I’m on um, FIRE) your selection with spicy or exotic flavors.

Conversely, if you’re all about speed, make sure your recipes are simple and time-effective.

Step 3

Finally, if you have to take into account household members who are fussy or challenging eaters, then be prepared to get creative and take a little time to find suitable recipes. Or look for recipes that allow you to create two versions with relative ease.

Spending the time now will pay off in the coming weeks and months.

What If You Don’t Cook?

You could:

  • Ring favorite  restaurants and ask about meals that are consistent with your current choice of diet actions
  • Investigate meal-delivery services for options that suit your needs, preferences and budget
  • Research local take-out places and make a note of weight-loss-friendly choices
  • Check out home-delivery options – eg pizza places that use lots of vegetables and thin crusts, or Asian restaurants that offer vegetable-rich stir-frys.

By not cooking you may save cooking and grocery shopping time, but you’ll still have to invest research time in order to assemble a weight-loss-friendly weekly menu. (Note for 52 Weight Loss Missions customers: we do this in Mission 21: Plan Your Meals).

Step 4

Collect your recipes, highlighted take-out choices, printed restaurant menus, etc. We’ll use them tomorrow.

Check in!

And you’re done!

Be sure to leave your comment below to check in and stay accountable. If you’re reading this by email or in a reader then please click here to leave your comment.

See you tomorrow!

Michele Connolly

Michele Connolly helps people move from procrastination to action. She believes that taking action on your priorities makes you a happier person. Michele is the founder of Get Organized Wizard and creator of tools for business, home, and personal organization. Her programs are used by tens of thousands of people worldwide.

  • I’m lazy and can’t be bothered searching for recipes! I subscribe to The Six O’clock Scramble, and get healthy recipes (and a shopping list) every week. Tonight’s dinner (Salmon with Lemon Slices, and Zucchini with garlic and parmesan) is in the slow cooker now, and is under 350 cals. per serving. I chose not to add the Spatezle, which would only increase the cals. to 487. They are having a special right now if anyone is interested. Enter EarthDay12 for $5 off any subscription. Special ends tomorrow!

  • oh this one is too easy. We don’t do take aways unless its like tonights dinner, a cooked chicken, skin off for me and I nuked the veges and added low fat gravy. mostly I have a head full of low fat, low sugar recipes and even make muffins with apple sauce and only a little butter to keep my hubby from getting bad habits. I use lots of veges and do things like eggplant rissoles, pot roasts, pasta sauce full of eggplant, zucchini, capsicum, carrot, mushrooms and basil etc, and on busy nights I just microwave veges or salad and add a cooked chicken. lunch is easy with things like baked beans on a microwaved spud with a bit of cottage cheese on top or leftovers from dinner.

  • This is actually one thing I’m really good at. I have lots of delicious, healthy, low cost and even fast recipes that I’ve collected and use regularly. I think what I need to do is take some of our other favorites that we use often and tweak them to be lower fat and healthier – like using whole wheat pasta, brown rice, and cutting out some of the cream soups or extra fat that is added.

  • I copied someone’s idea from yesterday and made an EAT RIGHT category in my IPAD recipe app. Now off to add some recipes…

  • I’ve started printing out recipes from two blogs that have gotten great reviews from people I know.. skinny ms and skinnytaste. Both have recipes that sound flavorful and like something I would actually eat and be able to make.

  • So I started looking for some healthy recipes for my family and I do have several recipes that are already qualified as healthy that we make often. We like trying new things so this shouldn’t be to difficult.

  • I keep a three ring binder with the clear sheet protectors in it and then when I find healthy recipes that I enjoy I put them in there. it helps keep them nice and protected from food when your cooking.

  • Right now, I just cook and I cook very simple meals. I’m making a lot of big changes in my life at the moment so, for me, simple and easy is best. I do subscribe to Good Food magazine as well as a few others.

  • This one is easy for me. We don’t eat out often, or order in. Dinner most nights consists of some sort of lean protein and a veggie. I keep a whole stash of healthy recipes at my disposal.

  • I have two issues of “Clean Eating” – I’ll be spending some time perusing those for recipes. I HATE to cook!

  • I’ve got this one covered. I already love the foods I’m SUPPOSE to be eating. My family doesn’t always but we’ve made compromises. They’re not found of turkey burgers, ut they will eat ground turkey in tacos(I have mine as a salad minus the shells) and chili. A family favorite is chicken cutlets, I make mine first with a tbsp of olive oil in the pan and then my favorite seasonings sprinkled on top and then three cutlets. It actually seasons the pan nicely before I make their breaded ones and then I have enough for salads for the next couple of days. On a side note, I’m skipping my first scheduled exercising in two and a half weeks, I’ve had a cold or sinus issue coming on all week…and I’m very dizzy today and feel awful. I did do my incidental exercises today, stairs and hallways(4 inch heels mind you) and the cleaning when I got home…it will have to do for today.

  • Finally an easy one for me. I have tons of healthy recipes (pinterest helps). I just got away from cooking that way. I have already started back to my healthy cooking. I just have to learn to eat before I leave the house or wait until I get back home. I like eating out, but now with all I have learned my way of thinking about food has changed. I don’t even want to eat all the fattening foods. We have had cupcakes and cookie cake in the house this week from my son’s birthday and I don’t even desire them. Yay me!

  • Hello to everyone: Congrats! You’re doing it! I am not a cook. There are many women who are not cooks any more as some of us have entered the working world or volunteering. Have you ever thought of having a group of your friends get together weekly and teach each other some healthy simple recipes you could cook. Another suggestion is cooking casseroles, chili, soups weekly and freezing them for the week. You can just add salads; fruits; etc. with the meals. Keep in mind you want nutritional healthy meals. Keep up the good work and continue to post to stay accountable. Good Luck.

  • I already have healthy recipes copied, and I’ve gone through my healthy cookbooks.

  • I haven’t had the chance to look at recipes but my daughter and I have changed the way we cook our favorite stuff. Like potatoes, now we wash them, cut and cook them in oven with only olive oil and we don’t add butter or sour cream. I have bought more fruit and trying more vegetables. I buy leaned cuts of meat also. I have a few finicky eaters so it’s hard to change our meals, but I will make an effort and look at recipes today and tomorrow. I am really enjoying this 1 month with you all to change the way I look at weight loss:) Thank you Michelle:)

  • I already have a huge range from when I previously lost most of my weight so I will get those out and start reusing them. Have been a bit slack with the night time meals so it will be good to sit down and replan out a menu. Being organised is a huge plus with weight loss.

  • My sister and I will share good recipes with each other when we find one. For me it is taking the time to actually cook after work. I really don’t enjoy cooking I just do it because I have to. But I also don’t like to eat out or do take out a lot so I have to cook.

  • I’ve been collecting clean eating/raw foods cookbooks for the past few months. It was great to get them out and look through them!

  • I so hate cooking but do it as part of my domestic goddess duties! The rest of the family kick up a stink when I change regular meals for different skinny food…well, here goes again…;P.

  • good ideas to follow.

  • Finding healthy recipes is easy… If only I liked to eat healthy as much as I like to read about it.

  • looking for some good meals to beable to follow my Weight Watchers diet plan…

  • Already been doing it at home for awhile I’ts when I go out that’s a problem will try some of the ideas you suggested when dining out.

  • well worth the time to do this.. glad tomorrow is a saturday so have time for research.

  • I am going to work on this more over the weekend.

  • Luckily I already have a huge collection. Just need to use them.

  • DH and I have already started changing our diet. Plain old boring iceberg lettuce, tomato and cucumber salads are a thing of the past. Exotic looking salads with yummy dressings (healthy of course) are a regular on our menu now. Sometimes we have mostly salad, a bit of protein and skip most of the carb part of the meal. Yummy!

  • I called my two favorite restaurants for suggestions. Of course all my yummy favorites are best eaten never but maybe once a year would be okay…They gave me some suggestions for healthy alternatives. I also like to cook/prep food ahead of time to keep things on track. I researched healthy options on one of my favorite websites,

  • Menu planning with healthy meals is a must. I like to have menus that are put together in no time flat and are healthy. I like to have recipes that are low or no salt and fat. Husband is slowly getting used to it!

  • On the road again so will have to work on #20 on Monday. But did well at noon today- had a steak salad at a restaurant. Delcious! Freshly grilled steak with lots of green/red sweet peppers on a bed of lettuce and other raw veggies- fat free raspberry vignigette on the side. Water to drink. Tonight- well- decaf tea- no sugar but my small meal was a CHEAT- 4 mozarella cheese sticks. BUT I did walk up four flights of stairs to our room!

  • definately like this idea. I was thinking of getting one of those plastic sleeve folders and putting the best recipies in the kitchen instead of my big file so they are right on hand and there is no excuse.

  • Been working on this w/hubby for a while. Reduced “condiments” like butter and mayo. Remove skin f/chicken. I skip the carbs as much as possible. We are adding more fresh veggies (love cucumbers as our evening vegetable!). Eating out I found out that my salad dressing was horrible, so we’ve changed dressings on our salad (sniff, sniff… I will miss you Ranch Dressing). And I got a great subscription rate to Whole Foods (it’s a Martha Steward mag, so it’s beautiful to look at). It has good recipes and reminds me to eat unrefined as much as possible, too.

  • We did a diet for my mother-in-law (1800 calorie diabetic diet) some years ago. We don’t cook any different, but tend to eat too large portions. I need to get my scale and measuring cups out again.

  • Day 20: Find Weight-Loss-Friendly Meals | 30-Day Weight Loss-athon. this is a tough one as I am a plain eater. Nothing fancy. I have some of my favorite recipes ready and am looking for healthy tweaks for the stuff I love. I will try to add a new recipe a week.

  • I like to take the ingredients of things I like, google them to find nutritious, lower calorie recipes. You can use the recipe as your shopping list so you don’t overspend.

  • My favorite cookbooks and they also make books for fast food and popular restaurants are from the ADA (American Diabetes Assoc) they are focused on low fat, low carb, and easy to find foods.

  • Have already consulted with a chef friend who’s given me a numbers of quick, easy and healthy meals that are family friendly.

  • This one is not hard for me…I love to cook and when we do eat out it is usually a place known to have salads. Will check my Fitness magazines for good recipes.

  • Love love love recipes and finding healthy ones at that! This mission will be a fun one! I have found several really good healthy recipes on Pinterest lately as well.

  • I’m eating more vegetables and experimenting with different seasonings to change them up a bit.

  • I find low cal healthy recipe books for Kindle on Looking on freestufftimes I find lots of them for free.

  • Pinterest has helped tremendously with my paleo diet.

  • Recipes gathered!

  • Needs some new ideas for supper!

  • Started last week 🙂 – Exploring new veggies, new legumes, new salad, new herbs, new combinations – it´s fun!

  • I love healthy food like protein, fruit and veggies… the problem is I love junk food too! :(… anyway I’ll read my WW recipes again and will start cooking that way tomorrow. Michelle, one question: Did you ever struggle with weight really? I’d love to read your story!

  • Easy for dinnner, not so easy for packed lunches…go on looking for new recipes!

  • I like to look for recipes on the net, this should be easy!

  • Guys have anyone tried SurelySlim ( It is made in Canada. They say it is cutting edge technology of three fat burners in one veg capsule?