Are there things like ‘Healthy Enchiladas’ that I can eat and still lose weight?

ask our dietitian your question todayHealthy Enchiladas

question-answer-color-v-2Is it possible to use recipes such as healthy chicken enchiladas and still lose weight? And if using a recipe, how do I read the nutritional value to know if I am staying on the healthy side, or if the recipe is only listed as healthy but really isn’t? Seems like I shouldn’t have to substitute flavor for weight loss. –April W.



Yes, you can definitely use healthy recipes for successful weight loss! The fact that you’re cooking your own food versus buying prepared is already a better-for-you step. Depending on the recipe source “healthy” could mean organic, plant-based, favorable for medical conditions or weight conscious. Since you asked about weight we’ll use that approach to read the nutritional value.

Nutritional information is given per serving. For an entire meal, 400-500 Calories for women (500-700 for men) would be suitable for weight loss. Like packaged meals, you’ll want to keep fat 8-15 grams and get at least 5 grams fiber and 15 grams protein. If the recipe is only for the main protein entrée, target 200-300 Calories, saving about 200 calories for a vegetable and starch. If you find that your recipe is somewhat above these parameters, you can always reapportion for smaller servings than intended. To make up for the lower volume, just fill up with a hefty vegetable salad with vinegar or fat-free dressing.

The natural flavors of foods might be enhanced with a little salt, but sodium per meal should stay under 800 milligrams to keep it healthy. You can always add some sodium-free spice blends to perk up dishes if they’re lacking in zest.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

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Debbie James is a registered dietitian. Any views or opinions presented in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the opinions or recommendations of Fitness International, LLC.

Posted on May 5, 2014, in Ask Our Dietitian, Health, Helpful, Nutrition, Weight Loss and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. What is the recipe for the enchiladas posted? Thank you.

    • Debbie J., MS, RD

      Sorry, we don’t have that one! But in modifying an enchilada recipe, I’d suggest you use whole wheat tortillas, chicken breast, diced onion and bell peppers, black beans or corn, oregano, garlic, and parsley. Canned red or green enchilada sauce is fine. Choose between low fat sour cream or reduced fat shredded cheese. Top with either olives or avocado.

  1. Pingback: Are there things like 'Healthy Enchiladas' that I can eat and still lose … | Fast Ways to Lose Thigh Fat

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