A Diet to Lose Weight, Gain Energy, and Be More Focused


Nagina Abdullah


March 21, 2023


Losing weight is often the main concern women have when they’re choosing a diet. But sometimes, diets that are purely designed for “weight loss” are too restrictive and don’t provide the right nutrients you need to have energy and focus.

As an online weight loss coach that works with busy women, I know my clients need energy and focus while they’re on their weight loss journey. Food is meant to be fuel for your body, and there is a way to lose weight without sacrificing your energy and mental focus. In this article, I provide some of the best recipes and foods that will give you more energy, help you stay focused, and keep you on the path to weight loss. 


To make sure you have energy and the brainpower for focus, you want to include foods that contain a good amount of protein and fiber, and won’t spike your blood sugar. Eaten in the right amounts, the following foods will help boost your energy and focus while also helping with weight loss.

List of foods that help with weight loss, energy, and focus:

  • Mixed nuts
  • Eggs
  • Beans
  • Coconut milk 
  • Cruciferous foods 
  • Salmon
  • Greek yogurt
  • Chickpeas
  • Sesame seed 
  • Ginger
  • Ground cloves 
  • Tofu 
  • Brown rice 
  • Mushrooms 
  • Sweet potatoes 
  • Cherry tomatoes 
  • Avocado 
  • Baby spinach
  • Baby carrots 
  • Kale
  • Olive oil
  • Lime juice 
  • Blueberries 
  • Chicken breasts
  • Strawberries 
  • Mint leaves
  • Chia seeds
  • Fresh parsley 
  • Dark chocolate
  • Cinnamon
  • Grapefruit
  • Cottage cheese
  • Cumin
  • Oregano 
  • Vanilla

Below, I’ve combined some of these foods into recipes that are sustainable and scientifically backed to help you lose weight and burn fat. These recipes will also balance your blood sugar, which leads to a high energy and mental focus. These foods are high in protein, fiber, healthy carbs, and fats, and also include metabolism-boosting spices that increase fat-burning, decrease appetite, and make your food taste delicious. You’ll be surprised how easy and filling these meals are!



  1. Infused Debloating Water

Debloating water is a healthy way of ridding your system of toxins while inducing a sense of relief from digestive comfort. Here is my recipe for debloating water that will give your day a kick-start:

Combine any or all these ingredients below in a large pitcher and let them infuse overnight. Drink one glass a day (or more), preferably first thing in the morning. 

  • 6 cups of water
  • 1- 2 lemons, sliced in rounds with the peel on
  • 1 medium cucumber, sliced in rounds with the peel on
  • 6-8 muddled sprigs of fresh mint
  • Optional: sprinkle of cayenne or paprika

A glass of this debloating water when you wake up in the morning can boost your metabolism, eliminate toxins, melt away belly fat, and help curb cravings that lead to overeating. 

2. High Protein Breakfast Options

As mentioned before, protein is necessary to help you power through your day and lose weight. For breakfast, I recommend eating foods that are high in protein. Here are some of my favorite breakfast meals that will help you lose weight and get that energy and focus boost.

  • Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is a great source of protein, and when the right foods are added to it, can be filling and energizing. I love Greek yogurt with strawberries and almonds added; check out my previous article for more ideas on what you should put in Greek yogurt to lose weight.
  • Eggs. Eggs are an excellent, low-calorie source of protein. I like to make scrambled eggs with mixed vegetables, or make a mixed veggie omelet. A quick egg option is hard-boiled eggs, which you can cook ahead of time and keep in the refrigerator (in shell) for up to 7 days.
  • Smoothies: I love smoothies! They are a fairly quick and easy way to eat nutrients that will give you energy and help you lose weight. When you add a scoop of protein powder to them, these smoothies become protein powerhouses. Here are two of my favorite smoothie recipes:
what to eat at night to lose weight

SERVINGS: 2 servings


  • 1/2 cup fresh or frozen wild blueberries
  • 1/2 banana
  • 1 cup frozen cauliflower florets
  • 1/4 avocado
  • 1 scoop protein powder
  • 1 cup water plus more as needed
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


Combine all of the ingredients in a high-speed blender and blend until smooth and creamy. Add more water as needed, then serve immediately.

Additionally, estrogen is responsible for fat distribution around the thighs, breasts, and buttocks. As we age and get to the perimenopause and menopause stages, the fat tends to build up in these areas, instead of being more evenly distributed.


SERVINGS: 2 servings


  • 1 cup frozen honeydew melon chunks
  • 1/2 avocado seeded and peeled
  • 1 scoop protein powder or 5.5 oz. Greek yogurt
  • 1 1/2 cup coconut water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • 4 – 6 fresh mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup water


Add all ingredients to a blender and puree until smooth. Divide between two glasses and enjoy.


To keep up your energy and focus while still losing weight, for lunch you want to continue eating foods that contain a good amount of protein and fiber, and have a low glycemic index so we avoid spiking the blood sugar. Here are three lunch meals that will deliver what you need.

Healthy Eating at work: Skinny Ms Burrito in a jar

This Skinny Burrito in a Jar from Skinny Ms. is a great jar lunch with a mild or spicy flavor. It’s scoopable but doesn’t turn to mush, and it contains the right foods to boost energy and focus and lose weight. I updated the recipe below to maximize metabolism-boosting protein and spices.

SERVINGS: 4 servings


  • 1 cup salsa no sugar added
  • 24 oz. shredded Mexican chicken (see the crock pot recipe here)(optional, skip for vegetarian option)
  • 1 15-ounce can of black beans, drained
  • 1 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese, shredded, or feta cheese, preferred
  • 2 cups Greek Yogurt, non-fat (optional non-fat sour cream)


Evenly divide each ingredient into 4 (1/2 pint size) canning jars. Add ingredients in this order: 1/4 cup salsa, ¾ cup shredded chicken, 1/4 heaping cup black beans, 1/4 cup cheese, and ½ cup Greek yogurt. 

Refrigerate for up to two days. Eat straight from the jar, add on top of 2 cups romaine lettuce or on the side of 1 cup bell pepper strips, or add to whole wheat or sprouted grain wrap.

TIP: Try adding 1/4 cup of cooked quinoa or brown rice to each jar.

Healthy Eating at Work_Grilled Chicken and Blueberry Salad

This salad offers a great savory and sweet combination. Also from Skinny Ms., it’s a flavor-popping salad that has the protein and fiber you need to keep you energized through the afternoon. 

For easier healthy eating, skip cooking the chicken breasts and buy a whole rotisserie chicken from the grocery store, remove the skin, and slice it up for your salad.

I updated the recipe below to maximize fat burning. 

SERVINGS: 4 servings



  • 5 cups mixed greens
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1/4 cup slivered almonds
  • 3 cups cubed chicken breasts, cooked (can substitute with the same amount of tuna or tofu, or 8 eggs)

Belly-Busting Blueberry Dressing

  •  1 tablespoon  olive oil
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • Salt and pepper to taste


In a large bowl, toss the greens, blueberries, almonds, and chicken breasts until well-mixed.

For the Belly-Busting Blueberry salad dressing, combine the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, blueberries, and honey in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Healthy Eating at Work_crab stuffed avocados

PREP TIME: 20 mins

TOTAL TIME: 20 mins

SERVINGS: 4 servings


  • 1/4 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons pimientos, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1 small clove of garlic, minced
  • 1/3 teaspoon cayenne pepper or to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 2 2/3 cups cooked crabmeat, picked over
  • 2 ripe avocados, halved
  • Lemon wedges for garnish


Combine yogurt, mayonnaise, pimientos, garlic, cayenne, and salt in a blender. Blend until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and mix in crab. Adjust seasoning with cayenne and salt.

Divide the crab salad among avocado halves. Serve with lemon wedges.


We still need energy and focus to get us through the evening, so here are three meals to prepare to help you power through the 5 pm-10 pm hours (and stick to your weight loss goals!)

salmon for weight loss

Salmon is an easy-to-digest source of protein and it will help you feel satisfied and full. This empowers the body to lose weight the healthy way by signaling that it’s safe, and has enough sustenance to live off of. With the safety net of lean, nutritious protein, your body can shed extra pounds and you won’t suffer through hangry evenings. You can find the recipe here.

Pair this salmon with a side of sauteed kale and brown rice, and you’ll have a powerhouse dinner that powers you until bedtime. 

vegan masala lentils

Vegan Masala Lentils from The Full Helping is a fiber-packed and spiced meal full of protein and flavor. It’s an ideal dish that will help you burn belly fat fast and gets better tasting the longer it’s in the fridge because the spices soak into the lentils. So it makes for great lunches and dinners for days after you make it. And the fact you can cook it in a crock pot is a huge time-saver. See the recipe here.


This AMAZING crock pot Chicken Tikka Masala from The Kitchn is full of protein. It’s an easy “dump-and-go” recipe that is incredibly rich in complex flavor. If you don’t eat meat, I have a vegetarian option you can try. Both recipes can be found here.

The meals I have listed here are relatively easy and quick to prepare and they will keep you energized, focused, and on the path to weight loss throughout the day.

If you are interested in learning more about how Masala Body’s programs can help you on your weight loss journey, see the page for my 8-Week Slim Down Personal Weight Loss Program. You can also book a call with me if you’re ready to get started.

Also, check out these motivating weight loss success stories that will inspire you on your weight loss journey.

Avatar photo

Nagina Sethi Abdullah, BA, MBA

Nagina Abdullah is a health coach for middle-aged women and professionals. She coaches women to boost their metabolism naturally, shed pounds and keep them off. Her work with weight loss clients led to the creation of Masala Body, an online weight loss platform that provides an easy and accessible system that helps women sustainably lose weight. She has helped over 1200 women successfully lose from 10-80 lbs and create a sustainable lifestyle change. Nagina earned her degree in Molecular and Cell Biology from UC Berkeley.

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