If you could lose a few pounds, but you don't want to cut out your favorite foods in the process, you may want to give the macro diet a try. The macro diet also referred to as flexible dieting, is just that—an incredibly flexible and user-friendly diet. The macro diet follows the principle that to lose weight, one must have a calorie deficit. That makes sense. To lose weight, you must burn more calories than you consume. But this diet isn't about counting calories—it's about ensuring that you're eating the proper ratio of macronutrients for your body-weight goals. Protein, carbohydrates, and fats make up our macro-nutrients, and each one has a caloric value. 1 gram of protein is four calories, 1 gram of carbohydrates is four calories, and 1 gram of fat is nine calories. So, the average female weighing 150 pounds, wishing to consume less than 2000 calories per day can have 160g of carbohydrates, 150g of protein, and 46g of fat for a total of 1651 calories. The average man weighing 170 pounds can consume 222g of carbohydrates, 170g of protein, and 58g of fat for a total of 2088 calories. The idea of the macro diet is that you can essentially eat anything you want—in the correct proportions. If you have a specific dieting goal, talk to a nutritionist to determine the right ratio for your body type. Dig into these healthy meal ideas to meet your weight-loss goals!
Salmon is one of the healthiest proteins out there. It contains essential omega-3 fatty acids which are hard to come by in other foods. Brown rice is a better option than white rice because it contains fiber and protein. 4-ounce (oz) salmon fillet—15g fat, 23g protein 1 cup cooked brown rice—45g carbs, 2g fat, 5g protein Total carbs=45g Total fat=17g Total protein=28g This meal has a total of 452 calories. Nutrition facts may vary depending on preparation methods.
Chicken salad can be a low-calorie meal or a high-calorie meal based on the ingredients you choose to add to it. A salad that is heavy on mayo dressing with croutons and dried fruit will undoubtedly pack a lot more fat and carbohydrates than a salad with light dressing, nix the croutons and dried fruit. The nutrition calculation is based on a chicken salad with a romaine lettuce and spinach base, other vegetables, and a light olive oil dressing. 3oz grilled chicken tenders—1g fat, 20g protein 2 cups lettuce, 1 cup spinach, 10 cherry tomatoes, 1 cucumber—6g carbohydrates, 1g fat, 3g protein 1 tbsp olive oil—15g fat Total carbs=6g Total fat=17g Total Protein=23g This meal has a total of 275 calories.
Spaghetti and meatballs is an ultimate comfort food that you don't have to skip out on when you're on the macro diet. Choose whole-wheat spaghetti for added fiber. 1 cup whole-wheat spaghetti—37g carbohydrates, 1g fat, 7g protein 6 medium-sized meatballs in tomato sauce—11g carbohydrates, 7g fat, 26g protein Total carbs=48g Total fat=8g Total protein=33g This meal has a total of 394 calories.
Frittatas are so simple to make. They are satisfying and filling, and delicious to boot. Eat this one straight out of the skillet with a dollop of sour cream. 2 large eggs—10g fat, 12g protein 1 cup spinach—2g protein ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese—6g carbs, 10g fat, 14g protein 1 tbsp sour cream—1g carbs, 3g fat Total carbs= 7g Total fat=18g Total protein=22g This meal has a total of 285 calories.
Kale, a superfood and a dark leafy green, will provide you with many essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Tuna appears in this recipe for protein, and parmesan cheese adds a sharp flavor. A few cherry tomatoes and green beans added to this salad lend to its perfection. 3 cups baby kale—1.5g carbs, 3g fat, 5g protein 1 can tuna—1g fat, 15g protein 2 tbsp shredded parmesan cheese—2g fat, 4g protein ½ cup steamed green beans—4g carbs, 1g protein 10 cherry tomatoes—4g carbs, 1g fat 1 tsp olive oil—4.5g fat Total carbs=9.5g Total fat=11.5g Total protein=25g This meal has a total of 242 calories.
Who wouldn't want to go on a diet that allows you to eat burgers and fries? And the answer is yes—you may eat a real hamburger bun. Nutrition facts may vary greatly depending on the type of burger, the size of bun, and any extra condiments and add-ons. 3oz hamburger (lean meat)—1g fat, 23g protein 1 hamburger roll (potato bun)—29g carbs, 2g fat, 5g protein 1 medium-sized sweet potato—26g carbs, 2g protein 1 tsp mayonnaise—7g fat 1 tbsp ketchup—5g carbs 1 tsp olive oil (for baking sweet potato)—4.5g fat Total carbs=60g Total fat=14.5g Total protein=30g This meal has a total of 604 calories.
If you're craving noodles but need to cut down on your carbs for the day, zoodles may be the answer. Zoodles are noodles made from spiralized, sliced, or peeled zucchini. They pair well with almost anything, so you can have the satisfaction of twirling your fork in something nutritious. Grill your chicken in pesto sauce and then add it to your pesto-y zoodles for comfort food perfection. 3oz piece chicken breast—3g fat, 27g protein 2 medium-sized zucchinis—12g carbs, 2g fat, 4g protein 2 tbsp pesto sauce—1g carbs, 9g fat, 2g protein Total carbs=13g Total fat=14g Total protein=33g This meal has a total of 310 calories.
Balance your macro-nutrients the right way, and you will lose weight. This diet will work best if you are physically active as well—so hit the gym for maximum weight-loss results!
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