A macros diet is a style of eating where people track their carbohydrates, fat and protein—and aim to eat within a certain range each day—as a guide for healthy eating or as a strategy for weight loss. In this meal plan, we put together 7 days of healthy 500-calorie dinners that are balanced for the three macronutrients (carbs, fat and protein) and are healthy, balanced meals to enjoy even if you're not following a macros diet. Most people can lose weight eating 1,500 calories a day and when we break down the calorie totals by meal, 500 calories is a healthy amount to have at dinner to stay satisfied throughout the evening. When paired with a healthy breakfast, lunch and snacks, these delicious dinners will help you meet your daily nutrient needs and can help you lose weight.
The macros diet trend has been climbing its way up in the ranks of trendy diets. And while it's trendy, the idea of eating within a certain range of macronutrients is Nutrition 101. The Institute of Medicine has been using macro ranges as guidelines for healthy eating for years.
The new popular version of this style of diet is the "If It Fits Your Macros" plan, also known as IIFYM for short. The idea is to eat foods that fit within your unique macronutrient distribution range (that is, a particular balance of carbohydrates, fat and protein), while simultaneously cutting calories to burn fat and lose weight. Unlike diets that cut out certain foods, like the Whole30 and Paleo plans, the IIFYM diet has no restrictions on what you can eat. You're allowed to enjoy french fries, burgers and pizza galore! As long as it all fits within your daily macro range.
A balanced and flexible approach to eating is how we do things at EatingWell, but where other macro diet plans can fall short is in acknowledging the importance of micronutrients—the vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin A and iron, that our bodies need. These micronutrients come from healthy whole foods, including fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, calcium-rich dairy and healthy fats. If you're filling up on pizza and french fries, you may hit your macro range but miss out on the valuable micronutrients whole foods provide. Plus, if you're trying to lose weight, research has shown nutrients like vitamin D can help.
In this meal plan, we show you what a balanced, nutrient-packed macros plan looks like. Whether you're trying to lose weight or simply want to get a healthy dinner on the table, this delicious plan will help.
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