Have you switched to counting macros for weight loss? Many women are finding that it’s a smarter approach to dieting than simply counting calories. With Customized 7-Day Macro Meal Plan, you’ll ensure you’re getting the right kinds of calories vs. just looking at an ambiguous number.
Carrie McMahon — nutrition coach, trainer, macro expert, and author of Why You Should Count Macronutrients, Not Calories — knows first-hand how hard dieting can be and went through a horrible cycle of restricting calories. “I used to be a binge eater because I held to strict restrictions, and that tore my life apart,” she told POPSUGAR.
“Now I don’t see some foods as ‘good’ versus some foods as ‘evil,’ and I don’t feel the need to binge and overeat on those ‘evil foods,'” she said. “All foods can fit into my daily lifestyle, and I’ve learned how to eat my favorite treats in moderation instead of all-out cheat days.” She built that concept into a weeklong meal plan for you so you don’t have to stress about “cheat days” either. “I’ve picked macro-balanced recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and even dessert!”
These meals are optimized with the right macro distribution for weight loss, and you won’t feel restricted at all. These are some of Carrie’s favorite POPSUGAR recipes, and yes . . . there’s pizza involved. “When life doesn’t feel constricted by food, you’ll feel free and alive, and your mind and body will be more connected and healthier than ever.”
Customized 7-Day Macro Meal Plan
Protein-Packed Breakfast: Tofu Scramble With Kale and Sweet Potatoes
You won’t be able to put your fork down, but that’s OK! This tofu scramble is bursting with an addictive savory-sweet flavor, and since it’s made with tofu, kale, and sweet potatoes, you can feel good reaching for seconds. At 264 calories per filling serving, this wholesome breakfast is full of fiber and has almost 20 grams of protein!
It’s a cinch to whip up, and the savory flavor of the onions and cumin complement the sweet potatoes so perfectly. It’s a match made in breakfast heaven and totally vegan, so it’s healthy for anyone, especially those trying to cut down on fat and cholesterol. You can enjoy this warm recipe out of a bowl, or use it as a filling for a wrap to enjoy for an under 400-calorie lunch.
- 1 small sweet potato, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- 1/2 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 14-ounce package extrafirm tofu, drained and crumbled
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
- 2 cups baby kale
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Place the sweet potato cubes in a large skillet, and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium and simmer three minutes. Pour out all the water.
- Add the canola oil and onions. Sauté on medium-high heat for seven minutes. Add the crumbled tofu, garlic powder, cumin, salt, and turmeric. Cook for five or so minutes on medium heat, stirring frequently.
- Add the kale, top the skillet with a lid, lower the heat to simmer, and allow to steam for a few minutes or until the kale is tender.
- Makes two large servings.
This 4-Ingredient Avocado Chicken Salad Couldn’t Be Easier
I love spending hours in the kitchen . . . when I have the time. There’s nothing worse than rushing slicing and dicing and feeling stressed when you’re cooking; I truly believe you can taste it in the food. I’ve made the shift from daily takeout to packing my own lunch, and while I wish I could spend hours each night prepping something fabulous, life doesn’t work out that way.
This is a major reason why this easy and delicious two-step recipe has become a staple in my recipe rotation. This avocado chicken salad is creamy, tangy, filling, and everything I love about a classic. It’s packed with nearly 40 grams of protein and 33 percent of your daily recommended fiber, and when I pack this sandwich for lunch, I’m not hungry until dinner. This prevents me from unnecessary snacking and ensures that I’m keeping my diet clean — two important aspects of weight-loss success. The next time you have leftover chicken, do yourself a favor, and make this quick and satisfying lunch.
I used a handful of sunflower sprouts on my sandwich, but whatever sprouts or lettuce you have on hand will be tasty.
- For the chicken salad:
- 1/4 avocado
- 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 3/4 cup shredded chicken, precooked
- For the sandwich:
- 1 whole wheat English muffin
- Handful of lettuce or sunflower sprouts
- 2 slices tomato
- In a small bowl, mash the avocado together with yogurt and lemon juice until completely combined.
- Add the chicken to the bowl, and mix with a spoon until all the chicken is coated.
- Serve your chicken salad on top of a bed of lettuce, or split on top of two English muffins with a tomato slice and sunflower sprouts.
Snack: Yogurt-Filled Melon
Juicy and refreshing melon is tasty on its own, but filling up half a cantaloupe with creamy yogurt is even better. Top things off with fresh Summer berries and crunchy pepita seeds, and you’ve created a filling and elegant breakfast that’s fewer than 150 calories. Keep reading to see how easy it is to create this edible melon bowl.
- 1/2 cantaloupe
- 6 ounces nonfat Greek yogurt
- 1 tablespoon fresh raspberries
- 1 tablespoon fresh blueberries
- 1 teaspoon raw pepita seeds
- Scoop out seeds from the center of your half cantaloupe.
- Fill the hole with six ounces of nonfat Greek yogurt.
- Add berries to the yogurt and sprinkle with pepita seeds.
- Use a spoon to scoop bites right out of the cantaloupe peel!
A High-Protein, 285-Calorie Supper: Paleo Stuffed Peppers
For a warming, quick supper, look to these Italian-style stuffed peppers for inspiration. With just a few ingredients and less than 30 minutes, you can create a fresh, clean meal with more than 30 grams of protein! You’ll be glad to know this satisfying gluten-free and Paleo dinner is under 300 calories per serving, making it a perfect light supper after an evening workout.
- 2 bell peppers, halved and cleaned
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1/2 large onion, diced
- Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
- 4 cloves garlic, pressed or chopped
- 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, fresh or canned
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 6 basil leaves, finely chopped
- Extra basil leaves, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Place the bell pepper halves in a roasting dish face down for 10 to 15 minutes. (You can skip this step if you want to keep the peppers more firm or raw.)
- While the bell peppers are cooking, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions in coconut oil, adding sea salt and black pepper to taste, until they’re translucent and slightly browned on the edges. Add the tomatoes and garlic, and simmer for about two minutes.
- Add the meat, and cook until fully done. Taste the mixture, and adjust seasoning to your liking. Mix in the chopped basil.
- Remove the peppers from the oven — they should be just a bit softened — and flip them over. Spoon the stuffing mixture into each one. You can go ahead and eat them at this point, or put them back in the oven for five to 10 minutes to allow the flavors of the bell pepper and the meat mixture to blend together more.
Chickpea Cookie Dough Is the Perfect Weight-Loss Treat
There is more to the mighty chickpea than hummus or as a healthy salad topping, and this cookie dough recipe is proof. Vegan and gluten-free, this simple dip is an excellent source of fiber and protein in one sweet, healthy snack. While you shouldn’t bake it in the oven, it’s a tasty alternative to raw cookie dough. Forget the unhealthy days of chowing down on the prepackaged stuff, and try this easy recipe instead.
Serve with apple slices, pretzels, or anything else you think would complement the dough “dip” well.
- 1 cup chickpeas, skins removed, patted dry
- 1/3 cup natural peanut butter
- 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1/3 cup vegan chocolate chips
- Combine chickpeas, peanut butter, vanilla extract, and agave in a blender or food processor. Blend until it’s a fine puree.
- Remove cookie dough mixture from blender, and place in a large bowl. Add vegan chocolate chips, and mix well with a wooden spoon.