What an Ideal 500-Calorie Dinner Looks Like

Danielle Omar
by Danielle Omar
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What an Ideal 500-Calorie Dinner Looks Like

A healthy dinner should be hearty, satisfying and balanced, without going overboard on calories.

Here are four tasty dinner ideas that check in right at 500 calories to get you started:

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When building a balanced dinner plate, stick to a few key guidelines:

1. FILL UP ON PRODUCE

Half your plate should consist of vegetables and fruit. They’re not only packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, they also add volume and fiber, filling you up while being low in calories.

2. CHOOSE WHOLE GRAINS FIRST

If you’re adding grains to your dinner, stick to whole grains. Choose brown rice or quinoa before reaching for milled flour or pastas. Grains in their whole form provide important nutrients and fiber. And, because they take longer for your body to digest than refined grains and starches, they’ll keep you full longer and contribute heart-healthy benefits.

3. USE BEANS TO BOOST NUTRITION

Legumes and beans provide fiber and protein as well as a host of vitamins and minerals. Add beans to salads, soups and mix into meat dishes for added nutrients and staying power.

4. SWITCH TO PLANT-BASED FATS

Fats like avocado, olive oil and nuts help keep you satiated for hours after your meal. Different oils bring creaminess and flavor, while nuts and seeds add texture.

5. ROUND OUT YOUR MEAL WITH PROTEIN

Protein tells your brain you’re satisfied and keeps you from feeling the need to snack all night long. Opt for lean proteins like chicken and turkey whenever possible and seafood that’s rich in omega-3’s like salmon and tuna.


READ MORE > WHAT A NUTRITIOUS BREAKFAST LOOKS LIKE AT 300, 400 AND 500 CALORIES


 

About the Author

Danielle Omar
Danielle Omar

Danielle is an integrative dietitian, culinary nutritionist, author and consultant, frequently lending her love of creating to high-profile food and nutrition media outlets. She’s a regularly featured blogger and founder of foodconfidence.comwhere she inspires men and women on their journey to become their healthiest self. Connect with her on Instagram and Facebook.

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4 responses to “What an Ideal 500-Calorie Dinner Looks Like”

  1. N Crowley says:

    How do you see the recipes for the 4 ideas for 500 calorie diet. If I click on one it just keeps reloading the same page.
    Thanks

    • Alese says:

      Having the same problem. This article is useless if it does not link to the recipes. Also the salmon shown in the first example appears to be raw, which does not seem that appetizing.

  2. jennifered says:

    Could you make it easier to print these, please 🙂 I don’t like to waste paper, but I print to PDF and add to iBooks, which I can’t do without a formatting nightmare!

  3. Alexi Balmuth says:

    It looks like the first recipe is on a 10 inch plate, the second two are on 8 inch plates, and the 3rd is in a 6 inch bowl. But they all appear the same size which can be confusing.

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