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:
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.