Gone are the days when eating 1,200 or fewer calories a day would help you lose weight. Sure, you may lose some weight at first, but you'll eventually gain all (or more) of it back. When you don’t eat enough, your body is only going to hold onto its fat stores! And if you're an active woman, you may be surprised to learn that you need to eat a lot more than you think.
So what's the magic number for women and calories? While everyone is different, most women should be eating about 1,500 calories a day with a healthy combination of protein, fats and carbs. Not sure how 1,500 calories adds up in a day? Here's a great example on how you can easily hit that number and still enjoy a variety of nutrient-dense, filling, and incredibly delicious foods:
Turkey Bacon, Egg White + Spinach Sandwich| 303 calories: This sandwich has everything you need to start your day including protein, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats. Throw some reduced-fat cheese on top and you just might want this sandwich for lunch too. Get the recipe here.
Chocolate Covered PB Banana Bites| 352 calories (double the serving size): The calories are low enough for these that you can actually enjoy double the serving size that this recipe makes. The best part, aside from the sweet taste, is that no baking or cooking is required! Bananas, peanut butter and chocolate — who could ask for anything more? Click here for the recipe.
Healthy Bean and Bulgur Salad | 295 calories: Most salads leave you feeling hungry, but not this one. The stars of this dish are bulgur, black beans and garbanzo beans, which are all satisfying and filling on their own. The sidekicks are onion, cucumber, tomatoes and peppers. After that come the spices and seasons to give it that unique and delicious flavor. Check it out!
PB Yogurt Dip and Apple Slices | 139 calories: Here’s a snack that tastes more like a dessert with cinnamon, honey and vanilla for some of its ingredients. Stir the mixture into some non-fat Greek yogurt and slice up an apple and this snack will definitely hold you over until dinnertime.
Skinny Chicken Enchilada Casserole | 384 calories: This is a dinner recipe the whole family can enjoy. The Mexican-inspired dish uses all the common elements of Spanish foods and flavors, like tortillas (low-carb, of course), beans, corn, chicken and enchilada sauce. Check out the recipe.
The total calorie count for this delicious menu is 1,473. You can even eat an extra tablespoon of the peanut butter yogurt dip and not go over the 1,500 calorie mark. And as you can clearly see, you're eating whole, natural, healthy foods. Why deprive yourself of food your body needs? So enjoy eating more food without worrying about gaining weight. In fact, you may end up losing those unwanted pounds!