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Include a mix of carbs, protein and fat at every meal.
A 50/30/20 diet is one that contains 50 percent of your daily calorie allowance in the form of carbohydrate, 30 percent from protein and 20 percent from fat. Carbohydrates and protein each have four calories per gram, while fat has nine calories per gram, so at 1,500 calories, you need to eat 187.5 grams of carbs, 125 grams of protein and 33 grams of fat each day. You don't need to hit these numbers exactly though, notes trainer Tom Venuto -- just aim to get within around five percent of your target numbers.
Plan Ahead of Time
To make things easier, divide each of your daily macronutrient targets by four. This gives you the amount of carbohydrate, protein and fat you need for three square meals, with one-quarter left over for snacks. Doing this means each meal should contain 45 to 50 grams of carbs, just over 30 grams of protein and 8 grams of fat.
The Best Breakfast
For a protein and carb-packed breakfast, try oatmeal with an egg white omelet. A one-half cup serving of dry oats yields 27 grams of carbs, almost 3 grams of fat and a little more than 5 grams of protein. One large egg white has around 3.5 grams of protein with minimal fat and carbohydrate, while a large whole egg has 6 grams of protein and 5 grams of fat. Go with five egg whites and one whole egg and make an omelet with enough chopped onion, tomato, bell pepper and mushroom to give you another 15 to 20 grams of carbohydrate.
Time for Lunch
At lunch, a small oat bran bagel measuring 3 inches in diameter gives you 37 grams of carbohydrate, 7.5 grams of protein and less than 1 gram of fat. Fill this with 3 ounces of turkey breast for 26 grams of protein and almost 2 grams of fat, along with 1 ounce of feta cheese for 4 grams of protein, 6 grams of fat and 1 gram of carbohydrate. Add more salad and vegetable items to provide a further 5 to 10 grams of carbs.
Dine in Style
A 3 ounce beef sirloin steak trimmed of all fat can deliver most of your protein and all your fat needs at dinner. This then just needs a few simple sides. One and a half cups of cubed sweet potato delivers 40 grams of carbohydrate and a cup each of broccoli and cauliflower gives you a further 11 grams.
How you get the rest of your day's macronutrients is up to you -- you just need to get a further 45 to 50 grams of carbs, around 30 grams of protein and 8 grams of fat. A couple of pieces of fruit with some nonfat yogurt and a slice of low-fat cheese would suffice, as would a few whole-grain crackers, cottage cheese mixed with berries and a small serving of walnuts or almonds.