If you’re currently tracking your food intake or focusing on macros, then you know that technically no food is off limits. However it’s not exactly fun to blow through all of your daily fat and carb allowance in one meal, leaving you drinking protein shakes the rest of the day (I’ve been there…it’s not fun!). So I’m here to show you some simple ways to make any recipe “macro friendly”. Enjoy all of your favorite foods without blowing all of your macros on one meal!
Pre-calculate the Macros for the Original Recipe
The first step is to calculate the macro breakdown for the original recipe. This will give you a feel for the original balance of macros. Maybe you’ll be pleasantly surprised and find out that it’s actually more macro friendly than you think. But if not, it will at least tell you where to start modifying. For example if one serving has 50g of fat, then that gives you a clue that you should focus on reducing this macro when “healthifying” the recipe.
Swap out Ingredients
Now it’s time to scan through the ingredient list and see which ingredients can easily be swapped for something a bit healthier. Here are some simple swaps that I usually make:
- sub ground beef for ground turkey or a leaner cut of beef
- sub full fat cheese for low fat cheese
- sub regular rice for cauliflower rice
- sub full fat cream or milk for reduced/fat free milk
- sub regular pasta for protein enriched pasta or even zoodles/spaghetti squash
Reduce the Quantity of Calorie Dense Ingredients
Sometimes an ingredient is vital to a recipe and it can’t be swapped out without compromising the entire flavor. But that doesn’t mean you can’t reduce the quantity a little. Here are some examples of ingredients that can easily be reduced:
- Use less oil when sauteing/baking
- Top your food with less cheese
- Use less beans/rice/pasta to lower the carb content
- See if you can reduce the amount of sauce added to the recipe without drying out the meal
Re-calculate the Macros & Decide on Your Portion
The final step is to re-calculate the macros for your new modified recipe. Once you have new numbers, you can play around with them to decide what your perfect “macro-friendly” portion will be. Then pat yourself on the back for making this delicious recipe fit into your macros, without blowing through your daily macro allowance!
If you need help figuring out the right macros for you, I offer customized macro calculations! I take into account your goals, activity level, gender, size, and more to find the perfect macros for you. Let me take the guesswork out of macro tracking!