When choosing diet meals with 500 to 600 calories, consider how many calories are in each of the foods you're eating. Make the most of the limited calories by selecting meals based on chicken, beef and vegetables as the main course, supported by side dishes made with leafy greens, grains and cruciferous vegetables.
Make chicken a standby for many diet meals. A 4-oz. breast is the standard size for the centerpiece of this meal and contains about 130 calories. Add 1/2 cup of marinara sauce and it's an additional 40 calories. Some good sides with chicken include a salad with 2 tbsp. of olive oil and 1 tbsp. vinegar, which amount to roughly 250 calories. A 1/3 cup serving of broccoli, cheese and rice casserole will add around 150 calories, for a grand total of 570 calories for this healthy diet meal.
As the main course, choose sirloin as one of the leaner cuts of beef; it contains around 200 calories per 4-oz. serving. Maybe you'd like it with 2 tbsp. of barbecue sauce, which will add 50 calories. Brown rice is a healthy side dish and will add 90 calories per 1/2-cup serving. Add a sweet potato, one of the healthiest of vegetables, for 180 calories. The grand total for this healthy diet meal: 520 calories.
Start with beans, a good base for many vegetarian meals that contain around 140 calories per 1/2-cup serving. Add 1 cup of sauteed kale with lemon juice, onions and 2 tbsp. of olive oil for 160 calories. Add 3 tbsp. of hummus with 1 cup of carrots and that's an 155 calories more. Throw in a small apple and you're looking at a total 515 calories for this diet meal.
Create other diet meals with 500 to 600 calories with the help of online nutrition calculators. Discover the calorie content in the foods you like and you'll be eating more meals in your desired caloric range in no time.