A 1,500-calorie, high-protein diet can help you to boost metabolic functions and maintain lean muscle mass. Maintaining a diet that is low in fat and high in protein can be difficult. Create a meal plan that includes a lean source of protein, such as salmon or chicken, in each meal or snack.
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A balance of healthy fats, carbohydrates and protein is vital in a 1,500-calorie-a-day diet. Diets that cut out a certain food group or macronutrient, such as the Cabbage Soup Diet, will cause nutritional deficiencies, says the American Heart Association.
Aim for three meals that contain about 400 calories and one 300-calorie snack. Portion control is an important aspect of meal preparation. Portion size and serving size are often confused when preparing meals, says the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention. For example, a large bagel can contain two servings of 300 calories but you may consume the entire bagel, thinking it's only one serving.
When planning your meals, be sure to include 4 oz. of lean protein, half a cup of healthy carbs and plenty of vegetables. A veggie omelet with a serving of fresh fruit is a high-protein breakfast idea. Lunch could be a turkey sandwich with plenty of vegetables and a side of cottage cheese. A healthy dinner option could be a large chicken salad with low-calorie dressing and a side of steamed asparagus. Some high-protein snacks include a handful of almonds, nonfat Greek yogurt, a protein shake or string cheese.
Healthy Food Choices
Balance your meals by including whole, natural foods such as low-fat dairy products, lean meats, whole grains, fruits and vegetables. These foods are high in protein, which will speed up metabolism, build and repair muscle tissue and keep you fuller for longer. Avoid processed foods such as crackers and chips that contain enriched flour, preservatives and chemicals.
Combining regular exercise with proper diet can improve your overall body composition by building and maintaining muscle mass. Include both cardiovascular exercise and strength training into your exercise plan. If you experience low energy levels during exercise, then consider adding more calories to your diet to increase performance.