How To Build A Macro Bowl Based On Your Goals
Wondering how to build a healthy & balanced lunch so that that you’re not eating the same thing every day, minimizing total prep work, and also able to maintain your goals? Personally, I always follow the same sort of framework for creating the BEST macro bowls that suit my overall fitness goals. Usually, I’ll prep all of my core ingredients (listed below) in bulk, and then mix and match them whenever I need to create unique & tasty bowl each time
If you’re new to the fitness community, you’re probably wondering what a “macro bowl” even is. Simply put, macro bowls are typically comprised of a grain or leafy green base, raw or cooked veggies, a protein of your choice and a healthy fat like avocado, hummus or a tasty homemade dressing. They're called macro bowls because they provide a balanced portion of all three macronutrients: carbs, protein, and fat.
Here are a few tips on how to build your own MACRO BOWL:
Pick a leafy GREEN
I always try to throw in about 1 - 2 cups of spinach, kale, arugula or spring mix as the base of my bowls. Greens help to provide valuable micronutrients like Iron, Calcium, Vitamin A & Beta Carotene & will also add lots of volume to fill you up.
Add your PROTEIN
This can be in the form of a baked chicken breast, white fish, shrimp, canned tuna, or - for all my vegetarians - tofu, tempeh, eggs/egg whites, black beans or lentils. (Although these are higher in carbs, so I’d reduce my additional carbs in this case.) I try to aim for around 25-30g of protein per meal, as it not only helps to reduce cravings for other foods, but protein is so necessary for building muscle and for aiding in recovery after a workout.
Throw in a COMPLEX CARB
I tend to add the complex carb only if I absolutely need it (ex. If I’ll be working out before or after this meal), and it usually consists of either sweet potatoes, quinoa, or brown rice. Otherwise, the rest of my carbs come from lots & lots of veggies like sautéed peppers and onions, grilled zucchini and eggplant, baked cauliflower, etc.
Add a healthy FAT
Fats are slow-burning macronutrients which will always keep you satisfied for longer than carbs. My fats come from adding some turkey bacon, 1/4 - 1/2 avocado (depending on the size) or some crumbled cheese to the top of my bowl. Depending on the flavours, I may also add some chopped walnuts or slivered almonds.
SAUCE it up
Depending on the bowl, my sauces can vary from homemade Greek yogurt dressings to a balsamic glaze to apple cider vinegar. Be mindful of the calories in pre-made sauces, though, and do your best to create your own from scratch. (Let me know if you’d be interested in seeing some of my FAVE low-calorie sauce recipes!)
And that’s about it!
Whether you’re in the mood for a Mexican-inspired taco bowl or an Asian mandarin chicken salad, these tips will ALWAYS help to set you up for enjoying a nutrient-rich, healthy & totally yummy macro bowl every time.