Food With Few Calories

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What are the best foods with few calories?How can you start eating healthier and control your weight?Thinking about going on a diet? Here is our list of the best food with few calories to help you lose weight.

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Food With Few Calories

In this article, I’ve made a list of ten foods for quick weight loss that have fairly low calories and that fill you up quickly and keep you full for longer. Some of them will be fairly obvious to you (salads, duh!), and some may turn out to be quite a surprise.

List Of Foods For Quick Weight Loss:

1. Salad

So, of course, I start with salad, which is the most obvious low-calorie item. By salad, I don’t just mean salad leaves (boring as they are), but also celery, arugula and bok choy. Bok choy is one of my favourite leafy greens – high in Vitamin C and antioxidants, it doesn’t have the earthy acridity of spinach, and even just a steamed, wilted plate of bok choy is delicious on its own. I’m also adding tomatoes and cucumber to this list. Cucumbers especially, have a pretty high water content, and therefore, a pretty low calorie count. 

When it comes to salads though, it’s important to remember that while the base in itself is healthy, adding too much salt and sugar (most restaurants are guilty of it) and dressing, considerably up the calorie count. Try a yoghurt dressing instead.

 

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Foods for quick weight loss: Salad


2. Apples

You knew this was coming, didn’t you? Apples are one of the few fruits that contain pectin, a substance that keeps you feeling fuller for longer. Apples take while to eat, and end up tricking your brain into believing that your stomach is full. If you don’t like apples on their own, you can easily toss them into a salad or into your morning bowl of muesli, yoghurt or oatmeal. You can even put them into a turkey, or chicken sandwich for a touch of sweetness to balance the protein.
 

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Foods for quick weight loss: Apples


3. Strawberries

It’s ridiculous how low calorie strawberries are, while still packing in plenty of flavour, and a heap of antioxidants and Vitamin C besides. An entire cup of strawberries will take you down barely 50 calories! Drizzle a little beaten dahi over them, chop them into your cereal or salad, blend them into a smoothie or turn them into a sweet strawberry salsa. 

(Also read: 10 Exciting Ways to Use Strawberries)
 

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Foods for quick weight loss: Strawberries


4. Oatmeal

Oatmeal (like that new wonder-food that can do no wrong, chia seeds) absorbs a lot of water, and is loaded with fibre, both of which make it an excellent food to stave off those hunger pangs, while using very few calories to do so. The perfect way to start the day. 

(Also read:  9 Amazing Benefits of Oats)
 

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Foods for quick weight loss: Oatmeal


5. Eggs

Specifically, the egg whites. 100 grams contain just 52 calories and those calories are packed with protein. My suggestion though, would be to hold on to the yellow of the egg, as well – it contains half of the egg’s protein! Eat it boiled, half-boiled, even scrambled (but without butter) and that’s just 80 calories! The minute you add oil or butter, the calorie count goes up dramatically.

(Also read: Brown Eggs vs White Eggs: What’s the Difference?)
 

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Foods for quick weight loss: Eggs


6. Popcorn

By this, I certainly don’t mean the popcorn available at movie theatres or the microwave popcorns, the huge tubs that come dripping with butter or that odd cheese-powder creation. I mean, a cup of good, home-popped popcorn, made without oil and butter; that will only bring you to about 30 calories a cup. Season with a dash of salt and chilli powder and you’re sorted.

Best Low Calorie Foods for Weight Loss

A glass of water

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#1: Water

Calories per 8oz CupCalories per 100g
0 calories0 calories
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Nutrition Facts for Tap Water.(Source)

Club soda, herbal and green teas also have 0 calories. Green tea has also been shown in studies to aid fat loss.

See the complete ranking of beverages low in calories.

Watercress

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#2: Salad Greens (Watercress)

Calories per CupCalories per 100g
4 calories11 calories
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Nutrition Facts for Watercress.(Source)

More Salad Greens Low in Calories

  • 5 calories per cup of arugula
  • 5 calories per cup of lettuce
  • 16 calories in a cup of cucumber

See the list of low calorie vegetables.

Bowl of broth

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#3: Broth

Calories per CupCalories per 100g
11 calories5 calories
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Nutrition Facts for Vegetable Broth.(Source)

White Button Mushrooms

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#4: Vegetables (Mushrooms)

Calories per CupCalories per 100g
15 calories22 calories
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Nutrition Facts for White Button Mushrooms.(Source)

More Vegetables Low in Calories

  • 19 calories per cup of radishes
  • 35 calories per cup of eggplant
  • 40 calories per cup of asparagus

See the list of low calorie vegetables.

Strawberries

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#5: Fruits (Strawberries)

Calories per CupCalories per 100g
53 calories32 calories
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Nutrition Facts for Strawberries.(Source)

More Fruits Low in Calories

  • 60 calories per cup of peaches
  • 60 calories per cup of cantaloupe
  • 62 calories per cup of grapes

See the list of low calorie fruits.

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15 delicious low-calorie foods that are filling and can help you lose weight

This article was medically reviewed by Kailey Proctor, MPH, RDN, CSO, a board-certified oncology dietitian at the Leonard Clinical Cancer Institute with Mission Hospital. 

Medically Reviewed

food low calorie
When trying to lose weight, reach for low-calorie, high volume foods like high-fiber fruits, veggies, and whole grains. 
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  • To lose weight, you need to eat fewer calories than you burn during the day. 
  • Low-calorie foods that are high in protein and fiber will help you feel fuller for longer. 
  • Apples, whole grains, eggs, nuts, and fish are some filling, low-calorie options to reach for. 

In order to lose weight, you need to consume fewer calories than your body burns. One way to lower the number of calories that you eat is by focusing on low-calorie foods. 

“A diet with mainly low-calorie foods can create a caloric deficit that may result in weight loss,” says Cesar Sauza, a registered dietitian with AltaMed Health Services. 

However, not all low-calorie foods are created equal. In general, low-calorie foods — which are usually carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables — won’t leave you as satiated, or satisfied, as more calorie-dense foods that contain protein and fat. 

“Protein, fiber, and fats tend to be the most satiating, while carbohydrates usually leave us feeling hungry shortly after eating,” Sauza says. “Choosing lower-calorie, nutrient-dense foods should be the goal.” 

Here are 15 healthy low-calorie foods that you should incorporate into your diet. 

Apples

Apples have lots of fiber and are just sweet enough to satisfy cravings. 

“Low-calorie natural foods will almost always be bulky and will provide a lot of satisfaction when you eat them,” says Brian Quebbemann, MD, bariatric surgeon and weight loss expert with The N.E.W. Program. “They require a lot of chewing which is part of the thing that satisfies us when we eat.”

What the research says: Eating an apple every day is associated with weight loss. In kids, consuming apples is linked with a healthier overall diet and lower risk for obesity. 

Make sure to eat apples with the skin, as that’s where most of the fiber is located. 

Crunchy vegetables

It’s no surprise that vegetables are low-calorie and nutrient-rich foods that are closely associated with a healthy weight. 

To really feel satisfied with your vegetable-based snack, choose crunchy veggies like broccoli, carrots, celery, cucumbers, or bell peppers. 

“All of these vegetables provide a crunchy texture and serve as a great snack or side dish to a meal,” says Sauza. 

Whole grains

Eating whole grains — like oatmeal, 100% whole-grain bread or pasta, and brown rice — will keep you feeling full longer. 

That’s because whole grains have high fiber content and take longer for your body to break down than white grains like refined flour. 

What the research says: A 2019 scientific review found a significant association between eating more whole grains and having lower levels of body fat. 

Almonds

Nuts aren’t typically considered a low-calorie snack, because they’re very nutrient-rich. 

A single serving of 10 to 12 almonds is about 100 calories, Sauza says. But eating those 100 calories can keep you feeling full and reduce the likelihood that you’ll consume more calories later in the day and keep from eating more sugary snacks, which may contribute to diabetes. 

“A recommended serving of nuts keeps calories down,” he says. It’s no wonder that eating nuts is associated with weight loss and diabetes prevention. 

Sunflower seeds

Like nuts, seeds are calorie-dense, but super healthy since they’re high in healthy fats, fiber, and nutrients like vitamin E. 

What the research says: Eating sunflower seeds is associated with weight loss in obese adults. Seeds are also linked to cardiovascular health and an improved cholesterol profile. 

Try sprinkling sunflower seeds on top of a low-calorie salad to add a nutritious crunch. 

Eggs

Eggs are high in protein and low in calories, making them one of the healthiest breakfast options to enhance weight loss. 

Sauza recommends hard-boiled eggs for their convenience.  They can be eaten on their own or added to salads or other dishes. 

Grapefruit

Grapefruit has high water content and plenty of fiber and nutrients to make you feel satisfied. In addition, the complex sweet-yet-tart flavor makes grapefruit feel like a treat, Quebbemann says. 

A small 2006 study of obese individuals found that people who ate fresh grapefruit three times a day before meals lost more weight over 12 weeks than people who didn’t eat grapefruit. 

Fish

Fish is packed with protein, which has been linked to weight loss, in part because it keeps you feeling full and you digest it more slowly.  

One small 2006 study found that people who ate a fish meal were satiated and consumed fewer calories than people who ate a beef-based meal. 

Quebbemann suggests eating white fish, like cod, and fish that contain omega-3 fatty acids, including salmon and sardines. 

Canned tuna

If you’re not comfortable cooking fish, canned tuna can provide the same benefits with less hassle. Avoid high-calorie mayo, and mix your tuna with healthier options. 

“It tastes great with chopped vegetables like tomato, onion, cilantro, and peppers, or by itself with a little bit of lime and salt added,” Sauza says. 

Greek yogurt

Consuming yogurt has been linked to increased weight loss and reduced body fat. Greek yogurt is a particularly good choice because it’s naturally low in fat and high in protein. 

Greek yogurt can be used as a base for lower calorie salad dressings and dips, Sauza says.

Tomatoes 

Tomatoes are a versatile, low-calorie vegetable that make a great snack. “Tomatoes are very low calorie but surprisingly satiating,” says Sauza. Their robust flavor, high water content, and fiber content will help you feel satisfied.

Add a tiny drizzle of olive oil and sprinkle of pepper for extra hunger-fighting power. Although olive oil is calorie dense, the added fat can help you stay fuller for a longer time, Sauza says. 

Chicken breast

Chicken breast is a low-fat, low-calorie source of protein. Consuming poultry, like chicken breast, is associated with overall health. A 100-gram serving of chicken has about the same amount of protein as the same-sized serving of beef, with about 25% fewer calories and half the fat. 

Sauza recommends shredding chicken breast and adding it to salads or making low-calorie tacos by using a lettuce wrap. 

Soup 

Soup has a lot of liquid volume, without many calories. Because of that, it can help fill you up and reduce the amount that you eat later in the day. 

What the research says: A 2013 study of more than 4,000 American adults found that people who regularly consume soup were less likely to be overweight or obese, compared with non soup-eaters. 

Skip the creamy soups and reach for a chunky, vegetable soup with a clear broth, which is the most filling. 

Popcorn 

Air-popped popcorn without any oil or butter has just 31 calories per cup, making it a very low-calorie snack perfect for when you’re craving something salty and crunchy. 

A 2012 study of 25 normal-weight individuals found that snacking on popcorn kept people feeling fuller longer than snacking on potato chips, and ultimately could be beneficial for weight loss. 

Water

Water has zero calories and is critical for health. Research suggests that drinking water before a meal can help you feel more satisfied and consume fewer calories. 

Drinking water rather than sweetened beverages is also linked with weight loss. Men should drink 3.7 liters of water a day, while women should aim for 2.7 liters. Try lemon water instead of sugary beverages. 

Insider’s takeaway

Counting calories can be tedious and hard to maintain long-term. Don’t automatically reach for the lowest-calorie snack, Sauza says. Instead, choose a snack that is low calorie, but that contains lots of fiber, water, and nutrients.

“I suggest choosing foods that are nutrient-dense and provide less calories overall; usually these tend to be whole foods,” Sauza says. “Reducing processed foods and increasing whole foods are the simplest dietary recommendations I could give, but probably the most valuable.”

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