Are you a person who is wondering how to eat fewer calories and doesn’t know what to eat?
Well, if you are, you are in the right place. This article explains the ten best healthy low-calorie meals for your perfect diet plan.
What to Know About Calories and Cutting Them Down?
Whether it be keto, intermittent fasting, or any diet and other weight loss methods, all have that common thing: cutting down your calorie intake. If you are a person who is trying to lose weight or to eat healthily, you hear the same thing often, eat fewer calories. But what is with this calorie count, and why is it so important?
It is not rocket science. A calorie is an energy you get from the food you eat. As you eat calorie-rich food, your body gets more energy. When your body obtains more significant amounts of calories from the food you eat, your body saves it in the form of body fat.
So, the more and more calories you consume, the more fat is accumulated in your body, and it will make you obese, which makes you prone to the risks of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart diseases, and several other severe conditions.
Now, you might be freaked out and decide that calorie is a villain to your health. But, your body needs calories to function properly. However, you need to control the intake.
It is essential to include healthy low-calorie meals in your daily diet. However, most people go wrong here. You might manage to eat low-calorie meals, but they might not have much nutritional value.
In short, you have to consume not just a low-calorie meal but healthy low-calorie meals that are rich in vitamins, minerals, fibres, antioxidants, and other vital nutrients.
Read through the article to find out the ten best healthy low-calorie meals that you can trust entirely on your road to weight loss.
Why Should You Eat Healthy Low-calorie Food?
There are a lot of healthy low-calorie food items that are low in calories and low in number of nutrients and protein. People tend to take these foods and think they have done enough. But having a low-calorie diet is not sufficient.
You need to go for protein-rich, healthy low-calorie meals if you aim to cut down calories and weight loss. Because protein-rich foods are more filling and keep you more energetic, this prevents you from overeating, unnecessary snacking, and unhealthy practices, which helps you lose weight faster. Thus, you must eat healthy low-calorie meals.
Low-calorie Foods You Need to Know
Eating fewer calories is not about eating less. It is about eating the correct type of food in the right way. So, you need to know what to eat before you even start your meal prep.
Below are some food items that are known for their low-calorie count. Incorporate these into your daily diet to prepare healthy low-calorie meals.
- Lean meat: lean meat has a low-fat content. Chicken, turkey are examples of this.
- Chia seeds
- Greek yogurt
- brown rice
- sweet potato
- soya beans
These are common low-calorie foods that you come across very often. Following this is a list of 10 healthy low-calorie meals that are easy to prepare and only require a few ingredients.
10 Best Healthy Low-calorie Meals
1. Baked Chicken Breasts With Vegetables
Chicken is the holy grail when you want to lose weight or cut down calories yet can’t help but eat non-vegetarian. Baked chicken with vegetables is one of the fantastic healthy low-calorie meals you can have if you are looking for a healthy diet dinner recipe.
To make this one-pot recipe choose skinless chicken breasts or thighs. Preferring chicken breast to thighs can be a good option as the former has less fat than the latter.
Paired with fresh vegetables of your choice makes it one of the perfectly balanced healthy low-calorie meals. Sprinkle some salt and pepper in it and traybake the chicken breasts. Less in calories, great in taste, quick and easy recipe. Want more reasons to go for it?.
2. Cauliflower Rice
Cauliflower is one of the tastiest low-calorie vegetables you can have. With its high water and protein content, cauliflower is a highly low-calorie, low-carb vegetable. For the same reason, cauliflower rice made by grating cauliflower has become a popular healthy typical calorie dish during the last few years that you can find in every weight loss food list.
Apart from this, cauliflower rice is super easy and less time-consuming to cook. To make this easy meal, all you have to do is use a grater, blender, or a chopper to shred the cauliflower into tiny bits which resemble the regular rice and saute them in a pan along with some olive oil.
Adding some spices, vegetables, fresh herbs, and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil make cauliflower rice a perfect low-calorie lunch option and a healthy dinner.
Serving it with a side salad or some leftover turkey turns it into a completely healthy low-calorie meal that provides you with enough nutrition.
3. Baked Potatoes With Skin
You might be confused about seeing potatoes in this list. Potatoes are always considered an unhealthy food item. However, you can make a low-calorie, healthy recipe with potatoes. Baking potatoes with the skin produces a healthy low-calorie meal compared to other foods made with potatoes that you usually eat, such as fries, chips.
Baked potatoes with skin are the most filling, protein-rich, low-calorie meal you can make with just a few ingredients.
4. Asparagus Soup
Asparagus is a healthy vegetable that is a storehouse of vitamins and minerals and is also known for its low-calorie count. Asparagus soup can be one of the most nutritious, low-calorie soups you will come across.
It contains vitamin C, K, calcium, magnesium, and several other minerals that are inevitable for your health. Prepare this healthy meal by starting to boil asparagus in water. Cook it and cool it down.
To this, add sauteed onions with garlic, salt, and pepper. Mix everything and puree it together. Add this puree into another pot, pour some broth into it and bring it to a boil. Once seasoned and garnished with ingredients of your choice, it is considerably filling yet a low-calorie meal.
5. Cauliflower Pizza
Like cauliflower rice, cauliflower pizza crust is one of the trending low-calorie recipes nowadays. Cauliflower pizza crust can replace regular pizza crust as it is low in calories, carbs, and gluten-free.
However, adding more toppings and cheese will increase the calorie count. So choose healthy toppings such as fresh basil leaves.
Cauliflower pizza is a healthy low-calorie meal, especially for people who prefer a gluten-free diet.
6. Green Bean Salad
You will often land at a salad recipe whenever you think about healthy dinner ideas or low-calorie dinners. Green beans salad is a healthy side salad that requires just a few ingredients. You can prepare this low-calorie meal by boiling green beans in water. Cook them until they become tender.
After draining the water, dress the green beans with balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, salt, pepper, olive oil, and other seasonings as your taste. Garnishing them with cherry tomatoes and parmesan cheese or feta cheese makes them more nutritious, colourful, and delicious.
7. Slow Cooker Braised Beef
There would be times when you want to have a healthy dinner but feel too lazy to cook anything at all. Braised beef is a low-calorie meal you can go for at such times. As a huge source of protein, beef provides a sufficiently filling low-calorie meal.
One of the most significant benefits of braised beef is that you can cook it in just one pot by putting every ingredient in a slow cooker.
The meal prep is effortless. All you need to do is combine beef brisket, vinegar, soy sauce, brown sugar, and seasonings according to your taste. Cook this in a slow cooker for at least 6 hours.
The recipe is adding everything into just one pot and slow cooking it. Served with rice or any bread makes it the perfect healthy dinner for the whole family.
8. Mixed Vegetable Salad
A mixed vegetable salad is one of the widespread and basic healthy low-calorie meals you often have. A simple, easy recipe, but its benefits are not simple as that. To make this classic recipe, you need to cut up some fresh vegetables like cabbage, carrots, cherry tomatoes, or any vegetable you have in your kitchen.
And give it a simple dressing of salt, pepper, yogurt, olive oil, or any ingredient you want. Thus in a wink, your healthy low-calorie meal is ready with just a few ingredients. The fact that it does not contain a lot of elements makes it less in calories and nutritious. Also, you can never go wrong with vegetables.
They always provide enough nutrients and, at the same time, are low in calories. Apart from this, you don’t need to spend hours making this dish.
9. Baked Cod
When we are talking about healthy low-calorie meals, the list should include fish. Cod is a mild-tasting type of fish that is hailed for low-calorie count compared to salmon, mackerel sardine, and so on. Baked cod along with lemon garlic sauce is an excellent choice of low-calorie meal.
Bake some deboned code in an oven and prepare the lemon garlic sauce by sauteing garlic in olive oil. Also, add some lemon juice and parsley to this. Pour this prepared sauce over the baked cod and bake for a few minutes again.
Side it with some sweet potatoes or any other fresh veg option you have. This is a healthy low-calorie meal that is highly nutritious at the same time. This dish is a perfect option for lunch as well as dinner.
10. Chicken Wild Rice Soup With Fresh Herbs
Craving for something hot and filling on a cold winter evening, go for some wild rice chicken soup topped with fresh herbs. Wild rice, compared to regular white rice, is a perfect low-calorie food.
At the same time, it has high nutritional value. If you are thinking about a healthy, low-calorie meal that is filling and nutritious, the chicken wild rice soup will be perfect.
This healthy meal can be made in an instant pot by adding all the ingredients including, Wild rice, onion, garlic vegetables of your choice, water and seasonings and some chicken. You can take a chicken breast, cut-up pieces, or leftover cooked chicken. Cover and cook this for 20-30 minutes.
After cooking it remove the chicken from the soup and add in some milk. Using milk instead of heavy cream to thicken the soup reduces its calorie count. Use an immersion blender to blend all of this and cook it until it becomes thick.
Add in the shredded chicken, garnish with some fresh parsley or any other herb to make this dish super flavorful and filling. If you want to make it dairy-free, you can use coconut milk or almond milk to thicken it up.
Tips to Follow
- Reduce eating meat with more fat content. Swap it with lean meat, which is high in lean protein content but low in calories. Cooked chicken, turkey is an example of this kind of meat.
- I prefer fish such as cod, flounder, over salmon and sardine.
- If you feel like snacking, go for air-popped popcorn instead of other fried snacks.
- Include more fruits and vegetables with high water content in your diet.
- Replace foods such as sour cream, coconut milk, with other low-calorie options.
- Choose gluten-free food items.
- Replace high-calorie meals with low-calorie soups and salad as they are more filling and prevent you from overeating.
- Avoid eating heavy meals before you go to bed. Having a healthy, low-calorie meal for dinner helps greatly.
People are highly obsessed with weight loss these days. There are umpteen methods on the internet regarding the same.
However, most of these are unscientific; thus, despite all of these methods, if you want to maintain a healthy weight, the answer is consuming calories in moderation and burning them properly.
However, do not be convinced that fewer calories mean eating less. You can eat more but choose a low-calorie meal than that of your regular meal. In this way, you can eat more but weigh less. Also, while cutting down calories, you should not neglect your protein intake.
Also, most low-calorie foods with less protein leave you hungry, and you tend to overeat. So, try swapping your regular meals with the low-calorie meal options mentioned in this article.
Roll up your sleeves, cook, eat and feel healthy.
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