Low-calorie foods are an important part of a healthy diet. They can help with weight control and reduce the risk of many chronic diseases. If you're looking to follow a calorie-conscious diet, our table of low-calorie foods will help you.
A vegan diet can be lower in calories than a diet that includes animal products. However, it still depends on which foods you eat and in what quantities.
However, it's important to understand that low-calorie foods are not necessarily healthy. A food may have few calories but still contain a lot of saturated fats or sugar. So pay attention to the composition of the foods and not just the calorie count.
What Are Calories?
Calories are a unit of measurement for the energy contained in foods and drinks. A calorie is the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of one gram of water by one degree Celsius. However, in nutrition, kilocalories (kcal) are usually used since foods and drinks contain a much higher amount of energy than a single calorie. You can access the calorie chart here.
Most foods and drinks contain calories that the body uses as fuel to produce energy. The body needs energy to perform all physical activities. If the body is provided with more calories than it needs, the excess calories are stored as fat and can lead to weight gain and obesity.
Foods With Few Calories
You can find out which foods are low in calories from the calorie chart on this page. Below is a summary list of some particularly recommended and low-calorie foods that you can incorporate into your diet.
Most vegetables are low in calories and rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Low-calorie vegetables include tomatoes, carrots, spinach, kale, broccoli, bell peppers, cucumbers, and zucchini. You can access the chart of low-calorie vegetables here.
Mushrooms are also very low in calories due to their high water content. Mushrooms such as champignons have very few calories, with only 22 kcal per 100 grams. Other mushroom varieties like shiitake, portobello, or chanterelles have slightly higher calorie content but still remain below 50 kcal per 100 grams. This chart reveals how low in calories mushrooms are.
Fresh fruits are at least partially considered low-calorie foods. Most fruits are low in calories. Some of the best low-calorie fruits include strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, apples, oranges, grapefruits, and watermelons. This chart reveals which fruits are low in calories.
If you have looked at our list, you have probably noticed that legumes such as lentils, beans, and peas are quite low in calories. They also contain plenty of plant-based proteins, fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is recommended to incorporate them into a diet. We have prepared a list of low-calorie legumes for you.
Whole grain products can be a good choice when it comes to low-calorie foods. They are rich in fiber and provide longer satiety compared to white flour products. The chart displays which grains are low in calories.
Lose Weight With Low-calorie Foods
To successfully lose weight, a low-calorie diet combined with regular exercise is probably the most effective method. In addition to consuming fresh fruits and vegetables and fiber-rich foods that promote a feeling of fullness, we have listed some tips here:
- Choose lean sources of protein: Proteins are important for building and maintaining muscle mass. They boost metabolism and aid in weight loss. Tofu, tempeh, and seitan are examples of lean protein sources.
- Avoid processed foods: Chips, cookies, fast food, and ready-made meals are often high in calories. Instead, opt for fresh, unprocessed foods.
- Opt for healthy fats: Fat is an important component of a healthy plant-based diet, but it also contains many calories. Choose foods with healthy fats such as avocado, nuts, or olive oil. You can find a table of low-calorie nuts and seeds here. To find out which oils are low in calories, refer to this table.
- Avoid sugary drinks: Sodas and other sugary beverages contain many empty calories. Empty calories are calories that come from foods that provide few to no nutrients. Instead, drink water or unsweetened tea. Water not only aids in digestion and detoxification but also contributes to a feeling of fullness, resulting in less food consumption. This table shows which beverages are low in calories.
More Tips For A Low-Calorie Diet
Implementing a low-calorie diet requires planning and discipline. In addition to our list of low-calorie foods, here are some tips that can help you:
- Set realistic goals: Avoid trying to lose too much weight too quickly. A realistic target is half to one kilogram of body weight per week.
- Watch portion sizes: Even low-calorie foods can contain too many calories when consumed in large quantities. Consider using a kitchen scale or measuring cups to accurately measure your meal portions. Smaller plates can help reduce portion sizes.
- Eat smaller, more frequent meals: Instead of consuming large, calorie-dense meals, try eating smaller and more frequent meals with fewer calories. This boosts metabolism and prevents hunger pangs.
- Plan your meals in advance: Plan and prepare your meals ahead of time. This way, you won't be tempted to eat calorie-rich snacks or fast food when you're hungry.
- Cook your own meals: Cooking your own meals offers the opportunity to save calories. You have control over the ingredients and know exactly what you'll be eating.
- Eat slowly and mindfully: By eating slowly and mindfully, you can better perceive your satiety and avoid overeating.
- Avoid alcohol: Alcohol contains many empty calories and can increase your cravings for unhealthy foods.
- Exercise regularly: Physical activity can help you burn more calories and boost your metabolism. Find an activity that you enjoy and can engage in regularly.
- Avoid eating in front of the TV: Eating in front of the TV can lead to overeating. Focus on your meal and keep the TV off.
To lose weight sustainably, it takes time and patience.