Every day we approach meals with the high hopes of keeping them not only healthy and low in calories, but delicious. This post proves all three can be accomplished for any meal, as well as snacks. The following ideas provide low calorie, flavorful options. But be careful, think of your individual caloric needs when selecting foods and remember, as portions increase, so do the calories.
The morning rush makes it especially challenging to schedule time for a nutritious breakfast. Here are 30 low calorie breakfast ideas, including Berry Parfaits, a Cinnamon Roll Protein Breakfast Shake, and even a 2-minute omelette in a mug. They are full of proteins, fruits, and vegetables, in easy to carry portion sizes, there isn’t any reason to walk out the door on an empty stomach.
Another great idea is making overnight oats. With these recipes, you’ll get all the benefits of resistant starch and fibers, as well as a low-calorie option that will hold you until your next snack or meal. Some great combinations are strawberry almond, or this recipe for brown sugar banana oats.
As we mentioned in the post about food labels, fat, sugar, and calories can easily be overlooked in items like creamers. To start the day off, stay aware of the serving size or choose a healthy alternative like soy, oat, almond, or rice milk for your coffee (read here about the differences between different types of milks).
Make sure to keep items like apples, oranges, bananas, plain Greek Yogurt, and nuts stocked in your kitchen for when you’re really short on time. At least then you can grab a quick, healthy bite first thing in the morning. Plus, you’ll also have a healthy snack for later.
If you keep healthy snacks readily available, you’ll be less likely to grab unhealthy treats at the office, hit the vending machines, or go through the drive-through when hunger hits. Below are several 100-calorie options that can satisfy your hunger, and you can read here on how to feel fuller with fewer calories.
Some specific nuts are a great source of healthy fat (read here about the different types of dietary fats), fiber, and have a low glycemic index, which helps your blood sugar stay steady. They’ve also been found to decrease pain and help with weight loss (despite their energy density, they support your health while you work to drop those pounds!).
Don’t forget to drink water, too. Sometimes what we think is hunger is actually our body needing more fluids.
Instead of heading to the office cafeteria or to the nearest fast food joint, prepare lunch ahead of time. Lunch doesn’t have to be boring- check out these 300 calorie lunch recipes, including Mini Caprese Pizzas, Shrimp Caesar Salad, and Philly Cheese Turkey Sloppy Joes.
Wraps are also an easy way to put together healthy ingredients without the need for containers or utensils. Here are 10 wrap recipes all under 350 calories, like this Southwest steak, corn, and blackbean wrap.
For many people, dinner can be a pitfall; after a long day at work or juggling the kids, it is easy to seek comfort in food. Choosing healthy, flavorful options will satisfy hunger, provide high nutritional value, and you’ll feel good about the choice, too.
Here is an assortment of 50 great dinners under 450 calories.
Some of the ideas include: Double Crunch Honey Garlic Pork Chops, Buffalo Chicken Lettuce Wraps, and this Herb and Citrus Oven Roasted Chicken
If you have dessert on the mind, no need to deprive yourself. This recipe for Cheesecake Bars is a healthier option than most treats. Or these 100-Calorie Double Fudge Banana Muffins are also a great option when considering the serving size and calories.
But other nice alternatives to a traditional dessert are also foods like non-fat yogurt with fruit, or even blending frozen fruits into a faux ice-cream. Here is a recipe for One-Ingredient Banana Ice Cream.
Staying hydrated throughout the day has many benefits for your body, including avoiding dehydration, maintaining normal digestive function, and will also help you avoid eating when you might just be thirsty. Of course, water is one option, but you can also get the necessary hydration from a variety of foods and drinks. Read this post on delicious, healthy drinks when you aren’t feeling like just a glass of water. This recipe for Watermelon Agua Fresca is easy to make (only four ingredients!), and you can bottle it up and take it with you wherever you go.
But the classic options work as well- this video shows how to make many varieties of naturally flavored water:
For additional ideas, download this e-cookbook which offers 200, 300, 400 calorie meal ideas.