If you’re trying to lose weight or maintain where you are currently at, you may try to stick to a daily calorie limit. It can sometimes be hard to make healthy meals that stay below your limit while also getting variety in your diet. Here are eight healthy foods that will help you stay under your caloric budget:
Apples are one of the only fruits that contain pectin, a type of fiber that makes you feel full for longer. One apple has less than 100 calories, but because it takes a long time to eat, you can trick your body into thinking you’ve eaten a large meal. In one study, people who included apples in their meals felt fuller and ate less than people who had the same number of calories in applesauce or juice. You can eat apples as snacks between your meals, or you can add apple slices or chunks to oatmeal, sandwiches, or salads for filling and nutritious low calorie meals.
According to a study at Saint Louis University, eating eggs for breakfast enhances weight loss when combined with other diet and exercise efforts. Eggs are a great source of fat and protein, and one has only about 80 calories. If you only eat the egg whites, you can fill up on even fewer calories. However, the yolks contain lots of protein, so most people choose to leave them in. There are so many different ways to prepare eggs that you can eat them daily without getting bored. Keep in mind, though, that if you add butter, the calorie count will increase.
Movie theater and microwave popcorn is coated in butter and oil, so these aren’t very healthy options. Plain, home-popped popcorn is low in calories and extremely filling, though. It’s a great snack to enjoy when you’re relaxing at home or to take with you to keep you full during the day. You can add a little salt and chili powder to flavor it.
Chicken breast is packed with lean protein, and 100 grams only has about 100 calories. This is one of the healthiest, most filling foods you can eat. The protein can satiate you for hours, so it’s a great meal to have for lunch when you want something that will keep you full until dinner.
One cup of raw mushrooms only has 15 calories, so they’re a great addition to salads and sandwiches. They have a very high water content, so you can eat them in high volume for fewer than 100 calories. They’re also fairly high in protein and fiber. You can grill them, sauté them, or roast them to give them a delicious taste and texture. Adding salt will also give them a rich, umami flavor.
Oatmeal is one of the highest fiber foods, so it’s good for your digestive health and for staying full for hours. One serving only has about 150 calories, so you can add other healthy toppings to make a nutritious meal. Bananas, berries, chia seeds, and peanut butter are all popular oatmeal toppings that will add protein, vitamins, and extra fiber to the meal.
Salad has a reputation for being boring and bland. You can make a wide variety of different salads with your favorite vegetables, though. Add herbs or seasonings for a good flavor, and sprinkle on some nuts or seeds for healthy fat and protein. Using a little dressing can improve the salad, too, but you should avoid drowning your salad in high-calorie, sugary dressings.
Potatoes aren’t the lowest calorie foods available, but they’re one of the most satiating healthy options. They’re the highest ranked food by far on the satiety index, a list of 38 different foods ranked by how filling they are. Baked potatoes are typically the healthiest option because they don’t require oil or butter.