Food, Health and Wellness

13 low calorie foods you can incorporate into your diet

Food, Health and Wellness Barbara de Swaan

It seems that these complicated times of the pandemic have some positive results as well. It is generally known that we can lower the risk of complications for the virus by being as healthy as possible. Statistics have shown that the risks are much higher for people who are overweight, with high blood pressure, or high cholesterol.

So what can we do to lose some weight? There are so many different diets in the market that it dazzles me sometimes. In this post, I would like to go back to basics and look into low calorie foods. It is very simple, if we take in fewer calories and these are healthy calories, we slowly lose weight. This way it tends to stay off and you won't necessarily feel hungry nor "hangry". 

We are not talking about a crash diet here, where you eat less than 1,000 calories a day. Studies have proven that this can lead to muscle loss and finally slow down your metabolism.

What is your Body Muscle Ratio?

First, you will have to find out your body fat to lean muscle ratio. This means that you will eat enough to feed your muscle and starve your fat. Base your need on your BMR (Body Muscle Ratio) and not your weight.

How do you calculate your BMR?

  • For men: 66.47 + (13.75 * weight [kg]) + (5.003 * size [cm]) − (6.755 * age [years])
  • For women: 655.1 + (9.563 * weight [kg]) + (1.85 * size [cm]) − (4.676 * age [years])

If you find this too complicated, you can also use this online tool

eggs are a low calorie food

What low calorie foods should you eat?

1. Oats: They are low in calories but high in protein and fiber. This way you will feel full for a long time.

2. Greek Yogurt: Really, you can eat this without a problem. It is a great source of protein.

3. Soup: It gives a more filling sensation than most solid foods. Of course, you shouldn’t use cream or bread crumbs in the soup because these are very high calorie.

4. Berries: Varying from raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and even strawberries. They are loaded with healthy vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your body needs.

berries like blueberries are low calorie foods

5. Eggs: A single egg has approximately 72 calories, 6 grams of protein and a wide array of important vitamins and minerals. Eggs are nutrient-dense but low in calories. For Spain, the Spanish omelette is a great recipe to know!

6. Popcorn: It depends on the way the popcorn has been prepared if this is true. If you eat popcorn that has been air-popped, you can eat without a problem. It contains a lot of fiber, which prevents hunger and cravings. Do not put too much salt or sugar on it.

7. Chia Seeds: Not only is this a superfood full of omega-3 acids, iron, fiber and calcium that help to lower HDL cholesterol. It gives the sensation of feeling full but has a low number of calories. The seeds swell in your stomach when they come into contact with liquids.

8. Fish: All fish are healthy but salmon and sardines even more so because of the omega-3 acids that help to reduce cholesterol. Lots of protein and a very small number of calories.

9. Cottage cheese: Another food type that is a source of protein, which will slow the emptying or your stomach to prolong feelings of fullness.

10. Potatoes: Again it depends on the way you prepare them if they are recommended or not. If you bake them, use a small amount of oil and leave the skin on (after washing them thoroughly). The skin offers extra fiber. Boiled potatoes are the most filling.

11. Lean Meat: Chicken, turkey and low-fat red meat are low in calories and can be introduced in a low-calorie diet. For example, 110 grams of cooked chicken breast contains only 185 calories and 34 grams of protein.

low calorie foods include certain meats

12. Legumes: Healthy and tasteful is a plate full of beans, peas, lentils.

13. Watermelon: This fruit contains a lot of water that gives the sensation of fullness while supplying a minimal number of calories. Watermelon contains a lot of vitamin A, B6 and C and at the same time lycopene, antioxidants, and amino acids. And do not forget that it even contains potassium, a mineral that regulates fluid balance, muscle contractions and it helps to reduce blood pressure.

This list of low calorie foods could go on and on, because if you look for it, there are actually many types of food you can eat that are low in calories. It's not all boring! Especially in Spain, where you have the rich Mediterranean diet

In general, we recommend drinking enough water each day. This is needed for all bodily functions: digestion, nutrient transportation, blood circulation, excretory functions, absorption and assimilating water-soluble vitamins. Your muscles and joints need water.

Download Free Guide:  Regional Meals in Spain

Barbara de Swaan

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