When on a calorie restricted diet it can be difficult to find a good variety of foods you can eat that are filling but don’t exceed your desired intake. In the past I’ve often struggled to stay full when reducing my calories, so knowing the foods right foods goes along way. For example, whilst peanut butter is a filling food, it’s also (unfortunately) a rather calorie dense food and before you’ve barely blinked you can consume a third of your calorie allowance.
Sticking to the basics like avoiding processed, sugary foods and focusing on eating vegetables and protein is a solid foundation, but we should be always be careful to get enough ‘healthy’ fat in our diet to support our hormones. Additionally, if you’re like me, you won’t enjoy dropping your carbohydrate intake too low as your grumpiness soon becomes apparent.
If you’re already in the position of fighting hunger, think about whether you are crash dieting and if you are being too harsh on your body. Don’t be put off by gradually reducing the calories you consume over time, as this will often be just as effective.(You are less likely to binge or quit.) You can also consider increasing your level of cardiovascular activity to counter the additional calories consumed or use intermittent fasting. (This really helped me to reduce my body fat.)
Enough chatter, here’s my top list:
Cauliflower & Broccoli
Cauliflower has just 25 Calories per 100g and Broccoli has 34 calories per 100g. Fibre galore!
Less than 80 calories in a 400g tin! Great for bulking out meals and adding taste. I often mix it with vegetables, tuna and 75g of brown rice pasta for a perfectly filling meal.
Approximately 80 calories per 100g, nearly all of which is high BV (biological value) protein, what’s not to love? The flavour? That can always be enhanced with spices.
Sugar Free Jelly
Whilst you’d think this should be a treat, you can buy pots 175g pots that are only 10 calories or make your own using cubes. My favourite brand is Hartleys Jelly, the only bad thing is you have to think in advance as the jelly seems to take about half a day to set.
Whilst the highest per 100g than any other of the foods mentioned, there is only around 87 calories per 100g of sweet potato. (Its also the most filling!) Whenever I’m on a low calorie diet, I find sweet potato is usually included in at least of of my meals each day.
Grilled in the oven with your favourite mix of herb and chilli, Lovely! A fantastic addition to almost any meal.
With only 50-60 calories in a whole apple, they make the perfect snack or addition to your meal.
Celery & Cucumber
Celery is a fantastic snack, but don’t be tempted to start dipping it into some calorie dense dips! If you’re looking to avoid the temptation stick with Cucumber.
You may think this is a joke, but many people struggle to tell the difference between dehydration and hunger. A large glass of water will soon help you to decide. On that note, green tea is also a fantastic low calorie drink that’s great for your digestive system.