Questions For Your Doctor
- Will a low-calorie diet work for me?
- Is a low-calorie diet the best way for me to lose weight?
- What foods should I avoid while on a low-calorie diet?
- What foods should I eat while on a low-calorie diet?
- Should I exercise while on a low-calorie diet?
- Are there prescription appetite suppressants that would help me stick to a low-calorie diet?
Tomato And Sweetcorn Flan
Serves: 4Cooking time: 40 mins
The recipe includes succulent shredded ham and juicy medium-sized tomatoes. If youre cooking for vegetarians you can take out the ham and replace it with a vegetable such as red pepper or onion. Wed recommend serving this low calorie meals with a salad or new potatoes to keep this recipe under the 500 calorie mark.
This flan is entirely made from scratch. The pastry is made from just three ingredients flour, butter, and salt, all of which can be substituted for healthier alternatives. You can remove the salt, opt for a low fat butter, or nut butter alternative and you can swap the plain white flour for spelt or rye flour instead, which are lower in calories.
Soft chunks of smoked salmon served with onions, Tenderstem, and sesame seeds
Low Calorie Meals: 63 Easy Dinners Under 500 Calories
From sausage gnocchi to butternut squash risotto, from beef burritos to vegetable tagine, our collection of low calorie meals are all under 500 calories.
When it comes to losing weight, eating a lighter, low calorie dinner in the evening can be beneficial. Choosing to eat low calorie meals at dinner time is easier for your body to digest. It is less likely to make you bloat or cause discomfort too, which can interrupt sleep. The best time to eat dinner if you want to lose weight is earlier rather than later in the day so opt for a 5 pm dinner instead of a 9 pm one for example.
These low calorie dinners are not just about losing weight. All of our recipes are packed full of nutrient-rich vegetables. Most are high in protein, keeping you fuller for longer as well as assisting your metabolism energy. And just like our low calorie lunches, these low calorie meals dont shy away from flavour either as most are infused with a variety of calorie-free herbs and spices.
Registered dietician and nutritionist Claire Murphy told us: Low calorie meals are often crammed full of lean protein like beans, lentils or chicken breast for example, which are filling as well as low in elements that produce fat in the body. When looking for good low calorie meals try to pick ones with high-water contents as well, such as steamed or boiled vegetables, as this will naturally make you feel full.
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Balancing Protein And Calories In Food Intake
Protein and calories are both a valuable part of any diet.
Maintaining a healthy caloric intake while eating foods that contain other valuable nutrients is incredibly important to good overall health.
The list provided here offers a good start to maintaining a healthy and balanced diet which is rich in protein and low in calories.
Beef In Black Bean Sauce
Serves: 4Cooking time: 5 mins
This version of the Chinese classic is so low in calories you can add a serving of rice or noodles to it and still come in at under 500 calories. Infused with soy sauce, fresh ginger and red chilli, this is one of our favourite midweek low calorie meals.
In this recipe, weve used a readymade sachet of black bean stir-fry sauce. When purchasing your sauce, make sure you look for a sauce that has a low fat and salt content otherwise the calories will differ. You could also swap the beef in this recipe for chicken instead, this will reduce the calorie count even further as chicken is much lower in calories than beef.
This dinner takes just five minutes to cook and is ideal for sharing on a Saturday night instead of your average takeaway. It takes just two steps to make this low calorie meal making it a super easy option.
A rich tomato-based tagine made with heaps of veg and couscous
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Warm Chicken And Barley Salad
Serves: 4Cooking time: 40 mins
Not only is this dish light on the calories, but it also works out as under £1 a head for a family of four. With fresh spinach, flaked almonds, and pearl barley, this warm chicken and barley salad is ideal for a hearty lunch.
Claire says The mix of barley and chicken means that you have a high fibre meal made from two low calorie ingredients, with very little else to bulk up the numbers. Barley is high in fibre, especially beta-glucan, which can reduce cholesterol and blood sugar levels. It may also aid weight loss and improve digestion. Almonds have a high fibre and salt content, so removing them will lower the calorie levels slightly.
This dish is ideal if youre looking to get your protein fix as its packed full of lean-protein from the chicken. This recipe is also so simple to make ready in just four easy steps.
Beef burritos with sour cream and freshly made salsa
Pasta Shells With Crayfish
Serves: 3-4Cooking time: 15 mins
Lemon butter is all the accompaniment you need for this crayfish and pasta pairing. Its simple, delicious, and ready in just two quick steps. This easy dish uses just six ingredients, two of which are herbs and seasoning, meaning the calories are well under the 500 mark.
Claire says A serving of crayfishs calorie content can be as low as 70 and are a good source of protein as well as providing essential vitamins and minerals. A butter substitute such as olive oil can lower the fat component considerably.
Delicious, cheese coated pork ragu enchiladas
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Lemony Tagliatelle With Meatballs
Serves: 2-3Cooking time: 25 mins
Serve your meatballs differently with this simple lemon meatballs tagliatelle. The meatballs are infused with lemon and tossed with courgette strips and fresh tagliatelle.
Making meatballs is a great way to limit the amount of meat you have in a portion. Opt for turkey mince when making the meatballs as its lower in fat and calories than beef or pork mince. Weve used full fat crème fraîche but this could easily be swapped for a half fat version.
Prepare this low calorie meal in just 20 minutes. This zingy dish serves two to three people depending on your preferred portion size.
Slow-cooked winter root vegetable tagine with chickpeas
Ways A Heart Dietitian Will Help You
When you have high blood pressure,diabetes or excess weight, your doctor may refer you to a heart dietitian.
Our goal is to reduce your cardiacrisk, explains Ms. Zumpano. We try to get you started and educate you sothat youre empowered to make good versus bad food choices.
When you see a heart dietitian, youwill learn how to:
1.Distinguishnutrient-dense foods from empty-calorie foods.
- The Mediterranean diet is loaded with nutrient-dense foods, packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and/or healthy fat: fresh produce nuts, seeds and olive oil beans and whole grains and lean proteins.
- The typical American diet contains too many high-calorie foods devoid of nutrients: soda, chips, crackers, cookies and candy bars. They add to your weight, and raise your blood sugar and bad LDL cholesterol levels.
2. Choose healthyversus unhealthy fats.
3. Tell healthy carbsfrom unhealthy carbs.
- High-fiber carbs are always better than simple carbs, like sweets, snack foods, chips, and white bread, pasta or rice.
- Every meal should include lots of veggies, and some fruit or whole grain. Watch your grain portions, cautions Ms. Zumpano. I recommend three 15-gram servings of carbs per day for example, ½ cup oatmeal, 1 slice of bread and ½ cup of brown rice.
- If you have diabetes and need to lose weight, limit your carbs to 2 to 3 grams per meal and 3 to 4 grams of carbs . This will also keep your blood sugars stable.
4. Eat at home more often.
5. Get a handle onyour snacking.
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What Is The Lowest Calorie Meal
The lowest calorie meal depends on the individual and their dietary needs. A meal between 400-500 calories ticks the boxes. My favorite high volume and low calorie meal is a dinner bowl. This involves lean protein, fresh vegetables, a grain, and some healthy fats. This combination promotes satiety and also is incredibly delicious. Here is how to make it.
Wholewheat Spaghetti With Roasted Veg
Serves: 6Cooking time: 15 mins
This wholewheat spaghetti with roasted veg is really easy to make, packed with aubergines, drizzled in olive oil, and flavoured with a squeeze of lemon and sprinkle of fresh basil and mint.
Claire, a nutritionist for LastVerdict, says A portion of wholewheat spaghetti contains as little as 174 calories, as well as 6g of fibre to help fill you up. Everything in this meal is low-calorie based, with not one cheat component. Aubergines are a high-fibre, low-calorie based food that is rich in nutrients and comes with many positive health benefits such as a decrease in risk of heart disease, controlling blood sugar levels and weight loss.
This dish can easily be prepared ahead and served as a speedy, low calorie lunch option too. Leftovers can easily be stored in the fridge and reheated the next day.
Mexican spiced chicken served with tomato rice
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How Much And What To Eat
Not eating enough calories on your low-calorie diet can leave you feeling fatigued, according to the Weight-Control Information Network. Calorie needs for weight loss vary depending on age, gender and activity level. In general, a low-calorie diet for women is 1,000 to 1,200 calories a day and for men 1,200 to 1,600 calories a day. Talk to your doctor to help you determine your calorie needs. Your weight-loss plan should include three meals that contain about the same number of calories, plus one snack to keep energy steady and hunger at bay. Additionally, eat foods that are rich in nutrients — including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat dairy and lean proteins such as seafood, poultry and beans — when following a low-calorie diet for high energy.
Energy Burning Green Vegetables
Unsurprisingly, vegetables top the list of healthy, low calorie foods to satisfy cravings. Vegetables are high in insoluble fibre and the body will need more energy to process these indigestible compounds and youll therefore burn more calories simply by eating vegetables. Try a salad of lightly steamed broccoli, asparagus, or cauliflower with a lemon vinaigrette or kale chips, preferably homemade. Cruditées, such as carrots, celery and cucumber sticks with a large tablespoon of homemade hummous or yoghurt/herb dip, for example, is also a good choice. I like Rawlicious Double Pepper Twist Kale Chips £2.49 from Healthista Shop.
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Tomato And Pepper Galettes
Serves: 4Cooking time: 1hr
Light and summery, this tomato tart would make a lovely dinner served with fresh salad or new potatoes. This recipe serves four and takes just five minutes to prepare.
Choosing puff pastry is a great option if youre looking to make a tart or pie with pastry but you want to avoid the calories. Heaps of fresh veg like peppers, onion, tomatoes, and olives keep the calorie count low too. Up the protein by topping this tart with strips of cooked chicken of course keep in mind that this will alter the calorie count.
Simple Chinese vegetable chow mein with Tenderstem drizzled in lime
Apple Cider Vinegar Diet
Proponents of this increasingly popular diet approach believe that consuming apple cider vinegar essentially fermented apple cider will help with both weight loss and blood sugar control.
Although there are studies showing benefits of adding apple cider vinegar to your diet, theres not enough evidence to show that consuming it on a daily basis promotes weight loss, says Asche. It is also highly acidic, which could cause irritation in some people, especially if consumed without being diluted or in large amounts.
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Blue Bunny Sweet Freedom Vanilla
Sure it’s free from added sugars, but that didn’t keep Blue Bunny from piling on the artificial sweeteners: Acesulfame potassium and sucralose are both used in this formula. That’s not good news. Although they don’t add calories or raise your blood sugar, artificial sweetenersparticularly sucralosecan cause your brain to recalibrate its association between sweetness and energy, according to a 2016 study published in the journal Cell Metabolism. As a result, the study suggests that if you constantly eat “diet,” “no sugar added” foods, you could end up eating 30 percent more calories when you eat naturally-sweetened food. Other studies have found that artificial sweeteners promote hyperactivity, insomnia, and can even decrease your gut’s ability to fend off weight-inducing inflammation. Skip it.
Very Low Calorie Diets
A very low calorie diet consists of fewer than 800 calories per day. Some very low calorie diets consist of 500 calories per day. A person should not start a very low calorie diet without medical support, as it could be dangerous to their health.
The doctor may give a liquid form of a very low calorie diet for a specified amount of time. The drink will contain vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, and fatty acids. They may also monitor weight loss and blood pressure and take blood tests to ensure that the person stays within healthy parameters.
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How Low Carb Is A Low
The lower your carbohydrate intake, the more powerful the effects may be on weight and blood sugar.15 For that reason, we recommend initially following the dietary advice fairly strictly. When youre happy with your weight and health, you may carefully try eating more carbs if desired .
Here are three examples of what a low-carb meal can look like, depending on how many carbs you plan to eat per day:
A strict low-carb diet is often called a keto or ketogenic diet. Its not a no-carb diet, but it contains less than 20 grams of carbs per day.
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Ideal for managing blood pressure and cholesterol, lentils make the perfect ingredient to add to stews, bakes, or simply sprinkle over salads. Green lentils are much lower in calories than red but still do the trick of keeping you full up. Lentils are also a great source of iron and vitamin B12, a vitamin that helps to keep your nerve cells healthy. Its one of our favourite low calorie filling foods.
Fiona adds Green lentils have a low Glycaemic index which means they release they carbohydrate slow which helps to keep blood sugar levels stable which can help reduce the risk of hunger pangs.
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Signs A Food Is Satiating
When we are looking for low-calorie foods that will allow us to feel full, there are three key questions to consider.
How much water does the food contain? Water contains no calories and by drinking water or consuming foods with a high water content, we feel full without consuming additional calories.
How much fiber does the food contain? Fiber provides volume, takes up space, and slows down the digestive process. It reduces our ability to overeat by keeping us feeling full for a longer period of time.
How much protein does the food contain? Protein helps us feel full for longer periods of time with less food by reducing ghrelin, our hunger hormone.
When you can identify foods with a good mix of fiber, water, and protein, while also being low in calories, youve got a winner.
Edamame And Tuna Salad
1. Tip 200g frozen edamame beans into a heatproof bowl and cover with just-boiled water from a kettle. Stir and leave for 1 min to allow the beans to thaw. Drain and rinse under cold water.
2. Place the beans, 2 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced, 1 x 110g no-drain tinned tuna and 15g parsley in a bowl and use a fork to flake the tuna. Drizzle 1½tbsp cider vinegar and 3tbsp olive oil over salad, season with salt and pepper and toss together well.
3. Just before serving, add 2 large handfuls of rocket and toss lightly.
NOT FASTING? Increase the portion size.
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Garlic Ginger And Chilli Prawns
Serves: 2Cooking time: 5 mins
This garlic, ginger, and chilli prawn dish is packed full of Asian flavours and is under 200 calories. It takes just three simple steps to make one of our top low calorie meals.
The prawns in this meal are full of calcium, vitamin B12 and are an excellent source of iron, which helps boost the production of red blood cells. As this dish is well under 500 calories, you could serve with udon noodles , rice , or couscous .
This 15-minute wonder serves two and takes just three steps to make. Wed recommend making and eating this prawn dish on the same day to keep the prawns as fresh as possible.
Mexican-style pork with corn salsa served with a tortilla
Managing Macronutrients: Does It Matter
With the proliferation of macronutrient-based diets over the past several decades, from low-fat to low-carbohydrate, discussion of the three main macronutrients carbohydrates, proteins, and fats has become standard when talking about optimal diets. Researchers have begun comparing these macronutrient management-style diets to one another in order to determine which is most effective, but thus far evidence is largely inconclusive.
One study, published in JAMA in 2007, compared four weight-loss diets ranging from low to high carbohydrate intake. This 12-month trial followed over 300 overweight and obese premenopausal women, randomly assigning them to either an Atkins , Zone , LEARN , or Ornish diet.
- After one year, weight loss was greater for women in the Atkins diet group compared with the other diet groups.
- This study also examined secondary outcomes focused on metabolic effects , and found that those for the Atkins group were comparable with or more favorable than the other diet groups.
- There was no significant difference in weight loss among the other three diets .
- This study does raise questions about about long-term effects and mechanisms, but the researchers concluded that a low-carbohydrate, high-protein, high-fat diet may be considered a feasible recommendation for weight loss.
- Researchers concluded that all of the diets resulted in meaningful weight loss, despite the differences in macronutrient composition.
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