If you’re not a body-builder or a fashion model you likely struggle to try to identify which foods are high-calorie and which foods are not. This is sometimes obvious because people associate salads with low calories and processed foods such as pasta and French fries with high calories. However, there are distinct foods in between which can be consumed in huge amounts without overloading your body on calories. Foods that are small in size are not necessarily low-calorie Meals. For instance, cashew nuts are very tiny but only a handful of cashews contains 600 calories. For reference, an average adult female needs between 1000-1500 calories a day while for men it can 2000-2500. This guide will focus on low-calorie meals and low-calorie ingredients that you can use to prepare those meals.
If you’re trying to lose weight – the wrong way to go about it is to think of it in terms of “exercise”. It’s not about how much effort you put in the gym, because the 6-pack is made in the kitchen. Calories are a lot simpler than your nutrition expert will lead you to believe – the basic premise is that you have to burn more than you consume. This means that if you burn 2000 calories a day (your body burns calories just to stay alive – not only when you exercise) you only need to consume 1000-1500 calories a day and you will lose weight.
Often times people are surprised the sodas they consume contain as many calories as foods like pizza, and by simply ditching the soda and consuming the water they end up dropping 10-20. lbs in a month. Low-calorie meals are easy to make when you know which foods are low calorie.
Salads are considered low-calorie because lettuce leaves are not carb-loaded and they don’t contain a lot of calories. It’s well known that you could eat a salad the entire day and you probably won’t gain too much weight. The typical lettuce salad has only 100 calories. All you have to do is purchase lettuce at the farmer’s market or a supermarket, put it in your sink to wash out the dirt from the leaves, and then chop it up in small bits that can fit in your mouth.
Start by mixing the lettuce bits in a bowl and throw some oil and salt on it. You can add tuna if you want to make a tuna salad. This is going to increase the calories a bit, but not by much. If you’re fine adding 500-600 calories to your salad, you should consider combining it with boiled potatoes (which are also healthy). If you combine your lettuce salad with onions, you could have a very tasty salad. You can also add little bits of chicken breast and mix that up in the bowl. There are endless salad combinations, aside from raw lettuce.
#2: Broccoli/Spinach Mixes
This is the most nutritious meal you can consume, and we recommend consuming it mid-day when your brain requires the most nutrients to operate. To cook broccoli and spinach you only need 1 head of broccoli or roughly 1 lb. of spinach. Frozen broccoli and spinach is fine too. An entire head of broccoli (weighing 1-2lbs) is going to have only 100-150 calories. This can keep one person full for a day. To cook broccoli, you can boil it water for 10 minutes – simply chop up the individual bits, throw them in water and wait.
You can also steam them on a frying pan and wait until they start getting burned or decaying, to know that they’ve been cooked. Steamed broccoli goes very well with soy sauce, and if you don’t mind extra calories it can go well with cheese. To cook spinach, you also have to throw it in a bit of heated oil, stir it for 10-15 minutes in medium heat and then you’re good to go.
Broccoli and spinach both go well served with healthy veggies such as carrots (you can steam carrots in 10-15 minute as well) but it goes well with mushrooms too. Broccoli and spinach both have 100-200 calories max (per 1-2lbs), and it will keep you full for a good part of the day. There are also added benefits such as an increase in energy and mental clarity – broccoli is rated the #1 food for mental energy, focus, and clarity of thought. If you struggle with too many thoughts and can’t focus don’t take focus pills. Lack of focus can be due to bad nutrition and you can fix this by consuming broccoli on the daily.
Eggs are the best alternative to bread when you want something healthy that will also keep you full – you can comfortably consume 5 eggs at once if you’re a grown male, and this won’t even make half of your daily necessary caloric intake. 1 egg contains a bit less than 100 calories, depending on how you cook it and the size. If you boil an egg in water it will have the least calories or only 90 calories per egg. If you cook it in oil it can have 100-120 calories per egg.
Needless to say, eggs are some of the most nutrition-rich foods, they are cheap and easy to make. If you purchase eggs and want to get maximum nutritious benefits, make sure the chickens were farm-raised and not raised in large cage-factories. The difference in nutrition can be 2x for the eggs that were produced on a farm.