Dieting sucks; I know. However, eating in a caloric deficit doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy good food in decent amounts. Here are some delicious food recommendations/ recipes that are diet friendly; they are high in volume and low in calories, both of which we want when we’re eating less than our body requires, or when we’re simply trying to keep our hunger in check.
1. Top halo/ enlightened ice cream.
Both ice cream are equally delicious and filling. Calories are anywhere between 280-400 for one pint; one pint, my friends. The kicker is that each pint also contains 24-28 grams of protein, and we know how much protein is important from both body composition and health standpoint. The flavors are to die for as well- everything from oatmeal cookie to salted caramel- they have it, and much more. Especially on a fat loss diet, these little babies hit the sweet spot, without adding gazillion amount of calories to your daily intake (other brands provide ~1200-1500 calories per pint).
Pasta Zero, chicken, and veggies
Your mother was right when she urged you to eat your veggies, ya know. Vegetables can be eaten raw, cooked, or baked, and taste exceptionally delicious when seasoned well.
My favorite microwaved (I’m all for convenience) veggies are broccoli ,cauliflower, green beans, summer squash, and Asian stir-fry. Add some soy sauce, salt, and paprika, and you got yourself a high volume, high fiber, low calorie side dish.
3. Chicken breast.
Most people dislike chicken breast because they don’t know how to properly cook it without completely drying it out; the secret is in keeping the moisture in. Chicken breast is low in calories, super high in protein and quite versatile, depending on how it’s cooked. I either use the George Foreman grill or I cook it on the stove top.
Here’s my favorite simple and delicious recipe: spray coconut oil on a pan/ skillet; cut chicken breast into cubes and drizzle sugar free maple syrup, soy sauce, salt while mixing everything together; when golden– chicken is ready. Bon Appetit!
4. Pasta zero.
I’ve tried many low calorie pasta, and this is, by far, the best tasting one. The Pasta Zero brand only contains 30 calories per bag since it’s made out of konjac and chickpea flour, making it a great low calorie, low carb substitution for the regular, high calorie pasta.
The pasta will soak up the flavor of whatever you cook it with, but make sure to thoroughly drain it first. I either microwave the pasta on its own or cook it on the stove top with soy sauce and spices (za’atar, paprika, and pizza seasoning are my favorites) for 2-3 minutes.
5. Oatbran/ oatmeal/ cream of rice plus whole psyllium husks
Psyllium husks are thickening agents that become gelatinous when are moist. When added to grains, they thicken the concoction and increase the fiber content. I use about 1-2 teaspoons in my morning oatmeal, but feel free to add it to baked goods as well. Just remember that due to their laxative effects, more isn’t necessarily better, so don’t overdo it and watch your amounts.
6. Sivan’s favorite low cal shake.
This shake is so filling and high volume, you might have a problem finishing it; Calories are about ~230. Mix in a blender: 1 cup of unsweetened vanilla almond milk; 5-10 grams of unsweetened cocoa powder; optional: organic stevia extract by NOW (my favorite); 1 scoop of protein powder that mixes well (I vouch for MGN); 1 banana. Then, add 5-12 cubes, depending on how much volume you desire and keep blending; add a pinch of xanthan gum and guar gum (thickening agents), and enjoy!
7. Ima’s (‘mom’ in Hebrew) fried meatballs.
Finished them all except for one ;P
You’re probably wondering : ‘But fried? Isn’t it high in calories and trans fat?’. Remember that if you control the amount of oil (hence, the calories) you use for frying, and you don’t deep-fry and reuse the oil, you have nothing to worry about.
Mix 1 lbs. of lean turkey meat; 2 eggs; 3 T of seasoned bread crumbs; optional: chopped parsley and onion; make about 12-15 small meatballs; Heat 3 T of olive oil on a skillet and fry the meatballs till golden on each side.
8.Nestle's fat free hot cocoa.
Mix one bag with water and a little bit of stevia extract (optional), microwave it for 2 minutes (the top of the hot cocoa is ‘thicker’ when microwaved), and you got yourself a delicious, filling, hot drink for only 20 calories.
Egg beaters are a great a substitution for eggs; not only that egg beaters are fluffier and have more volume, they contain more protein. While one egg contains about 70 calories and 6 grams of protein, half a cup of egg beaters contains 70 calories and 14 grams of protein. I love making a French toast style omelet with light white bread, and top it off with truvia and cinnamon.
10.Fat free greek yogurt mixed with sugar free drink mix (powder/drops)
I love yogurts; problem is most yogurts are high in calories and low in protein. The only type of yogurt that is low in calories and high in protein is the plain, fat free Greek yogurt, but it’s not so appetizing for most people. What you can do is add to it any flavor of sugar free (SF) drink mix or SF drops, and enjoy your new flavored yogurt.
11. My low calorie-peanut-butter-coconut cake.
I recently started experimenting more in the kitchen, and came up with this recipe. I tried to keep it low calorie and high in fiber without completely destroying the taste:) Oat fiber is a great fiber source and is used in baked goods; erythritol is a surprisingly great sugar substitute (only 0.24 calories per gram); and peanut butter coconut powder is my most recent find which I absolutely love (but plain, old peanut butter is still my bea).
Combine dry ingredients in one bowl: 2/3 cup of oat fiber; 20-30 grams of erythritol; 30 grams of white flour; 36 grams of peanut butter-coconut powder. In a separate bowl combine the wet ingredients: 80 grams of SF maple syrup; 2 egg; 2 egg whites; 1 T (14 grams) of coconut butter. Mix dry and wet ingredients together and bake for 30 minutes on 390 degrees. Makes about 20 servings, each serving is 30 calories. If wanted, top with a small amount of peanut butter :)
Even if you’re on a diet, I hope you now know, you can still make/purchase your own version of otherwise, high calorie foods. Diet friendly foods are not only lower in calories and high in volume, but are also high in fiber and/or protein, both of which are paramount in keeping you full throughout your day. By keeping yourself regularly satiated, you will have an easier time dieting, maintaining a healthy body weight, and reaching your physique goals. Good luck!