Why the heck aren’t zero-calorie doughnuts a thing yet? I know you’ve asked yourself this question over and over again. I did, too. However, I would prefer zero-calorie snickers.
While we have to wait for some genius to invent calorie-free versions of our food fantasies, we have to focus on real low-calorie foods.
Don’t get deluded by the words “low-calorie”. Low calorie doesn’t mean low in flavour or nutrients at all. But it also doesn’t mean no calories.
No, I don’t mean ‘rabbit food’ – at least some are fruits, snacks or even frozen desserts! If you need a little snack to keep you going, but you don’t have so many calories left, check out our long list of low calorie foods you will actually enjoy.
Noshing on beet root boosts your brainpower by increasing the blood flow to the brain.
And the best thing about beet root: 100g of it has just 44 calories, with 10g carbs, 0.2g fat and 1.7g protein.
My absolute favourite recipe is a beet root salad.
Just dice 6 beet roots into chunks and place them in a bowl. Add 60g of whole walnuts and 75g of soft goat cheese. Season it with salt, pepper and oregano and enjoy your simple and fast snack. Perfect for on-the-go.
Zucchini is the number one when it comes to low calorie foods. Therefore, make sure to always have one or two at home.
Zucchinis are loaded with hunger-quelling fiber, potassium, vitamin B6, vitamin K and manganese.
I often use Zucchini as a replacement for pasta. Using a vegetable peeler or a sharp knife, slice the zucchini into noodle-like strips and sauté them for a couple of minutes. Enjoy them with a self made sauce, made with chopped tomatoes, and et voila, you have a perfect dish for low-carb pasta night.
Cucumbers are perfect when you need something to munch on! They consist of 95% water, which is why they’re one of the lowest-calorie foods out there. And they’ll keep you hydrated.
Pro tip: Want to add some extra fiber to your diet? Don’t peel them!
Enjoy a bowl of cucumber-dill salad. In a large bowl, whisk together 1 tbsp olive oil, dill, salt and pepper. Slice 1 cucumber and add it to the bowl and toss. Mhhhh… yummy!
Mmmh… So delicious and so good for you! Strawberries add a ton of flavourwith very few calories. Plus, they are very high in fiber and vitamin C.
Have you ever tried strawberry and avocado in one dish? No? You should!
Try a delicious strawberry-avocado salad.
Just stir together 30g diced strawberries, 50g lettuce (spinach works fine), 1 sliced avocado, 3 tbsp pine nuts, a little bit of vinegar, pepper and salt. That’s it! A really refreshing salad, ready in no time.
My absolute favourite when it comes to berries. They may be small, but mighty! They contain a huge nutritional punch in their tininess. Not only are they delicious and high in fiber, they’re also just 57 calories per 100g.
You have to try them in a berry smoothie. Throw 320g blueberries, 240ml unsweetened almond milk, 1 tbsp chia seeds and 240ml freshly squeezed orange juice in a blender and blend until it’s all smooth and creamy.
Enjoy immediately as this blend gels when it’s left to sit.
Personally, I don’t like them so much, but maybe you do. If you haven’t tried yet, give it a try.
Like all the other cruciferous veggies, cauliflower is full of cancer-fighting phytonutriens, vitamin C and folate. Plus, it is one of the lowest ranking foods on the caloric chart. It’s total calories are 25 per 100g serving.
Now you probably understand why there is such a cauliflower recipe hype at the moment.
One of those recipes is cauliflower mash. It’s really simple and a perfect low-calorie substitute if you love mashed potatoes.
Place a steamer insert into a saucepan and fill it with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Bring the water to boil. Add one head cauliflower and steam until tender (about 10 minutes).
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat, cook some garlic until softened. Remove from heat.
Now transfer half the cauliflower to a food processor and blend. Add remaining cauliflower florets until it’s all creamy and smooth. Blend in garlic and 1 tbsp of reduced-fat cream cheese. Season with salt and pepper as you like. That’s it!
You know me by now, I love oats. Porridge filling because of it’s high fiber content, but it doesn’t provide too many calories.
I go for porridge with no added sugar and add some whey protein powder (vanilla is the best) instead to boost my protein intake (plus, it tastes awesome!), without spiking my insulin levels too much.
When cooked with skimmed milk or – how I prefer it – with water, the oats thicken and it takes more time for them to pass through your digestive system. Meaning you’re much longer satiated. Perfect, if you have to face a busy and stressful day.
If you want to add more natural protein to your porridge, sprinkle almonds and peanut butter on top of your bowl. The nuts are packed with protein and fiber and contain unsaturated fat, which can help stabilising you insulin levels. Also very delicious: porridge mixed with some greek yogurt, if you are more a fan of creamy porridge.
8. Greek yogurt
Speaking of which. Greek yogurt is very low in fat, which makes it a great source of protein and calcium. Plus, it adds nice flavour and creaminess to your dishes, for example when mixing it into your porridge.
There are so many varieties of yogurt out there, but focus on the ones which are not too high in added sugar. Opt for plain yogurt, so you can add in the fruits or other toppings by yourself.
Simply top up your Greek yogurt with fruits, cinnamon or a handful of nuts. You can also try it with whey protein powder. Adds nice sweetness and even more protein.
Mushrooms are meaty and incredibly low in calories. And you have plenty of choices: Portobello, white button, shiitake – the list goes on.
During my competition prep, mushrooms were one of my absolute go-to foods.
They are not only delicious, but also contain immune-boosting antioxidants, potassium, B vitamins, vitamin D, riboflavin, copper, selenium and fiber.
Have you ever tried stuffed mushrooms? No? You have to!
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Place 4 large portobello mushroom caps on a baking sheet. Bake until the caps are just tender (about 10 minutes).
Combine all the veggies you want in a medium bowl. Delicious are tomatoes, olives, cheese and chives. Don’t forget to season it! Now distribute the mixture across the portobello caps. Bake again for 10-12 minutes and enjoy immediately.
Another dish tip: portobello mushrooms stuffed with eggs. Just beat one egg in each mushroom cap and let it bake for 20-25 minutes.
10. Egg white
No, egg whites are not just a ‘bodybuilder-thing’. Egg whites are almost 100% pure protein. Furthermore, the protein within egg whites is especially rich in essential amino acids.
Want a breakfast omelette made with 10 egg whites? No problem at all. 10 egg whites are only 160 calories and will definitely fill you up. Try an egg white omelet with some veggies, such as spinach or mushrooms and add some low fat cheese. Perfect start for the day.
It isn’t a mystery that tomatoes are one of the healthiest foods you can possibly eat. They are rich in lycopene, which helps to prevent cancer, heart disease and are good for your skin health.
Did you know, that one medium tomato has just 22 calories?!
Here’s the recipe for my absolute favourite tomato salad. It’s super easy and refreshing. Perfect for a lunch at work or as in-between snack.
Simply combine 200g corn, 100g baby arugula, 100g crumbled feta and some oregano in a bowl. Stir well. Season it with salt and pepper. Slice 450g tomatoes and place them on a plate. Now top the tomatoes with the corn mixture and enjoy.
This low-calorie stone fruit is an absolute must have in your kitchen! Their sweetness is a great way to satisfy your sweet tooth. Plus, even the supermarket standard is packed with antioxidants. It’s cheap and good for you!
Have you ever tried plum salad? This salad is fruity, but not too sweet.
Place a handful of baby leaf salad greens on each plate. Slice 4 ripe plums into segments and toss in a bowl with a little splash of lemon juice. Stir well and allow to sit.
Now spoon them onto the greens and top with pecans. Simple and tasty!
Believe it or not, but carrots are perfect if you’re craving something sweet or if you need something to munch on, especially when you’re on a weight loss diet. It’s one of my husband’s absolute favourite snacks when he’s cutting.
They are very low in fat and a good source of thiamin, niacin, folate and manganese.
They are also a low glycemic food, which is important to manage your blood glucose levels. Plus, they are an all natural diuretic. Meaning carrots can help your body to get rid of excess sodium and retained water. All these benefits with just 41 calories per 100g serving. Amazing!
Nothing beats a home made carrot soup. Very low in calories (with just 50 calories per serving) and so easy to make.
In a large pot, simmer 8 sliced carrots, 1 tbsp chopped fresh ginger, 1 smashed large clove of garlic, 1 litre of water, 1/2 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp pepper until carrots are tender (about 20-25 minutes).
Now put the mixture in a blender and blend everything until smooth and add a splash of lemon juice. Enjoy a delicious hot bowl of home made carrot soup!
Kiwi fruits are low in calories and energy density, making them a very nutritious fruit choice.
You may have heard of the myth that kiwi fruits burn fat. Sadly, that’s not true, but they can help fill you up without a lot of calories.
A single kiwi fruit has just 42 calories. Plus, if you’re on a low-fat diet they’re super easy to fit in, since each kiwi has only 0.4g of fat.
You are missing a special treat, if you never tried kiwi fruit nice cream before. Wonderful sweet and smooth.
Add 350g silken tofu, 250g frozen kiwi fruit and 3 tbsp honey to a blender and blend for 10 seconds. If you want, you can add 25g of whey. That’s it. The perfect snack for afternoon!
Who doesn’t love watermelon? They fill you up without adding too much calories to your diet, due to their high water content. Satisfying your cravings without guilt. Furthermore, they’ll keep you hydrated.
When selecting a melon, compare a few that are the same size and pick the heaviest one. That means it contains more water, so it’ll be much juicier.
The best and simplest recipe is watermelon slices with mint and lime. Really refreshing on a warm (pre-) summer day.
Cut one chilled watermelon into 2.5cm/1″ thick rounds and cut each of the rounds into 4 wedges. Chop 1/2 a bunch of fresh mint leaves and place in a bowl with 2 tbsp of lime zest. Add 2 tbsp of honey and stir well.
Place the watermelon on a plate and squeeze the lemon juice of 2 lemons over the wedges. Sprinkle on the mint-lime-honey mixture and enjoy this fruity snack.