A recent two-year diet study funded by the National Institutes of Health has come out with results about diets that many of us suspected, but perhaps others are unwilling to hear. The study showed that calorie intake is the important factor in loosing weight, or dieting, and not what kind of calories are eaten. This blows off the guise of many fad diets, including the South Beach Diet, Adkins Diet, and others, which argued that the kind of calories eaten matters more than the amount.
The take-home message from this recent diet study is that if you want to loose weight, your calorie intake needs to be less than your calorie output (the number of calories your body burns). You can eat those calories as calories from fat, carbohydrates, or protein, the type of calories don’t matter, but the number of calories does.
A low calorie diet may not be as tough as you’re thinking, and can be achieved with some dedication and good sense. If you want to decrease your calorie intake, you’ll need to start counting calories, which is easy considering the abundance of nutrition information now available on food packages and the internet. One great website for calorie-counters is listed under supporting links . Use this website to ensure that you’re succeeding in eating a low calorie diet.
The difficulty with eating a low calorie diet is achieving a feeling of fullness. Many low calorie foods do not leave us feeling full and satisfied, which is why many of us are turned on to higher calorie foods. Fortunately, there are many low calorie foods that do leave us feeling full, and now I will name a handful of them to assist in your diet.
Filling Low-Calorie Foods for Healthy Diets
Acorn Squash- 1 cup contains 115 calories, 9 grams of fiber, and 2.3 grams of protein. Cut the acorn squash in half and bake it in the oven with a little butter and a splash of brown sugar.
Butternut Squash- 1 cup contains 82 calories. Cut the squash into small 1 inch pieces and bake in the oven with a little salt, pepper, and olive oil.
Sweet Potato or Yam- 1 cup contains from 100-150 calories (yams containing the latter) and 4-5 grams of fiber. Slice down the middle and bake in the oven.
Popcorn- 1 cup contains 25 calories. Have microwave popcorn for a low calorie snack.
Oatmeal- ½ cup contains 130 calories and 6 grams of fiber. Have for breakfast with raisins and cinnamon.
Black beans- ½ cup contains 110 calories, 6 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein. Spice up the black beans with fresh chilis, peppers, and onions.
Peanut Butter- 1 tablespoon contains 80 calories and 4 grams of protein. Spread on crackers, pita, apples, or celery for a low calorie snack.
Edamame- ½ cup contains 100 calories, 8 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber. Have as a low-calorie snack.
Collard greens- 1 cup contains 50 calories, 4-5 grams of protein and fiber. Stir-fry with olive oil and garlic.
Apple- 1 apple contains 65 calories with great vitamins.
Tofu- ½ cup contains 80 calories and 10 grams of protein. Prepare with your favorite sauce and stir-fry or bake.
Soy milk- 1 cup contains 100 calories and 7 grams of protein. Great with dinner or breakfast.