If you’re like most, one of your goals is all about getting healthier. Or maybe you’re trying to drop some pounds. But sometimes it’s hard to stay on track when you’re hungry, which seems to derail all your efforts. Here are ten low calorie foods that can help you stay satisfied and on track with your healthy eating and weight loss efforts:
- Go Nuts For Nuts!
Nuts make for a much healthier snack than a bag of chips. Cashews, almonds, and pistachios contain healthy unsaturated fat combined with protein. Foods high in protein keep you satisfied longer and with an average calorie count of only seven, a handful makes a great afternoon snack.
- Fill Up On Whole Grains
Foods containing whole grain are essential to any healthy diet. Brown rice, farro, and steel-cut oats have a good amount of fiber that keeps your blood sugar levels steady, especially when combined with a lean protein. Unlike sugary breakfast cereals, you’ll feel good and full the whole morning through. Try these recipes for Salad For Breakfast!
- Choose Veggies To Start
It’s practically a no-brainer when it comes to healthy eating: put more vegetables on the table. Broccoli and zucchini are not only low calorie, but have a high fiber content that is great for helping curb your appetite. Avocados are also a great hunger buster, full of healthy fats (they are calorie dense, however, so just stick to a half). All are packed with vitamins and nutrients, making them smart choices.
- Low-Fat Dairy
Studies have shown that consuming low-fat dairy products can help you slim down while feeling satisfied. Starting your day with a low-sugar yogurt or cottage cheese will help you stay satisfied until lunch!
- Broth-Based Soups
One of the best ways to fight temptations is to start a meal with a broth-based soup. Eating a hearty soup loaded with veggies and lean protein will help keep your hand out of the bread basket and start signaling to your brain that you’re full before you even get to the main course. Homemade soups are great for making in big batches and then freezing for a quick and healthy dinner in a pinch.
- The Lean, Mean Protein
Protein is essential for our bodies to build muscle. Adding lean protein is an effective way to manage weight and help you stay full between meals because it’s slower to digest. Poultry is a versatile protein — just be sure to choose white meat instead of dark, and bake, broil or poach instead of frying.
- Beans: The Whole Package
Beans are a great source of protein and their high fiber content helps you feel fuller longer, which prevents indulging later on in the day. Try adding any variety — black, pinto, garbanzo, kidney, or white beans — to soups chilis and salads.
- An Apple A Day…
Fruits are just as important to a healthy diet as vegetables are. Apples and berries are high in water content, and packed with vitamins, fiber and antioxidants. Studies have shown that people who keep fresh fruit bowls on their counter tops are more successful at weight loss than those who don’t. Keep fresh fruit on hand for an easy and convenient grab-and-go snack. If it’s there, you’ll eat it!
- Eat Fish For Your Brain
Fish can be the healthiest source of lean protein out there. Not only is fish good for healthy brain function, but for the heart and joins as well. Salmon and albacore tuna have the brain-aiding omega-3s that doctors recommend patients include in their diets for whole body health.
- Don’t Skimp On The Dip
The right kind, of course. Yes, veggies can get boring. You’ll feel more satisfied, however, if you allow yourself to have a little savory dip for the taste buds. The flavor and fat of the dip will help you feel full and let your body absorb essential nutrients better. Try a little low-fat dressing or even whip up a batch of hunger-busting hummus.
Hard boiled eggs are protein-filled, filling, and transportable. You can eat them plain or slice them up and put them on a breakfast sandwich or in a salad. They do require a little planning, though–boil a batch on Sunday night, and you’ll have them all week!
Try integrating these healthy, satisfying foods little by little into some of your favorite dishes. You will find yourself eating a better balanced diet and making great strides to a healthier you!