Weight Management
May 17, 2024

10 Diet-friendly Low Calorie Foods for Men

Gents, you know the feeling of trying to lose weight, but struggling to find low calorie food options that’ll keep you satisfied in between meals. In fact, there are quite plenty of nutritious options that fit the bill while remaining low in calories. Here are 10 satisfying low-calorie foods that won’t sabotage your diet.

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1. Oats

Oats are a staple in a healthy diet, particularly because of their balanced nutritional profile. Low in calories but high in fibre and protein, a half-cup serving of dry oats contains just about 154 calories. The fibre in oats, mainly beta-glucan, helps slow digestion and increases satiety, which can reduce appetite and help control calorie intake throughout the day. The bonus?Oats are incredibly versatile and can be enjoyed in many forms, from classic oatmeal to baked goods.

2. Soup

Soups are your secret weapon for portion control. By starting a meal with a serving of soup, it can reduce your calorie intake during your main course. Broth-based soups are particularly effective as they tend to be low in calories but filling due to their high water and fibre content. Research suggests that the physical volume of soup, combined with the time it takes to eat it, contributes to its filling properties, helping you feel fuller longer with fewer calories.

3. Berries

Berries are not only nutrient-dense but also low in calories and high in fibre—a winning combination for managing hunger. For example, one cup of blueberries contains just 84 calories but provides 3.6 grams of fibre. This fibre content helps regulate blood sugar levels and prolongs satiation, which is beneficial for weight control. The natural sweetness of berries makes them an ideal snack for satisfying sugar cravings healthily.

4. Eggs

Crack open a new level of satisfaction. A single large egg gives you 6 grams of protein, at just 72 calories. Its high protein content helps you feel full for longer.
Studies have shown that eating eggs for breakfast can lead to lower calorie intake throughout the day, compared to more carb-heavy options like bagels.

5. Greek Yoghurt

For food that feels like dessert, Greek yoghurt stands out. It has rich protein content, vital for satiety and muscle repair. A typical one-cup serving of nonfat Greek yoghurt can have up to 150 calories and 25 grams of protein, significantly higher than regular yoghurt. This makes it an excellent choice for a filling snack or part of a meal, helping to curb hunger and decrease the likelihood of overeating later. Plus, its creamy texture can satisfy dessert cravings without the excess calories from fat or sugar.

6. Lean Meats

Lean meats such as chicken, turkey, and some cuts of beef are high in protein and low in calories, which helps manage hunger. For example, a 4-ounce serving of grilled chicken breast provides about 184 calories but packs 36 grams of protein. Including a source of lean protein in meals can help extend feelings of fullness, which assists in controlling overall calorie intake.

7. Fish

Fish, especially lean varieties like cod or halibut, are excellent for a filling, low-calorie diet. These types of fish are not only low in fat but also high in protein, which is known for its satiating effects. A 3-ounce serving of cooked cod provides roughly 70 calories and 15 grams of protein, making it an ideal choice for maintaining fullness and supporting weight loss.

8. Watermelon

Watermelon is a refreshing, hydrating fruit, predominantly made up of water, which contributes to its ability to fill you up with minimal calories. One cup of diced watermelon has only about 46 calories. The high water content not only helps with satiety but also contributes to hydration, which is often mistaken for hunger.

9. Potatoes

Contrary to popular belief, potatoes are highly nutritious and can be part of a healthy diet. They are particularly high in potassium and can be very satisfying due to their fibre content. The key is in how they are prepared; baked or boiled potatoes are the best choices. Interestingly, studies have found that potatoes can provide more long-term satisfaction than other carbohydrate sources like bread or rice.

10. Popcorn

As a whole grain, popcorn provides a healthy snack option that is both low in calories and high in fibre. Air-popped popcorn contains about 31 calories per cup and offers 1.2 grams of dietary fibre. This combination of low energy density and high fibre content makes popcorn a satisfying snack that can fill you up on fewer calories, making it easier to stick to a weight management plan.

Healthy But High Calorie Foods to Avoid

Even some foods that may seem healthy can be surprisingly high in calories. Here are five less obvious high-calorie foods to watch out for:

1. Granola: 

Despite its healthy image, granola is quite calorie-dense, with around 500 calories per cup, due to its content of nuts, oats, and added sugars.

2. Smoothies: 

Often packed with calories, commercial or large homemade smoothies can contain 600-800 calories each, especially when made with ingredients like full-fat yoghurt and sweetened fruit juices.

3. Avocado: 

Rich in healthy fats and nutrients, avocados are also high in calories, with a single fruit containing 250-300 calories.

4. Dried Fruit: 

Dried fruits have more concentrated sugars than their fresh counterparts, making them high in calories; for instance, a cup of dried cranberries packs about 400 calories.

5. Energy Bars:

Marketed as a healthy snack option, many energy bars are akin to candy bars in their calorie and sugar content, ranging from 200 to 300 calories each.

High-Calorie Local Foods That Can Wreck Your Diet

Local cuisines, while integral to cultural experiences and often irresistibly delicious, can sometimes be laden with calories that might disrupt a balanced diet:

Laksa: It often includes ingredients like shrimp, fish cakes, or chicken, which contribute to its high calorie count of approximately 613 calories per serving. The coconut milk, while delicious, is high in saturated fat and calories, making Laksa a treat best enjoyed in moderation.

Hainanese Chicken Rice: The dish pairs poached chicken with oily, flavorful rice, typically cooked in chicken fat and broth, boosting its caloric content to about 620 calories per serving. The skin on the chicken and the rich rice make it calorie-dense, despite its seemingly simple ingredients.

How to Reduce Caloric Intake

Effectively managing your caloric intake doesn't necessarily require drastic diet overhauls but can be achieved through mindful adjustments and smarter choices:

Don’t Drink Your Calories

Beverages like soda, fruit juices, and even specialty coffees can be deceptively high in calories. By choosing zero-calorie drinks such as water, herbal tea, or black coffee, you can avoid these hidden calorie sources. For instance, replacing a daily sugary beverage with a zero-calorie alternative could save you hundreds of calories per day, significantly impacting weight control over time.

Use Cooking Spray Instead of Cooking Oil

Cooking oils, while necessary for preparing many dishes, are very high in calories. Switching to a cooking spray can drastically cut the amount of fat used, with each second of spray containing about 10 calories compared to 120 calories for each tablespoon of oil. This small change can lead to significant calorie reduction, especially in high-heat cooking like frying and sautéing.

Use Smaller Plates

Psychological studies suggest that smaller plates can trick your brain into feeling satisfied with less food. By using a plate that is 7-9 inches in diameter, compared to the standard 12-inch plates, you can reduce your portion sizes naturally without feeling restricted. This is an easy and effective way to control caloric intake and avoid overeating.

Drink More Water

Increasing your water intake is a simple yet effective strategy for weight management. Drinking water before meals can lead to increased satiety and reduced hunger, potentially decreasing overall calorie intake. Staying well-hydrated helps maintain metabolic function and aids in the digestion and absorption of nutrients.

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Written by our Editorial Team
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