Following a low-calorie diet can be difficult if you are filling up on the wrong foods. Educating yourself on which foods have the lowest calories is a great first step, but the next step is finding which of those foods have a lot of fiber. You see, you can eat a lot of low-calorie foods, but they won’t necessarily fill you up. If you eat high-fiber foods, though, you will feel fuller for longer.
A common trend among low-calorie foods is that they are naturally low in fat and sugar, making them great for weight loss. Taking in fewer calories than you extend is helpful on your weight loss journey. That said you also need fiber-rich foods to feel full and benefit the digestive system. If you are in search of low-calorie, high-fiber foods to incorporate into your weight loss meals and snacks, there are plenty of delicious options. Continue reading to learn about the foods that are readily available.
Beans And Legumes
Cooked legumes, such as lentils, peas, and beans, are full of fiber and low in calories. They provide lots of plant-based protein and are very inexpensive and versatile. According to the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, people should consume at least 1.5 cups of them each week. You can use beans as a meat replacement in burritos or in burgers. Lentils, peas, and chickpeas go great in soups and stews, and you can add veggies as well. Top salads with chickpeas or black beans, and you can always browse the internet for more legume recipe inspiration.
Ideally, you should aim to consume at least 2.5 cups of vegetables every day. Incorporate certain vegetables into smoothies, salads, stir-fries, soups, stews, and other entree options. Roast some Brussels sprouts, grill some green beans or asparagus, or go green with a big bowl of mixed greens, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and more. Most vegetables are low in calories and have lots of water and dietary fiber, making them hydrating, filling options. One cup of boiled Brussels sprouts, for example, contains 56 calories and 3.3 grams of fiber. A 100-gram serving of raw sweet potatoes offers 86 calories and three grams of fiber.
A good rule of thumb is to always keep fresh fruit in the house. You can always incorporate fruit into smoothies, on top of yogurt, in salads, desserts, or simply enjoy raw fruit as it is. Fruit usually has 100 calories or less per serving, while also providing lots of vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants. Take a medium apple, for instance, which offers 95 calories and three grams of fiber. One cup of blueberries contains 84 calories and 3.6 grams of fiber, while a medium pear offers 101 calories and six grams of fiber. And bananas, which everyone should have in their kitchen, offer 89 calories and 2.6 grams of fiber per one medium banana.
Packed with fiber, B-vitamins, iron, protein, and other nutrients, whole grains are a great low-calorie addition to your diet. You can incorporate whole grains into breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert options. Enjoy oatmeal for breakfast, a quinoa-based Buddha bowl for lunch, and chickpea pasta or wild rice and legumes for dinner. You just have to be careful with how many grains you consume in a day because the calorie content can add up quickly. One cup of oats offers 307 calories, but it also gives you 8.1 grams of fiber. A single serving (about one cup) of quinoa offers 5.1 grams of fiber, 8.1 grams of protein, and 222 calories. Just be careful not to use packaged, pre-made, or microwaveable varieties because they often contain other preservatives, sodium, and added flavors that negate their health properties.