In a good weight loss plan, foods that are high in calories and nutrients can be eaten along with foods that are low in calories or have no calories at all. Some surprising changes may be good for your health and taste great. That is why Low-calorie foods for weight loss are important.
Some foods are low in calories, but a good diet should also include foods that are high in calories. Foods that are higher in calories, like the ones above, can be paired with foods that are lower in calories, like fruits and veggies, to make meals more satisfying.
Additionally, switching from high-calorie foods to low-calorie foods for weight loss can help you lose weight and may improve your health in other ways as well.
In This Article
Below are 30 low-calorie foods for weight loss
Apples are one of the most famous fruits in the US, and they are also very healthy.
A cup of apple pieces has 109 grams of weight, 62 calories, and almost 3 grams of fiber.
In addition to being Low-calorie foods for weight loss, apples are full of fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants like the flavonoid quercetin.
Arugula is a dark leafy green that tastes like pepper.
This vegetable is often added to salads and is a great source of vitamin K. Potassium, calcium, and folate are also present.
One cup of arugula (20 grams) has only 5 calories.
It comes in shades of green, white, and purple. Asparagus is a flowering veggie.
Arsenicum is a healthy veggie that contains many different kinds of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and compounds that reduce inflammation.
One example is that a study shows that asparagus has both phenolic compounds (like flavonoids) and sulfur-containing compounds (like asparagusic acid).
Asparagus cooked in a cup (180 grams) has only 38 calories and is high in vitamin K and folate, making up 67% and 21% of the Daily Values (DVs), respectively.
Beets and other root veggies come in a wide range of bright colors, such as orange and red.
They have a lot of good nutrients, like manganese and folate, and phytonutrients that might be good for your heart, like betalains and phenolic chemicals.
There are 74 calories in 1 cup (170 grams) of cooked beets, which is 17% of your daily folate needs and 12% of your manganese needs.
Broccoli is a cruciferous veggie that is very high in nutrients. Studies show that people who eat a lot of cruciferous veggies, like broccoli, may have a lower chance of getting heart disease and some types of cancer.
One cup of cooked broccoli has 155 grams, which is only 54 calories and more than 100% of the daily vitamin C needs of the average person.
#6. Brussels sprouts
You can eat Brussels sprouts raw or cooked, and they look like little cabbages.
Because they are like broccoli, Brussels sprouts are a cruciferous veggie. They have a lot of vitamin C, which is an important vitamin that protects cells from toxic damage.
One cooked cup (155 grams) of these healthy powerhouses has only 70 calories and 129% of the DV for vitamin C.
Cabbage is another cruciferous food that comes in different colors, such as green, red, and white. It’s often added to salads and slaws, and it’s the main ingredient in pickled foods like kimchi and sauerkraut.
With only 22 calories per cup (89 grams), it’s very low in calories.
Carrots are very healthy, crunchy, and just a little sweet. Carrots come in many colors, including purple and white. The most common color is orange, but people also eat other colors.
You can get a lot of pigments from carrots. Some examples are lutein and beta-carotene. The immune system, good eyesight, and other things depend on these chemicals. The body changes beta carotene and other pigments into vitamin A that the body can use.
One cup (122 grams) of sliced carrots has only 50 calories and more than 100% of the daily value for vitamin A.
Typically, cauliflower appears as a white tuft with green leaves surrounding it. Orange, yellow, and purple heads can be found in rare types.
Recently, cauliflower has become very popular as an alternative to veggies and cereals that are higher in carbs. One example is that people on low-carb diets like cauliflower pizza crusts and cauliflower “rice.”
One cup of cooked cauliflower has 155 grams (40 calories) and only 8 grams of carbs.
Because it has a lot of water, celery has a very low intake of calories. With its protein, fat, and fiber content, raisins, natural peanut butter, and celery stalks make a standard snack that is sure to satisfy.
Each cup (120 grams) of celery has only 17 calories.
There are many kinds of chard, which is a type of leafy green. Vitamin K is very high in this food, and good bones and blood clotting depend on it.
There are only 7 calories in a cup (36 grams) of chard, but it has 249% of the daily value for vitamin K.
Oranges are small compared to clementines. In the United States, they are common and well-known for having a lot of vitamin C.
One fruit, which is 74 grams, has 35 calories and 40% of your daily value for vitamin C.
Cucumbers are a refreshing food that is often added to salads. You can add herbs and citrus to water to make it taste better, or you can use them to make a low-calorie base for high-protein meals like tuna or chicken salad.
Cucumbers are very low in calories because they are mostly water; a half-cup (52 grams) has only 8 calories.
Fennel is a bulbous veggie that tastes a bit like licorice. It has the right amount of many nutrients, including vitamin C and iron. Adding dried fennel seeds to food gives it an anise taste. So this also falls under Low-calorie foods for weight loss.
You can roast or braise fennel or eat it raw. It makes rice and roasted chicken taste better, among other things. Fresh fennel has 27 calories per cup (87 grams).
Citrus foods like grapefruits are known for their sour taste. You can also sprinkle them on fish, salad, or yogurt and eat them.
Citrus fruits, like grapefruits, are full of good plant chemicals and nutrients, like antioxidants and chemicals that reduce inflammation. So, adding citrus fruits to your diet might help your heart, brain, and other systems work better.
Grapefruit halves have 37 calories (123 grams).
#16. Iceberg lettuce
Iceberg lettuce has a lot of water in it, which is one of its traits. In many cases, it’s added to salads, burgers, and sandwiches.
Most people think that iceberg lettuce is less healthy than other types, but it does have some important nutrients in it, like folate, vitamin K, and provitamin A.
One cup (57 grams) of iceberg lettuce has only 8 calories.
Jicama is a tuber food that looks a lot like a white potato. This veggie has a texture like a crisp apple and is usually eaten raw. Jicama is a great food for getting a lot of nutrients, like vitamin C, calcium, and potassium.
Each cup (130 grams) of raw jicama has less than 49 calories and more than 29% of the daily value for vitamin C.
Because it is so healthy, kale has become more and more famous over the past few years.
Kale is a vegetable that can be found in salads, soups, and other foods. As a food, kale is very healthy because it has a lot of provitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, manganese, and copper.
A cup (130 grams) of cooked kale has only 49 calories and more than 100% of your daily value for vitamins C and K.
#19. White mushrooms
Some fungi use mushrooms as a way to reproduce, so they are not considered veggies or meat. But vegans and vegetarians do eat them sometimes instead of meat.
Mushrooms are a great way to get important nutrients like selenium and B vitamins, and a cooked cup (156 grams) has about 44 calories.
Papayas are green fruits with black seeds inside them. Tropical places are where it is usually grown.
It has a lot of minerals and vitamins, like folate, potassium, vitamin C, and provitamin A. A banana that weighs 157 grams is not very big at 68 grams.
Adored for their sweet and a bit tangy taste, raspberries are these small, mushy, heart-shaped berries that show up in different colors – each packing its own set of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. The one you probably know best is the red raspberry. These berries started in Europe and have been a delight for people for ages, sticking around as a go-to fruit globally.
Raspberries won’t weigh you down in the calorie department, but they bring the fiber game strong, making them a snack that’s both satisfying and guilt-free. Thanks to all that fiber, you can keep the munchies at bay for longer, putting the brakes on the temptation to go overboard on the eating front.
#22. Red cabbage
So, red cabbage, or you might call it purple cabbage or red kraut, is one of those cool veggies from the Brassica family. It’s got this kind of sweet and peppery vibe, which makes it a hit for salads, coleslaws, and all sorts of cooked goodies.
Now, the nifty thing about red cabbage is that it’s low in calories but packs a punch in the fiber department. That means it can keep you feeling satisfied for a good while, making it a top pick for those aiming to shed some pounds. Super handy for anyone rocking a weight loss diet!
Radish are root veggies that taste slightly peppery and are crisp.
These vegetables come in many colors and are both artistically pleasing and healthy when added to dishes like grain bowls and salads.
Radishes are good for you because they have folate, vitamin C, and iron in them. There are only 19 calories in a single cup (116 grams).
#24. Romaine lettuce
Romaine lettuce is a leafy green food that is often eaten, especially in sandwiches and salads.
Because it is mostly water and fiber, romaine is a member of the category of Low-calorie foods for weight loss plans. A cup (47 grams) of chopped romaine lettuce has no nutritional value because it only has 8 calories.
Strawberries are very good for you and taste great. They go well with both sweet and savory items, which makes them useful in a variety of recipes.
According to studies, eating berries like strawberries regularly may help protect against diseases like Alzheimer’s and heart disease.
There are only 53 calories in a cup (166 grams) of sliced strawberries.
There is also a lot of spinach, which also comes under Low-calorie foods for weight loss, and mineral-rich leafy green.
It has a lot of bioactive molecules, like vitamin K, provitamin A, folate, and the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are good for your eyes.
A 30-gram (one-cup) serving of spinach has only seven calories.
#27. Sugar snap peas
Sugar snap peas are made by crossing a snow pea with a field pea. The stalks of sugar snap peas can be eaten whole and have a sweet taste.
They are usually eaten raw with a marinade or by themselves, but they can also be added to salads and veggie dishes.
One cup (63 grams) of snap peas has only 27 calories and 42% of the daily value for vitamin C.
Many foods go well with tomatoes, and you can eat them raw, warm, or puréed in a tomato sauce.
Besides that, tomatoes are a great source of phytochemicals that protect, like lycopene. According to a scientific study, a diet high in tomatoes may help protect against stroke, heart disease, and some types of cancer.
Cherry tomatoes have 27 calories per cup (149 grams).
As its name suggests, watermelon is a very thirsty fruit.
It tastes great whether eaten on its own or with feta cheese and fresh mint.
Watermelon is full of many good things for you like vitamin C. Watermelon spheres have 46 calories per serve, which is 154 grams.
Summer squash that looks like zucchini is green. The delicate taste of the ingredients makes it a useful addition to many recipes.
Recently, spiralizing zucchini into “zoodles” as an option for noodles with more carbs has become very popular.
Zucchini also falls under the category of Low-calorie foods for weight loss; a cooked cup (180 grams) has only 27 calories.
In what ways do low-calorie diets help people lose weight?
In answer, foods that are low in calories are those that only have a few calories per serving. They often have a lot of nutrients but not much energy, which makes them great for people who are trying to lose weight. These foods cause a calorie shortage, which means that people burn fewer calories than they eat, which makes it easier to lose weight. By eating a variety of low-calorie foods, you can make your weight-loss plan more stable and effective.
Can someone follow a low-calorie diet and still get all the nutrients they need and feel satisfied?
Without a question, in fact! Even though low-calorie foods naturally have less energy, a lot of them are also high in important nutrients like vitamins, minerals, and other similar chemicals. A wide range of low-calorie foods, such as whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and lean proteins, can help a person meet their nutritional goals and feel completely satisfied. It is possible to enjoy tasty food without sacrificing important nutrients by planning a complete and satisfying meal plan.
Are there any low-calorie foods that specifically work really well to help people lose weight?
An increasing number of low-calorie foods are known to help people lose weight. Low-calorie vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower, and leafy greens are high in fiber, which makes you feel full. Berries and melons are low in calories and high in vitamins. This makes them very tasty. Tofu, chicken breast, and fish are all great examples of lean foods that can be used to make tasty meals with fewer calories. Adding whole grains like oats and quinoa to your diet can also help you keep a healthy weight and cut down on calories.
What nutrients do apples offer, making them a suitable low-calorie option?
Apples are awesome! They’re not just low-calorie; they pack a punch of good stuff like fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and antioxidants like quercetin. These goodies aren’t just for shedding pounds; they’re also super buddies for keeping you healthy overall. So, munch on those apples!
Is it necessary to focus solely on low-calorie foods for weight loss?
Even though going for low-calorie grub is good, it’s super important not to pick what you eat just by looking at the calories. A smart way to go about it is to think about how packed with good stuff your food is and to mix up different types of eats. That way, your body gets all the good stuff it needs to work its best, and it helps you shed those pounds, too.
A lot of tasty foods have few or no calories. A lot of them are fruits and veggies that are also full of good nutrients.
Low-calorie foods for weight loss do not always mean that it is better than foods with higher calorie counts, though. Getting enough calories every day is important for your body to work well and for you to feel your best.
It is not a good idea to choose foods based only on how many calories they have. Instead, you might want to choose foods based on their nutrient density, which is the ratio of the number of nutrients they have to the number of calories they have.
For the best health, it’s best to eat a range of Low-calorie foods for weight loss, like fruits and vegetables, along with foods that are higher in protein and fat (and, by extension, calories).