25 Low-Calorie Foods That Are Super Filling And Tasty

Reaching a weight loss goal looks different for everyone, and what works for one person may not work for another. And since there is no single way to lose weight, deciding which of ours is the most effective plan can be frustrating. No matter what diet you follow, low-calorie foods that fill you up and help you stay full can be beneficial.

You should aim to reach a certain level of satisfaction without having to eat foods that are high in calories if you’re trying to lose weight, says Emily Martorano, RDN, CDN, a registered dietitian in New York City. “By eating low-calorie foods that still contain nutrients to provide energy and fullness, this can help people lose or maintain weight,” she says. “For people who are binge eaters, which means they want to eat more, lower-calorie foods will allow them to continue eating a larger portion without negatively affecting their weight.”

FYI, the most satiating foods contain a combination of protein, fiber, and fat, according to Marturano. These foods will keep you satiated and energetic throughout the day. In other words, you don’t have to worry about that midday meltdown. Since these foods are rich in nutrients, you are also more likely to find them more satiating than foods rich in carbohydrates.

Note that even if you prioritize low-calorie foods, portion control is still important. While some like to count their calories right down to a tee, Jacqui Brockman, RD, CDN, CLT, points out that it’s not really necessary. “Everyone needs a different amount of calories to support the body’s energy needs. Measuring portion sizes is not necessary, but it is helpful to pay attention to your hunger level before your meals and your level of fullness during and after your meals,” she explains. “Being mindful of these two distinct feelings is important to help determine how much food you need during meal time.”

Now that you’ve got all the important information, here are 25 foods that can help you achieve your goal and make your taste buds happy, all recommended by nutritionists!

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1

avocado

Avocados provide vegetable fats and fiber, which together balance blood sugar and keep you feeling full, says Lauren Minchen, MPH, RDN, CDN.

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Per serving (1 cup): 234 calories, 21 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 10 mg sodium, 12 g carbohydrate, 10 g fiber, 1 g sugar

2

pumpkin

Minchen is a fan of squash because it’s full of fiber, water, and antioxidants.

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Per serving: 63 calories, 1g protein, less than 1g fat, 16g carbs, 3g fiber, 3g sugar

3

the strawberry

Strawberries are packed with plenty of vitamin C, says Minchin. They also contain antioxidants called polyphenols, which protect your body from oxidative stress, and act as great natural sweeteners.

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Per serving: 32 calories, 0.7g protein, 7.7g carbs, 4.9g sugar, 2g fiber, 0.3g fat

4

edamame

“Edamame is full of protein and whole plant fiber (and a few omega-3s), which together are a filling powerhouse,” says Minchen.

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Per serving: 188 calories, 8 g fat, 9.4 mg sodium, 13.8 g carbs, 8 g fiber, 3.4 g sugar, 18.4 g protein

5

cauliflower

Cauliflower provides three grams of fiber per cup, plus essential antioxidants, according to Minchin. This will keep you feeling fuller for longer throughout the day.

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Per serving: 27 calories, 0.3 g fat, 32.1 mg sodium, 5.3 g carbs, 2.1 g fiber, 2 g sugars, 2.1 g protein

6

Walnuts

Minchin says walnuts are a great low-calorie food because they are rich in omega-3 fatty acids. It’s also a vegetarian protein source for all the vegans out there. In addition, you can eat it anytime and anywhere.

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Per serving: 183 calories, 18 g fat, 0.6 mg sodium, 3.8 g carbs, 9 g fiber, 0.7 g sugar, 4.3 g protein.

    7

    white potatoes (with skin)

    Although potatoes tend to get a bad reputation as a high-carb food, whole potatoes with the skin on are actually rich in fiber, potassium, calcium and magnesium, all of which make them very filling, Minchin notes.

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    Per serving: 70-110 calories, 0.2g fat, 24mg sodium, 37g carbs, 4g fiber, 1.9g sugar, 4.6g protein

    8

    Lentil Soup

    Minchin says lentils are another reliable source of plant-based protein, carbohydrates, and fiber. “Lentils are an excellent food that should be included in meals to meet both micro and macronutrient needs and promote satiety,” she adds.

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    Per serving: 230 calories, 11 g protein, 0.8 g fat, 4 mg sodium, 40 g carbs, 15.6 g fiber, 3.6 g sugar

    9

    egg

    “Eggs are rich in proteins and fatty acids, as well as the essential choline,” says Minchin. So they can improve fat metabolism while keeping you full.

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    Per serving: 78 calories, 5 g fat, 62 mg sodium, 0.6 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 0.5 g sugar, 6 g protein

    10

    Low-fat cottage cheese

    Cottage cheese is full of protein that will leave you feeling satisfied.

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    Per serving (4 ounces): 81 calories, 3.1 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 14 g protein, 3 g fat

    11

    Low fat greek yogurt

    Greek yogurt is another high-protein food that you should consider adding to your diet. You can even enjoy it with some fruits if you’re craving something sweeter. It’s a healthy snack that doesn’t break your calorie budget.

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    Per serving: 146 calories, 20g protein, 3.8g fat, 7.9g carbs, 7.1g sugar, 0g fiber

    12

    Shrimp

    Shrimp is considered a lean protein. You can cook it with lemon and spices or eat it cold.

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    Per serving: 84 calories, 0.2 g fat, 94.4 mg sodium, 0.2 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 20.4 g protein

    13

    salmon

    Salmon is full of protein and omega-3s. Foods with these nutrients signal fullness and keep blood sugar levels in check, says Minchin.

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    Per serving (1 slice): 468 calories, 50g protein, 28g fat, 138mg sodium, 0g carbs, 0g sugar

    14

    Chicken breast

    Chicken contains essential minerals, such as zinc and iron, and also supports healthy blood sugar. Minchen says it’s of course an excellent source of protein, too.

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    Per serving: 198 calories, 37 g protein, 0 g carbs, 4.3 g fat, 0 g sugar, 89 mg sodium

    15

    wild rice

    “Wild rice provides three grams of fiber per cup (cooked), and it also provides essential carbohydrates, iron, and phosphorous,” explains Minchin. Wild rice also comes with a lot of essential minerals.

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    Per serving: 101 calories, 0.3g fat, 3mg sodium, 21.3g carbs, 1.8g fiber, 0.73g sugar, 4g protein

    16

    beef

    Minchen is a fan of lean beef because it meets both micro and macronutrient needs with protein, B12, iron, zinc, and selenium, all of which also contribute to fullness.

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    Per serving: 196 calories, 24g protein, 10g fat, 0g carbs, 0g sugar, 0g fiber

    17

    watermelon

    Watermelon is full of vitamin C, lycopene (an antioxidant) and water, which can help you feel full. It can also be a hydrating snack on a hot day.

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    Per serving: 46 calories, 0.2g fat, 1.5mg sodium, 11.5g carbs, 0.6g fiber, 9.4g sugar, 0.9g protein

    18

    cabbage

    Kale is loaded with vitamin K and folic acid, making it a gut-friendly option.

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    Per serving: 7.2 calories, 0.8 g fiber, 0.2 g sugar, 0.6 g protein, 0.3 g fat, 10.9 mg sodium

    19

    black beans

    Beans are a great source of fiber that helps fight cravings. It is also a satisfying choice for vegetarians and vegans.

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    Per serving: 109 calories, 8 g protein, 0.4 g fat, 46 mg sodium, 20 g carbs, 8.3 g fiber, 0.3 g sugar

    20

    spinach

    Spinach is high in vitamin C and K. It also contains folic acid and can be used as a base for a salad or a green smoothie.

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    Per serving: 20.4 calories, 0 g fat, 64.6 mg sodium, 3 g carbs

    21

    Kiwi

    Kiwi is rich in fiber, but it also has a natural sweetness. This makes a great snack that will keep you full, says Minchin.

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    Per serving: 42 calories, 10.1g carbs, 2.1g fiber, 6.7g sugar, 0.8g protein

    22

    banana

    Although bananas are known for being sweet (and full of sugar), they are “a powerhouse of satiation,” says Minchin. This is because they contain a lot of fiber, magnesium, potassium and B vitamins. It’s also a great snack on the go.

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    Per serving: 105 calories, 27g carbs, 3.1g fiber, 14.4g sugar, 1.3g protein

    23

    Carrots

    One cup contains 3.58 g of fiber. This means that you will be fuller for longer. Plus, they go great with hummus or in a smoothie.

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    Per serving: 25 calories, 0 g fat, 42 mg sodium, 6 g carbs, 1.5 g fiber, 2.9 g sugar, 0.5 g protein

    24

    chickpeas

    Chickpeas are rich in fiber and protein. They can be roasted or made into homemade vegetable hummus.

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    Per serving: 210 calories, 10 g protein, 3.8 g fat, 322 mg sodium, 35 g carbs, 9.6 g fiber, 6 g sugar

    25

    oatmeal

    Oats digest at a slow rate, so you can count on them to beat you up between meals. It’s also rich in fiber and protein, which makes it a great post-workout meal.

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    Per serving: 140 calories, 7-10g protein, 2.5g fat, 28g carbs, 4g fiber

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