Top 17 High Volume Low Calorie Foods for Sustainable Weight Loss

Lean sources of protein

Protein helps control hunger hormones and keeps you feeling fuller longer. It also preserves muscle during weight loss.

Low calorie protein options: Chicken breast, tuna, tilapia, turkey, egg whites, low-fat Greek yogurt.

Top 17 High Volume Low Calorie Foods

Top 17 High Volume, Low Calorie Foods

Here are some of the top high volume, low calorie foods to enjoy as part of a healthy weight loss diet:

  • Fruits like watermelon, strawberries, grapefruit, and apples these are high in water and fiber. Watermelon has a high water content and only 46 calories per cup.
  • Vegetables like spinach, lettuce, cucumbers, broccoli, tomatoes, mushrooms, and zucchini. Non-starchy veggies provide bulk along with vitamins and minerals.
  • Lean proteins like chicken breast, turkey, fish, shellfish, eggs, Greek yogurt, and low-fat cottage cheese these foods are high in protein, which helps keep you full. A 3-ounce serving of chicken breast has only 110 calories.
  • Popcorn is a high volume, whole grain snack that’s low in calories. Air-popped popcorn is one of the best high-volume snacks, with only 31 calories per cup.
  • Oatmeal is hearty and filling. A half cup of dry oats cooked in water is only 150 calories. Oats are high in soluble fiber, which promotes satiety.
  • Soups like vegetable soup and broth-based soups are low calorie and high volume. Have a bowl before meals to help fill you up.
  • Potatoes are starchy but have a high volume and low calorie density when prepared without added fat. The 161 calories in a medium baked potato are low.
  • Beans and lentils are protein-rich and high in fiber. They absorb water during cooking, which adds volume. Cooked lentils come with 230 calories per cup.
  • Whole wheat pasta is filled with more volume and fiber than traditional pasta. A cup of whole wheat pasta has 174 calories.
  • Granola is crunchy with whole oats, nuts, and dried fruit. Stick to a 1⁄4 cup portion size to keep calories in check.
  • Quinoa cooks up light and fluffy and provides protein. 1 cooked cup has 222 calories.
  • Berries like strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are low calorie with just 60–70 calories per cup.
  • Carrots and celery are crunchy, low calorie veggies. Celery has just 6–8 calories per stalk.
  • Cauliflower can be riced or mashed as a low calorie substitute for starchy veggies like potatoes. 1 cup riced raw cauliflower has just 27 calories.

Potential challenges and how to overcome them

Taste preferences

Tips for making these foods more enjoyable

High volume, low calorie foods like fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins can sometimes seem bland compared to more indulgent options.

  • To make them tastier, try out different cooking techniques such as roasting, grilling, or sautéing, which can intensify the flavor. Cooking vegetables by roasting them enhances their inherent sweet taste.
  • Dress up greens and grains with vinaigrettes, sautéed aromatics like garlic and onion, or a squeeze of citrus.
  • Use spices and herbs generously. Basil, oregano, cumin, cinnamon, chili powder, and garlic powder are all great options.
  • Add a sprinkle of parmesan cheese or roasted nuts to boost flavor.
  • If eating plain chicken or fish, use flavorful sauces like chimichurri, teriyaki, or homemade salsa.
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