Wellness Warrior

The 13 Best High Volume Low Calorie Foods You’ll Love.

There is nothing worse when you’re trying to lose weight or stay in shape, than feeling hungry all the time. Well, the good news is that you don’t have to feel that way ever. These high volume low calorie foods are a great way to fill up your plate without adding any unnecessary calories. These foods are not only a great way to fill up your plate but they are packed with nutrients that will help you stay healthy and energized. Being healty should never feel like a punishment, if it does, you’re doing it wrong! These are some of my top choices when I’m looking for foods to add to my plate and not feel guilty about them afterward.

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What are high volume low calorie foods?

Just the best foods you can find in my opinion! High volume low calorie foods are essentially foods that have a low calorie density but provide a high volume when added to your plate. This means you can eat larger portions of these foods without eating a significant number of calories. They are typically rich in water, fiber, and essential nutrients, making them a healthy choice for those looking to manage their weight or improve their lifestyle.

Adding these foods into your diet can help you curb hunger, reduce calorie intake, and make it easier to maintain or achieve a healthy weight. Try using an app like MyFitnessPal to track your calories and give you a bigger insight on the foods you eat.

High volume low calorie foods you can add to your plate.

I don’t know where I would be without my plate fillers. These are some of my favorite foods I use to add volume to any meal so that I don’t end up being hungry and hour after my meal. I have managed to keep my cravings at bay and enjoy my meals more because eating healthy doesn’t feel like a punishment anymore.

1. Leafy Greens.

This would have to be my number one go-to for any meal. You might as well start calling be a bunny because I will add leafy greens to pretty much anything. You would think that they can’t possibly be filling, but they truly are. Adding a small salad before or with any meal can help you fill up and enjoy your meal more. Double bonus. Add ingredients like spinach, lettuce, kale, swiss chard, and watercress to your meal to give it a splash of freshness and volume.

Health benefits of leafy greens:

  • Rich in Nutrients: These greens are a powerhouse of vitamins like A, C, and K, as well as minerals such as calcium and potassium, which are essential for overall health.
  • Fiber for Digestion: The high fiber content aids in digestion, promoting regular bowel movements and a healthy gut.
  • Antioxidants: Leafy greens are loaded with antioxidants, which help combat inflammation and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Heart Health: Their potassium content contributes to better blood pressure management, while the nitrates can improve blood flow and cardiovascular health.
  • Bone Health: The vitamin K content in leafy greens is crucial for bone health and may reduce the risk of osteoporosis.
  • Hydration: Their high water content aids in staying hydrated, which is vital for overall well-being.

RELATED: 11 Best Foods That Help With Muscle Cramps.

2. Broccoli.

Although this isn’t a food that I can eat anymore due to my Crohn’s, I still highly recommend adding broccoli to any meal to add a bit of volume and flavour. There are so many different ways you can add it to your meal and it has so many health benefits. You can never go wrong with broccoli and it doesn’t even tip the calorie scale.

Health benefits of broccoli:

  • Rich in Nutrients: Broccoli is packed with essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and potassium, contributing to overall well-being.
  • Fiber for Digestion: Its fiber content aids in digestion, supporting a healthy gut and promoting regular bowel movements.
  • Cancer Prevention: Broccoli contains compounds like sulforaphane, which may have anti-cancer properties and can help reduce the risk of certain cancers.
  • Heart Health: The fiber, potassium, and antioxidants in broccoli contribute to heart health by lowering blood pressure and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Bone Health: High in vitamin K and calcium, broccoli supports strong and healthy bones.
  • Detoxification: The phytonutrients in broccoli assist in the body’s natural detoxification processes.
  • Anti-Inflammatory: Broccoli’s anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce inflammation in the body, potentially lowering the risk of chronic diseases.

RELATED:| 9 Simple Juice Recipes For Weight Loss.

3. Cauliflower.

If you’ve never tried cauliflower spaghetti before, you’re missing out in life! Although it’s not a food I can often indulge in, the options for adding cauliflower into your meal is endless. My two top options would have to be a cauliflower pizza base and cauliflower spaghetti, and if you haven’t tried it before, you really should! If there is one thing I learned, you never have to sacrifice taste for health and cauliflower will soon enough become your biggest weapon in your healthy food arsenal. Not to mention how incredibly low they are in calories, it’s like you’re eating air. Well, sort of.

Health benefits of cauliflower:

  • Rich in Nutrients: Cauliflower is a source of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, folate, and potassium.
  • Fiber for Digestion: Its fiber content supports digestion, aids in regular bowel movements, and maintains a healthy gut.
  • Antioxidants: Cauliflower contains antioxidants, such as glucosinolates, that may help reduce the risk of chronic diseases like cancer.
  • Heart Health: The fiber, potassium, and antioxidants contribute to heart health by managing blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart disease.
  • Anti-Inflammatory: Cauliflower’s anti-inflammatory properties can help reduce inflammation and promote overall well-being.
  • Detoxification: The sulfur-containing compounds in cauliflower assist in the body’s natural detoxification processes.

4. Berries.

If you have a sweet tooth like I do, berries are your best friend. Whether you’re savoring the tartness of strawberries, the juiciness of blueberries, or the tang of raspberries, each bite is a delightful explosion of flavor and nutrition. There are so many different ways to add berries into your meal and the options are each as delicious as the previous. Berries have so many health benefits and are really low in calories, so you can add them to your plate without feeling even a little bit guilty.

Health benefits of berries:

  • Antioxidant Powerhouses: Berries are rich in antioxidants like anthocyanins and flavonoids, which combat oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Nutrient-Rich: They provide essential vitamins, including vitamin C and vitamin K, as well as minerals such as potassium and manganese.
  • Fiber for Digestion: The high fiber content aids digestion, supports gut health, and helps maintain regular bowel movements.
  • Heart Health: Berries’ antioxidants and fiber contribute to heart health by reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and improving cholesterol levels.
  • Brain Boost: Some studies suggest that the antioxidants in berries may enhance brain function and cognitive health.
  • Skin Benefits: The antioxidants in berries may promote healthy, glowing skin by reducing signs of aging and supporting collagen production.

5. Air-Popped Popcorn.

Popcorn is just one of those snacks where once you start you just can’t stop. If you’re ever feeling like a snack, you can make popcorn one of your go-to options. Popcorn gives all the volume but none of the guilt because it is so low in calories. I love drizzling dark chocolate over my popcorn to give it a touch of sweetness. The options really are endless and movies have never been as guilt-free as now.

Health benefits of popcorn:

  • Whole Grains: It’s a whole-grain snack, providing essential nutrients and dietary fiber.
  • Fiber for Digestion: The fiber content supports digestion, keeps you feeling full, and promotes regular bowel movements.
  • Antioxidants: Popcorn contains antioxidants, including polyphenols, which may have various health benefits.
  • Versatility: You can customize air-popped popcorn with various seasonings, making it a versatile snack for different tastes.

RELATED: 7 Best Keto Nuts For Losing Weight.

6. Zucchini.

This might just be my gluten intollerant self talking, but one of my favorite things to eat is zucchini brownies. Zucchini is a great high volume low calorie food to add into your meal. They are so versatile and absolutely delicious! I have added zucchini into so many of my recipes and they really work well together, no matter if they’re sweet or savoury.

Health benefits of zucchini:

  • High in Fiber: Its high fiber content aids digestion, supports gut health, and keeps you feeling full.
  • Rich in Nutrients: Zucchini provides essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and folate.
  • Antioxidant Properties: It contains antioxidants like beta-carotene, which combat oxidative stress and support overall well-being.
  • Hydration: With its high water content, zucchini helps keep you hydrated.
  • Versatility: Zucchini can be spiralized into noodles, used in stir-fries, or even baked into muffins, adding volume and nutrients to your meals.

7. Greek Yogurt.

Packed with protein and probiotics, Greek yogurt not only satisfies hunger but also supports gut health and muscle repair. With fewer carbohydrates and less lactose than regular yogurt, it’s a smart choice when you’re watching you’re counting your calories. One of my favorite snacks I turn to is a bowl of Greek yogurt topped with berries and drizzled with honey. It’s not only great for a snack on its own but adding it into other dishes can bring out a creamy texture without the additional calories.

Health benefits of Greek yogurt:

  • Protein Packed: Greek yogurt is a great source of protein, which supports muscle health and keeps you feeling full.
  • Probiotics: It contains live probiotic cultures that promote gut health and aid digestion.
  • Calcium: Greek yogurt is rich in calcium, essential for strong bones and teeth.
  • Vitamin B12: It provides vitamin B12, important for nerve function and red blood cell production.
  • Low in Sugar: Opt for plain, non-fat Greek yogurt to keep added sugars in check.
  • Versatility: Greek yogurt can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, from smoothies to salad dressings.

8. Watermelon.

With its low calorie count and high fiber content, watermelon not only fills you up but also supports healthy digestion and hydration. Snacking on this summertime snack is a great way to keep the cravings at bay when you’re on the move.

Health benefits of watermelon:

  • Hydration: Watermelon is over 90% water, making it an excellent choice for staying hydrated on hot days.
  • Rich in Antioxidants: Watermelon is packed with antioxidants, including lycopene, which may reduce the risk of certain diseases.
  • Vitamins and Minerals: It’s a source of vitamins A and C, as well as potassium, which is crucial for heart health.
  • Digestive Health: The fiber content aids in digestion and keeps your digestive system running smoothly.
  • Skin Benefits: The vitamins and antioxidants in watermelon contribute to healthy, glowing skin.

RELATED:| The Best Ways To Hydrate Quickly.

9. Carrots.

Is there anything better than those little carrots you can just throw in your bag when you need a quick snack? They have become my go-to snack and I usually pair it with a hummus or cottage cheese. Their natural sweetness can help curb cravings and you get the benefits of all the nutrients.

Health benefits of carrots:

  • Rich in Nutrients: They are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin A, vitamin K, and potassium.
  • Fiber for Digestion: Carrots are a good source of dietary fiber, promoting healthy digestion and regular bowel movements.
  • Antioxidants: They contain antioxidants like beta-carotene, which may reduce the risk of chronic diseases and support eye health.
  • Heart Health: The potassium in carrots can help manage blood pressure and reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Skin Benefits: The nutrients in carrots contribute to healthy, glowing skin and may reduce signs of aging.
  • Eye Health: Carrots are known for their role in supporting vision and maintaining eye health.

RELATED: How to lose weight with calorie counting.

10. Tomato.

Paired with those leafy greens, they make a perfect starter salad with or before any meal or enjoying a few cocktail tomatoes with your mini carrots, now that’s perfection. Tomatoes are so versatile and can be used in so many different foods to make it high volume and it won’t even make a dent in your calorie intake.

Health benefits of tomato:

  • Rich in Nutrients: They provide essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and folate.
  • Antioxidants: Tomatoes are a source of antioxidants, such as lycopene, which may reduce the risk of chronic diseases and support skin health.
  • Heart Health: The potassium content in tomatoes contributes to heart health by helping manage blood pressure and reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Digestive Benefits: Their fiber content supports digestion and maintains regular bowel movements.
  • Hydration: With their high water content, tomatoes help keep you hydrated.
  • Versatility: Tomatoes can be used in a variety of dishes, from salads to sauces, adding volume, flavor, and nutrients.

11. Cottage Cheese.

When I tell you that I finish a tub of cottage cheese every single day, that’s no lie. I usually opt for fat free cottage cheese to make it even lower on my calorie intake for the day and eat it with almost everything. Have you ever tried molten cottage cheese brownies? If you did you would know why cottage cheese is my best friend.

Health benefits of cottage cheese:

  • Protein Power: Cottage cheese is a protein powerhouse, making it an excellent choice for muscle repair and keeping you feeling full.
  • Rich in Essential Nutrients: Cottage cheese provides essential vitamins and minerals, including calcium, phosphorus, and B vitamins.
  • Digestive Health: Its probiotic content supports gut health and digestion.
  • Muscle Health: The high-quality protein in cottage cheese can assist in muscle development and maintenance.
  • Blood Sugar Control: The protein and low glycemic index of cottage cheese can help manage blood sugar levels.
  • Bone Health: Cottage cheese’s calcium content is essential for strong bones and teeth.

12. Mushrooms.

With their low calorie count and high water content, mushrooms offer a satisfying way to add bulk to meals without significantly impacting your calorie intake. Adding mushrooms into any meal is a great way to add flavour and volume without compromising taste.

Health benefits of mushrooms:

  • Rich in Nutrients: They provide essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin D (when exposed to sunlight), vitamin B, selenium, and potassium.
  • Antioxidant Power: Mushrooms are a source of antioxidants, such as ergothioneine and glutathione, which combat oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.
  • Immune Support: Certain mushroom varieties, like shiitake and maitake, contain compounds that may bolster the immune system.
  • Heart Health: The potassium content in mushrooms contributes to heart health by helping manage blood pressure.
  • Gut Health: Mushrooms’ prebiotic fiber content can support gut health and a balanced microbiome.

13. Shrimp.

If you’re in the mood for something different, shrimp is a great option. With their high protein content and low calorie count, shrimp offer a satisfying way to curb hunger and support muscle growth and repair. They aren’t just a delicious option to add into a meal but they are so quick to cook when you have a busy day.

Health benefits of shrimp:

  • Protein Power: Shrimp is a protein powerhouse, aiding in muscle maintenance and keeping you full and satisfied.
  • Rich in Nutrients: Shrimp provide essential nutrients like vitamin B12, iodine, and selenium.
  • Heart Health: The omega-3 fatty acids in shrimp support heart health by reducing inflammation and improving cholesterol levels.
  • Immune Support: Selenium and other minerals in shrimp can boost your immune system.
  • Brain Health: Omega-3s in shrimp may enhance cognitive function and protect against age-related cognitive decline.
  • Bone Health: Shrimp’s calcium and vitamin D content are vital for strong bones and teeth.

RELATED: 11 Healthy snacks to keep you fueled throughout the day.

Conclusion.

Adding high volume low calorie foods into your diet doesn’t have to be complicated. Start by gradually adding more fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins to your meals and snacks. Experiment with different recipes and cooking methods to keep things interesting, and don’t forget to listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. No matter what your goals are, consistency is key and a healthy lifestyle is nothing to shy away from.

Happy Eating,

Your Wellness Warrior!

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