- Whether you count calories or not, a calorie deficit is required for weight loss.
- Using low-calorie cooking spray instead of oil is a good way to save around 100 calories per portion.
- Here are 7 of my favorite low-calorie dinners that helped me lose 35 pounds (16kg) and keep it off.
All you have to do is cook your fillings in a large frying pan on a medium heat (or add pre-cooked ingredients to heat up). Whisk your eggs with seasoning then pour into the pan and top with feta. Cook for about five minutes on the stove before transferring to the oven for about 15 minutes until cooked through and golden on top.
Dietitian Nichola Ludlam-Raine said: “Frittatas are a great choice for a satiating but low- calorie dinner (depending what you put in it of course). They’re perfect for using up leftover veg and they’re high in protein too, which is key to prioritize when losing weight as it will help to keep you feeling fuller for longer. Bulking out this recipe with lots of non-starchy vegetables and a handful of potatoes will add extra fiber too as well as 1-2 of your 5-a-day.”
Ludlam-Raine said: “This recipe sounds delicious and satisfying. Using light cream cheese or reduced fat hard cheese is a great way to add flavor, as well as protein and calcium, but keep the calories low if this is something you’re keeping mindful of (as fat contains of twice the number of calories per gram than carbs or protein). Adding both whole and blended vegetables within the sauce is a great way to pack in a variety of vitamins and minerals. For an additional boost of fiber you could try this using wholewheat pasta.”
Ludlam-Raine said: “Baked potatoes are such a staple midweek meal. Both the beans and cheese contain a source of protein, but to help keep the calories, fats, and sugars down, opt for low fat cheese and/or keep to a small matchbox-sized portion, and choose no added sugar and salt beans if you can. To add volume to your plate, you could add a side salad.”
Ludlam-Raine said: “This is a really budget-friendly, low-calorie recipe which can be made with both tinned and/or fresh or frozen vegetables. Dishes with a tomato base — such as shakshuka or home-made curry — tend to be lower in calories in comparison to more creamy dishes or those made with coconut milk. Similar to the frittata, you can add any leftover vegetables.”
Ludlam-Raine said: “Turkey breast mince is a low-calorie and lower saturated fat swap for beef, pork mince, or even turkey thigh mince. Making your own bolognese sauce can be a great way to save on any additional sugars that may be added to jarred sauces. Bulking out the sauce with onions and other vegetables is a great way to add extra volume without the calories.”
All you need to do is heat some oil (or light cooking spray) in a hot wok, stir-fry your protein of choice for a few minutes, add chopped veggies and cook for a few minutes more, add ready-made noodles or rice, then stir in your sauce. Sometimes I add edamame or lentil noodles for an extra protein boost.
Ludlam-Raine said: “Stir-fries are a great way to pack a good volume of vegetables into your meal if you struggle to meet your five-a-day. If you wanted to boost the protein content here, you could even add an egg and scramble in with the vegetables for an egg-fried stir-fry.”
Ludlam-Raine said: “I absolutely love all-in-one recipes! Try to opt for wholegrain rice for a source of fiber and lean beef to keep mindful of saturated fats. Beef is however a great source of B12, iron, and protein to name a few. To make this meal go further you could even add a tin of lentils for extra fiber — 3 tbsp is one of your five-a-day.”