When you talk about losing weight, you often associate it with hard dieting and exhausting exercise routines. Diets have become synonymous with starving yourself and going hungry. But, done correctly, a diet shouldn't make you feel extremely uncomfortable. You should be satisfied, without being completely full.
In it's simplest form, a diet is controlling how much you eat. The best way to measuring this is by looking at how many calories you are eating. If you eat fewer calories than you burn then you lose weight. However, most people aren't so good at controlling their caloric intake. They tend to eat much more than they think they are eating.
To help you out, we've compiled a list of 15 amazingly delicious recipes. Each of them being under 300 calories. Perfect for anyone looking to watch what they eat.
Furthermore, we've made sure that these recipes will actually fill you up and you won't be left hungry and prone snacking between meals. Check out the recipes below.
Regarded as the most important meal of the day, breakfast is great for kick starting your metabolism in the morning. Here are 5 of the best tasting low-calorie breakfast recipes we found just for you!
1. Cornflake Crunch French Toast
Start your day with a combination of cornflakes and toast! This yummy delight may seem small but actually fills you in with eggs, butter, and milk!
- 2 cups cornflakes
- 3 eggs
- 1 1/2 cups 1% low fat milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 8 slices whole-wheat bread
- 1 teaspoon butter
- Pure maple syup
- Fresh fruit
- Preheat oven to 200°.
- Put cornflakes into a food processor; pulse until fine, and set aside.
- Whisk eggs with milk in a bowl; add vanilla extract.
- Place bread slices (2 at a time) into batter; let soak for 2 minutes. Meanwhile, heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat, and melt butter.
- Coat 1 slice of bread on both sides with cornflake crumbs; cook for 2–3 minutes per side.
- Repeat with remaining bread, and serve with pure maple syrup and fresh fruit
2. Banana Corn Muffins
Bananas are one of the most nutritious and convenient fruits out there. Put that inside your corn muffin and you're in for a morning treat!
- 1/2 cup mashed ripe banana (about 1 medium)
- 1/2 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
- 1 (8 1/2-ounce) package corn muffin mix
- Cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 350°Combine banana, milk, and mix in a medium bowl; stir just until moist.
- Spoon batter evenly into 6 muffin cups coated with cooking spray (batter will be slightly thin).
- Bake at 350° for 22 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
- Cool in pan 10 minutes.
3. Scrambled Eggs with Smoked Salmon and Chiver
Scrambled eggs and salmon? And it's under 300 calories?! It's not too good to be true! Go ahead and try it out yourself.
- 12 eggs
- 250ml (1 cup) thickened cream
- 40g butter, finely chopped
- Pinch of salt
- 4 thick slices sourdough, toasted, buttered
- 40g baby spinach leaves
- 200g smoked-salmon slices
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh chives
- Use a wire balloon whisk to whisk together the eggs and cream in a large bowl until well combined.
- Melt butter in a large heavy-based frying pan over low heat until foaming.
- Add egg mixture and use a flat-edged wooden spoon to gently push the egg mixture, scraping the spoon along the base of the pan, from one side of the pan to the other in 4 different directions.
- Repeat pushing action every 10 seconds, including around the edge of the pan, to prevent the egg mixture from sticking.
- Cook for 8 minutes or until 3/4 of the egg mixture is cooked but mixture is still creamy.
- Remove from heat.
- Taste and season with salt.
- Place toasted sourdough on serving plates. Top with spinach leaves and smoked salmon.
- Spoon over the scrambled eggs.
- Sprinkle with chives and serve immediately.
4. Baked Eggs in Ham Cups
Another egg favorite but this time paired with our classic bacon. Amazingly easy to make, all you'll need is a decent oven a few affordable ingredients and you're one step close to tasting this hearty meal.
- 12 slices of ham (free of preservatives)
- 12 eggs
- Salt, pepper, and paprika
- Preheat oven to 375ºF.
- Line a muffin tin with slices of ham.
- Crack an egg into each muffin spot, and season with salt, pepper, and paprika.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Allow to cool for two to three minutes, remove slowly from muffin tin, and enjoy!
5. Sweet Spinach Smoothie
Can't stand spinach? Why not just turn it into a low-calorie breakfast smoothie and gulp it down like it's made of pure heaven? Whoever thought of this recipe is a genius!
- 2 cups spinach leaves, packed
- 1 ripe pear, peeled, cored, and chopped
- 15 green or red grapes
- 6 ounces fat-free plain
- Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons chopped avocado
- 1 or 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- In a blender or food processor, combine all the ingredients until blended to the desired consistency.
The midday meal. This is the meal that can make or break our appetites for the rest of the day. Even if you have a busy schedule, try to not skip lunch. Chances are you'll end up snacking on unhealthy food later in the day. We compiled a list of 5 low-calorie lunch meals that are also easy to prepare and fill you up!
6. Anti-Fat Vegetable Soup
Vegetable soup for lunch may not sound appetizing but you haven't tried our special anti-fat veggie soup yet! The ingredients in this low-calorie lunch recipe are meant to help you burn fat too!
- 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
- 3 carrots, peeled and sliced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 small yellow onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- Pinch of Kosher or sea salt, more or less to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/8 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 (15 ounce) cans navy beans, drained and rinsed (optional, black beans)
- 4 cups vegetable broth, low-sodium1 (14.5 oz.) can diced tomatoes (no salt added),*
- 4 cups baby spinach, loosely packed
- 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil, optional, for serving (1/2 teaspoon per serving)
* this is an optional ingredient
- Add all ingredients, except spinach and olive oil, to the slow cooker.
- Cover and cook on low 6 to 8 hours, or until the vegetables are tender.
- Add spinach, stir and continue cooking just until wilted, approximately 5 minutes.
- Serve and enjoy!
7. BLT Bow Tie Pasta Salad
Salad is often healthy and an excellent meal to pair with your main course. Here's an idea: Why not make your salad the main dish? That's what we did here and we're sure you'll love it!
- 2-1/2 cups uncooked bow tie pasta
- 6 cups torn romaine
- 1-1/2 cups cubed cooked chicken breast
- 1 medium tomato, diced
- 4 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
- 1/3 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 tablespoon barbecue sauce
- 1-1/2 teaspoons white vinegar
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Cook pasta according to package directions.
- Drain and rinse under cold water.
- In a large bowl, combine romaine, chicken, tomato, bacon and pasta.
- In a small bowl, whisk mayonnaise, water, barbecue sauce, vinegar and pepper.
- Pour over salad; toss to coat.
- Serve immediately.
8. Easy Southwestern Veggie Wraps
Sandwiches are out. Wraps are in. This healthy meal will fill you in on what calories count and what doesn't so be sure to try this special veggie lunch recipe!
- 2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup frozen corn, thawed
- 1 cup cooked brown rice, cooled
- 2 shallots, chopped
- 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and chopped
- ⅓ cup fat-free sour cream
- ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 romaine leaves
- 6 whole-wheat tortillas, at room temperature
- In a large bowl, combine the first 6 ingredients.
- In a small bowl, combine the sour cream, cilantro, lime juice, and seasonings.
- Gently stir into tomato mixture.
- Place romaine on tortillas; top with filling.
- Roll up and secure with toothpicks.
- Cut each in half.
9. Barbecue Chicken Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
This recipe calls for sweet potatoes and chicken. Healthy, hearty, and most important of all, low in calorie. Just be a bit conservative on the BBQ sauce. We know it tastes good but you might go beyond 300!
- 1 sweet potato
- 2 cups chicken, cooked and shredded
- Your favorite barbecue sauce, to taste
- Green onion
- Wash your sweet potato and stab it with a fork a couple times.
- Wrap it in a paper towel and microwave for 5 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork; turn it over halfway through cooking.
- Mix the chicken with your desired amount of barbecue sauce.
- Cover and microwave for 2 minutes.
- Cut the sweet potato in half and top with chicken and green onion.
10. Vegetable Casserole
Nothing tastes healthier than a good old fashioned vegetable casserole. The great thing about this recipe is that it will never leave you feeling hungry for a long time.
- 2 large Eggplants
- 2 large Tomatoes
- 1 large Onion
- 1 Clove Garlic
- 2 TBSP Olive oil
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt
- Fresh basil
- Wash the eggplant and tomatoes, then remove the stalk and cut each vegetable in thick, large slices.
- Peel onions and cut them into thick slices as well.
- Brush the casserole dish with a tablespoon of olive oil and then layer the vegetable slices alternately.
- For the second tablespoon of oil, stir with salt and pepper and then distribute it over the vegetables.
- Peel the garlic and cut it into very small pieces and distribute directly on the vegetable casserole.
- Then put the casserole dish at 180 degrees in the oven and let the casserole bake for about 15 minutes.
- Wash the fresh herbs and put them aside.
- When the baking is finished, let it stand for 5 minutes then add the fresh herbs on it and then eat it at once!
"Dinner is served!" this phrase often signals the time for our last meal before the day ends. We compiled a list of unbelievably low-calorie dinners for those who don't want to sleep with too full a tummy.
11. Sweet and Spicy Shrimp with Rice Noodles
For dinner, this tasty rice noodle meal can be a satisfying way to end your day.
- 1 tablespoon vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoons honey
- 1 tablespoon red chilli sauce
- 1 tablespoon soy sauce
- 12 ounces peeled and deveined medium shrimp
- 200 grams uncooked flat rice noodles (pad thai noodles)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 2 tablespoons chopped unsalted cashews
- 1 tablespoon thinly sliced garlic
- 2 teaspoons ginger paste
- 1 green jalapeño, halved
- 1 Green Pepper diced
- 1 Red Pepper diced
- 1 Orange Pepper diced
- 3/4 cup matchstick-cut carrot
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Combine the first 4 ingredients in a medium bowl.
- Stir everything well with a whisk.
- Add shrimp to vinegar mixture; toss to coat.
- Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
- Cook the rice noodle according to the instructions given on the pack. (The time may vary depending on the brand).
- Once cooked, rinse with cold water and drain.
- Repeat the rinsing and draining one more time and set aside.
- Stir fry some of the ingredients.
- Heat a large skillet or wok over medium-high heat.
- Add oil to pan; swirl to coat.
- Add cashews, garlic, ginger, and chili to pan; stir-fry 1 minute or until garlic begins to brown.
- Remove mixture from pan and set aside.
- Cook the rest of the ingredients.Increase heat to high.
- Add peppers, carrot, and salt to pan; stir-fry for 2 minutes.
- Add shrimp mixture (do not drain); stir-fry for 2 minutes.
- Stir in noodles and cook for 1 minute, tossing to coat.
- Return cashew mixture to pan and cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated, tossing frequently.
12. Indian-Spiced Chard With Tofu
Craving for Indian Cuisine? Try this out!
- 1 large bunch of red Swiss chard or rainbow chard (around 16 to 18 leaves)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon ginger, minced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon turmeric
- 1 teaspoon garam masala
- 1/2 teaspoon red chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 block extrafirm tofu, cubed
- 1 cup water
- 1/4 cup roasted cashews, for garnish
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro, for garnish
- Rip leaves of chard of stalks and set stalks aside.
- Chop chard leaves into bite-size pieces, then wash and drain thoroughly.
- Rinse stalks, then chop.
- Heat the olive oil in a large pan.
- Add the onions, garlic, and ginger and sauté until golden brown — about 3 minutes.
- Add the chard stalks.
- Sauté 1 to 2 minutes more.
- Add the turmeric, garam masala, cumin powder, red chili flakes, and salt.
- Sauté 3 to 5 minutes until fragrant.
- Add the chopped tomato and cook until tomatoes break down.
- Add chard leaves and cook on medium-high just until the leaves wilt, about 3 minutes.
- Add the tofu and water.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to med-low and simmer 15 minutes till chard cooks down and the flavors meld together.
- Sprinkle with cashews and cilantro just before serving.
13. Spicy Sweet Potato Salad
This meal has fiber from potatoes to help you lose weight.
- 4 large sweet potatoes
- 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup red-wine vinegar
- 1 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and quartered
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 tablespoon grated orange zest
- 1/2 cup sliced scallion
- 1/2 cup minced fresh mint leaves
- 1 or 2 fresh minced chilis (jalapeño, Thai, serrano, or habanero), or to taste
- 1/4 cup raisins (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400˚F.
- Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into bite-size pieces.
- Put them on a baking sheet, drizzle with two tablespoons of the oil, and toss to coat.
- Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and roast, turning occasionally, until crisp and brown outside and just tender inside, about 30 minutes.
- Remove and keep on the pan until ready to dress.
- Make the dressing while the potatoes cook.
- Put the remaining six tablespoons of oil in a blender, along with the vinegar, bell pepper, cumin, and zest if you're using it.
- Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper.
- Purée until smooth.
- Toss the warm potatoes with the scallion, mint, chiles, and raisins if you're using them.
- Add 1/2 cup of the dressing, and toss to coat, adding more if necessary.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning.
- Serve immediately or at room temperature.
14. Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burrito
Lower blood pressure and cholesterol with this vegan burrito.
- 1 pound sweet potatoes (about 3 cups or 2 sweet potatoes), diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 3 cups chopped tomatoes (I used 1 box Pomi chopped tomatoes)
- 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup frozen corn1 red pepper, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more or less depending on your preference)
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 whole-wheat tortilla wraps
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a pan, toss the sweet potatoes with the olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon cumin, and roast for 25 to 30 minutes, until soft and slightly browned.
- While that's roasting, add the tomatoes, black beans, corn, red pepper, cayenne, and rest of the cumin to a large pot, and cook on medium heat for 15 minutes, stirring often.
- Place a wrap on a plate, and microwave for 15 seconds so it becomes more soft and warm.
- Spoon out 1/4 of the tomato-bean mixture into the center of the tortilla.
- Add 1/4 of the roasted sweet potatoes.
- Fold in the sides of the wrap, then the bottom, then the top.
- Turn it over, place on a plate with some salsa, and enjoy!
- Or if you prefer a crunchier tortilla, pop the burrito in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Refrigerate or freeze any leftover filling.
15. Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese
Spaghetti for dinner? Yes, it's true!
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- Canola oil spray
- 2 cups broccoli florets, steamed
- 1 tablespoon ghee
- 1 tablespoon whole-wheat flour
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 1 cup reduced-fat cheddar cheese
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan
- Salt and pepper
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, optional garnish
- 1 teaspoon grated parmesan, optional garnish
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Cut spaghetti squash in half, and scoop out and discard seeds.
- Spray the center of both halves of squash with cooking spray, and place cut side up on a cookie sheet.
- Roast until tender when pierced with a knife, about 50 minutes.
- Remove squash from oven, and let cool.
- Once it's safe to handle, scrape flesh into a large bowl.
- Add in steamed broccoli florets to bowl and set aside.
- In a large saucepan, melt ghee on medium heat and whisk in whole wheat flour.
- Add milk and whisk quickly.
- Turn heat down to low, add both cheeses to saucepan, and stir until melted.
- Remove from heat.
- Pour cheese sauce over spaghetti squash and broccoli mixture, and toss until all the squash is covered.
- Dish into 4 portions, and top off with red pepper flakes and extra cheese if you wish!
Virtually any of these recipes will help you lose weight. The important thing to remember is not to starve yourself. Plan it all out and maybe even have a friend or two to help you with on your diet. Don't treat this as a diet plan but as a way to eat low calories meals which are filling enough to help you avoid feeling the need for a snack between meals.