One of the hardest parts of losing weight is cutting back on calories.
Many low-calorie foods can make you hungry and feel dissatisfied between meals, making it much more tempting to overeat and indulge yourself.
Luckily, there are many healthy foods that are both filling and low in calories.
Here are 5 surprisingly hearty low-calorie foods.
Oats can be a great addition to a healthy weight loss diet.
They are not only low in calories, but also high in protein and fiber that keep you feeling full.
A 1/2 cup (40 gram) serving of dry oats only contains 148 calories, but contains 5.5 grams of protein and 3.8 grams of fiber – both of which can have a significant impact on your hunger and your appetite.
A study of 48 adults showed that eating oatmeal increased feelings of fullness and at the next meal reduced hunger and calorie intake.
Another small study linked instant and old-fashioned oatmeal to significantly improve appetite control over a four-hour period in contrast to a ready-to-eat breakfast cereal.
2. Greek yogurt
A great source of protein is Greek yogurt that can help reduce cravings and promote weight loss.
While the exact numbers vary by brand and flavor, a 2/3 cup (150 gram) serving of Greek yogurt typically provides around 130 calories and 11 grams of protein.
A study of 20 women looked at how a high-protein yogurt snack affected appetite compared to unhealthy high-fat snacks like chocolate or crackers.
Not only were the women who ate yogurt less hungry, they also ate 100 calories less at dinner than those who ate crackers or chocolate.
In another study of 15 women, high-protein Greek yogurt helped increase feelings of fullness and reduce hunger in contrast to low-protein snacks.
Although soup is often considered a light and simple side dish, it can be very satisfying.
In fact, some research suggests that soups can be more filling than solid foods, even if they contain the same ingredients.
For example, a study of 12 people found that smooth soup slowed stomach emptying and was more effective at promoting fullness than a solid meal or chunky soup.
In another study of 60 people, eating soup before a meal reduced total calorie intake at lunch by 20%.
Also remember that creamy soups and chowders – while filling – can also be high in calories.
Opt for a lighter broth or broth based soup to minimize calories and maximize fullness.
Berries – including blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, and raspberries – are rich in antioxidants, minerals, and vitamins that can optimize your health.
Their high fiber content also stimulates weight loss and reduces hunger.
For example, 1 cup (148 grams) of blueberries provides only 84 calories but contains 3.6 grams of fiber.
Also, a great source of pectin is berries, a type of dietary fiber that slows stomach emptying and increases feelings of fullness in animal and human studies.
It could also help reduce calorie consumption to promote weight loss.
One study noted that a 65-calorie berry snack in the afternoon reduced calorie intake later in the day compared to a 65-calorie confectionery snack.
Eggs are extremely high in nutrients because they are low in calories but high in many essential nutrients.
A single large egg contains around 72 calories, 6 grams of protein, and a wide range of important vitamins and minerals.
Studies suggest that starting your day with a serving of eggs can reduce hunger and increase satiety.
In a study of 30 women, those who ate eggs for breakfast instead of a bagel felt more full and consumed 105 fewer calories later in the day.
Other studies find that a high protein breakfast may decrease snacking, slow stomach emptying, and lower levels of ghrelin, the hormone responsible for hunger.