Calorie deficit foods are foods that don’t have a high-calorie value but are still energising and nutritious. When we say low-calorie food, we mostly think of vegetables and fruits. While that is mostly true, other foods from other food groups are low in calories but high in another nutrition aspect.
A calorie deficit is the only way to achieve weight loss, and you can get to that state by expending more calories than you consume. This can be achieved through a reduction in the calories you consume, increased physical activity, or a combination of both.
There is no such thing as a negative calorie food, or a food that will get you to lose weight by eating it. Instead, it’s low-calorie foods alongside smart eating habits that can get you in a calorie deficit from a nutritional standpoint.
Whether we are on a weight loss journey or are trying to improve and change our eating habits, food is supposed to be something that we enjoy. Being mindful of what we eat doesn’t mean depriving ourselves of the pleasure that food brings.
Here, I will give you some ideas about which foods align well with a calorie deficit and how to cook and combine them.
Know that calorie-deficit foods won’t be effective if we don’t cook them the right way. Frying and deep frying are big no-nos, so before I proceed, I must stress that none of the suggestions below will work if the cooking method isn’t calorie deficit friendly.
Ideal calorie deficit foods
Broccoli is a perfect food if you are on a calorie deficit journey and if you are being mindful of your nutrition in general. It is abundantly nutritious, and you can essentially have as much as you want to.
Broccoli is especially good for insulin resistance, which requires a low-fat and a low-carb diet. Broccoli is packed with minerals and antioxidants, making this vegetable extraordinarily healthy.
Its taste, however, is somewhat specific. Steam it and pair with carrots and garlic, season with apple cider vinegar, salt, and olive oil – it will do a perfect job keeping you full and happy.
Much like broccoli, cauliflower is low in calories and fat and high in nutrients. Cauliflower is milder, almost neutral tasting, and therefore you can combine it in many ways.
There’s cauliflower risotto, which is essentially cooked grated cauliflower spiced with rice seasoning. The cauliflower pizza crust is also an excellent use of cauliflower, as well as baked cauliflower and ricotta balls.
Cauliflower goes excellent in salads, as well as soups.
Chicken breast is the cleanest type of chicken meat. While chicken drums and chicken wings contain fat, chicken breast is rich in protein while low in fat.
Chicken breast is also low calorie, with 165 calories in 3.5 ounces (100 grams). Considering that a calorie deficit generally falls between consuming 1,200 and 1,800 calories a day, it means that you will need approximately eight to ten 3.5-ounce pieces of chicken breast to fulfil this number.
Chicken breast is great for combining, and it tastes great roasted and grilled. It also tastes excellent as a salad ingredient: in Cesar salad, red bean salad, or corn salad.
Although ricotta isn’t a low-fat type of cheese, it is still great for a calorie deficit. The calories in ricotta come from protein and fat. So if you are trying to build muscles while losing fat, choose ricotta over cream cheese or other high-fat cheese types.
Ricotta is also very nutritious, rich in micronutrients, and is very satiating.
Only half a cup of ricotta will provide you with a great nutritional value and enough calories and fat for energy.
Ricotta works excellent in smoothies and soups, and it will be a great addition to eggs and mushrooms. It is neutral tasting, so you can combine it in many ways to make it work.
Tuna in Brine
Tuna in brine is an ideal calorie deficit food. It is low-fat, high-protein, and very low in calories. However, there is one thing to keep in mind: brine. There’s water-based brine and oil-based brine.
Oil-based brine is fattier and higher in calories than water-based; therefore, you should choose water-based brine. That criteria fulfilled, brine tuna is an excellent choice for a low-calorie diet.
Another bonus to brine tuna is that it pairs amazingly with a variety of dishes. Tuna salad, tuna wraps, tuna pizza, are just a few of them; there’s a whole lot of space to be creative.
Kale stew, in particular, is very recommendable for this purpose, as it is rich in nutrients and very low in fat and calories. In general, Stews and soups fit pretty nicely in the calorie deficit diet category.
You can add whatever other vegetables you like and make it just as you want it, but it goes best with carrots, onions, and cauliflower. Kale is also great for the digestive system, so it helps with food digestion in the long term if regularly consumed.
Leek is known for its health benefits. Its high vitamin C and vitamin K content make this vegetable a smart choice for a low-calorie journey.
In addition to its high nutritional value, leeks are very delicious too. Leek stew is one of the tastiest, low-calorie stews. Enriched with other vegetables and seasoning, it is a true delight for the palate and an excellent solution for your daily calorie deficit menu.