Some New Year’s resolutions are still going strong while others have certainly fallen off the cliff. Those that chose to work on a healthier lifestyle may still be trying to forget about all the high-calorie goodies we stuffed into our mouths during the holidays. J
Jenna Smith, University of Illinois Extension registered dietitian and nutrition and wellness educator, says, “now is the season of trying out new diets, some of which yield success on the scale but hunger pains in the stomach.”
Many try to restrict calories to lose weight drastically, but research has shown that this merely slows metabolic rate, making it harder to lose the pounds. Smith suggests, “instead of concentrating on what not to eat, focus on foods that are nutritious and appetizing.” Here are five low-calorie foods that will fill you up, helping you to eat less.
- Broccoli. Fiber keeps you feeling full, and when it comes to broccoli, there is plenty of it. One cup chopped and boiled has about six grams of dietary fiber. If broccoli is not your first choice of veggies, try Brussel sprouts, collard greens or acorn squash, all of which are loaded with fiber.
- Raspberries. Just one cup of raspberries has eight grams of dietary fiber. Buy them frozen during the winter months to use in smoothies or on top of oatmeal or whole-wheat pancakes.
- Lentils. These legumes lead the way in fiber content. One cup boiled has about 16 grams of dietary fiber. Compared to dried beans, lentils are relatively quick and easy to prepare and ready to eat in 20 to 30 minutes. Use lentils in hot soups or cold salads.
- Eggs. Research suggests that a breakfast of eggs will keep you satisfied all the way to lunch. Protein will also help curb the appetite, and eggs are an excellent source at six grams per egg. Eggs are low-cost, quick and easy to prepare.
- Almonds. Any nut will do really, but almonds are especially high in protein and fiber (one-ounce yields five grams of protein and 3 grams of fiber.) A handful for a snack will get you through to the next meal.
This list, of course, is not all-inclusive. All fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein are winners in your quest for a healthier you. However, these five foods will help you get a jump-start in your journey, without the interruptions of hunger pains.
Microwave Eggs Olé
¼ cup skim milk
2 Tablespoons salsa
2 Tablespoons black olives, diced
2 Tablespoons reduced-fat shredded cheddar cheese
Spray microwave-safe dish with non-stick cooking spray. Whisk eggs in medium bowl. Add milk; whisk. Pour mixture into the dish, cover, and microwave on high for 4 minutes. Remove lid and use a fork to scramble eggs. Top off with salsa, olives and shredded cheese.
Yield: 2 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving): 120 calories, 7 grams fat, 310 milligrams sodium, 4 grams carbohydrate, 1 gram fiber, 10 grams protein
— Focus on healthy foods that will fill you up —