First and foremost I would like to wish everyone a happy & healthy new year!
If you are one of the many Canadians who have committed to a healthier household this New Years, you aren’t alone. New Year’s resolutions relating to healthy eating and weight management are very common and can be very valuable if carried out appropriately.
Unfortunately, for one reason or another, many of these resolutions just don’t last.
That’s where today’s article comes in. As a dietitian, I find that one of the biggest problems people face when trying to introduce dietary changes is the struggle with feeling their intake is restricted.
Healthy eating, when implemented appropriately, is not restrictive but the reality remains that it is still more restrictive than eating what you want, when you want to.
There are certain foods out there though, that can be consumed in greater quantity for lesser amount of calories.
Since these foods are lower in calories per serving than other similar foods, they will help keep you feeling satisfied without racking up the calorie totals.
They should help support your goals and keep you on a better track to maintain your resolutions.
Let’s take a look at the seven foods you need in your home in 2017:
- Air-Popped Popcorn: Popcorn gets a bad reputation because it is served lathered in butter and sugary powder at the movie theatre, but good old fashioned air popped popcorn is one of the best snacks out there. Three cups of popcorn comes out to less than 100 calories, you will not find a brand of chips that comes anywhere close to that value! Don’t like popcorn? Plain rice cakes with some cinnamon sprinkled on top are another great option.
- Strawberries: Look no further than strawberries to satisfy your craving for something sweet. As with other varieties of berries, strawberries are an exceptionally healthy choice that comes in at only 50 calories per cup. For reference, the same volume of grapes contains twice as many calories. Other fruits that are particularly low in calories per serving include honeydew, watermelon, peaches and plums.
- Celery & Carrots: If you are looking for something crunchy that you can eat a whole lot of for very few calories, there is no better choice than this classic combination. Celery has very low calorie totals and it takes three medium carrots to tally up to 100 calories. If you are feeling adventurous, throw some cucumber in there as well!
- 4. Chestnuts: If you are craving something a little bit more exciting, chestnuts are an excellent choice. They contain only a fraction of the calories of most other nuts (like almonds) so you can eat more for less.
- Beets: If you are looking for something starchy and sweet at meal time, beets are a great choice that contain about 75 calories per cup and will help keep you feeling both nourished and satisfied.
- Almond Milk (fortified): Fortified almond milk is a great way to deliver your body nutrients that soy or cow’s milk would, at about a third of the calories. I don’t necessarily widely recommend making the swap, but if you have a balanced and strong diet and are looking for extra spots reduce calories, this is a potential move you can make.
- Broth-based Soups: Soup is a secret weapon when it comes to getting a lot in you for fewer calories, especially if your soup is full of satisfying low-calorie green vegetables like kale, broccoli, Brussel sprouts and so on. Broth-based soups are inherently low in calories, and will help keep you feeling full because of all the fluid volume you will be taking in.
We all need that little bit of extra support to reach our goals. Lean on these seven foods in the New Year to help curb cravings and keep your diet feeling unrestricted while you pursue your goals.
Andy is a Toronto-based private practice dietitian with a master’s degree in public health nutrition. He is also a nutrition writer and blogger. You can learn more about him and his services at AndyTheRD.com.
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