To lose weight, one needs to consume fewer calories than what their body burns. One way to lower calorie intake is by consuming low-calorie foods. In general, low-calorie foods which are usually carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables that won't leave you as satiated, or satisfied, as calorie-dense foods that contain protein and fat. While craving carbs is natural and a great way of getting instant energy, they end up making us feel hungry shortly after eating.

As we mention all of this, what’s important to note is that for a healthy lifestyle, a well-balanced diet that consists of fruits, vegetables, dairy, grains, and protein is a must. One can ensure that by measuring your servings. You'll increase your chances of success if you keep track of all the foods you eat.

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What Is A Low-Calorie Diet?

A low-calorie diet plan is defined by the NHS as:

  • Between 1,000 and 1,500 calories per day for women
  • Between 1,500 and 2,000 calories per day for men

The calorie goal is set to be lower than the calories your body will spend during the day (due to organ functioning and activities), leading your body to break down body fat to make up for the calorie deficit.

Low-calorie diets can take many different forms due to their broad meaning. As an example, any low fat or low carbohydrate diet that meets the low-calorie diet plan criterion is likewise a low-calorie diet.

Who Should Follow A Low-Calorie Diet?

Diets that are extremely low in calories are not suitable for everyone. Consult your physician to determine whether this type of diet is right for you.

When taken under competent medical supervision, very low-calorie diets are typically safe if your BMI is larger than 30. Very low-calorie diets should be designated for those who have weight-related medical issues and are under medical care, not for those who are overweight but not obese (BMI of 27-30).

Very low-calorie diets are not suggested for pregnant or nursing women, and they are not suitable for adolescents or teenagers unless they are part of a specialist treatment programme. They may not be suitable for adults over the age of 50, depending on the necessity for drugs for pre-existing diseases and the risk of adverse effects.

Know the Health Benefits of low calorie diet

Here is a list of a few benefits of being on a low-calorie food diet:

  • Effectivity - If followed carefully, this diet is generally effective, especially in the short term. When your weight goes down, your calorie requirement decreases, and you need to adjust your caloric intake accordingly. Remember that goal is to be healthy.
  • Accessibility - It simply takes around at your nearest supermarket. The experience at the end depends on your choices and your ability to convert those ingredients into tasty meals. One of the ways to go about it is trying low-calorie Indian foods.
  • Safety - Low-calorie diets are generally safe if followed carefully and, ideally, recommended by and with a medical professional's guidance. When balanced with a nourishing diet, it can show great short-term results. Nevertheless, consulting a doctor before diving into any new diet regimes is always recommended.

By making conscious meal plans with low-calorie foods, one can easily avoid any side effects that may come your way. By slowly easing into high-calorie to low-calorie food plans and staying vigilant about the changes your body goes through during the transition period, one can get the best out of low-calorie diets and can even successfully sidetrack negative effects, if any. This can be achieved through careful planning and monitoring of the new diet.

10 Best Low-Calorie Food Items : List of low calorie food for Weight Loss

Low-calorie foods, such as the ones listed below, help you enjoy a fuller meal without constantly being obsessed over how a particular bite will reflect on the weighing scale, the following day. Check out these 10 low-calorie filling foods for weight loss!


They’re not only low in calories but are also high in protein and fiber that keep you feeling full. To make your meals with oats more filling, mix with half a cup of plain nonfat Greek yogurt. One of the great ways to spice up your boring bowl of oats is to make idlis out of it. Idli prepared from oats is a great option to start your day with. A 1/2-cup (40-gram) serving of dry oats has just 148 calories but packs 5.5 grams of protein and about 3.8 grams of fiber.


Eggs are extremely nutrient-dense, as they’re low in calories but are rich in many vital nutrients. Consuming eggs can leave one feeling full. Numerous recipes can be built around eggs for tastier twists! For a classic breakfast of deviled eggs, slice the boiled eggs in half lengthwise, removing yolks to a medium bowl, and placing the whites on a serving platter. Mash the yolks into a fine crumble using a fork. Add mayonnaise, vinegar, mustard, salt, and pepper, and mix well. 

Evenly disperse heaping teaspoons of the yolk mixture into the egg whites. Sprinkle with paprika and serve. Sounds incredible? You bet.

Did you know that a single large boiled egg has approximately 155 calories, 6 grams of protein, and a good range of important vitamins and minerals?

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese is a great source of protein and an excellent snack for those looking to lose weight. Helping you keep your appetite and metabolism in check, low-fat cottage cheese can be great low-calorie food for mid-afternoon snacking. Palak paneer is considered one of the most healthy curries in India. Tender and flavorful, this leafy green, spinach is rich in iron, folic acid, and vitamin K. It is pleasurable even for people who don’t enjoy spinach that much. Calories in a bowl of it? Only 190!

As about 30 percent of the calories from protein are burned up during digestion, so eating protein-rich foods can help you burn a few more calories each day. One cup (226 grams) of low-fat cottage cheese packs about 28 grams of protein and just 163 calories.


With hot and humid days of summer approaching, one can easily find themselves in the mood for something cool and sweet! With a high water content that keeps you hydrated and full, watermelon supplies a minimal number of calories. 90 percent of a watermelon's weight is water and it's one of the best fruits to eat if you're trying to lose weight. Make yourself a fruit bowl of watermelon, apples, and berries, all of which are low-calorie foods, and top with herbs and spices and beat the summer heat while you get in shape!

One cup (152 grams) of diced watermelon contains 46 calories alongside an assortment of essential micronutrients like vitamins A and C.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is a great source of protein that can help curb cravings and promote weight loss. It is a healthy option as it is low in fat and helps with digestion. It is rich in potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and Vitamin B12.

A 2/3-cup (150-gram) serving of Greek yogurt typically provides about 130 calories and 11 grams of protein, while the exact numbers depend on the brands and flavors.


Cucumbers are a refreshing vegetable commonly found in salads and great for snacking. They’re also used to flavor water along with fruits and herbs. Switch your packet of chips or crackers with sliced cucumbers. Pair them with a minty low-fat greek yogurt dip and you are good to go for evening appetizers.

Since cucumbers are mostly water, they’re very low in calories — one-half cup (52 grams) only has 8.

Green Tea

Most herbal teas and carbonated waters have zero to very few calories. Rich in antioxidants, green tea promotes faster fat burning. Regularly drinking green tea can help you lose weight and reduce your risk of several diseases, including diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. So there you have it! Green tea is practically calorie-free and your go-to low-calorie buddy!


Popcorn being a snack that no one denies does not only help reduce appetite but also enhances the feeling of fullness in a small serving. You can cut down on major calories by making homemade popcorn. Use extra-virgin olive oil instead of butter and season with your favorite spices and herbs, like cinnamon, paprika, or your classic salt.

Though there are only 31 calories in 1 cup (8 grams) of air-popped popcorn, it boasts 1.2 grams of dietary fiber that is up to 5% of your daily fiber needs. The fiber slows your digestive process to promote fullness, but it can also stabilize blood sugar to prevent hunger and cravings.


We all are aware that fish is rich in protein and heart-healthy fats and is one of the low-calorie foods that are great for your overall health too. Moreover, fish protein may be especially beneficial for reducing hunger levels and appetite. 

India is a country surrounded by seas and that is why we have a variety of dishes prepared from local fish. Try and prepare your fish in minimum spices and oil and it’ll only be 325 calories a bowl. For instance, a 3-ounce (85-gram) serving of cod provides over 15 grams of protein and under 70 calories.


Because of their high protein and fiber content, legumes such as beans, peas, and lentils can be incredibly filling. The arhar daal a.k.a pigeon pea, most famously known as dal tadka is cooked in almost every Indian household and is enjoyed with rice even by children. Easy to digest, it is a great way of including low-calorie foods through familiar recipes.

One cup (198 grams) of cooked lentils provides about 230 calories, as well as 15.6 grams of fiber and nearly 18 grams of protein.

Vitamins & Minerals In Low-Calorie Food

The best approach to ensure you get a variety of vitamins and minerals, and in the proper amounts, is to adopt a broad healthy diet. This involves an emphasis on fruits and vegetables, whole grains, beans and legumes, low-fat protein, and dairy products.

Minerals like iron, calcium, and magnesium are some of the common must-haves when looking for low-calorie foods. Likewise, you should also be looking for vitamins such as B-2, B-5, Vitamin-C, and Vitamin-K.

Food That Burns Belly Fat

Water being the only food item with zero fat, it is surely not enough to sustain us for even a few days.

Including 3-5 cups of green tea, eating fewer carbohydrates, increasing the amount of protein intake and that of vitamins, minerals, and fiber through fruits and veggies is a great start to burn belly fat. Moreover, with a good healthy diet, regular exercises are highly recommended for staying fit and to reach your health goals faster.

How Many Calories Should Be Taken In A Low-Calorie Diet?

On a low-calorie diet, you should consume between 800 and 1,500 calories each day. An extremely low-calorie diet is an option for some people who want to lose weight quickly.

Many very low-calorie diets are 800-calorie or less professionally prepared formulae that replace all of the food you normally eat. Others, like the well-known grapefruit diet, concentrate on consuming a large quantity of the same low-calorie meal or foods.

Very low-calorie diets differ from over-the-counter meal replacements, which are used to replace one or two meals each day.

An extremely low-calorie meal can help you lose 3 to 5 pounds every week, for a total weight reduction of 44 pounds in 12 weeks if your BMI is over 30 (which your doctor will deem "obese").

Losing so much weight might help those with weight-related medical problems including diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. However, very low-calorie diets aren't more successful than more moderate diets in the long run. You must adjust your lifestyle after quitting a diet, committing to healthy food and frequent physical activity.

Here Are The Low-Calorie Foods To Avoid

3-Day Sample Menu Of Low-Calorie Foods

Day 1

  • 2 big eggs, 2 slices whole-grain bread, 1 tablespoon olive oil spread for breakfast
  • 2 pieces whole grain bread, 3 ounces tuna (canned in water), 1 slice low-fat mozzarella cheese, 1 tablespoon olive oil mayonnaise
  • 4 oz. grilled chicken, 1 medium Idaho baked potato, and 1-1/2 cups green beans for dinner
  • 1 cup skim milk, 1 medium apple as a snack

Day 2

  • 1 cup oatmeal, 12 cup blueberries, 1 tablespoon peanut butter for breakfast
  • 2 pieces whole grain bread, 2 oz low-sodium turkey, 1 slice Swiss cheese, 1 tsp mustard; 1 cup skim milk for lunch
  • 4 oz. salmon, 12 cups brown rice, 1-1/2 cups broccoli, 2 tsp olive oil, 1 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese for dinner
  • Snacks: 12 cup strawberries, 6 oz. non-fat plain Greek yoghurt

Day 3

  • 1 cup fat-free cottage cheese, 12 cups fresh pineapple for breakfast
  • 1 medium peach, 3 oz. grilled chicken, 14 cup bell pepper, 14 avocados, 2 Tbsp. salsa, 14 cups shredded lettuce, 1 low-carb wrap
  • 3 turkey meatballs, 12 cups whole wheat pasta, 1/3 cup marinara sauce, 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese; 2 cups spring lettuce mix, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 14 cup mixed nuts, 2 tablespoons dried cranberries

Low-Calorie Meals To Try

Miso tofu soup

For dinner, try this miso soup with silken tofu; it's light, creamy, and one of the best low-calorie food for weight loss.

Healthy beans on toast

In these low-calorie baked beans on toast with a twist, Ezme, a Turkish-inspired paste with tomatoes, peppers, onion, and pomegranate molasses, provides additional flavour. It's also low in sodium.

Healthy egg-fried rice

Check out this ginger fried rice with luscious juicy crab for added punch. It's quick, simple, and one of the best low-calorie food for weight loss.

Healthy chicken stir-fry

Nadine Brown's shredded chicken stir-fry is under 500 calories, yet it's packed with flavour thanks to its fresh, gingery flavour and red chilli spiciness.

Balsamic lentils with pork fillet

Our colourful pork dish benefits from the acidity of balsamic vinegar. This well-balanced lentil dinner is strong in protein but low in calories and salt, making it ideal for a weeknight supper.

Healthy vegan quinoa and black bean chilli

This quinoa and black bean chilli are strong in protein, low in calories, and vegan, yet they still taste creamy.

Stuffed butternut squash with feta

Stuff butternut squash with rice, lemon zest, raisins, dill, pine nuts, and feta for colourful, low-calorie food.

Gigantes plaki (Greek baked beans)

This Greek one-pot is ready in about an hour and is filled with fresh flavours, protein, and fibre, making it a nutritious vegetarian supper option with less than 300 calories.

Lighter pad Thai

Because we've used courgette instead of regular noodles, this pad Thai recipe is full of classic Thai flavours without a high-calorie count. It's simple to make and takes less than 30 minutes to prepare, making it ideal for a healthy midweek meal.

Chicken saag

The chicken saag dish demonstrates that you may eat healthy while still enjoying your favourite foods. It's not as heavy as traditional curries, but it's still full and pleasant.

Courgetti with pesto and balsamic tomatoes

When spiralized courgette is available, why needs pasta? Try our simple 'courgetti' dish, which includes baby plum tomatoes, garlic, pesto, pine nuts, and a large number of courgette noodles.

Chicken satay noodle salad

Check out this recipe for the red cabbage, shredded carrots, and toasted peanuts in a simple chicken satay noodle salad. This colourful, crunchy salad is light, filling, and ready in about an hour.

15-minute mushroom stroganoff

This fast and simple mushroom and tarragon stroganoff is a terrific, nutritious midweek dish that takes only 15 minutes to prepare.

Chilli-salt salmon with chopped salad

Check out this fast and easy chilli-salt salmon marinade. This bright dish creates a very light and flavorful lunch.

One-pot paprika cod and chickpeas

Check out this one-pot paprika cod with luscious tomatoes. When you're short on time but still want to eat healthily, this quick traybake is a great option.

Spiced carrot and lentil soup

Do you need a hearty, satisfying meal? Make a simple red lentil soup with gently spiced curried carrots, then serve with a swirl of yoghurt.

Easy chicken mole

This cheat's chicken mole dish employs a creative product to get it ready in under an hour while yet maintaining fresh flavour. Serve with rice for a nutritious meal.

Vegan fajita bowl with cauli rice

This vegan fajita meal with cauli rice will keep you on-trend while keeping you healthy. It's quick and easy to make, vegan, and 5:2-diet compatible, yet it still packs a punch in terms of flavour.

Tuscan pork steaks

This nutritious Tuscan pork steaks dish checks all the requirements. It's filling, low in fat, sugar, salt, and high in protein, so you'll feel satisfied for longer.

Smashed broad beans on toast

You're not a fan of the traditional beans on toast? Broad beans on toast is a better, greener alternative. This dish is quick and simple to prepare, making it excellent for those who are short on time or a diet.

Tandoori lamb steaks with chilli-spiked slaw

This tandoori lamb steaks with chilli-spiked slaw dish is tasty, healthy, and high in protein while being low in fat, sugar, and salt.

Lentil ‘meatballs’ with fresh tomato sauce

Lentils are an excellent method to produce a vegetarian dish. If you substitute these for regular meatballs, your family will scarcely notice the difference. Plus, they're ready in about 40 minutes, making them ideal for weeknights.

Low-Calorie Diet Side Effects

Minor adverse effects include tiredness, constipation, nausea, and diarrhoea in those who follow an extremely low-calorie diet plan for 4 to 16 weeks. These problems normally go away within a few weeks and seldom prevent anyone from finishing the programme.

The most prevalent significant adverse effect of very-low-calorie diets is gallstones. Gallstones are more prevalent when you lose a lot of weight quickly. When the body is deprived of calories, it begins to break down fat for fuel. The liver then secretes more cholesterol, which can create gallstones when mixed with bile.

To be healthy, you must consume a variety of meals from several dietary categories. On an extremely low-calorie diet plan, it's tough to receive appropriate nourishment and feel content. Furthermore, taking as low as 800 calories per day may not provide you with the energy you require for everyday activities and frequent physical exercise, particularly if you consume the same meals every day.

Should You Try A Low-Calorie Diet?

For weight maintenance, the 2020–2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend a diet of 1,600–2,400 calories per day for most adult females and 2,200–3,000 calories per day for most adult males. Try utilising the U.S. Department of Agriculture's MyPlate plan to determine your calorie needs to support weight reduction at a healthy rate of 1 to 2 pounds per week.

Most adults' daily calories would be reduced to 1,200 to 1,800 calories on a low-calorie diet, which may be excessively restrictive for certain people, depending on their present health and health history. A low-calorie diet, when followed with nutrition in mind, should provide a balanced nutritional intake, according to USDA dietary standards.

The most straightforward approach to weight loss is to follow a low-calorie diet: You will lose weight if you create a calorie deficit. However, the composition of those calories is extremely important. It's critical to follow USDA dietary standards to guarantee that you're receiving enough nourishment for a well-balanced, healthy diet.

Health Benefits

While proponents of low-calorie diets say that they will help individuals lose weight, research reveals that maintaining an appropriate vitamin and mineral intake while severely restricting calories is difficult for most people. A diet that is too restricted is neither sustainable nor practical, and it can lead to bad eating habits, which is why working with a medical practitioner to establish a low-calorie diet plan is preferable.

Health Risks

There are no known health hazards linked with a low-calorie diet if it is designed with balanced nutrition in mind and followed carefully. A low-calorie diet based on an eating schedule, on the other hand, is the polar opposite of mindful or intuitive eating, which is typically a successful method for health, weight reduction, and weight management.

Additionally, people who have had an eating disorder or are at risk of developing one owing to variables such as body image difficulties may find it difficult to listen to their internal hunger cues.

The safety and effectiveness of a low-calorie diet are only as good as the individual who follows it. Those who follow this diet should get professional guidance from a healthcare physician or a trained dietitian and follow it religiously.

Even though they seem similar, very low-calorie diets are distinct because they are recommended by a doctor and you do not eat anything except meal replacements.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What food is low in calories but filling? 

Ans. Some of the foods which are low on calories but are highly nutritious are:

  • Oats
  • Greek Yogurt
  • Soup
  • Berries
  • Eggs
  • Popcorn
  • Chia Seeds
  • Fish
  • Baked beans 
  • Broccoli 
  • Cabbage 
  • Cauliflower 
  • Chicken 
  • Courgette 

2. Are there any foods with zero calories? 

Ans. Some of the best zero calorie foods include:

  • Apples
  • Kale
  • Celery
  • Berries
  • Arugula
  • Grapefruit
  • Broccoli
  • Cabbage

The Bottom Line

"Low-calorie diet" is a broad word that refers to a variety of eating programmes as well as a wide range of recommended calorie intakes. Consuming fewer calories than you burn is a good strategy to lose weight, but sticking to a low-calorie diet isn't always simple. To begin started, do your homework ahead of time and consult with a doctor or nutritionist. This will increase your chances of weight reduction and will help you decide the best low-calorie foods for yourself.

Remember that following a long-term or short-term diet may not be essential for you and that many diets, especially long-term diets, do not work. While we do not advocate for fad diets or unsustainable weight reduction approaches, we do give the facts so you may make the best selection for your nutritional needs, genetic profile, budget, and objectives.

If losing weight is your aim, keep in mind that being your healthiest self isn't the same as reducing weight, and there are many other methods to achieve health. Exercise, sleep, and other lifestyle choices all have an impact on your overall health. A diet with low-calorie foods is considered to be well-balanced and appropriate for your lifestyle.

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