Go onto Instagram or TikTok and you’ll see influencers making the phrase “Weight loss is 80% dieting, and 20% exercising” their mantra. That’s because it’s theoretically true, according to Dr. Surthi M. who wrote about how to achieve a calorie deficit in a Medicine.net article.
But your weight loss journey doesn’t have to always ONLY be a piece of leek and plain water – there are plenty of delicious ingredients with very little calories to make your daily meals more exciting!
Non-fat Greek Yoghurt
Calorie count: 89 calories / 150 grams
Choices of yoghurt are plenty, but the one that takes the cake is arguably the nutrient-dense non-fat Greek yoghurt. While its calorie content is slightly higher than that of regular non-fat yoghurt, the former actually packs almost double the amount of protein, less fat, sodium, carbs, and sugar. On top of that, its thicker consistency and sharper taste make for a more hearty condiment in dishes such as wraps, salads, tzatziki, or even as a marinade!
Calorie count: 23 calories / 150 grams
This age-old Korean staple is now a known commodity across the globe. While its distinct, robust flavour is an acquired taste for some, none can deny its nutritional properties.
The dish is typically made by fermenting and salting cabbage or radish, and seasoned with items such as gochugaru (Korean chilli powder), scallions, garlic, ginger, and jeotgal (salted seafood).
A cup serving of kimchi can yield 1 gram of protein, 4 grams of carbohydratess, 2 grams of fibre and sugar, and less than 1 gram of fats. With its abundance of nutrition and flavour, kimchi is also versatile and can be used in all sorts of dishes such as stews, fried rice, salads, and more.
Calorie content: 13 calories / 150 grams
Made using the root of the konjac plant, this nearly-zero-calorie noodle is commonly found in Japan, where it’s called Shirataki noodles (which translates to White Waterfall thanks to its silky white appearance. Elsewhere, Shirataki or konjac noodles are also referred to as miracle noodles – and with close to no calories, fats, and sugars, we can see how it got its nickname.
Konjac noodles are translucent when cooked and are gelatinous in texture so you can mix it in my salads, soups, or even stir fries for a hearty yet healthy meal.
Calorie count: 580.5 calories / 150 grams
For a quick movie night snack, don’t reach for a bag of potato chips or even candy; instead, go for popcorn. The type we’re referring to is freshly made popcorn that you can pop in a microwave, over a stove, or in an air fryer!
If you think 580.5 calories for 150 grams of popcorn is a lot, potato chips contain 804 calories for the same amount, and candy such as milk chocolate contains about 805 calories per 150 grams.
To make popcorn in your own kitchen, simply get a bag of popcorn kernels, drizzle a bit of olive oil and some salt to taste, then cook it through any method of your choice.
Note: Pre-packed microwaveable popcorn may be unhealthy, as some brands use packaging that is lined with unhealthy chemicals. We recommend buying popcorn kernels that require cooking outside of its packaging.
Calorie count: 48 calories / 150 grams
If you’re hankering for something sweet, many fruits pack very few calories and are great additions to a yoghurt dessert, or even a side salad for lunch.
However, strawberries take the cake when it comes to caloric content (or lack thereof); with just 48 calories for 150 grams, this sweet and tangy treat puts it alongside its cousins, the grapefruit and honeydew which have similar caloric contents.
Strawberries are chock full of vitamin C which is good for your skin, while the antioxidants the fruit contains can also reduce the risk of cancer, diabetes, stroke, and heart disease.
With your repertoire of healthy foods now bolstered with our selection above, you’ll be able to power through your weight loss journey with a wider range of flavours and textures.