Losing weight or "cutting" is one of the most difficult parts of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Any diet that requires a caloric deficit will result in decreased energy levels and a constant hunger. In order to stay consistent and disciplined, we must utilize methods in order to keep high energy levels and the hunger at bay. In this post, I will outline 10 high-volume, low-calorie foods that can help make a cut much more bearable.
1. Green Veggies
The absolute best food to eat while in a caloric deficit are green veggies. Not only do they contain tons of vitamins and minerals, they are the least calorically dense food group you can find. 1 cup of baby spinach is 7 calories. Compare that with 529 calories in one cup of almonds. There is no better food for cutting than green veggies.
Oatmeal is an excellent food choice while cutting. The complex carbohydrates in oatmeal provide enough energy to get through the day on a low-calorie diet. Make sure to check the nutrition of the oatmeal for things like excess sugar, and I recommend using steel-cut oats with cinnamon for flavor.
3. Grilled Chicken Breast
Grilled Chicken is one of the best sources of protein to eat during a caloric deficit. High in Protein and low in fat, grilled chicken is the go-to protein source for the majority of people in the fitness industry and pairs well with many different foods.
Beans can be a great addition to any diet, including surpluses and deficits. Known best for providing digestive aid, they are also super high in fiber as well as protein. Beans are a cheap and delicious food that can serve as an alternative to meat as a protein source.
5. Sweet Potato
At around 100-150 calories per potato, sweet potatoes are a lower calories alternative to white potatoes, which usually range between 175-250 calories. The Sweet Potato is another popular food in any cutting diet, due to the amount of energy it provides at a low-calorie count. Along with that, the sweet potato can combat any cravings for sweets because of its natural sweetness.
6. Greek Yogurt
On the topic of sweetness, Greek yogurt is another excellent food to eat while in a deficit. High in protein and (usually) low in fat, Greek yogurt can be a delicious snack during a cutting phase. When buying Greek yogurt, be wary of the fat and sugar content, with the best option being to buy the non-fat, plain greek yogurt and adding your own toppings such as honey or fruit.
7. Egg Whites
Egg Whites are arguably the best protein source to eat during a caloric deficit. Virtually pure protein, egg whites are low in calories and also very easy and quick to make. The only negatives associated with Egg whites is that they are not very filling. In order to maximize volume, make the egg whites as fluffy as possibly by adding a splash of skim or almond milk.
Along with grilled chicken breast, Tuna is hands-down one of the best meat/poultry foods to eat during a weight loss phase. Not only is it low in calories and high in protein, canned tuna is extremely portable and easy to prepare. With that being said, make sure to research brands ahead of time to make sure they are not adding any unhealthy chemicals.
9. Whole Wheat/Grain bread
Even though it's difficult to find room for bread and other carb-dense foods during a weight loss phase, whole wheat bread is the go to bread during a cut. Containing complex carbohydrates and tons of micronutrients, whole wheat bread is a good choice to include in your diet, even if it contains a few extra calories. In addition, try and find a brand that has high fiber and low sugar.
10. Coconut Oil
Last but not least, coconut oil is an incredible compound that should be part of your diet whether in a cutting phase or a bulking phase. Coconut oil contains saturated fats that promote the creation of HDL cholesterol, which is commonly known as “good cholesterol”. Also, the saturated fats in coconut oil promote the conversion of LDL Cholesterol (bad cholesterol) into HDL. This, in total, greatly benefits heart health and lowers risks of heart disease.