Written by Carm Bozzo (@upandlifting)
For those of you who want to lean out and drop some pounds, we know that being in a calorie deficit is king (or queen, right ladies?). We anticipate the hunger pangs and the temptations to go into the fridge or pantry and just “see what is in there.” Come on, I know you do that too! However, being in a calorie deficit doesn’t have to so bad if you prepare your kitchen with the right foods at your fingertips.
So, what can help you during a calorie deficit? We are talking about consuming high volume foods – foods that are low in calories but are satiating, AND those you can have a bigger portion of! (Note – when you drop your calories it is NORMAL to feel some hunger!) Here are some high-volume foods that will help you stay content as you lean out:
Eggs and egg whites
Eggs are a great source of high-quality protein. A large egg contains around 6 grams of protein, including all nine essential amino acids. Eggs used to be looked at as a bad source of fat but that is so untrue! One cup of egg whites has approximately 135 calories and 30 g of protein.
Did you know that oats are fairly low in calories and a great source of fiber? Lately, many nutrition and fitness coaches are telling their clients to track only calories, protein and fibre to see progress.
Vegetables and specifically salad
I buy a bag of broccoli or kale slaw and add that to make my salads heartier. Add a lean protein like chicken, turkey or tuna and a meal is made. You can also add berries or orange segments to add to the flavour without a lot of calories.
What if you are craving spaghetti and meatballs? Add your favourite spices to the ground turkey/chicken – I personally love my Epicure Pad Thai or Asian Sesame spice – and bake those meatballs or put them in the air fryer for less than 10 min! Make a bunch of zucchini noodles to accompany the meatballs and satisfy your craving without the carb coma.
My favourite high- volume snacks:
Air popped popcorn
30 calories per cup – and lots of fibre.
Low in calories and approximately 19g of protein in a cup! Even better to choose plain non-fat and mix with your favourite protein powder. Tastes like mousse!
Berries are low in calories and are high in fibre and antioxidants. Watermelon is a favourite fruit for those leaning out for body building or photo shoot prep – providing the sweet kick you are looking for!
I personally love rice cakes -yes even the plain one. If you need a topping and can’t afford the fat found in nut butters, a great high-volume hack here is powdered peanut butter. Mix with water and you get a peanut butter consistency. A new thing I have added to my list is a tbsp of Greek yogurt with a ¼ scoop protein mixed together as a delicious, sweet topping to my rice cake.
And as always, remember to make sure you are hitting your protein requirements – protein is the most filling macronutrient!