if you’re either dieting to lose some body fat or just trying to eat healthier, you’ve likely taken one of these two approaches:
- you’ve looked into the lowest calorie foods to make swaps in your diet, or
- you’ve researched to find the “cleanest” food options
while these are a great start, a lot of people make the mistake in their weight loss or health journey where they don’t understand the difference between “low calorie” and “healthy” since diet culture tells us that these are the same thing.
low calorie doesn’t = healthy
sugar-free syrups or a protein bar may be considered “low calorie,” but if we take a look at the ingredients, we’ll usually find they’re loaded with artificial sweeteners and fillers. while these items may have lower calories, the low quality ingredients mess with digestion and cause excess inflammation. these options are okay in moderation, but if eaten in excess they can harm our gut and slow down our progress.
healthy doesn’t = low calorie
on the other hand, not every “healthy” item is something that’s going to be conducive for weight loss. acai bowls are typically packed with amazing, nutrient-dense ingredients, but they also tend to be very high in calories from carbs and fats.
another ingredient that can trick people here is cooking oil. oils like olive and coconut have tons of health benefits, but they’re calorie dense meaning a small amount of them pack a ton of calories. a lot of people don’t realize this, and will sabotage their fat-loss journey by using tons of oils in their cooking.
so how do we set ourselves up for success?
we want a diet with essential nutrients but also within our calorie target to reach our goals, right? everything is okay in moderation, but overall we want to focus mainly on whole foods for our meals. the good news is there are tons of lower calorie options that still give our bodies proper nourishment! here are some great options for lower calorie carbs and protein:
- white potatoes
- spaghetti squash
- butternut squash
- rice cakes
- chickpea pasta
- english muffins
- corn tortillas
- chicken breast
- ground chicken or turkey
- 96/4% ground beef
- sirloin steak
- turkey bacon
- deli meat
- vegan options like tofu
- white fish (tilapia, cod)
- egg whites
- low fat greek yogurt
- protein powder
keep in mind, we can still incorporate some more calorie dense foods every so often when dieting. these options are just inspo to help you build day-to-day meals!
beam’s got you covered with low-calorie protein powders (whey and vegan) that won’t cause inflammation or mess with your digestion. they also make dieting a breeze since they taste incredible 🙂 mix them in your daily meals like yogurt or oatmeal, or get creative and make macro-friendly desserts! beam gives you a variety of flavor profiles with chocolate-y flavors like chocolate brownie batter or fruity flavors like blueberry muffin. plus, the ingredients are all things your body will love. prebiotic fibers and trace minerals give you extra nutrient density!
a delicious, nutrient-dense diet that helps us reach our goals is totally possible with beam 🙂