Healthy Eating

15 Healthy Foods That Are Surprisingly Low in Calories

Because eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up all the good stuff.

By: Rebecca Jacobs

Real talk—cutting calories ain’t easy. Like seriously, no one likes to eat less (are we right?) While it can seem like literally the most daunting part of your weight loss journey, it doesn’t always mean that you have to give up all the good stuff. We’re here to deliver some ah-mazing news because eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up all the good stuff.

Healthy Low Calorie Foods You Need in Your Life ASAP 

#1 Popcorn

Thought that movie night Fridays with that bowl of popcorn were gone for good? Think again. Popcorn can actually make a healthy (and low calorie) snack. Plus, it can be pretty darn filling thanks to its fiber content packing in about 1.2 grams per cup. And that one cup is only going to cost you about 30 calories. Not too shabby, huh? 

So, go on and munch on that popcorn while vegging out on a Friday night. You deserve it, girl. 

#2 Chia Seeds

Adding more superfood seeds to your diet is always a good idea. Many of these seeds (like the almighty chia) may be tiny, but they pack in a ton of nutritional value. 

From their plant-based omega-3 fatty acid content to the fiber, and protein, chia seeds provide a whole ton of benefit and will only rack up about 58 calories per tablespoon.

Sprinkle some over your bowl of oats, blend them into your smoothie, or even add them to your morning slice of avocado toast for a low calorie superfood boost. 

#3 Oats 

Let’s just talk about the fact that this is one of our fav low calorie healthy foods. Why? Oats are super easy to make, really versatile, and loaded with fiber to help keep you full between meals. 

Half a cup is about 154 calories, and with the right oatmeal toppings, you can keep your brekky low cal and nutritious. 

Try topping your morning bowl of oats with some fresh berries, a drizzle of raw honey, and a sprinkle of chia seeds. 

#4 Legumes

Legumes (like beans and lentils) are also rockstar additions to your healthy diet. They are full of plant-based protein and fiber, and one cup of lentils will only cost you about 230 calories. 

So, try making a vegan bolognese sauce using lentils in place of beef, and toss in some dark leafy greens for a nutritious dish. 

#5 Eggs

Eggs—it’s one of those foods that’s really made a comeback in the wellness scene. More people are jumping on board with the fact that eggs bring lots of nutritional goodness to the table. From their high protein and rich vitamin and mineral content, eggs are one of those healthy low calorie foods we all may want to consider enjoying for breakfast. 

Plus, one egg only contains 72 calories, so you really can’t go wrong. 

#6 Dark Leafy Greens

We’re not here to nag you about eating your greens, but we’re here to give you one more good reason to consider upping your intake just a smidge. Dark leafy greens are loaded with vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants to keep your body in tip-top shape. 

Greens like kale and spinach also make amazing low cal smoothie add ins. One cup of kale will only add about 36 calories to your shake, so keep adding the greens! Your body will thank you for it. 

#7 Berries

Berries are one of those healthy low calorie foods we could seriously enjoy on the reg. They are basically nature’s dessert and are loaded with anti-inflammatory health benefits. 

One cup of blueberries contains 85 calories, so it makes a great addition to a balanced diet without totally overdoing your daily calorie budget. 

#8 Apples

Speaking of fruit, let’s talk apples. They are one of the most enjoyed fruits out there because A, they are delicious, and B, you can easily enjoy one as a healthy snack on the go. 

One apple will pack in about 95 calories, helping you keep your daily calorie intake in check, while also nourishing your body. 

#9 Greek Yogurt

If you can tolerate dairy, full-fat unsweetened Greek yogurt is a great choice. Not only is it full of protein to help keep you full, but it’s pretty low cal too. One cup could cost you around 130 calories, depending on the brand, making it a great low calorie snack or breakfast choice. 

#10 Lean Meats

Lean meats are another great low calorie option when you are looking for easy ways to reduce your daily calorie intake. Choosing things like ground turkey, or a chicken breast to serve with some dark leafy greens and a half of a sweet potato is a nourishing meal that will fuel your body without all the added calories. 

Choose leaner meat options like turkey or a chicken breast to avoid added fats from racking in the calories. 

#11 Watermelon

Who doesn’t love watermelon (no one). But seriously, watermelon lovers will be thrilled about the fact that it makes a great low cal fruit choice that also adds a boost of hydration and vitamin C. 

With only 46 calories per cup, you can feel good about enjoying that bowl of watermelon all summer long. 

#12 Cauliflower 

Since the low carb movement has taken the wellness industry by storm, it seems like cauliflower has made its way into just about everything. From cauli rice to cauli pizza, this veggie doesn’t only make a great carb swap, but it’s also a great way to keep your calories in check. 

In one medium head of cauliflower, you’ll only pack in 132 calories. So, go ahead and make pizza night Friday your favorite night of the week again, because now you can have your cauliflower pizza and eat it too. 

#13 Pineapple

Doesn’t fresh pineapple just remind you of beautiful summer days where fresh fruit is literally the most refreshing snack you can eat? Pineapple is one of the most delicious healthy low calorie foods, that only contains 41 calories per half a cup—here’s your invitation to go and get your pineapple fix on.

#14 Spaghetti Squash

If you’re a big pasta lover but are looking for ways to dial back your carb and calorie intake, you’re going to want in on this. Spaghetti squash has made its mark for being one of the most popular spaghetti swaps, and with just 129 calories per half a squash, it’s pretty much giving us reason to enjoy pasta again.

#15 Broccoli

Broccoli—it’s one of the most loved veggies that also comes with some pretty baller health benefits. It’s an amazing source of plant-based calcium, plus it contains all the antioxidant goodness that comes with plant-based foods. It’s also low in calories, racking in just 27 calories per ½ cup.

Try sautéing some broccoli in a drizzle of avocado oil and some fresh garlic for a delicious, nourishing, and low calorie side dish.

Ok, so you now know about the top 15 most delicious healthy low calorie foods you’re def going to want to add to this week’s grocery list.

Eating Well While Keeping Your Calorie Budget in Check 

One of the most common misconceptions about healthy eating is that it had to be hard (like really hard). It’s also easy to get caught up in the idea that it has to be all or nothing or crazy strict. 

Here at FitOn, we’re more about balance. While reducing your calories may be a necessary step in your wellness journey, it certainly doesn’t mean you have to say goodbye to all of your fav foods. 

Use these 15 foods to make it easy to keep your daily calorie budget in check, all while nourishing that beautiful bod.