When people think of diets and in particular, low-calorie meals, they tend to think of bland and boring snacks. I truly believe that this is a big reason as to why people struggle to lose weight and eat healthy – because they actually think it is near impossible to eat low calorie food and enjoy it.
But I am here to say that this is by no means the case!
Eating low calorie food does not have to be boring. In fact, there are a number of positive changes that can be made to your meal to boost its flavor and palatability, while also keeping its energy content low.
This makes it so much easier to enjoy low calories foods, that can lead to healthy, long term, and sustainable weight loss – while limiting the nasty hunger cravings associated when dieting with traditionally bland and unappealing foods.
By implementing the following low calorie seasoning tips, you can seriously spice up the flavor of your meals while keeping them low in energy!
Spice up your eggs with Turmeric
For those of us trying to watch our waistline and keep our calories low, eggs are often a dietary staple. They contain an abundance of protein, while also providing the body with a host of essential fatty acids that are not found in many other foods. But they do have a somewhat small downside.
The taste can get very boring.
Which is where turmeric comes in. Turmeric is a little known spice that is commonly used in traditional Indian cooking. It has a unique taste that perfectly complements the natural flavors of scrambled eggs. As an added bonus, turmeric has been shown to have strong anti-inflammatory properties, while also improving mood, making it the perfect spice for low calorie dieting!
Using half a teaspoon with 3-4 eggs is more than enough to get both the flavor and health benefits of this fantastic spice.
Add cinnamon to your grilled chicken breast
Keeping our energy intake low and our protein intake high is an integral component of long lasting, sustainable weight loss and muscle gain. In short, this often means eating chicken breast. Regularly.
While using sauces and marinades are a common way to improve the flavor and palatability of chicken breast, they often contain large amounts of sugar and fat, and as such can greatly increase its energy content.
Cinnamon is a great alternative to these marinades as it is full of flavor, and has also shown to increase fat metabolism in the human body – suggesting that it may actually promote additional fat loss. By coating our chicken breast in powdered cinnamon before grilling, we can provide the meat with time to absorb the flavor of the spice in its entirety, providing a fantastic flavor boost adding no extra calories.
Get comfortable with cooking with chili
Using fresh red chilies in salads and low calorie stir fries is a fantastic way to improve the flavor of a meal. By thinly slicing a couple of chilies and mixing them through your favorite salad, you can completely alter its flavor profile, making it both more interesting while (literally) adding a bit more ‘spice’ to the meal.
To top it off, there is a compound found in red chilies that have shown to boost metabolism, giving them the potential capacity to improve weight loss even further!
Start using more lemon Juice
Now while this one may sounds a little out of left field, that does not make it any less effective. Lemon juice can add a delicious citrus flavor to any meal – and does not contain any additional calories.
The addition of lemon juice as a dressing on a fresh salad is a great way to spice it up, changing and enhancing the flavor of common salad ingredients. It can also be added to roast chicken with sauteed garlic to completely change the flavor of the meal.
These are just two very simple examples of how lemon juice can be added to your cooking to greatly improve the taste of your meals.
Cook with fresh herbs
One of the most effective ways to improve or add to the flavor of a single dish is to add fresh herbs. This can be done either during the cooking process, or at the end where they are used as a garnish, and can completely change the flavor profile of your food.
Fresh herbs contain a huge amount of flavor, almost zero calories, and are extremely easy to cook with. Some of my favorites are basil, coriander, and thyme – all of which are extremely versatile and tasty.
Use salt free seasoning
Seasoning blends are a great option for those of us who are limited by time, or want an easy and lasting flavor solution to improve the taste of our food without adding a single calorie.
These blends combine a number of ground spices to create a unique seasoning that can be added to meat, grains, pasta sauces, and stews, as a way to add a heap of flavors without adding any calories!
A fantastic salt free seasoning can be made at home with oregano, onion powder, paprika powder (both sweet and spicy), and Basil – which can then be applied to literally anything to improve its flavor considerably.
Start cooking with fresh ginger
Ginger is an extremely tasty plant (well plant root, if we want to get specific) that has been used in traditional eastern cooking for centuries. While it was originally suggested to enhance vitality and improve mood, in more recent times it has become a staple in restaurant quality cooking due to its unique and powerful flavor.
It can be added to salads, curries, and stews, to provide a unique and potent taste without adding any more calories to your dish.
Additionally, ginger has shown to have a number of positive health benefits on the body, suggesting it can do more than just improve the taste of your food!
Low calorie meals do not have to be boring. By implementing the tips outlined in this article, you can seriously improve the flavor of your meals without increasing their energy content, which eventually makes it easier to stick to healthy food.
If you have any other tips that could be a great addition to our meals, feel free to share them below!
Article Categories: Food & Nutrition Science