Almonds aren’t necessarily low in calories (an ounce contains around 150 calories), but they are rich in fiber and are the perfect snack to rescue you from a bad eating decision. Almonds, whether they’re toasted or raw, contain high amounts of magnesium, vitamin E, and copper. Keep them in your bag or by your desk as an emergency munchie.
The long, bright green stalks of asparagus are usually found nestled between a steak and mashed potatoes, but this vegetable should be considered a main player for your dinners. One cup of asparagus contains only 32 calories, and its fibrous stalks break down slowly, which helps resist late-night cravings. They’re also a classic breakfast/brunch option that can be paired with eggs in a frittata or omelette.
It’s unrealistic (and unwise) to completely avoid carbohydrates. Grains, such as brown rice, are a crucial component to any healthy eating plan because they serve as a replacement for other less healthy carbs, such as white rice, pasta, or bread. One cup of cooked brown rice contains only 216 calories, along with 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein. Use brown rice as a base for bean dishes, stews, or stir fries to add some heartiness to the meal.
flickr Andrea Goh
A controlled study found that men who ate 3 ½ ounces of dark chocolate before a meal ate 17 percent fewer calories than men who ate 3 ½ ounces of milk chocolate. The reason: The pure cocoa solid in dark chocolate contains stearic acid, which increases fullness by slowing down digestion.
Eggs have been proven to help in weight loss compared to other high-carbohydrate breakfast staples. However, focus on the whites. Egg whites are almost pure protein and contain very few calories. Protein in your breakfast is essential to maintaining a healthy diet because it keeps you satiated throughout the morning.
Plain Greek yogurt can be a great option for either breakfast or lunch. A 6-ounce container of unflavored, low-fat Greek yogurt contains 100 calories and 17 grams of protein. A small study analyzing the influence of snacking on future calorie consumption concluded that an afternoon snack of Greek yogurt with 24 grams of protein led to “reduced hunger, increased fullness, and delayed subsequent eating compared to lower protein snacks in healthy women.”
Lemons are an important tool for maintaining weight because they can make any bland vegetable, seafood, or meat more palatable. An added bonus is that lemon juice has also been found to boost the metabolism.
One large sweet potato contains 24 percent of your recommended daily intake of fiber, 4 grams of protein, and only 170 calories, making them the ultimate tool to maintaining a healthy weight. Besides their natural, caramel-like sweetness, sweet potatoes are a snap to make. If you come home starving after a day of work, don’t reach for the chips; just poke some holes in a sweet potato and pop it in the microwave for five to six minutes, then top with a little bit of butter and sriracha.
According to Dr. Johnny Bowden, a clinical nutrition specialist, tomatoes are “high volume” foods that comprise considerable amounts of water, air, and fiber. A large tomato accounts for only 33 calories, and it’s the perfect addition of a salad or sandwich, while smaller cherry tomatoes are so sweet that you can munch on them as a snack.