LOW-CALORIE DINNER IDEAS
It's easy to say that you want to eat healthily and live a low-calorie lifestyle, but it can be difficult when you're surrounded by unhealthy foods.
Making the change from eating junk food on a regular basis to low-calorie dinners might seem impossible at first, but once you get into the habit of making low-calorie recipes for dinner (and other low calories meals), then it will become second nature.
And don't worry! You'll still have some indulgences here and there 🙂
Did you know that low-calorie dinners can actually taste amazing?
It doesn't have to be difficult or frustrating, and with these 15 recipes, it definitely won't be.
If you're looking for low-calorie dinner ideas, then there are so many easy low-calorie dinners in here that I'm sure the whole family will enjoy.
The good news is that there's nothing too complicated when it comes to creating delicious and nutritious meals (and they'll save your waistline from expanding).
What should I eat for dinner with low calories?
I'm asking myself this question every day. Because of my busy work schedule, I don't have much time to cook during the week. So often, I just grab lunch in a nearby café and eat fresh fruit for dinner instead of cooking something at home.
But is that healthy?
What are calories?
Calories aren't only found in chocolate, sweets, or chips!
The calorie content also exists in food such as bread, meat, fish, and vegetables. A calorie contains the same amount of energy no matter whether it comes from bread or chocolate.
This energy is needed by your body when doing physical activity or just to keep you warm when you sit still for a long period of time. If you eat more calories than your body burns off, your body stores the extra energy as fat.
The right amount of calories per day:
Girls need approximately 1800 to 2000 calories a day. Boys need more, approximately 2300 to 2600 calories, depending on how active they are.
You can calculate your calorie needs here.
The calorie counter on Myfitnesspal is also great for tracking what you eat and staying within your daily allowance.
When choosing what to eat during the day, it's important not to exceed this amount because all the excess will transform into fat cells in our body or be stored as glycogen (energy) in our liver and muscles. If you exceed this amount every day, the result will soon be visible in form of weight gain. But don't panic! Here comes some good news!
There are many ways to decrease your calorie intake without feeling hungry.
Here are some tips:
- Choose salads as starters instead of French fries/chips, as they will fill you up more than deep-fried dishes.
- Choose low-fat dairy products such as skimmed milk, low-fat yogurt, and low-fat hard cheeses such as Edam and Gouda.
- Cut your meat portions in half. A portion should be around the size of two decks of cards and weigh 130 grams (4 ounces).
- Have protein-rich food such as fish twice a day; once for lunch and once for dinner.
- If you eat eggs, only eat the egg whites (the yolk contains most of the fat).
- Use olive oil for cooking instead of other vegetable oil (which contains more calories). Olive oil has a lower smoking point, so take care when frying with it to not let it get too hot.
Here are some low-calorie recipes to have for dinner:
15 Low-Calorie Diet Dinner Recipes
1. INSTANT POT TURKEY STUFFED PEPPERS
For all you health-conscious foodies out there, this recipe was made for you.
With only 270 calories per serving, these low-calorie turkey stuffed peppers are a great way to enjoy the flavors of Thanksgiving without overdoing it on the carbs.
And don't worry if you're in a rush because they take less than 20 minutes to make!
This is a recipe that is perfect for any time of year and will fill your belly without leaving you feeling guilty.
2. AIR-FRYER SALMON
Salmon is a protein-rich fish that can be cooked in many ways.
One of the most popular methods is pan-frying with butter and garlic, which produces delicious crispy skin on the outside and moist flesh on the inside.
But what if you want to eat healthier?
You might try baking it in an oven or microwaving it but these cooking methods typically don't produce as tasty of results.
Air fryers are becoming more popular because they can cook food just like deep frying but with less oil.
This air-fryer salmon recipe can be cooked in just 10 minutes of time with a much lesser amount of calories per serving.
3. GREEK CHICKEN SALAD LETTUCE WRAPS
If you're looking for a light and healthy summer meal, these Greek chicken salad lettuce wraps are perfect!
They're easy to make and they're loaded with flavor.
Plus, they're low-calorie.
4. SHRIMP ZUCCHINI PASTA
I love shrimp and zucchini.
It gives a fresh flavor to the taste buds.
Though it takes 20 mins of preparation time and an additional 25 mins of cook time, but totally worth the wait!.
If anyone wants a healthy and nutritious meal for a dinner, simply make this.
5. BEEF AND BROCOLLI STIR FRY
I LOVE stir fry!
It is so easy to make and super versatile.
I love the flavors of this low-calorie beef and broccoli stir fry dish that has just 197 calories.
The best part about this recipe is that you can add whatever veggies you have on hand- mushrooms, peppers, carrots...whatever your favorites are!
6. SPAGHETTI SQUASH LASAGNA
This low-calorie spaghetti squash lasagna recipe is the perfect dish for both vegetarians and meat-eaters alike.
It's hearty, delicious, easy to make, and has a fraction of the calories of traditional lasagna!
You can add broccoli, sausage, spinach, or mushrooms according to your taste.
7. LOW-CALORIE ZUCHHINI CARBONARA
I know what you're thinking: "Carbonara, the pasta dish I love with bacon and egg yolk sauce? What's that doing here?"
Well, this is a different Carbonara. In fact, it's more of a Zucchini Carbonara!
So if you are dieting or on a Keto diet plan, try out this low-calorie version of one of those dishes you loved from way back when.
It'll make you feel like you never left home - but better!
8. HEALTHY PUMPKIN SOUP
It's finally that time of year when pumpkin spice lattes are back and the leaves have begun to change color.
It's a great time for baking, but it can also be a hard time on your waistline as you try to resist all those delicious seasonal treats.
But what if I told you there was a way to indulge in everything pumpkin without feeling guilty afterward?
Here is a low-calorie pumpkin soup recipe that you can have daily.
9. EASY TOMATO FETA SOUP
Winter is coming, and with it comes the need for hearty soups that will warm us from the inside out.
This low-calorie tomato feta soup is perfect for those cold days when you want something delicious, but don't want to derail your diet.
Filled with healthy ingredients like tomatoes, onions, and feta cheese, this soup is a meal in itself.
So why not give it a try today? You won't regret it!
10. FAT-BURNING CABBAGE SOUPS
Yeah, you read it write. It contains just 22 calories.
When you think about foods that help you lose weight, cabbage soup is probably not the first thing that comes to mind.
But believe it or not, a low-calorie cabbage soup diet can help you burn fat quickly.
In fact, this easy-to-follow diet has been shown to boost your metabolism and promote weight loss.
So if you're looking for a way to jump-start your diet, give the cabbage soup diet a try!
11. MUSHROOM STEW
This low-calorie mushroom stew is perfect for those with hectic lifestyles or who are on a diet.
It's also great for anyone looking to increase their vegetable intake without having to worry about calories.
This recipe contains only one tablespoon of canola oil and can be made in under half an hour - just throw everything as instructed into the pot and let it simmer!
12. CABBAGE AND SAUSAGE SKILLET
This is a recipe for the perfect low-calorie, high fiber dish.
The cabbage and sausage are both excellent sources of nutrients while being relatively low in calories.
They also have very different textures which balance out this dish nicely. If you're looking for a new way to get your veggies, this might be just what you need!
13. WARM CHICKEN SALAD
This chicken salad is a great option for those looking to lose weight!
It's low in calories and high in protein.
The recipe also includes avocado which is a good fat that will keep you feeling full longer. If you're not into mayonnaise, this recipe has an easy substitute with greek yogurt!
14. MARGARETTA PIZZA
This is one of my favorite pizza recipes.
You can make this pizza in just 20 minutes of time with greek yogurt, flour, tomato, and basil leaves.
We all love pizza. It's a universally loved food that is perfect for any occasion, whether it be lunch with friends or midnight snacking.
15. VEGAN PESTO TOFU BITES
These pesto tofu bites are perfect for any occasion!
These low-calorie appetizers will be sure to please all your guests and leave you feeling good about yourself.
They're healthy enough for a low-calorie dinner with tortillas, and also make a great addition to any party spread.
My Take on Low-Calorie Dinner Ideas
A low-calorie diet is a very balanced way of eating that reduces the number of calories you consume from fat, sugars, and carbohydrates.
By reducing your caloric intake and using low-calorie recipes for weight loss, it's possible to lose up to one pound per week.
This type of healthy diet also includes plenty of vegetables and fruits while staying away from processed foods.
Related Healthy Dinner Ideas
- 15 Quick Healthy Breakfast Recipes
- 19 Low-Carb Foods that You can eat daily
- 21 Best Fat-Burning Foods
- 8 Paleo Foods you should start with