In This Article
In This Article
Low calorie-dense foods are low in calories but high in nutrition. These foods are filling because you can eat a high volume without eating too many calories.
Calorie density is a way of measuring the number of calories in a given amount of food. The more “calorie-dense” the food, the more calories it contains.
For example, a pound of grapes contains over 300 calories, while a pound of doughnuts contains more than 2000 calories. It’s the same weight of food, but the latter contains more calories.
Low calorie-dense foods have a low calorie-to-weight ratio.
Switching to a low calorie-dense diet can help you lose weight. This is particularly true if you’ve been eating more calories than your body needs, or if you spend less energy than you consume.
The diet can reduce your daily calorie intake without sacrificing your nutritional needs. It encourages you to eat more low calorie-dense foods and eat less of high calorie density foods.
Low calorie-dense foods contain few calories per serving. Examples of foods that have low calorie density include:
Low calorie-dense foods are also highly nutritious. They contain plenty of vitamins, minerals, and other micronutrients. Nutritionists sometimes refer to them as nutrient-dense foods.
On the contrary, high calorie-dense foods contain more calories and fewer nutrients per serving. Some of them even have “empty calories” and have zero nutritional value.
Foods with high calorie density aren’t always unhealthy. Many of these foods like olive oil or avocadoes are rich in healthy fats, which can be good for you.
However, you need to limit the amount of high calorie-dense foods that you eat, especially if your goal is losing weight.
If you want to lose weight, you have to eat healthy and satisfying foods, without adding too many calories to your daily diet.
Weight loss diets like Noom and calorie restriction usually call for these kinds of food.
A low-calorie diet is about reducing your total calories. It doesn’t consider the nutrition of food.
Low-calorie foods can help you lose weight, but it’s rarely effective long-term. Since it will likely stop you from eating your favorite foods, you are more likely to experience cravings and eventually binge on them.
This diet is also very unhealthy. In many cases, when someone cuts back on their calories, they don’t get the nutrients their body needs to function optimally.
Examples of low-calorie options lacking in nutrient value include lean red meat, preserved fruits, and dried fish.
Dieting with a focus on low-calorie foods requires constant calorie counting. For many, this process can be too tedious.
When you focus on eating low calorie-dense foods, you don’t need to count calories. In most cases, people are full before they eat too many calories.
It’s because low calorie-dense foods have a high water content and a lot of fiber. Water and fiber add bulk to your diet. They can satiate you and make you feel full for longer periods.
To avoid malnutrition when cutting calories, eat low-calorie and nutrient-dense foods, such as:
On a low calorie-dense diet, you might consume the same number of calories you would on a low-calorie diet. The difference is that you will feel satisfied with fewer calories, and still get plenty of nutrition while you lose weight.
Eating low calorie density foods leaves you feeling full for a longer time. You won’t need to eat as often to satiate your hunger, which can help you lose weight.
If you want to follow a low calorie-dense diet, here’s what you can do:
For many people, low calorie-density diets seem like a drastic change in their daily calorie intake. Even if you’re eating the same volume of food, it can take some getting used to.
This is why it’s so important to develop a healthier eating habit with balanced nutrition in mind. Part of this is learning to listen to your body.
The calorie density approach doesn’t mean you should deprive yourself of food. Instead of stopping yourself from eating foods, try making healthier food choices. This means eating low calorie-dense foods when you feel hungry.
It allows you to eat more without increasing your calories too much.
You don’t need to remove your favorite foods from your diet. Eating them less frequently and in smaller quantities is the best way to go if you want to lose weight.
You can also replace your guilty pleasures with healthier alternatives. Instead of milk chocolate, you can eat dark chocolate to satisfy your sweet tooth.
Using calorie density is one of the most effective ways to eat fewer total calories without feeling deprived. If you’re interested in long-term and healthy weight loss, Noom can help.
Noom's weight loss program is based on the principle of calorie density. It encourages users to consume fewer calories by eating low calorie-dense and nutrient-rich foods.
The Noom app teaches you to portion your meals and make healthier food choices. Read our full review of Noom.
What makes the Noom app truly special is that it doesn’t stop once you lost weight. By offering health coaching, peer support, and education, it establishes healthy habits which can last a lifetime.