After hunger, one of the biggest problems of strict diets is that they can sometimes leave you with too little energy. Instead of increasing your caffeine intake, find out which foods can help you stay active without filling you with too many calories.
From almonds to whole grains, here are the best low calorie foods that give you energy. Whether you make them a part of your meals or simply use them as snacks, you’ll be able to keep your calories in check without feeling tired all the time.
Rich in fiber, along with healthy fats and antioxidants, almonds are an ideal energy snack. The trick is to manage to keep your portions under control. One ounce of almonds has around 160 calories, but they’re easy to package in small portions and keep with you at all times. Snack on them in the afternoon for extra energy and enjoy their health benefits.
A medium banana, 7-8 inches, packs anywhere from 100 to 120 calories, but it’s a very filling snack and one of the low calorie foods that give you energy. When you’re eating a banana, you’re not only getting the right kind of carbs, you’re also benefits from a healthy dose of vitamins and minerals.
3. Whole Grains
While refined carbs can give you a lot of energy that doesn’t last, whole grains are a much better option for keeping your energy levels steady throughout the day. They deliver a healthy dose of fiber, that will also keep your hunger pangs at bay, along with important minerals and B vitamins. A whole wheat slice of bread is about 70 calories, and pairing it with low fat protein, like yogurt, or a little nut butter is a great way to make yourself an energy snack.
With just 82 calories per one cup of chunk of pineapple pulp, this fruit is rich in natural fructose, so it will give you an instant energy boost, making it one of the best low calorie foods that give you energy. The high content of fiber will also keep you full, but pineapple also provides you with plenty of vitamin C, along with vitamins B1 and B6, and minerals like manganese and copper.
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While animal protein can slow you down, beans are an excellent source of protein with a lot less fat than other sources. Whether you prefer black beans or chickpeas, a stew or a little hummus on whole wheat bread or crackers can provide the energy boost you need.
Nonfat Greek yogurt is also one of the low calorie foods that give you energy. With just 100 calories for a regular sized one portion container, yogurt is also a great source of protein. Opt for natural and unsweetened varieties. If your yogurt has too much sugar, it will mess with your energy levels by raising your blood sugar levels, then dropping them.
When you’re looking for something that will satisfy your salty cravings while still boosting your energy level, popcorn is the right choice. Go for low-fat microwave popcorn. One ounce has around 100 calories and it’s one of the healthier snacks you can choose. Low-fat popcorn is also high on fiber, so it will keep hunger away.
At 189 calories, a cup of cooked edamame still qualifies as one of the low calorie foods that give you energy. Soybeans are packed with protein, fiber, omega-3 fatty acids and they also provide you with plenty of iron. Edamame also helps keep your blood sugar levels steady, ensuring that you won’t get too tired.
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9. Dark Chocolate
With about 150 calories per ounce, dark chocolate is the perfect sweet treat that keeps your energy levels high. Avoid really sweet milk chocolate and savor a darker variety with over 75% cocoa if you want to get the most out of it, including powerful antioxidants. And unlike sweeter varieties, you’re less likely to overeat.
Once you’re adapting your diet to include the most important low calorie foods that give you energy, don’t forget about water. Dehydration can kill your energy and make you feel tired, so it’s important to drink up, especially since it’s calorie-free. You should also consider eating more water-rich foods, particularly vegetables and fruits.