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8 Foods To Eat When You Are on a Calorie Restricted Diet

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If counting calories works for you. Here are some foods you can eat that help keep you energized and sane between meals.

1. Banana
1 medium banana provides about 105 calories It helps you maintain focus and mental acuity. It energises. It lifts the mood, and more. Check out an article from the Journal of Pharmacognosy and Phytochemistry for a thorough discussion. 

2. Rolled Oats, Oatmeal
1 cup provides somewhere from 120-160 calories. Skip instant oats. Choose rolled oats. Rolled oats stabilise sugar levels and extend energy. Check out an article from the Huffington Post for more discussion on benefits and the difference between steel cut, rolled, and quick oats.

3. Boiled Egg
1 large, boiled egg provides about 78 calories. It is a rich source of quality protein which is an essential building block of muscle, tissue, and more. Check out an article from BBCgoodfood.com on the benefits of egg.

4. WholeGrain Bread (and rice)
1 slice can provide 78 calories. Wholegrains facilitate a more stable expenditure of energy and is good for the heart and the gut. The better choices would be rye, wholemeal, and wholegrain sourdough. Check out these articles from harvard.edu and wholegrainscouncil.org on the benefits of wholegrain.


5. Chicken Breast
1 cup provides about 230 calories. It is lean meat rich in calcium (for skeletal support and function) and phosphorus (for repair and energy). Check out SFgate's article on chicken breast for dietary purposes here.

6. Tofu
1 cup provides about 190 calories. It is a good source of protein and other nutrients. It is low in calories but high in good fat. Choose organic, non-gmo labeled tofu. You can also prepare your own tofu from organic soybeans and water. Check out these articles from bbcgoodfood and livestrong on more benefits of tofu. This article helps you prepare your own tofu.

7. Sweet Potato
1 piece provides about 112 calories. It is rich in antioxidants and packed with vitamins like B-vitamins and C. It improves digestion and metabolism, blood sugar levels, and more. Check out this official study on the many benefits of sweet potato here. The leaves also show to be beneficial to health in so many ways. A publication from the University of Arkansas support this finding.

8. Nuts
Variants like cashew, almond, pistachio, and more are low in calories. Roasting in oil and salt will increase caloric intake of course. Benefits are calcium, magnesium ( for brain and body health, muscle health, etc.), Omega 3, and more. It increases good cholesterol levels and sustains energy for longer periods of time which is good for weight loss programs. An official health benefit study by NCBI is viewable here.

And for drinks:
1. Natural and Organic Fruit Shakes
Increase fibre intake with fruit shakes that are low in or zero artificial sugars. These are light on the gut and can actually improve digestion and bowel movements.

2. Quality Protein Shake
Refreshing and packed with energy, this drink is better than sodas and sugary shakes. Not all protein shakes are healthy so make a good read on which compositions and brands are good to take on a regular basis.

3. Tea with Honey
Teas has zero calories. Choose natural and organic tea compositions. Taking tea with some honey may delay cravings and hunger pangs.  It has antibacterial and energising properties. Honey improves sleep. It is also high in antioxidants. CNN shares proven results of honey for health. 

4. Cacao shake, Hot Cacao drink, Hot Mocha ( cacao + milk + single shot espresso coffee)
Adding 1 tbsp of cacao to your smoothie or coffee gives only 12 calories. Cacao is good for the heart. It lowers blood pressure and facilitates blood flow. It regulates cholesterol levels too. NCBI shares a study on the health benefits of cacao which is the essential ingredient in dark chocolate and cocoa products. Check it out here. Another study is also found here.


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