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Nutrition experts recommend calorie intake of 2000 as the average amount needed by American adults. Short and thin females, who are not active, have caloric needs even below 2000.

For those who are average size and get moderate activity, caloric needs to maintain weight should be about 1600-2400 per day.

But striking data is available about the calories being consumed by an average American in a day, in calories, and how that compares to years previous. In 1961 Americans consumed 2883 calories per person which has increased to 3817 in the present times. Combining this with a decrease in physical activity explains how much fatter and sicker people have grown in the space of 40 years. The data also stated that Americans now consume more poultry, sugars, vegetable oils and cereal grains. These statistics have been associated with increased incidence of obesity, diabetes and heart diseases.

Low calorie recipes

Instead of worrying about a number of calories, it is wise to listen to your own internal needs. Focus on maintaining a balanced diet that includes a strong base in whole plant foods and eat a moderate amount of fat. Don't go overboard on eating food just because it is fat-free. Although fat calories are most easily converted to fat in the body, all calories from fat, carbohydrate and protein count.

Below is a selection of meals that are in the 300-400 calorie range. These recipes can help in maintaining body weight within the recommended range.

Breakfast - 404 calories

1 whole wheat English muffin – Calories: 130, Total fat: 1g, Carbs: 25g, Protein: 6g
2 pats low fat butter – Calories: 36, Total fat: 4.06g, Carbs: 0g, Protein: 0.04g
1 hard boiled egg – Calories: 78, Total fat: 5.3g, Carbs: 0.56g, Protein: 6.29g
1/2 cup of fruit – Calories: 50, Total fat: 0.00g, Carbs: 13.00g, Protein: 0.00g
8 oz fruit juice – Calories: 110, Total fat: 0g, Carbs: 25g, Protein: 2g
8 oz water – Calories: 0, Total fat: 0.00g, Carbs: 0.00g, Protein: 0.00g

Cereal – 399.2 calories

1 cup of cereal – Calories: 118.2, Total fat: 0.2g, Carbs: 48.6g, Protein: 0.00g
8 oz 2% milk – Calories: 120, Total fat: 5.0g, Carbs: 11.0g, Protein: 8g
1 banana – Calories: 112, Total fat: 0g, Carbs: 29g, Protein: 1g
1 coffee or tea – Calories: 49, Total fat: 0g, Carbs: 0g, Protein: 0g

Oatmeal - 387 calories

1 cup oatmeal with raisins – Calories: 116, Total fat: 1,8 g; Carbs: 23,5g Protein: 2,8 g
1 cup of fruit – Calories: 110, Total fat: 0g, Carbs: 25g, Protein: 2g
1 cup coffee or tea – Calories: 49, Total fat: 0g, Carbs: 0g, Protein: 0g

1 banana – Calories: 112, Total fat: 0g, Carbs: 29g, Protein: 1g

Chicken salad - 475 calories

1 large tossed salad – Calories: 150, Total fat: 10.0g, Carbs: 7.0g, Protein: 9.0g
2 tablespoons reduced fat oil and vinegar dressing – Calories: 100; Total Fat: 8 g Carbs: 0 g; Protein: 0 g
6 oz sliced chicken (Calories in 6oz chicken breast: 165, Total fat: 3g, Carbs: 0.0g. Protein: 36.0g)
1 serving of low fat wheat thin crackers – Calories: 60, Total fat: 1.5g, Carbs: 10.0g, Protein: 2.0g
12 oz water – Calories: 0, Total fat: 0.00g, Carbs: 0.00g, Protein: 0.00g

Soup - 411 Calories

1 bowl of soup – Calories: 48, Total fat: 0.3g, Carbs: 10.8g, Protein: 2g
1 small tossed salad – Calories: 23, Total fat: 0.0g, Carbs: 5.0g, Protein: 1g
2 tablespoons reduced fat oil and vinegar dressing – Calories: 100; Total Fat: 8 g Carbs: 0 g; Protein: 0 g
12 oz water – Calories: 0, Total fat: 0.00g, Carbs: 0.00g, Protein: 0.00g
4 saltine crackers – Calories: 240, Total fat: 6g, Carbs: 42.8g, Protein: 6.4g  

Low calorie recipes are healthier options

Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet plays a very important part in increasing our longevity and living a disease-free life. The above low calorie recipes are healthier options in food. With such recipes, you are not only able to eat well balanced diet but you will also be able to eat delicious foods.

At any given time, the number of calories that you burn should be greater than the number of calories consumed. It is here that negative calorie foods come into the picture. They are very low calorie foods, which contain the essential vitamins and minerals needed for enzymatic reactions but the best part about them is that they require more calories to digest than they actually contain. This means, more work needs to be done by the body in order to get those calories.

Low calorie foods include salads made in low fat dressing and fruits. Oats is a dietary fiber rich food capable of increasing the body’s metabolism. A cup of oatmeal flakes with a little bit of turmeric, salt, coriander powder, cardamom powder, and cinnamon powder mixed with a cup of milk provides a high-powered nutritious breakfast with not too many calories in it.

Low calorie recipes ideal for weight loss


As low calorie cooking has been replaced with complicated recipes with hard-to-find ingredients, all this has been done in the name of weight loss. The real key is to make use of low calorie recipes with readily available simple ingredients. When cooking your regular recipes, replace ingredients with healthier alternatives or low calorie counterparts. For example, reduce the grease and sugar when doing low calorie cooking and use low fat cheese and milk and veggies whenever possible.

For fast weight loss, it would be best to use ingredients for cooking in the most natural form for such as brown rice, wholemeal pasta, wholemeal flour and wholegrain cereals. The high content of fiber reduces the amount of fat absorbed in each meal thereby lowering calorie consumption. Processed meat products, sugary foods and full fat milk products should be limited in your recipes for fast weight loss.

Thus, the above mentioned low calorie recipes can be ideal options for weight loss!

  • www.diet-blog.com/archives/2007/02/21/the_foods_that_made_america_fat.php
  • www.diet-blog.com/archives/2007/04/26/what_do_300_calorie_meals_look_like.php
  • www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/0576.html
  • www.diethealthclub.com/daily-menu/healthy-recipes.html
  • www.want2learn.com/instant-recipe/
  • www.weightlossforall.com/balanced%20diet.htm
  • www.isnare.com/?aid=54589&ca=Wellness%2C+Fitness+and+Diet