Even if you watch what you eat, your caloric intake may be higher than you think. Nearly everyone believes they are consuming fewer calories than they actually are, according to Mayo Clinic.
So, how many calories do you need? Adult women should consume between 1,600 and 2,000 calories per day, while men should have between 2,000 and 3,000, according to Health.gov. Specific recommended calorie levels depend on your age and activity level.
Keeping tabs on calories may involve a look at ingredients or portion sizes. Small or healthy meals, though, don’t have to translate to bland and boring. Here’s a look at some flavorful options for breakfast, lunch and dinner that are all under 400 calories.
Bread, veggies, eggs and cheese give plain old eggs and toast a run for their money when they are combined in this breakfast casserole.
Billed as a “breakfast hearty enough for dinner,” these homemade pancakes pack in the protein, fiber and flavor.
Not eating enough greens? Why not drink them? This breakfast smoothie, which includes spinach, banana and yogurt can help you start the day off right.
Featuring fruit and veggies, you can’t go wrong with this easy-to-make salad, which includes beans, hard-boiled eggs, broccoli and some croutons for crunch.
Grilled chicken, fresh veggies and a yogurt-based dressing packed in a pita can help spice up your mid-day meal.
Mix chives, mayo and yogurt with tuna and cabbage for a light tuna salad. Rather have a sandwich? Spoon the salad into a whole wheat tortilla to make a wrap, and it’s still under 400 calories.
Chicken, cheese and salsa make for a calorie-conscious fiesta. And at under 300 calories per serving, you may have room for a side dish or dessert.
Pasta and cheese may not be what come to mind when you think of low-calorie options, but a variety of veggies and a twist on the sauce help keep this dinner on the healthier side.
A few twists of a spiralizer can turn an ordinary squash into a plateful of vegetable noodles. Add sauce, and you have a diet-friendly replacement for pasta.
Deciding to become more calorie-conscious doesn’t mean you have to forgo flavor or creativity. By making some smart substitutions and watching portion sizes, you may find it easier to keep your calories in check.