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Looking for low calorie food/snack ideas (aside from Konjac/Konnyaku)

So there's this diet I'm looking into that requires one to down the obligatory powdered mix blended drinks in the morning and at dinner. Lunch can be a normal regular meal to an extent (giving allowances to eat a lot of calories but within reason).

The problem is not long after the dinner drink, the stomach starts complaining for more.

I've found that the konjac/konnyaku at Japanese supermarkets offer a good solution as it is supposedly (near) zero calories, and is a cheap substitute just to get the stomach feeling full. It can be paired with soup (miso is a good one) or some pseudo vegan throw together.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Konnyaku

Unfortunately it gets boring after a while.

What are some other foods, dishes, preps, snack etc you recommend that will fill you up but won't cause packing on the pounds? It can be Asian, Western, American, European etc. Hopefully nothing disgusting!

Cheers.

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  1. i know it's not *thriling* but sugar free jello is sometimes a good sweet tooth fixer in the evening hours at minimal damage.

    you can also make popsicles - lemon juice, sweetener (stevia or xylitol or splenda, etc.) and water, then frozen to make lemonade pops

    make some miso broth with bits of greens in it... the broth will fill you up.

    grill some low cal veggies and keep on hand in fridge - celery, radicchio, mushrooms, etc.

    in addition to the konnyaku, there's also kelp noodles that are crunchy, pretty innocuous tasting and really low cal--like 6 calories a serving... that you can stirfry or mix with some balsamic vinegar, soy or bragg's, and some spices you like (ginger, chives, cilantro, whatever)

    one of my favorite recent finds is dried yacon (sliceds). they taste kind of like dried apples, but i like them better actually. a serving (an ounce) is only 30 calories; they're a super food; and, supposedly they're a "prebiotic," which one of my nutritionist friends is convinced is somehow a made-up term... yet i find it satisfying regardless.

    scrambled egg whites with a little salsa or herbs and freshly ground pepper is a low cal snack (just do so in a non-stick and/or Pam sprayed pan).

    1. K K on a diet? Is the End of Days approaching?

      Soups are your friend. In addition to miso, there's Kimchi Chigae (Korean kimchi stew), which can be lightened by using less meat. Hong Kong style borsht is also good, just go easy on the potatoes.

      1. apples are very filling - add a tsp of peanut butter; glass of skim milk; string cheese; a cup of tea; handful (small) of almonds; a cup of plain lowfat r nonfat yogurt with strawberries or blueberries. Basically you want something high in protein combined with some fiber if possible this really keeps you satisfied for a while. I also find that a hot beverage (such as the tea) will fill me up. good luck.

        1. Edamame in many different forms. Alton Brown just did an episode on this for good eats. You can use it to make a dip, too. :)

          1. Thanks for the suggestions so far!

            A few things

            - the diet is not for me personally. So my fans and readers, don't worry.

            - the dieter is allergic to shellfish, raw tomatoes, shouldn't be eating squash, no greasy no spicy, cucumbers, citrus fruits, nappa cabbage, eggplant amongst a few others. Edamame is unfortunately a no-no (apparently "hairy" vegetables are no no's as well)

            - kelp noodle....hmmm I might have seen it at my local Japanese supermarket. Is it the green kind but looks similar to yam noodle (shirataki)? I'll have to check that out, thanks (although it may have a way too similar texture to konnyaku)

            This is a great starter list. Thanks for all your recs. Please keep them coming :-)

            1 Reply
            1. re: K K

              kelp noodles are clear. dont have a texture anything like konnyaku. they're crunchy actually.
              http://www.kelpnoodles.com/

            2. Well, it's not food, but coffee is an appetite suppressant. Perhaps a cup of coffee after dinner will keep her stomach at bay.

              1. Make a salad. Take any bottled vinaigrette (I like Girards champagne or Old Italian), pour off the oil. Add a splash of water to thin it out a little if you want. And then use this to coat the salad with flavor. This is also good over roasted or cooked vegetables such as green beans or asparagus.

                Sipping V8 juice or tomato or other vegetable juice.

                Warm vegetable, chicken or beef stock. Dont buy a can. You can make really richly flavored stocks and totally de-fat them, leaving them with almost no calories.

                Freeze dried or dehydrated veggies that you would buy in a place like Fresh Market or Whole foods. I dont understand the whole process, but they end up with crisp green bean sticks that I love!

                2 Replies
                1. re: Mellicita

                  fyi those freeze dried veggies (at whole foods anyways) are done with hydrogenated palm oil and are in no way low calorie or ieter friendly.

                  1. re: Emme

                    Hmm.. I will have to double check the labels, but I've bought several brands in the past - celery "chips" and green beans... and the label said either only the veggie as the ingredient or the veggie plus olive oil and salt.... and the nutrional info showed them to have maybe a gram or so of fat per serving, but not much.
                    But thanks for the warning to always doublecheck!

                2. I find a small quantity of wasabi peas to be very satisfying

                  1. Unless they're aiming for low-carb, when I lost weight I relied on some good carby foods (back in the day before people freaked out about them), and like popcorn best for its satisfying crunch, and stomach-filling goodness.

                    Christie21 names pretty much everything else that got me though losing weight: apples, milk, string cheese, etc are all good filling choices I have found.

                    1. I forgot to mention pickles, pickled vegetables like the green beans, giardinera (I'm probably mispelling that). And you can make your own by slicing veggies and sticking them in leftover pickle brine.

                      1. Another option is to doctor up the powdered drink mix to make it tastier and more satisfying. I've followed the Body for Life program for years & there are tons of recipes using their protein shake mixes. I like to add bananas/berries to the Vanilla and peanut butter to the Chocolate. I also like to turn them into puddings for an after dinner snack. You can get pretty creative with protein shakes when you need to!

                        1. Good topic as I too am trying to cut calories. I don't have any dietary restrictions but this is a topic I hope gets lot of replies!

                          I found a bean dip recipe that's basically just a can of garbanzo beans, onion, garlic, and rosemary blended together for a grand total of roughly 500 calories if you ate the whole thing in one sitting (which you probably wouldn't). It's awesome with strips of green pepper. It's good with crackers or pitas too, but green pepper is far less damaging. I ate a whole pepper with about 1/4 of the dip in one night!

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Stillwater Girl

                            try grilling/charring some vegetables - eggplants, mushrooms, peppers, broccoli, etc. then blending together with a little stock and herbs for a nice chunky soup of sorts

                            or make meringues using stevia and a little vanilla and cream of tartar...

                          2. Tea
                            Popcorn
                            Jello
                            Chicken broth
                            Grapes, strawberries, watermelon, plums
                            Carrot sticks

                            1. I agree with the broth suggestions. You can make your own, just de-fat. Howsomever, many times I don't have this available, so an instant miso or pho or even 40 cal cup-o-soup will work for me.
                              I agree with the pickles. I'm not one for sweets, but crave salty snacks. You can have various types and brands in the fridge (dill, dill/garlic, kosher, half-sour, etc). OOOps , just saw the allergic to cucumbers....
                              We grill a mess of turkey burgers (20 or so at the time) then freeze 'em. In the microwave for a bit makes a nice snack.
                              The wife swears by tea as well.
                              Straight kim chee - apparently the spiciness helps with appetite.
                              Some people swear by hoodia, an appetite-suppressant supplement, but for me, the jury is still out.

                              I re-read your "A few things" post. I'd like to add that you have to be clear on your do's and don'ts in regard to your (or your friends) diet needs. I only say this 'cause we do a low carb thing and everybody and their brother has an opinion: "What, you don't want to eat my soup? Its got X and Y and Z and is SOOOOOO healthy for you" or "What's wrong with my fruit salad? Its all natural, and is good for you" and I just tells them " 'healthy' ain't necessarily slimming for me right now" or "just 'cause its natural does NOT make it good for me right now"....well you get the idear.