Are you in need of some awesome macro friendly, voluminous meal ideas? Do you want to make your dieting life easier?
Then look no further – for this is an article where I present my personal favorite high volume, low calorie meal ideas! Some of them might surprise you, some of them might not be anything new – but whatever the case: I’m sure you’ll find a few cool ideas on this page!
Sometimes you simply want to eat a big, satisfying meal without going over your daily calorie/macro “budget” (or completely yolo-wrecking it). You want some mechanical satiety goin on: some volume in your stomach, so that you can feel satiated, or at least “content”! You also understand fully well that dieting adherence and understanding the fundamental concept of energy balance and controling your caloric intake is of great importance if you want to be at least somewhat succesful in your dietary endeavors.
Reaching desired levels of satiation/fullness can sometimes be a bit of a struggle for those that have to thrive on a low calorie intake. It can especially be a big, daily battle for those on a quest to lose bodyfat. Being hungry sucks in most cases, and dieting for fat loss isn’t a lot of fun. But, in the words of the great Lyle McDonald: suck it up or stay fat.
However! There are a few tricks and strategies you can do to make your dieting life easier. Nutrition wise: one of the better strategies you can do is to seek out high volume, low calorie foods, meals and recipes – and to make those your dieting staples!
The content featured on this page is aimed to those on a quest for fat loss, for those with poverty macros (= having to eat very low calorie in order for fat loss to occur), and for those that… well, basically like to eat a lot of food in general! All of the meal ideas presented here are moderate-high protein: as protein is the most satiating macronutrient – and rather low in carbs: because carbohydrates tend to be the first things we try to restrict a bit when trying to achieve a calorie deficit.
Two more notes before I get started:
- I will be providing meal “templates” rather than complete recipes, so don’t expect any “exact recipes” or macros here. If I have a recipe available for a meal idea I mention here, I’ll put up a link to it!
- Also, this will be a page where I’ll keep adding meal ideas to. So be sure to check it out every once in a while! I’ll be sure to announce the additions!
Enjoy the StormLifestyle
ULTIMATE HIGH VOLUME+LOW KCAL MEAL IDEAS!©
#1 – HIGH PROTEIN SALAD
Salads are an awesome dieting staple. Excellent way to get some satiating vegetables into your system, and (most) vegetables don’t have a lot of caloriesl! So EAT your veggies! I’m actually writing an article on how to make an awesome salad (I’m serious) and I’ll be sure to link it here once it’s done.
In my world, an awesome salad starts with a solid protein base. So experiment with different protein sources (shrimp, chicken, turkey, salmon, ham, cottage cheese, pickles). For your vegetables, try various low calorie vegetables (spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, radish, etc.). Add low-calorie fruits (berries!), spices, vinegar etc. for interesting twists without adding too much calories. If you have some fat macros left, consider adding olive oil, nuts, avocado, seeds, etc. to boost up the nutritious content of your salad. Most dressings are crap; avoid them. Stick to spices or make your own dressings. Ever thought about homemade tzatziki? That way you can boost up protein content significantly by adding a lot of quark. And you can make it more awesome by adding lots of garlic and cucumber.
Salads are very portable too: so toss them in a tupperware box and take them with you to your job/school. If you have a fridge available: even better! Otherwise I suggest eating it a few hours after making it.
Salad example! Protein? Shrimp and low fat cheese! Veggies? Spinach, tomato, cucumber, radish! Healthy fats? A teaspoon of olive oil! Interesting additions? Cranberries! Spices? Whatever the hell I had available!
#2 – MEAT/FISH-VEGGIE STIRFRIES
Consider this the “hot version” of the salad. Hot salad! Panfry some meat (measure your oil if you’re using it), add veggies, STIRFRY. Meat + Vegetable stirfries are an awesome dieting staple: they’re easy to make, delicious, can fill you up well and deliver you plenty of micronutrients and fiber. If you get a mixed bag of vegetables, I recommend you go for the lower calorie ones (I usually go for the <50 kcal per 100 grams ones).
For flavoring, I recommend sticking to spices: sauces tend to ramp up the caloric content and usually have a crappy macro profile.
Salmon+Shrimp stirfry with some pickles on the side. Easy, tasty, low calorie, nutritious. I love stirfries.
#3 – VEGETABLE BASED CARB-ALTERNATIVES
Another fun and creative thing to try is low-carb spinoffs of well known carb-dominant meals! Here are a few of my favorites:
Lettuce wraps instead of tortilla wraps
Using lettuce as a wrap for my salmon stirfry
“Cauliflower porridge” instead of regular oats/porridge
Basically, boil yourself some cauliflower, mash it, add milk, heat up, add cinnamon and whatever you like > voilla. Sweet cauliflower porridge! Chef Tats had a recipe video on this too.
Hetty trying out the cauliflower porridge: and added some cocoapowder and raspberries. Looks like oatmeal, but it has way less calories! She deemed it awesome.
Cauliflower pizza instead of regular pizza
I’m not a master of this one YET, so until I am – I recommend you to look around on the internet for some recipes. All I can tell you is that it’s pretty neat if you get it to work somewhat!
Basically it boils down to mixing mashed uncooked cauliflower with eggs, cheese and spices – and then topping it with whatever you want > then tossing it in the oven!
Carrots fries instead of regular fries
Drizzle some olive oil on them, coat them with your favorite spices, and toss them in the oven. Awesome.
Carrot fries with light mayo and ketchup to the left. Large chicken-onion-mushroom-apple-lettuce bowl on the right.
Vegetable based pancakes
You can make pancakes using zucchini or pumpkin + egg(whites) for example! Look around on the internet for some other cool vegetable-based pancake recipes.
I tried out some zucchini pancakes and they worked! This was a “green theme” dish haha! Green pancakes, lettuce, olives – and some fish buried beneath the tzatziki!
Portobello burger instead of a regular burger
Sometimes I just want to grab food and eat it with my hands. Once I decide that doesn’t really work, I eat it with my mouth. Hilarity aside, I like this low carb burger idea! Expect a lot of “mushiness” when eating this, haha.
#4 – ENHANCED SOUP
Buy a low calorie soup (I go for the <45 kcal per 100 ml ones: that way you end up at max 360 kcal for 800 ml which is a lot!). Most regular soup lack protein AND vegetables, so beef it up yourself. Dump in whatever meat plus vegetables you want (stirfry!?) and boom: awesome upgraded soup!
Bought myself a 600 ml can of tomato soup. Tossed in a stifry of ham, broccoli, onions, bean sprouts and mushrooms. One big ricecake on the side. 500 kcal feast.
How about a salad soup? One day I couldn’t decide whether I wanted a soup or a salad. So I tossed soup into my salad and made a saladsoup.
Saladsoup with eggs and various veggies, next to my ricecake-leanbeef-cheddar burgers. Oh, ricecakes are a pretty good low-carb alternative too: they tend to be lower kcal than bread and are pretty damn tasty too!
#5 – SHIRATAKI/KONJAC NOODLES
These “noodles” aren’t noodles at all – they’re made from some kind of weird konjac mushroom. They’re extremely low in carbs and calories and actually quite high in soluble fiber. They have a bland taste and smell pretty bad when you get them out of the package, but hey – it’s volume and variety. You can also find a “rice” version of these.
Make sure to drain and rinse this stuff well prior to adding it to your dish. I like tossing them into a stirfry. Use various spices and/or some sauce to cover up their bland taste. Do NOT expect these to taste magical by themselves.
Idea: try stirfrying these shirataki noodles with lean minced beef (or chicken) and a can of mashed tomatoes for an interesting low carb pasta bolognaise spinoff. Or try soy sauce for an oriental noodle spinoff!
Zero noodle stirfry! Chicken, mixed vegetables, canned tomatoes, shiratake noodles.
This big ol’ bowl of soup was just 570 kcal / 52 g protein / 30 g carbs / 22 g fat. 400 ml vegetable soup, 2 eggs, 100 g lean ham, 1 slice of low fat cheese, 1 packet of zero noodles, and some mixed stirfried veggies (celery + onion + carrot).
#6 – LOW CALORIE CEREAL BOWL
Who didn’t like cereal bowls as a kid? It’s too bad that cereal kind of sucks when you’re dieting, simply because it’s not very filling and it quite energy dense. In most cases I’d deem it a “waste of calories” and rather eat something more nutritous and satiating, but if you ever find yourself wanting to eat cereal but you don’t feel like spending a lot of calories on it (a “regular” cereal bowl can easily end up being >500 kcal or more) – try a high volume, low calorie cereal bowl. Yes, I actually made a page for it. Some ideas for good alternatives:
- Liquid ideas: Unsweetened almond milk is fairly low in calories, try that out. Skim milk, rice milk and coconut milk are other ideas! You can also try diluting milk with water for more volume if you can stand it.
- Cereal: Go for volume. Puffed rice and kamut cereal give waaaay more volume than most sugary cereals. Compare these amounts:
- Want to add some protein? Mix in some protein powder. It’s a great way to give it some extra flavor as well!
- Not sweet enough? Add cinnamon. If you want you can add sweetener too.
- Are you crazy? Then try out cereal with diet soda. I’m not totally serious, but hey; it might be ok!
Comparing regular cereal to puffed kamut. You get more volume from the kamut (both cups hold 32 grams of cereal). Click here for the recipe page! (I’m serious)
#7 – HOT PROTEIN POWDER BASED RECIPES
Protein powder based recipes such as protein pancakes, protein waffles, protein microwave cakes etc. – all tend to have a better macro profile than regular pancakes, waffles, etc! Why? Because you get more protein and less carbs. You can easily take stuff like this with you too, so they’re great “on the go” foods!
Here are some protein powder based recipes I made:
- Protein Microwave Cake (314 kcal / 39 P / 17 C / 10 F)
- Protein Fluff (250 kcal / 39 P / 19 C / 2 F)
- Fluffy Fro-Pro (550 kcal / 75 P / 50 C / 5 F)
- Protein Pumpkin Cheesecake (370 kcal / 42 P / 37 C / 6 F)
- Protein Waffles (336 kcal / 41 P / 27 C / 8 F)
#8 – SAUERKRAUT
Sauerkraut gets its own section because it’s awesome. Lots of fiber, very low calorie, quite filling. EAT IT. Try a sauerkraut stirfry. Sauerkraut-Carrot mash. Sauerkraut in the oven. Sauerkraut shirataki noodle dish. Sauerkraut on a stick.
Ok that last one doesn’t work. Just make sure to eat a lot of sauerkraut!
A random stirfry with sauerkraut in it. Chicken, cheese, bell pepper, onion, mushroom, cheese – and of course sauerkraut!
#9 – DAIRY BOWL + FRUIT
Instead of cereal + milk, a “thick” dairy source such as quark or cottage cheese + low calorie fruits are a more satiating and macrofriendly alternative. Add protein powder for protein and flavor. For more flavor, try cinnamon, sweetener and walden farms stuff.
I don’t have any pictures of this myself since I find this meal bland haha! So here is a random internet picture.
#10 – PROTEIN FLUFF
We can’t forget about protein fluff! This stuff can be really filling. Also, frozen protein fluff is pretty neat. Links to both recipes:
#11 – HOMEMADE CHEESECAKE
Usually, these tend to have a WAY better macro profile than store-bought cheesecakes, haha! Here’s a link to one of my favorite cheesecakes: the protein pumpkin cheesecake!
#11 – USE EGG WHITES INSTEAD OF WHOLE EGGS
Get yourself some liquid egg whites if you are able to get your hands on them. You can make awesome low calorie egg-white pancakes with them. If you’re on poverty macros, I will forgive you for tossing away egg yolks.
If you can get your hands on this, do it.
#11 – LOW CALORIE VEGGIE/FRUIT SNACKS
Feel like “snacking”? Honestly I hate snacking since it often involves mindless eating and not minding your calorie intake. Also, snacking doesn’t really do much for hunger in most cases – it tends to aggrevate it. Still, if you want to snack, stick to stuff like this instead of peanuts, m&m’s and chocolate:
#12 – NO CALORIE TREATS
This kind of deserves it’s own article, but here’s a few more random strategies you can put to use in order not to up your calorie intake:
- Diet soda. Can help with sweet tooth. I recommend limitting diet soda intake to 1-3 glasses per day; don’t live on this stuff.
- Toothpaste. Have an unwanted desire to eat? In the words of Jujimufu: “brush your crap cravings away”. No one wants to eat after brushing their teeth! (Unless you are insane).
- Chewing gum. Similar to toothpaste.
- Black coffee. The caffein can help suppress appetite. And a hot cup of coffee can always be seen as a nice “non-calorie treat” aside of your meals!
- Tea is nice.
- Walden Farms products, if you can stand chemicals. I tried some of their products and like the pancake and caramel syrup best: they go well on protein microwave cakes and pancakes. Some BBQ sauces are decent as well.
CREATE YOUR MENU
You could set up a pretty effective daily fatloss meal plan by picking 3-4 from the meal templates I described above!
For example, a daily rest day setup for me might be:
- Big Protein rich Salad
- Big stirfry OR Beefed-Up-Soup OR Shiratake noodle stirfry OR Vegetable based dish
- Protein Microwave Cake with Protein Fluff as a topping
A training day setup might look like:
- Protein Cake + Fruit (pre workout)
- Big meat/fish + Vegetable dish + Some starchy carbs
- Quark Bowl + Fruit + Carb Source (Protein French toast / pancakes / etc.)
Just figure out your personal macros, play around with these meal ideas and tweak them to your liking – and enjoy some interesting diet variety!
I hope you enjoy the meal ideas on this page! I’ll be sure to announce any additions to it, so stay tuned 😀