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Low cal and high volume food suggestions

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I was looking through a lot of threads but didn't come across any thing like this.  I have a lot of weight to loose (labled as 'severely obese') and trying to use CC for loosing some weight.  I am doing very poor with this because I can't stay within my calories because I am always hungry looking for food.  I am a vegetarian and I do eat a lot of vegetables (which are low cal and high fiber) and legumes etc.  I am trying to stay within 1300 cals per day and my goal is to  loose 80 lbs in a year and half span.  My stomach must be big because the small quantities can't satisfy me and if I choose to eat rice or bread etc. they are very high in calories.  Can someone please suggest me low cals but high volume food?  I had whole wheat bread for breakfast and rice and a salad for lunch and with the snacks I munched on so far I consumed 880 cals and I still have almost half a day to go and not that many calories left.

The only things I can think are air popped pop corn and again few more veggies but I am tired of eating veggies all the time.  Hope I get some ideas from the group.

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Is money no object?

Shirataki noodles are calorie free (but they can be expensive if you eat them constantly). It's a totally guilt-free bowl of pasta if you like them. There are also shirataki-tofu noodles which are apparently a little tastier (but they have a small amount of calories).

Great replacement for your rice.


Thank you so much for your response.  Even though I would like to stay within the budget but weight loss is more important to me.  So yes, money no object.  I have never heard of those noodles.  Are they frozen? fresh? where can I get them?  regular grocery store?  I do eat high fiber foods (such as oatmeal etc.) but since I don't eat most of the filling foods or hunger resistant foods such as string cheese, puddings or any gelatinated foods etc. it is hard for me to figure out the low cal, vegetarian friendly foods. 

I like to have a granny smith apple, cut into pieces, with a wedge of Happy Cow Light cheese. (it's in the fancy cheese isle). I take the time to lay it out nicely on a plate and take a little break in between wedges. Every single time I eat that, I am totally satisfied by the end.  Especially if you enjoy it with a tall drink of water :)


My grocery store has them in little bags. They are already smooshy so you don't need to boil them really (but I recommend boiling them anyway because the water they are packed in can taste funny).

I would boil them for a couple minutes, rinse them, and add some low-cal sauce and veggies. Voila.

If your store doesn't have them, or if they are more than 20cents per ounce at your store, order them from (even with shipping, it's less than 20 cents an ounce there).


Also, some people don't like the texture of these noodles (they don't really have a taste, like tofu they just taste like whatever you cook them with).

I recommend buying a small amount first, because if you're the sort that doesn't like them you'll be out way more money than if you'd bought regular pasta.

This is tough considering you're vegetarian. Cutting out the higher-calorie grains leaves you with...fruits and veggies, hey. And at 1300 gonna be hungry, no 3 ways about it. That's awfully low, have you looked at the calorie counts for what you were eating in a day that made you fat in the first place? Knowing that, you can make a more informed decision on how many calories you can eat to lose weight.

But, if I was trying to eat 1300 calories, I'd make sure to get enough protein. Do you eat dairy? If so, eat a couple servings of fat-free or 2% cottage cheese per day. Fat free greek yogurt is high in protein too.

Also make sure you're getting enough iron, which is harder to do for a vegetarian and will make you feel weak (therefore hungry) if you aren't getting enough. Some low-cal fortified cereal would help with iron intake. There is some out there that's pretty "special" that provides 45 % of daily iron intake for 110 calories a serving. That and some unsweetened soy milk and a piece of fruit will get your day started for about 250 calories.

Then get in a protein snack midmorning like the cottage cheese and yogurt. Cottage cheese mixed with lite yogurt is really good, tastes like cheesecake.

A cut-up grapefruit sprinkled with 2 tbsp chopped walnuts is another favorite filling snack.

SOUP. If I had only 1300 calories I'd eat a lot of soup. Soup is really easy to make lots of different ways. For instance for asian soup, in a pan heat up your broth into which you have put a couple slices of fresh ginger and a little soy sauce for seasoning. Add noodles or rice (shirataki would work), cook them through, then just before serving add any kinds of sliced veggies (cabbage, carrots, broccoli, bok choy, snow peas) to fill up the pan, and a few frozen veggie potstickers and cubes of tofu to heat through a few minutes. Garnish each bowl of soup with a few drops of toasted sesame oil and some sliced green onions. it is a smorgasbord, you can eat the whole pan for less than 400 calories, the trick is the little bit of high-calorie items are mixed in with the low-calorie stuff, and the warm liquid fills up your belly.  


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Hi, although I just started CC again for the secong time, I would like to give you some advice. I did CC 2 years ago on a vegetarian diet and did well! Then I lost all control, later got pregnant with my 4th baby and therefore ate everything. I am back on CC but now I eat fish and poultry. But this is an example of what you should eat 

breasfast- make a veggie bacon BLT

Tofu scramble with 1 veggie hot dog thrown in for extra protein 

snacks (these will keep you full)

1/2 Avacado and tomato or

20 almonds and 1 small apple or

low fat/fat free cheese on rye crackers

lunch/dinner 1 whole wheat pita, 1 T soy mayo+ 1 t. ketchup, veegie bologna slices, tomato and 1 slice of FF cheese. Bake for few min in your oven

Bean salad and soup

Tofu stir fry with veggies and brown rice. Super easy!

Veggie burger on 1/2 of whole wheat bagel with lettuce, tomato, roasted pepper or anything else you like.

veggie meatballs made from gimmilean beefless with whole wheat pasta and a huge salad.

you can also use that beefless to make "cutlets" and eat them with a baked potato and on a bun.

Dessert-sugar free jello with whipped cream and a banana.

Eat lots of fresh veggies at lunch and dinner. I notice that when I have to chew a lot, I get full. I also have a cup of coffee when I get hungry but food is not ready.

Veggie hot dogs have very little calories and you can do many things with them. Get them when they are on sale and freeze them.

If you eat eggs, it is even easier! I eat eggwhites at night if I am super hungry.

Also, I live in NY and shop at a chinese vegetarian store since my husband is a strict vegetarian. They have many meat alternatives and most are low in calories. I don't know where you live or even if they ship far but check out their site:

Also, check out this site:


Wow, thank you all so much for your wonderful ideas.  All of them sound so good.  yummy_kitty, I will certainly give a try to these noodles and I actually do cook tofu with regular noodles. 

liswobble, yes, I eat dairy but no cheese.  I heard cheese has rennet so I gave up that almost three years ago.  Cottage cheese sounds like a great idea.  I tried that once but didn't like the texture so never gave a serious effort to get used to it.  CC recommended that I eat 1250 cals to reach my goal in a year and half.  That is why I am trying stay within 1300 cals.  I do eat iron fortified cereals and high protein and low sugar protein bars etc.  But those bars are high in sugar and carbs etc. and they are relatively small, I try avoiding those because they don't satisfy me (again the volume issue).  I use a scoop of 'gensoy protein powder' in my cereal etc for additional protein in addition to dairy and legumes.  I will try the protein shake and soy milk.  Yes, I am also thinking about making soup with lots of vegs and may be with some lentils etc. and try that to see if it will control my hunger any better. 

haifley, the way you wrote about the apple and the cheese sounds so delicious.  I guess  I will have to go and shop around to see if I can get 'rennet free cheese' or 'organic cheese'.  Thank you so much for sharing.

njasmin77, we live in Texas.   I will check the link and see if they will ship.  Thank you so much for all the ideas.  I am feeling satisfied after reading all the ideas and encouragement from everyone.  I hope this time I will stick with it and make some progress and it almost seems like I have no choice because I am afraid now that I may be diagnosed with diabetes or something and I am already border line with hypertension.

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There are MANY cheeses that do not use animal rennet. I get my cheese from BJ's wholesale and most say on the package that they use vegetable rennet. If you read the ingrediences, you will be surprised how many have no animal rennet.

Good luck!

Another soup idea would be for italian minestrone; it has veggies, tomatoes, beans and pasta.

I'm in Texas too! :D We rock.

I think maybe you should eat more than 1300. I weigh 134 and have been eating 1500-1700 a day and have seen some results. A lot of weight loss programs (weight watchers, mostly) give you a higher allowance if you have a higher weight. I've done some dieting with my mom, who is probably "obese" although I don't know  how much she actually weighs, and she was always able to eat more than me and still lose weight.

But onto the food:
Veggies: Obviously they're high volume/low cal, but I know they aren't always the most satisfying thing. I like to cook mine with lots of seasonings, and sometimes with some cheese. But don't over-cook them. They need to actually involve some chewing to be satisfying. I also use veggies to bulk up other foods. If I eat mac n' cheese I usually put a lot of broccoli or cauliflour in it. I try and eat some vegetables with every meal (not always succesful in that department, however).

Soup: I make soup with vegetable broth, lower calories, and also I'm a vegetarian. I add lots of veggies to it. Warm liquids make you feel more full. My mom has this great recipe from weight watchers for a vegetable soup which has a zero points value for weight watchers. I don't know how many calories it is though, but it can't be that many. It has veggie stock, tomatoe paste, lots and lots of veggies like cabbage and carrots, and some beans (I recommend lentils for protein).

Vegetarian Meat Replacements: I don't know how you feel about these, but a lot of them are pretty low cal. I really like Smart Ground, its a soy-based ground beef replacement. I make sloppy joe's, tacos, and chille with it. If you cook it enough with other things its almost the same. Not quite but after a while you get used to it.

Granola: I like Quaker Oats co. 100% Natural with raisins. I eat it as a breakfast cereal with milk. It has a lot of very hard chunks and I have to chew them a lot so I feel like I'm eating more.

Iced Tea: I absolutely live on the stuff. My mom makes big batches of it. Just some boiling water poured into a pitcher with tea bags. Sweet n' Low or Splenda for sweetener. I know its not as good as sugar. Lucky for me I've been drinking it this way since I was a kid so I'm used to it. I almost prefer the fake sugar taste with my tea, lol.

Look for low-cal options of everything: Today I went grocery shopping and found diet rye bread which is 40 cals for two slices. The slices are thinner, but I'm willing to eat thinner bread. When I go shopping I read every single label. It takes forever, yes, but its totally worth it.

Use Diet Tricks: Put your food into a small bowl or plate. Measure out your portions and pay attention to the cals in each, and write it down (obviously you have to do that anyway with CC). I find that making food becomes a chore so I don't do it as much. Don't buy too many prepackaged meals. They're just too easy. If you have to make a batch of cookies, and calculate the amount of cals in each cookie yourself, you'll be less likely to do it. Take small bites, chew each one thoroughly, and sip water in between.

If I think of anything else I'll post here. Mostly, I think you should just give yourself a larger calorie allowance, eat a few small meals a day, and gradually decrease your calorie allowance. If you jump right into a tiny calorie allowance you'll be very hungry and more likely to ruin it all with a binge. Good luck! And sorry for the long post, lol.

Edit: Silly me, I posted before reading the other posts. Are you vegetarian or vegan? And what vegetarian meals do you like? I love compairing notes with other veggie-lovers! Wink

Original Post by yummy_kitty:

Is money no object?

Shirataki noodles are calorie free (but they can be expensive if you eat them constantly). It's a totally guilt-free bowl of pasta if you like them. There are also shirataki-tofu noodles which are apparently a little tastier (but they have a small amount of calories).

Great replacement for your rice.


 wow ive never heard of these! Although I did some research and they look amazing! Must try them :)

You can probably eat quite a bit more.  I'm a vegetarian, and I started at severely obese, too (276 pounds).  I've lost more than 70 pounds in 14 months eating 1700-2000 calories a day.  I was exercising 4 or 5 times a week.   One thing that helps me stay full is that I only eat 2 or 3 servings of grains a day.  The rest of my carbs and fiber come from fruits and veggies (10+ servings a day).  I also make sure to get plenty of protein and healthy fats, which help me feel full for a long time.

I used to get the quaker rice snacks. there are so many flavors between sweet chocolate caramel and saltier things like chedar cheese. some are better than others but they fill you up and i believe they now have little hundred calorie packs! good luck

It looks like you're not vegan so you have lots of options I'd say.

First, why are you only eating 1300 calories?  Are you very short?  If you are obese as your post said, it seems that you would be able to consume more.  Keep your calorie deficit around 500 a day.

Second, if you are hungry at those calories, exercise!  The more you exercise, the more you can eat. 


Breakfast: Take a buttload of veggies (zucchini, mushrooms, peppers and onions are my fav), sautee them with pam or another cooking spray (I like the olive oil ones).  Scramble one egg and 3 egg whites, or two eggs, pour over eggs.  Add spices like dill or cajun.  Top with an oz of LF cheese, salsa and FF sour cream.  It's less than 300 calories.

Lunch: make a cabbage salad and a lentil soup, or a bean salad adn a cabbage soup.  There are tons of recipes on here (if you look at my old posts you'll see I've posted numerous recipes of this combo).  A cup of the soup and salad comes to around 300 calories.  Or yesterday, I had a head of lettuce, a pepper, onion, 1/4c of crasins and some FF dressing...awesome salad, around 200 calories. 

Dinner: Rice and beans are great, I have a recipe that's around 350 calories for 1/2 cup of rice and a cup of this bean mixture.  I thinks listed here under "Black Beans and Rice"

Other dinners I love...a half a head of cabbage, an onion, pepper, couple carrots, sliced, all stir fried together.  It's like 110 calories.  Then mix up a sauce with soy sauce, a tbsp of PB, some of that rooster hot sauce, garlic and a bit of vinegar for another 100 calories...omg there is nothing so filling as that.

Here's a link to another thread a while back, I posted a bunch of filling, low cal, veggie recipes there, as did other people: s-ft10346#6


Thank you all again for all the wonderful tips, receipes and ideas.  Yes, I am short, I am 5'2" and weigh around 208 lbs.  So short and labeled as 'severely obese' based on my BMI.  medveditsa, it is amazing that you lost 70 lbs in 14 months.  I just can't imagine if I can ever do that.  I have been utterly failing in weight loss and I have always been a vegetarian.  I think I must be consuming a lot of carbs and that must be the reason why I ended up with that much weight.  My general food habits are not that bad since I do eat a lot of fruits, vegs along with rice and bread.  If I can atleast go under 200 in a few weeks, that will give me motivation to keep up with it.  I used to exercise atleast 5 times a week last year and I was around 195 and as soon as I stopped going to the gym regularly, I started to gain back the weight.  I have been fighting this from a very long time but never was able to successfully fight back.  I went through a lot of blood tests to find out if I have any thyroid or hormonal issues since I was staying around 1500 to 1600 cals and working out atleast for 45 mins at a medium pace and still wasn't able to loose any weight.   I just started back with atleast 3 times/ week (last week was first) and hope I can keep up with it.  

I am determined (again for the 100th time) that I can do this with the help and encouragement from wonderful and inspirational people like you. 

danaofdoom, dovelette, Thanks for all the tips.  Yes, I am a vegetarian but not a vegan and I will start paying more attention to the grocery lables.  I have a very busy life style and by the end of the day I am tired and I must be eating a lot without realizing I am.  I am trying to write down every bite from now on.  I am an Indian so I usually make a lot of vegetables with a lot of spices eat with whole wheat tortilla (from Kroger) or eat with rice.  That is my favorite food. 

I made a bean sprout salad for snack for today and I had a banana yogurt smoothie with protein powder this morning for breakfast.  So far I am doing good.  I soaked lentils this morning so I can make the lentil soup for this evening.  Yesterday I consumed 1450 cals (again couldn't stay within 1300).  I can't wait to make the soups you all mentioned.

every morning i wilt some fresh baby spinach and then pour a 2-3 scrambled egg whites over it and add a tbsp of parm cheese. low cal, very tasty and filling. :)  i usually eat turkey bacon at breakfast also. but you can eat fruit with the eggs just as easily.

I am also a vegetarian.  It's simple: fruit and vegetables.


Seriously, buy a large variety of fruit.  On a typical day, I will have at least three servings of the following: strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, rasperries, gala apples, granny smith apples, pink lady apples (the best), oranges, tangerines, pears, grapes.  Make a fruit salad with a buttload of fruit (pretty much as much as you want) and a half a cup of cottage cheese.  Also, vegetarian chili - homemade - may be the single healthiest food ever created.  Take 8 oz. each of threee types of beans, dried (I like black, pinto and kidney), rehydrate, and cook with a big can of diced tomatoes, some tomato paste, some sauteed onion and peppers (I use just a teaspoon of oil for a big-ass onion and some green peppers) and either your own spice blend or something like 2-Alarm Chili mix.  I calculate a massive portion of that - like a pound and change - to be around 400 calories.


Fresh veggies with a variety of healthy dips.  Hummus is good.  Trader Joe's sells and excellent red pepper spread that goes great with baby carrots and broccoli.  They also have a very good black bean dip.  Each of those are between 30-60 calories for 2 tbsp.  Oh yeah, make sure you measure them - eat the fruit and veggies in a pretty much unlimited fashion, but go sparingly on the dips and spreads.


I don't know what you do for breakfast, but I personally have found that a chopped up hard-boiled egg sandwich with Nature's Own double fiber bread (it helps me poo) with some salsa is delicious and actually fills me up until lunch, and has around 180 calories total.


The overall point is to eat as much fresh food as possible, and to minimize the amount of processed foods.  Processed foods tend to be far more calorically dense.  To give you an idea how fresh foods allows you to consume more mass, on a typical day I eat around 1700 calories (even though I am budgeted for 1900; I just can't eat that much!) and eat 1,660 grams worth of food - about 3.7 pounds!  I love to eat, and I have found that I have been able to feel full most of the time and shed weight like you wouldn't believe by cutting out as much processed food as possible and eating plenty of fresh stuff.

Mar 06 2009 15:57
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Make oatmeal using a  mix of half dry oats and half dry bran (wheat or oat).  By itself a cooked cup of this mix is 140 calories and contains about 10 grams of fiber.  It will fill you up for not a lot of calories, but your own experience will tell whether it makes you feel full for very long.  In my experience it digests pretty fast.

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To stave off hunger pangs, one of my go to foods is oat bran which I buy in bulk at a health food store. Mix 1/2 cup of the oat bran with 1-1/3 cups water in a 4 cup microwave container and microwave on high for 2 min 22 seconds. This makes a very thick, creamy, oatmeal-like "porridge" which is super filling and has less than 120 calories. Add splenda to sweeten to taste. I also sometimes top it with Mrs. Butterworths sugar free syrup--20 calories for 1/4 cup.

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