While trying to diet and lose weight, it’s helpful to have a list of foods that are so low in calories, they are of called, Free Foods.
This printable list of 41 ‘free foods’ can help you with your weight loss goals. Including these in your diet can help you to feel satisfied with fewer calories.
Why You Should Have a list of free foods
It’s always helpful to visually see a list of low calorie foods. These ideas can trigger new ideas of foods you like that you may not have thought of. You can also use the printable version of the list to take to the grocery store. This way you’ll have some low calorie free foods on hand when hunger strikes!
I keep this list on my fridge, so when I’m hungry but it’s not meal time yet, I’ll have a good idea of foods I can eat that won’t stall my weight loss goals.
I used the free foods list in 5 ways.
- I like to have an idea for foods that I can eat in unlimited amounts. Often when you are dieting, you simply miss eating, just for the sake of eating, even when you aren’t hungry. While Mindful eating is the goal of weight management, sometimes it’s nice to eat with abandon! To eat without tracking or worrying about how much you ate.
- I like these free foods to make a meal more filling. Free foods let you bulk up a meal without adding calories. This is great if you like to feel physically full after a meal.
- Free foods can add flavor and taste to food. I use low calorie, or zero calorie flavors, sauces, herbs, spices, and condiments to add flavor and taste to meals. Dieting, low-fat, and low calorie meals can sometimes be bland, so low calorie flavors are a great way to make your diet food more palatable.
- While I’m cooking dinner, or hanging around the kitchen socially, I like to eat. It’s REALLY difficult for me to be in the kitchen and not graze on food. I’m getting better at this, but I also found a plate of sliced tomatoes or cucumbers is actually very satisfying! It really doesn’t matter what the food is I’m eating in this situation, because it’s just the behavior that’s causing me to eat. So, low calorie, free-foods are the perfect solution.
- I like a little extra food at the end of a meal, if I don’t want to be finished eating. After I’ve eaten everything on my plate, sometimes, while not hungry, I’m still not satisfied. This is when I reach for something like Sugar free Jello or a diet drink to hang out at my plate a little longer.
What are the free foods that help you lose weight?
The best free foods that support weight loss are vegetables. I have a printable list of calories in vegetables here, so check that out as well.
Eat Unlimited Free-Foods
An unlimited food is foods that I don’t add to a food tracker like MyFitnessPal. These unlimited foods don’t count towards my calories for the day. They are truly Unlimited, unmeasured, untracked!
- Roasted asparagus (3 calories per spear)
- Roasted bell peppers (30 calories per pepper)
- Cucumbers (15 calories in a medium cucumber)
- Tomatoes (24 calories in a medium tomato)
- Carrot sticks (4 calories in 1 baby carrot)
- Cucumbers with tomatoes (40 calories sliced and salted! This is so good)
- Celery (6 calories in 1 stalk)
- Snow peas (1 calorie per pod)
- Zucchini- sauteed or roasted (33 calories in a medium zucchini)
- Spinach (7 calories per cup)
- Sugar Free Jello (10 calories per cup)
- Salsa (5 calories per tablespoon)
- Diet Soda (0 calories per cup)
- Drink mixes (I’ve been sipping on BCAA’s for 5 calories per scoop)
- Pickles (7 calories per pickle)
- Blackberries (2.5 calories per berry)
- Raspberries (1 calorie per berry)
- Blueberries (> 1 calorie per berry, 39 calories for 50)
- Lemons (17 calories for a medium lemon)
- Limes (20 calories for a medium lime)
- Mint Lifesavers (10 calories per lifesaver)
- Altoids (3 calories per mint)
- Sugar free apple cider (0 calories)
I prefer some veggies roasted, but others I’ll eat raw.
For the roasted ones, I will take 10 minutes and roast something in my toaster oven while I’m cooking dinner. I do this with asparagus, sweet potatoes, and peppers. It’s so fast in the toaster oven! (I have this Cuisinart toaster oven that doubles as an air fryer)
For the raw veggies, I just slice, salt, and then snack.
Bulk up a meal
In addition to the free foods above, I track the low calorie food ideas for this section. While low in calories, they are a great way to make a meal bigger without adding many calories.
- Alfalfa or Mung Bean Sprouts (8 calories per cup)
- Mushrooms (15 calories per cup)
- Roasted sweet potatoes (112 calories per potato)
- Deli meat (1 ounce is approximately 30-40 calories, depending on the brand)
- Tomato sauce (canned tomato sauce has 4 calories per tablespoon)
- Egg whites (I’ll eat these or add them to a meal hard boiled or fried for 15 calories)
- Zero calorie noodles (Shirataki noodles 15 calories per serving) LOVE THESE NOODLES!
- Bolthouse dressings (22 calories per tablespoon- I find this in the produce department fridge, not on the dressing aisle)
Season and add flavor without calories (Unlimited)
These are the free foods I use to season up my food and add flavor and add taste. I’ve been adding mustard to a lot of my ground turkey. I add light mayo to tuna and chicken. And I add fat free sour cream or laughing cow cheese to veggies! SO DELICIOUS!
- Soy sauce (9 calories per tablespoon)
- Mustard (3 calories per teaspoon)
- Fat free sour cream (15 calories per tablespoon)
- Light Laughing cow cheese (30 calories per wedge)
- Light mayonnaise (35 calories per tablespoon)
- Cooking spray (zero calories I use a LOT of cooking spray!)
- Butter spray (A quick spritz is almost zero calories, and I don’t count them. BUT, a tablespoon will be 60 calories, so don’t pour it out!)
- Vinegar (3 calories per tablespoon)
- Zero calorie syrup like Walden Farms (0 calories)
- Jolly Time butter seasonings– This isn’t just for popcorn! (zero calories)
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