When trying to lower your calorie intake, you can find yourself feeling restricted as to what you can eat, the thought of a salad bowl may be appealing to begin with but this can soon become repetitive, it doesn’t take long before your body craves your favourite comfort foods.
The truth is, having a healthy diet is all about balance, and while you may see quicker results by cutting out all ‘bad’ foods, this often isn’t sustainable.
It’s important to find a balance between sticking to your goals and not restricting yourself from the foods that you enjoy.
So, if you’re looking for some inspiration to keep your meal times exciting – but still healthy – keep reading…
1. Prawn pesto pasta
One of the most filling, satisfying meals to turn to when you’re hungry is a bowl of pasta.
Despite the majority of pasta recipes being high in calories due to their thick and creamy sauces, this prawn pesto pasta is less than 500 calories per portion and cooks in just 10 minutes.
Inspired by Ex-Love Island contestant and Instagram Influencer, Zara McDermott, this delicious meal works a treat and is sure to leave you feeling full and satisfied.
- 100g uncooked prawns
- 75g wholewheat pasta
- 1 tbsp of light pesto sauce
- 15g of Lighter Than Light mayonnaise
- 50g green beans
- 5 sprays of Fry Light olive oil cooking spray
- Garlic powder
- Chili powder
Boil the pasta for 10 minutes.
When there is five minutes left on the timer, add the green beans in with the pasta and start frying the prawns in a pan with the cooking spray, garlic, salt and chili powder.
Once the remaining five minutes is up, drain the pasta and green beans and add in the prawns, pesto and mayonnaise and mix together.
2. Bagel pizzas
Instead of browsing the likes of Uber Eats or Deliveroo when you’re craving a pizza, why not save your money (and calories) and make your own?
Inspired by Food and Fitness Influencer, Holly Brooks, these bagel pizzas work out at just over 250 calories, making them the perfect lunch or dinner time treat for satisfying your pizza craving.
- 1 bagel
- 20g Skinny Food pizza sauce
- 15g Eat Lean cheese
- 12g pepperoni
Cut the bagel in half and toast it, before topping it with the pizza sauce. Grate the cheese, chop up the pepperoni, and place on top of both bagel halves.
Place under the grill for 10-12 minutes at 180.
Top with some pepper for seasoning.
3. Chocolate protein pancakes
While it may seem that chocolate-covered pancakes are a big no-no when it comes to dieting, this tasty breakfast recipe comes to just 350 calories!
If you want to make it even healthier, you can substitute the chocolate spread for low-fat Greek yogurt, and drizzle some honey on top.
- 50g My Protein pancake mix (unflavoured)
- 120ml water
- 5 sprays of Fry Light coconut oil cooking spray
- 15g Skinny Food chocolate spread
- 40g raspberries
- 40g blackberries
Add the protein pancake mix to the water and whisk together.
Place a frying pan with the cooking oil inside on a medium heat and pour in the pancake mixture.
When air bubbles begin to form on top, flip the pancake over, so that both sides are cooked and place on a plate.
Repeat this process until all of the mixture is used up and then top with chocolate spread and berries.
4. Brownie baked oats
While this cake-like meal works best when you’re wanting something sweet for breakfast, it also works well as a post-dinner dessert.
It may not be the healthiest of options, for the reason that it contains a high amount of chocolate, however, it works out far less in calories than other chocolatey deserts, with just as much flavour!
- 45g oats
- 100ml almond milk
- 1tsp baking powder
- 5g cocoa powder
- 10g Milkybar buttons
- 10g Dairy Milk buttons
- 5g chocolate drizzle sauce
- 20g strawberries
- 20g raspberries
Blend the oats, cocoa powder, almond milk and baking powder together in a food blender.
Pour the mixture into a small baking dish and add the chocolate buttons, making sure to cover them with the mixture before playing them in the oven to bake for 8-10 minutes at 190.
Top with raspberries, strawberries and chocolate sauce.
5. Chicken, leek and bacon pie
Pies are a classic dish among many people’s diets, however, they often add up to a very large amount of calories.
This chicken, leek and bacon pie, inspired by Zara Mc Dermott comes to far fewer calories and would make the perfect meal for a family dinner or special occasion.
It takes just over an hour to cook this meal in total.
- 450ml chicken stock
- 2 chicken breasts
- 2 leeks
- 1 pack of bacon medallions
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 tbsp of plain flour
- 300ml of skimmed milk
- 1 pack of ready-made shortcrust pastry for the base
- 1 pack puff pastry for the lid
- 5 sprays of Fry Light olive oil cooking spray
- Salt and pepper
Boil the chicken breast for 10 minutes in a saucepan with the chicken stock.
In a separate large saucepan, fry off the leeks with the cooking spray with some salt and pepper.
Then, add the minced garlic, bacon medallions and flour, while stirring continuously.
Slowly add the milk, continuing to stir, and gradually add the stock water over from the chicken, before cooking for a few minutes and simmer.
Then, add the pre-boiled chicken.
Line a dish with the shortcrust pastry, ensuring it hangs over the edge of the dish slightly and poke some holes in with a fork.
Bake this pastry for 8-10 minutes at 190, just to firm it slightly, before adding in the pie filling.
Finally, top with some puff pastry and press down the edges with a fork, before baking in the oven for 20-40 minutes.