Low-Calorie High-Protein Meals for a Healthy and Fit Lifestyle

Most Americans (up to 75%) say they're healthy, with nearly all (87%) wanting to stay healthy even longer.

If you want to jump on the healthy and fit lifestyle bandwagon, proper meal planning is key. Consuming health-conscious foods can nourish your body, help with weight loss, and reduce the risk of chronic illnesses. This will help improve your overall health and well-being.

One way to promote a healthy lifestyle is to try out low-calorie high-protein meals. Here's a curated list of recipes to fill you up and excite your taste buds, while you reach your health and fitness goals.

Grilled Chicken Breast

This easy traditional meal offers a high-protein, low-calorie option that's versatile and flavorful. It's rich in essential nutrients like vitamins B6 and B12, niacin, and selenium, which support calorie burn and energy metabolism.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • Garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Rub the chicken with olive oil and season with garlic powder, salt, pepper, and lemon juice
  • Grill over medium-high heat for 6-8 minutes on each side or until fully cooked
  • Serve with a side of grilled vegetables or a fresh garden salad for a complete meal

For dietary preferences, you may substitute olive oil with avocado oil and lemon juice with lime juice.

Shrimp and Vegetable Stir-Fry

This is a vibrant, nutrient-packed dish offering a perfect blend of lean protein from the shrimp and a variety of vitamins and minerals from the vegetables. It's typically low in calories and fat, making it an excellent choice for anyone looking to maintain a balanced diet.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 2 cups of mixed vegetables like bell peppers, snap peas, and carrots
  • 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon of ginger
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced

Instructions:

  • Heat the oil in a pan, add garlic and ginger, and sauté for a minute
  • Add the shrimp, cook until they turn pink, then remove them
  • In the same pan, stir-fry the vegetables until crisp-tender, return the shrimp to the pan, and add soy sauce to combine everything well
  • Serve over a bed of brown rice or quinoa and garnish with sesame seeds or sliced green onions for a complete meal

You may substitute shrimp with tofu for a vegetarian option or use tamari instead of soy sauce for a gluten-free version.

Turkey Lettuce Wraps

This dish is high in protein from the turkey and low in carbs due to the lettuce. It's ideal for those looking for a nutritious meal without the heaviness of bread or rice.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb lean ground turkey
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hoisin sauce
  • Lettuce leaves

Instructions:

  • Cook the turkey with garlic and ginger until browned, then stir in soy and hoisin sauces
  • Serve in crisp lettuce leaves, topped with sliced green onions and a drizzle of sesame oil
  • These wraps pair well with cucumber salad or steamed vegetables for a complete meal

You may add water chestnuts or bamboo shoots for some crunch or swap soy sauce with a gluten-free alternative for dietary preferences.

Baked Salmon With Lemon and Dill

This healthy, flavorful dish offers a delightful blend of rich omega-3 fatty acids from the salmon, which are great for heart and brain health. The lemon adds a burst of vitamin C and freshness, enhancing the flavor without extra calories, while dill brings a unique, herby aroma that complements the fish perfectly.

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb of salmon fillet
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons of fresh dill (chopped)
  • The juice of half a lemon, salt, and pepper to add taste

Instructions:

  • To cook, preheat your oven to 375°F (190°C), place the salmon on a baking sheet, and drizzle with olive oil and lemon juice
  • Sprinkle it with dill, salt, and pepper
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes until flaky

Try adding garlic or substituting lemon with lime. Serve with a side of steamed asparagus and quinoa for a complete meal.

Greek Yogurt With Berries

This is one of the easiest low-calorie high-protein recipes to try out. It's rich in protein from the yogurt, which helps in muscle repair and growth, while the berries add antioxidants, vitamins, and fiber, contributing to heart health and digestion.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of mixed berries (such as strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries)
  • 1 tablespoon of honey or agave syrup for sweetness

Instructions:

  • Simply mix the Greek yogurt in a bowl, top with the fresh berries, and drizzle with honey
  • Serve as a standalone breakfast or pair with a side of granola or whole-grain toast for a more filling meal

This dish requires no cooking, which makes it quick and easy to prepare. For dietary restrictions, use dairy-free yogurt. Add chocolate mini crisps for extra sweetness, or swap honey with maple syrup for a vegan option.

Lentil Soup With Whole Wheat Bread

This lentil soup is a protein-packed powerhouse, perfect for a cozy and satisfying meal. It's easy to customize and budget-friendly, making it a versatile addition to your recipe repertoire.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup brown lentils, rinsed
  • 4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can of diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • Freshly chopped parsley, for garnish
  • Sliced whole wheat bread, toasted (optional)

Instructions:

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat
  • Add onion, carrots, and celery, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes
  • Stir in garlic and cook for another minute
  • Add lentils, broth, tomatoes, thyme, salt, and pepper
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes, or until lentils are tender
  • Remove from heat and mash some of the lentils with a fork for a thicker consistency (optional)
  • Season to taste with additional salt and pepper if desired
  • Serve hot, garnished with fresh parsley
  • Enjoy with toasted whole wheat bread for dipping or on the side

For a more veggie-packed soup, add chopped kale, spinach, or other greens during the last 5 minutes of cooking. You can also replace whole wheat bread with spicy protein chips for a more flavorful meal with no aftertaste.

Tuna Salad on Mixed Greens

This meal is an excellent choice for a light lunch or dinner, offering heart-healthy fats from tuna and antioxidant-rich greens for overall wellness.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans (5 oz each) tuna packed in water, drained (flaked)
  • 4 cups mixed greens (such as spinach, romaine, arugula)
  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/4 cup chopped cucumber
  • 1/4 red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons light mayonnaise or plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried dill
  • Salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • In a bowl, combine flaked tuna, mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and red onion
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together mayonnaise (or Greek yogurt), Dijon mustard, lemon juice, dill, salt, and pepper
  • Pour dressing over the salad and toss gently to combine
  • Serve immediately

For a vegan option, substitute the tuna with chickpeas or lentils. Add other vegetables like chopped celery, bell peppers, or carrots for more variety.

To enhance the nutritional profile and add a crunchy texture, consider sprinkling a tablespoon of chia seeds or crushed walnuts over the salad before serving. This addition not only introduces omega-3 fatty acids and extra fiber but also makes the meal more satisfying and flavorful.

Chicken Soup With Vegetables

This classic comfort food gets a healthy makeover with lean chicken and plenty of nutrient-rich vegetables. This soup is low in calories but high in nutrients, making it an ideal choice for those looking to maintain a healthy diet.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and diced
  • 2 cups chopped baby spinach or kale
  • 1 cup chopped broccoli florets
  • 1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Heat olive oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat
  • Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook for 5 minutes, until softened
  • Add garlic and cook for an additional minute
  • Pour in chicken broth and bring to a boil - then, stir in chicken and return to a simmer
  • Cook for 10-15 minutes, or until chicken is cooked through
  • Add spinach, broccoli, and tomatoes
  • Cover and cook for 3-5 minutes, until vegetables are tender-crisp
  • Stir in thyme, salt, and pepper
  • Serve hot with a side of brown rice or whole-wheat toast for a complete meal

Use boneless, skinless chicken thighs instead of breasts for a richer flavor. For a creamy delight, test out our chicken soup with vegetable variation.

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Adding high-protein foods to your daily diet doesn't always translate to increasing your calorie intake. With the right meal plans, you can strike a balance between high proteins and low calories, promoting your health and fitness goals.

At Dietonsale.com, we pride ourselves on providing our customers with a range of high-quality food products at great prices. Register today to learn more about our low-calorie high-protein meals or for assistance with specific dietary needs. 

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