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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Calorie Intake

Tips for Controlling Calorie Intake

Controlling your body’s calorie intake is the most crucial aspect of any weight reduction program. However, you do not have to resort to a bland and tasteless diet in order to do so. Studies show that you will be more likely to stick to your low-calorie diet if it is palatable to the taste buds. You can limit your calories without compromising on taste. Here are some cooking methods, and diet tips and recipes that will ensure that you are able to restricts your calorie intake without losing out on the essential flavor of food.

Low calorie cooking methods


Steaming is the process of cooking food by surrounding it with steam produced from boiling water. In direct steaming, food is placed in a perforated basket which is kept over boiling water and covered. In indirect steaming, food is placed inside a covered dish which is then placed in boiling water. Using a pressure cooker is another excellent and time saving method of steaming food. Steaming eliminates the use of oil to cook food and ensures that the nutrients in raw food are not significantly lost. It is commonly used for cooking fish, puddings and custards, and vegetables like cabbage, peas, beans and carrots.


The process of cooking food in a pan of boiling water is called boiling. This is another excellent non fat method of cooking food, though the loss of nutrients is slightly more as compared to steaming.


Roasting is the process of cooking food in a hot air oven. Roasting intensifies the flavor of food and is used to cook tender meats, chicken, vegetables, potato, tomato, cereals, semolina, broken wheat, and vermicelli.

Sautéing is the process of frying and tossing food, in a small amount of hot fat, in a shallow frying pan. Vegetables like cabbages, beans, carrots, capsicums, bean sprouts, onions, tomatoes, noodles and thin sections of meat are commonly cooked in this manner. Sautéing utilizes less fat than other traditional methods of cooking. 


Stewing is the process of cooking food slowly in a covered pan, using a small quantity of liquid which is kept simmering. This technique makes the food tender using minimal fat and is commonly used to cook meat, chicken, fruits and vegetables.


Grilling is the process of cooking food by direct or radiant heat, under a grill, over an open fire, or on burning coals. This type of cooking imparts a smoky flavor to the food. Grilling is commonly used for tender meat, steaks, chops, fish, liver, kidney, chicken, vegetables, stuffed tomatoes, capsicum, cauliflower, bottle gourd etc.


Poaching means cooking food in a minimum quantity of water that is kept gently simmering. Adding spices or herbs to the liquid imparts flavor. Eggs and fish are commonly poached.


Braising is a combined method of roasting and stewing. To braise means to brown meat and vegetables in a minimal amount of fat and subsequently to cover and cook in a small amount of simmering liquid. This technique makes tender sturdy vegetables and tough cuts of meat.


To marinate means to soak food in a mixture of vinegar, oil, spices, curd and lime. This process is usually used to soften meat and give it a characteristic flavor. The meat is usually steeped in the mixture before it is cooked. Oil can be added, if desired. Soya, ginger and garlic can be added to the marinade for an Asian-style dish and tomatoes for an Italian touch.

Low calorie recipes

1. Minestrone soup

Number of serving: 1 
Size of serving: 1 bowl


Onion  : 20 g
Garlic   : half clove 
Carrot   : 20 g 
Bay leaf  : 1 
Cabbage  : 5 g 
Spaghetti  : 5 g 
Tomato  : 30 g 
Salt   : half teaspoon 
Stock   : 11 half cups 
Pepper  : a dash 
Oil   : 5 g


  1. Chop the onion, shred the cabbage and dice the carrots.
  2. Heat oil in a saucepan; add the onion and the carrot and sauté.
  3. Add the stock and bring to a boil. Add the macaroni, skinned and chopped tomato and bay leaf.
  4. Simmer gently for 20 minutes. Add the cabbage and seasoning.
  5. Cook till the vegetables are soft.
  6. Serve hot, garnished with grated cheese.
  7. Nutritive value per serving: 89 Cal, 1.4 g protein, 5.2 g fat, 9.4 g carbohydrate, 1.2 g fiber.

2. Carrot Appetizer (Rice borth)

Number of serving: 6
Size of serving: 1 glass


Black carrots  : 50 g
Water  : 4 cups
Mustard seeds,  (coarsely ground)  : 10 g
Salt  : 1 and ½ teaspoon
Chili powder (optional)  : 1 teaspoon


  1. Wash, scrape and cut the carrots into 8 cm long, thin pieces.
  2. Add the carrots and other ingredients to water. Mix well.
  3. Store in earthenware pots or glass jar.
  4. Put in the sun for 7 days or more to sour.
  5. Serve in a medium-size glass over crushed ice.
  6. Nutritive value per serving: 12 Cal, 0.2 g protein, 0.1 g fat, 2.7 g carbohydrate, 0.4 g fiber.

3. Jellied sunshine fruit salad

Number of serving: 1
Size of serving: 1 small mould


Gelatin  : 1 teaspoon
Cold water  : 1h tablespoon
Hot water  : 1 cup
Pineapple  : 40 g
Lemon juice  : ½ tablespoon
Vinegar  : ½ tablespoon
Salt  : 1/8 teaspoon
Carrot, grated  : 50 g
Walnut, chopped  : 1
Pineapple syrup  : 2 tablespoons
Lettuce  : 2 leaves


  1. Soak the gelatin in cold water and heat to dissolve.
  2. Drain the pineapple, reserve its syrup. Cut the slices into tiny pieces.
  3. Add water to the syrup to make 1.4 cup. Add to the gelatin with the lemon juice, vinegar and salt. Chill till partly set.
  4. Fold in the pineapple bits, walnuts and carrots.
  5. Pour it into a small jelly mould. Chill till firm.
  6. Serve chilled on greens/lettuce leaves.
  7. Nutritive value per serving: 33 Cal, 0.8 g protein, 0.2 g fat, 10.6 g carbohydrate,    1.1 g fiber.

4. Corn muffins

Number of serving: 1
Size of serving: 1 muffin


Corn meal  : 5 g
Wheat flour  : 8 g
Chickpea flour : 5 g
Salt  : a pinch
Baking powder  : ¼ teaspoon
Baking soda  : a pinch
Egg white  : 10 g
Curd  : 10 g
Water  : ½ teaspoon
Carrots  : 5 g


  1. Sift the corn meal, wheat flour, Chickpea flour, salt, baking powder and soda together.
  2. Make a batter with egg, curd and water. Fold in the grated carrots.
  3. Pour into a muffin mould and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.
  4. Nutritive value per serving: 76 Cal, 2.7 g protein, 1.1 g fiber.

5. Grape and orange whip

Number of serving: 2
Size of serving: 1 orange case


Orange  : 150 g/large
Orange flavored
Jelly crystals  : 15 g
Water  : 30 ml
Cream, whipped  : 15 g/1 tablespoon
Egg white  : 2
Grapes  : 30 g


  1. Halve the orange carefully. Crimp the edges. Squeeze out the juice but keep the orange cases intact.
  2. Dissolve the jelly crystals in 2 tablespoon hot water. Let it cool a little, then add orange juice to make 3/8 cup (add water if required).
  3. Allow to cool in the fridge (not in the freezer) till it begins to stiffen slightly.
  4. Whisk the cream, whisk the egg white stiffly and fold these in the semi-stiffened mixture.
  5. Put a layer of de seeded grapes at the bottom of each orange case, reserve some grapes for decoration. Top with jelly mixture and let it set in the fridge (not in freezer).
  6. Serve decorated with halved grapes.
  7. Nutritive value per serving: 76 Cal, 1.6 g protein, 2.7 g fat, 11.5 g carbohydrate,    1.3 g fiber.

6. Raspberry sparkle

Number of serving: 1
Size of serving: 1 mould


Orange  : 150 g

Skimmed milk  : 60 ml
Gelatin  : 5 g
Raspberries  : 20 g
Low calorie sweetener: 1 drop


  1. Boil milk with half the gelatin and add sweetener. Put into a jelly mould and set.
  2. Extract juice out of orange. Heat juice with gelatin and cool. When milk is set, pour the juice over it.
  3. Put stewed raspberries into the orange juice when it is half set.
  4. Set in a refrigerator.
  5. Garnish with halved raspberries, after removing from mould.
  6. Nutritive value per serving: 58 Cal, 2 g fat, 4 g carbohydrate.

7. Fruity tarts

Number of serving: 4
Size of serving: 1 tart


Buckwheat flour  : 20 g 

Soy flour  : 20 g
Maize flour  : 20 g
Curd  : 40 g
Apple  : 40 g
Papaya  : 40 g
Guava  : 40 g
Egg white  : 60 g
Baking powder  : 1 teaspoon
Lemon juice  : 1 teaspoon
Green gram, sprouted  : 20 g


  1. Roast soy flour and mix with buckwheat flour and maize flour.
  2. Add baking powder and strain juice.
  3. Beat egg white to a stiff stage and fold into the flour.
  4. Using curd, knead the flour into soft dough.
  5. Roll out, cut into round, and line tart moulds.
  6. Bake in a moderate oven till done (15-20 minutes).
  7. Dice fruits and add lemon juice and spread out.
  8. Fill tartlets with fruit and sprout mixture.
  9. Nutritive value per serving: 82 Cal, 5.6 g protein, 1.3 g fat, 10.6 g carbohydrate.
Submitted on January 16, 2014