Blog Nutrition 4 Meals Under 300 Calories To Cook When You’re On a Weight Loss Diet

4 Meals Under 300 Calories To Cook When You’re On a Weight Loss Diet

Fad diets come in many shapes and sizes – some promise quick weight loss with liquid diets, others suggest cutting out entire food groups, and even some advocate eating only at certain times of the day. 

But in reality, the only thing these diets achieve is a temporary weight loss that is often regained once you return to your regular eating habits.

A calorie deficit, on the other hand, is a scientifically proven method to lose weight sustainably.

So when you’re looking for a long-term solution to weight loss, it’s important to focus on meals that are low in calories but still nutritious and filling.

This guide presents 4 meals under 300 calories that are not only easy to make but also delicious, making your weight loss journey enjoyable and sustainable. These meals prove that dieting doesn’t have to be boring or restrictive, but can instead be diverse and delicious.

Is 300 Calories Enough for a Meal?

Yes, 300 calories can definitely be enough for a meal, as long as you choose your ingredients wisely. 300 calorie meals for weight loss must include nutrient-dense foods that will keep you feeling satisfied.

For example, a small serving of lean protein like chicken or tofu, paired with plenty of vegetables and complex carbohydrates like brown rice or quinoa, can make a perfectly balanced and filling 300 calorie meal.

In fact, meals under 300 calories with high protein ingredients can support weight loss in multiple ways; they can help suppress appetite, maintain muscle mass while losing fat, and boost metabolism.

The secret to making 300 calorie meals work for you is to focus on the quality of your ingredients and make sure they provide the necessary nutrients to support your weight loss goals.

Explore our previous post on a 1400-calorie meal plan to see exactly how a low-calorie meal can be healthy and balanced.

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What Foods Are Under 300 Calories?

Foods that are under 300 calories usually share some common characteristics. They likely have a high water and fiber content which is why they are filling without being calorie-dense. 

They also tend to be low in unhealthy saturated fats and added sugars.Our 7 zero calorie drinks for intermittent fasting is a great point for further reading on the topic

meals under 300 calories  

Some examples of foods that are under 300 calories include:

Vegetables: Most vegetables are low in calories but high in fiber and nutrients. For instance, a cup of broccoli or spinach contains less than 100 calories. They can be steamed, roasted, or eaten raw in salads.

Fruits: Although fruits often have more calories than vegetables, they are still a low-calorie food group. An apple or a cup of berries, for instance, is less than 100 calories.

Whole Grains: Foods like quinoa, brown rice, and oatmeal are rich in fiber and keep you full. A half-cup of cooked brown rice or quinoa is just over 100 calories.

Legumes: Beans, lentils, and chickpeas are high in protein and fiber but low in calories. A half-cup of cooked lentils has about 115 calories.

Lean Proteins: Foods like chicken breast, turkey, tofu, and fish are high in protein but relatively low in calories. For example, a 3-ounce serving of grilled chicken breast is just under 130 calories.

You can check out this low calorie meal plan for inspiration on which foods to include to maintain a calorie deficit.

What Can You Eat for 300 Calories?

A protein-packed meal with a side of veggies is an obvious choice for a 300 calorie meal, but there are plenty of other options as well. Here are 4 simple meals under 300 calories per serving from various sources:

Grilled Lemon Chicken Salad (4)

First up is a trusty classic – grilled chicken with a tangy lemon dressing served over a bed of greens. This meal is perfect for warmer weather and is best made with boneless, skinless chicken breast. 

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You’re free to choose whichever mix of greens you prefer, but a combination of leafy greens and raw veggies like lettuce, cucumber, and tomato is a good way to go. This recipe makes 5 servings with 242 calories each.


  • 1 1/2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts (4-5 small-ish breasts) or boneless, skinless chicken thighs (6-8 pieces)

Grilled Chicken Marinade:

  • 2 tablespoons fresh oregano, rosemary, thyme, or sage, finely chopped (or use a combo)
  • zest from one medium lemon (2 tablespoons) and save the lemon for grilling/ juicing.
  • 1 tablespoon granulated garlic, or 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes- optional
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  1. Start by preparing your marinade. In a large bowl, combine the finely chopped fresh herbs (oregano, rosemary, thyme, or sage), lemon zest, granulated garlic or minced garlic cloves, kosher salt, cracked pepper, optional chili flakes, and olive oil. Mix thoroughly until well combined.
  2. Take your boneless, skinless chicken breasts or thighs and place them in the bowl with the marinade. Make sure all pieces are evenly coated. Cover the bowl and let the chicken marinate for at least 30 minutes. If you have more time, you can leave it in the fridge to marinate for up to 24 hours for an even deeper flavor.
  3. Preheat your grill to medium-high heat. Ensure the grates are clean to prevent the chicken from sticking.
  4. Place the marinated chicken on the grill. Cook for about 6-7 minutes on each side, or until the internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Remember to turn the chicken occasionally for even cooking and to prevent burning.
  5. Squeeze the lemon you zested earlier over the grilled chicken for an extra burst of freshness.
  6. Remove the chicken from the grill and let it rest for a few minutes before slicing. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the chicken, making it more succulent.
  7. Serve your grilled chicken over a bed of fresh greens and vegetables for a nutritious, low-calorie meal.
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Read more: Calories in Sweet Potato Fries: Enhance Your Health With Crunchy Delights

Shrimp and Veggie Stir Fry (3)

A stir-fry is the last meal you’d expect among a list of 300 calorie meals high in protein. The secret is to ditch the high-calorie oils and sauces and go for a light marinade or broth-based sauce instead. This shrimp and veggie stir fry is a great option to satisfy your cravings without breaking the calorie bank. This recipe makes 4 servings with 210 calories each.


  • 1 pound raw shrimp, (20-30 per pound), peeled and deveined
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
  • ½ teaspoon coarse ground black pepper, divided
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ¾ cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 large red bell pepper, diced
  • ½ cup diced onion (about 1 small onion)
  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
  • 1 zucchini (8 oz.), cut into ½-inch pieces (about 2 cups)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


  1. Season the shrimp with half the salt and pepper, then heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Cook the shrimp until opaque, about 2-3 minutes per side, then remove from the pan and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the chicken broth, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Set this broth mixture aside.
  3. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the pan. Add the diced red bell pepper and onion, cooking until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes.
  4. Add the asparagus and zucchini to the pan, cooking until they are tender-crisp, about 5 more minutes. Sprinkle it with the remaining salt and pepper.
  5. Stir in the lemon zest and garlic, cooking until fragrant, about 1 minute.
  6. Re-whisk the broth mixture, then add it to the pan. Let it simmer until it thickens slightly, about 2 minutes.
  7. Return the shrimp to the pan, stirring to coat them in the sauce and heat them through.
  8. Sprinkle the stir fry with fresh parsley and lemon slices before serving.
  • Serve with along with a cup of steamed rice
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meals under 300 calories  

Cheesy, Stuffed Bell Peppers (2)

Ground turkey, black beans, corn and rice come together in this easy weeknight meal. Topped with a sprinkle of cheese and baked until bubbly, these stuffed peppers are both delicious and filling. These are perfect for lunch time; one stuffed half is quite filling and just under 300 calories.


  • 4 large red bell peppers
  • 1 lb ground turkey
  • 2 cup cooked rice
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn
  • 10 oz canned black beans
  • 1 cup salsa
  • 1 tbsp taco seasoning
  • 2 cup Mexican cheese


  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
  2. Take the 4 large red bell peppers, cut off the tops and remove the seeds and membrane inside.
  3. In a large pan over medium heat, add the ground turkey and cook until browned.
  4. To the same pan, add the cooked rice, frozen corn, canned black beans, salsa, and taco seasoning. Stir well to combine and cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, and evenly divide the mixture among the hollowed peppers.
  6. Place the stuffed peppers in a baking dish, upright, and sprinkle each with Mexican cheese.
  7. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for about 30 minutes.
  8. After 30 minutes, remove the foil and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
  9. Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving.

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Low-Cal Lentil Soup (1)

On our list of meals under 300 calories for a vegetarian diet is this hearty low-cal lentil soup. Lentils are a great source of plant-based protein and fiber; they’re also rich in iron and other essential nutrients. This soup is a warm, comforting option for a cold winter evening or a light lunch.


  • 4 cups vegetable broth or stock divided
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 3 carrots chopped
  • 3 stalks celery chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Italian Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 15 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup red lentils rinsed
  • 1 bag of fresh spinach 16 oz


  1. Begin by heating a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, add the chopped onion, minced garlic, chopped carrots, and celery to the pot along with a splash of the vegetable broth to prevent sticking. Cook until the onion becomes translucent, stirring occasionally.
  2. Next, add the Italian Seasoning, cumin, salt, and pepper to the pot. Stir well to combine the spices with the vegetables and let cook for another minute until the spices are fragrant.
  3. Now, add the diced tomatoes (including the juice from the can) and rinsed lentils to the pot. Stir well to combine with the vegetables and spices.
  4. Pour in the remaining vegetable broth, increase the heat to high, and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, cover the pot, and let the soup simmer for about 20-30 minutes, or until the lentils are tender.
  5. Lastly, add the fresh spinach to the pot, stirring until the spinach wilts and is evenly distributed throughout the soup. Taste and adjust the seasonings as needed.
  6. Serve the lentil soup hot, as is or with a side of crusty bread for dipping.

Read more: How Many Calories in a Banana? And the Secret to Losing Weight With Bananas

meals under 300 calories  


  • What Foods Fill You Up but Are Low in Calories?

Foods that are high in fiber and protein, but low in calories tend to be more filling. These include vegetables like broccoli and spinach, fruits such as apples and berries, whole grains like brown rice and quinoa, legumes such as lentils and chickpeas, and lean proteins like chicken breast and tofu.

  • Are 1,200 Calories a Day Enough?

The appropriate calorie intake depends on factors such as age, sex, physical activity level, and overall health. While 1,200 calories may be sufficient for some individuals, it may be too low for many others, potentially leading to nutrient deficiencies and other health issues.

  • What Does a Healthy 300 Calorie Meal Look Like?

A healthy 300 calorie meal is balanced with a portion of lean protein, a variety of vegetables, and a serving of whole grains. For instance, a meal could consist of a 3-ounce grilled chicken breast (around 130 calories), a cup of steamed broccoli (around 55 calories), and a half-cup of cooked quinoa (around 110 calories).

  • Is 300 Calories Starving?

A single meal of 300 calories is not indicative of “starvation” if it is part of a balanced diet spread across the day. However, consistently consuming only 300 calories per day is well below the recommended daily calorie intake and could lead to nutrient deficiencies and health issues. Be sure you’re eating enough to support your body’s needs.


This article is intended for general informational purposes only and does not address individual circumstances. It is not a substitute for professional advice or help and should not be relied on to make decisions of any kind. Any action you take upon the information presented in this article is strictly at your own risk and responsibility!


  1. Low Calorie Lentil Soup | Vegan and Gluten-Free (n,d,
  2. Mexican Stuffed Bell Peppers Recipe (n,d,
  3. Shrimp And Vegetable Stir Fry With Lemon And Garlic (2021,
  4. The Best Grilled Chicken (2021,
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