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5 high-volume, low-calorie foods to make cutting easier

Lose body fat with these high-volume, low-calorie foods

cucumber slices on a white background
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The “cutting period” of your diet and fitness routine requires a decrease in calories for a prolonged period to lose body fat while maintaining your muscle mass percentage. Once you switch from the bulking phase to the cutting phase, your body has to quickly adapt to running on much less energy consumed from food.

The cutting phase focuses on consuming lots of lean protein, nutrient-dense vegetables, and whole grains — helping to keep you full while still maintaining a calorie deficit. Although this sounds easy, cutting can often leave you ragingly hungry with little to turn to when it comes to snacking. That’s why consuming high volume low calorie foods is a great strategy to keep you full while keeping you on track with your diet. Discover our 5 favorite low calorie high volume foods to try during your next cut.

What is a high volume low-calorie food?

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A high volume low-calorie food is exactly what it sounds like — a food that can be consumed in large quantities at very low calories. Since these foods have a low-calorie density, you can eat as much or as little volume as you need to stay full while still adhering to your calorie goals. As such, this provides a “safe food” that you can turn to if you’re still feeling hungry after a meal or need a snack.

5 high volume low-calorie foods

Peanut butter and rice cakes
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High-volume, low low-calorie food is the opposite of a calorie-dense food, such as french fries or donuts. Knowing which foods to turn to during your cutting phase can make the process a bit easier to adhere to. Here are our five favorite go-to foods that won’t leave you feeling guilty.


Cucumbers are mostly made of water, which makes them a great high-volume, low-calorie option. On average, a medium (11-gram) cucumber contains only 45 calories for the whole thing! Cucumbers have a very mild flavor too, giving you lots of options of ways to use cucumber in a snack without getting bored.

For example, try a low-calorie dip such as Greek yogurt or a hummus dip paired with sliced cucumber for a snack. Cucumbers also contain lots of healthy nutrients to fuel your cutting phase, such as Vitamin K, Vitamin B, and Vitamin C.

Rice cakes

Rice cakes are another snack-time option for your bulk, containing only about 35 calories per plain rice cake, on average (whole grain brown rice cakes). You’ll want to avoid sweetened and flavored rice cakes with added sugar, but plain rice cakes are fair game to make your cut easier. Rice cakes offer a great crunch for snack time without adding many calories to your day. They are also low in carbohydrates and contain healthy fiber as well.

Cottage cheese

Foods high in protein and low in calories, like cottage cheese, are the perfect food to add to your cutting-phase diet plan. Low-fat cottage cheese (2%) contains about 90 calories per serving and contains about 13 grams of protein. This combination of low-calorie and high-protein means you can eat a hearty serving to help keep you full during a cut without throwing off your macros for the day. Cottage cheese is a delicious snack on its own, but can also be added to other foods such as eggs to help you stay full.


Adding cauliflower to your meals adds volume without adding many calories at all. Just one cup of cauliflower contains only about 27 calories. This means you can eat as much cauliflower as you’d like for so minimal calories. Cauliflower can be enjoyed raw with a Greek yogurt dip as a lunchtime snack or used in cauliflower rice form as a hearty dinner side. Not only is it high in fiber to keep you full, but it also contains healthy levels of Vitamin C and Vitamin K.


Battling a sweet tooth during your cutting phase? Berries are a healthy snack option to turn to that have a light, natural sweetness and contain minimal calories. For example, one cup of blueberries contains only about 86 calories. Other low-sugar berries like strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries are great snack options as well. If you need a sweet snack over a savory option like cucumbers with dip, try a handful of berries to satisfy your cravings while still maintaining a calorie deficit.

Making cutting easier with high volume low-calorie foods

Blackberries, blueberries, and strawberries in the same container
PublicDomainPictures / Pixabay

Surviving your cutting phase can be challenging, especially as your body adapts to a new calorie intake and manages hunger cues. Consuming these 5 high-volume low-calorie snack foods offers a safe, go-to option to help you stay satiated without consuming too many calories.

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Emily Caldwell
Emily is a freelance writer with a special focus on health, fitness, lifestyle, food, and nutrition topics. She holds a B.S…
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