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How to Make Tastier Low-Calorie Meals

Delicious Food. Amazing Body. Pick one.

You can have both!

Believe it or not, dousing foods in mayonnaise (or as we called it in the food industry, food lube) is not the only way to make something tasty.

Here are a few easy ways to make your meals flavourful without adding a whole whack of extra unnecessary calories. 

Secret Sauce

Sauces are a two-fold killer for a lot of folks trying to shed some pounds.

Firstly, they make blander foods more interesting and palatable – making people MUCH more likely to overeat. If you don’t believe me, cook yourself a quadruple serving of unseasoned, cooked pasta. Looks ridiculous, right? 

Now do the same thing, but add a rich and creamy cheese sauce. All of a sudden you have a typical dinner. 

Secondly, many of these sauces are calorie-dense by themselves. Your favourite peanut satay sauce can EASILY put the brakes on your fat loss efforts for the entire day if you were to get a little heavy-handed… How does 100 calories per tablespoon sound? I’d rather have a serving of Ben and Jerry’s, but that’s just me.


(Credit: healthbeet.org – Amy Roskelley)

The one on the left is a serving of peanut butter – 100 calories. On the right, it’s a double serving – 200 calories.

Just kidding. The one on the left is already a double serving – 200 calories, and the one on the right is a whopping 350% of a normal serving — reaching 350 calories, higher than a McDonald’s cheeseburger.

You may have guessed that the right picture was quite a lot, but very few would have correctly guessed by how much.

So, quickly flip that sauce bottle around and figure out what’s in it before you get to the liberal application phase. Find out what a serving contains. Find out what a serving really is. Find out if that’s worth it to you. 

Learn to Caramelize

If your steak was properly browned in the pan or on the grill, you probably wouldn’t need to douse it in barbecue sauce…

If you knew how to caramelize onions with a splash of balsamic vinegar, you might be less likely to need half a bottle of lemon poppyseed dressing on your spinach salad.

Cooking unlocks flavours present in foods that are waiting to be set free. Learning the basics will take you far.

Season and Spice 

After you’ve accessed the flavours present in foods, why not kick it up a notch by adding some spices?

Salt and spice can elevate a dish and please the senses without adding even 10 calories (that’s less than you burned by reading this…)

Hot. Earthy. Floral. Soothing. Fresh. Sour. Bitter. Smoky. Umami. Chocolatey. 

There are countless combinations of spices… Here are just a few of my favourite.

Smoky Mexican – Smoked Paprika, Oregano, Cumin, Garlic Powder

Moroccan – Coriander, Cumin, Cinnamon, Ground Ginger

Near East Za’atar – Sumac, Coriander, Cumin, Thyme

Pumpkin Pie – Cinnamon, Clove, Ginger, Nutmeg, Allspice

Use Aromatics

Wait a second, isn’t aromatics just a fancy word for spices? 

Well, not really… 

I want you to boost your food with 4 elements:


I’m encouraging you to squeeze fresh lemon over your seafood salad.

I want you to crush garlic into some yogurt with fresh dill. 

I’d be over the moon if you would blend some fresh cilantro, lemon grass, lime, and green chillies to make your own Thai Green Curry. 

These foods (primarily plant-based) are what people have been using for thousands of years to make things taste INCREDIBLE. Note that the Maya people did not have access to MSG, or mayonnaise, and yet the foods they’re famous for are drop-dead delicious. 

Keep these 4 things in mind when you’re trying to build a mountain of flavour and you will still be able to shed a meaningful amount of weight.

Hey! I'm Matteo Marra

Owner/Head Coach at Marra Strength. 

I believe “getting in shape” is really just a set of skills that can be learned and utilized to upgrade your life. 

Using this concept, i’ve helped hundreds of busy guys look and feel amazing shirtless by teaching them how to master the skills of dieting for fat loss and training for muscle growth.

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