In order to lose weight, eating low-calorie protein is a must. Protein offers sustained energy, satiates your hunger, and can help curb sugar cravings. Choosing low-calorie, low-fat protein sources is a must, and while Greek yogurt has gained a lot of recognition for attributes, don't leave out the unsung hero of the protein world — cottage cheese. Here are some ways this simple food can help you drop pounds.
Breakfast: High-Protein Addition
You know how after you eat a bagel for breakfast it's tough to shake that sluggish feeling all morning? Protein has the opposite effect. It offers you energy for hours, so you feel bright-eyed and ready to tackle the day. Eggs and yogurt are popular choices, but for something a little different, whip up a smoothie and you guessed it — add low-fat cottage cheese to the blender. For just 81 calories, four ounces will add a whopping 14 grams of protein to your glass. The blender purees the cottage cheese into a smooth consistency, so you won't even know it's in there. Not into smoothies? Enjoy cottage cheese spread onto a slice of whole-wheat toast.
Snack: Low-Calorie Swap
If you're a huge fan of veggies and dip, skip the high-calorie dips made with sour cream. Swap it for cottage cheese and save over 150 calories, 20 grams of fat, and 45 mg of cholesterol, yet gain over 10 grams of protein. Here's what to do: take a four-ounce serving of one-percent cottage cheese and mix it with a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, one teaspoon of chopped fresh dill, one finely chopped clove of garlic, and top with salt and pepper. If you prefer a creamier consistency, add two tablespoons of skim milk and puree it with a hand blender.
Dessert: Creamy, Sweet, and Low in Calories
Obsessed with hitting the freezer for spoonfuls of ice cream? The high-fat and high-calorie bites won't help your waistline, and the sugar overload will just have you craving more. Whip up this dessert alternative — creamy fruit popsicles — that's much lower in calories but still satisfies your sweet tooth. Here's how: put one cup of low-fat cottage cheese in a blender and add one banana, six strawberries, half a cup of crushed pineapple or peaches, and one teaspoon of vanilla. After mixing to a smooth consistency, divide it into four popsicle molds (or kid-size cups lined with foil), insert popsicle sticks, and freeze. After four hours or so, you'll enjoy your guilt-free, low-calorie treat without affecting the numbers on the scale.