How to Eat More Green Foods

Author: Karen Kawolics, MS, RD, LD, MEd

A common question Noom coaches get asked about regarding the daily calorie budget is, “Why is there no daily calorie allotment for GREEN foods, while items in the RED and YELLOW categories each have one?” 

Here is an example of how this may look in your app.  If you have a daily budget of 1800 calories, 450 of those are allotted toward RED foods, 810 calories for yellow items, and there is not a number listed next to the GREEN category. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be eating GREEN foods. Instead, the limit does not exist, and you’re free to eat fewer calories from RED and YELLOW foods in favor of eating more calories in the GREEN category — the more GREEN the better!

To explain, here’s a little backstory. Noom determines your daily caloric allowance by factoring in your height, weight, sex, age, and weekly weight loss goals. To further help you figure out how to use those calories and lose weight, Noom divides your daily budget into RED, YELLOW, and GREEN categories. Foods and beverages on the RED and YELLOW lists are more calorie-dense than those on the GREEN list (ie., 1 ounce of romaine lettuce has 8 calories, 1 ounce of grilled steak has 47 calories, 1 ounce of potato chips has 154 calories).  While RED and YELLOW items are not considered unhealthy, the limit you see in the app signals you to slow down when eating these foods that have more calories per unit weight. This is because a few servings can quickly use up your budget and leave you hungry for the rest of the day!

To avoid that “I feel like my budget is too small and I’m hungry all day” feeling, try adding more GREEN foods throughout the day — green foods help you feel full on fewer calories.  Eating a salad or veggies at each meal, or enjoying some fruit and fat-free Greek yogurt as a snack, will fill up your tummy and barely put a dent in your daily budget.  To give you a little more perspective, here are some low calorie GREEN foods.

  • Lettuce (1 cup chopped / 32 grams) 8 calories
  • Tomatoes (½ medium tomato) 11 calories
  • Red Onion (2 T chopped / 22 grams) 9 calories
  • Broccoli (1 cup chopped / 91 grams) 31 calories
  • Cauliflower (1 cup chopped / 108 grams) 27 calories
  • English Cucumber (½ cup sliced / 73 grams) 9 calories
  • Bell Peppers (½ pepper / 61 grams) 12 calories
  • Baby Carrots (10 carrots / 113 grams ) 45 calories
  • Celery Sticks (10 sticks / 41 grams) 10 calories
  • Watermelon (1 cup chopped / 154 grams) 46 calories
  • Strawberries (½ cup sliced / 84 grams) 27 calories
  • Cherries (½ cup / 64 grams) 39 calories
  • Blueberries (½ cup / 74 grams ) 42 calories
  • Apples (1 medium) 95 calories
  • Bananas (1 medium) 105 calories
  • Whole Grain Bread (1 slice / 28 grams) 69 calories
  • Salsa (¼ cup / 41 grams) 19 calories
  • Greek Non-Fat Yogurt (½ cup / 79 grams) 45 calories

Pair some GREEN foods with one of these YELLOW items for a filling meal or snack.

  • Hard-Boiled Egg (1 large) 78 calories
  • Tuna Packed in Water (3 ounces / 85 grams) 73 calories
  • Deli Sliced Turkey Breast (2 slices / 46 grams) 58 calories
  • Grilled Chicken Breast (3 ounces / 93 grams) 140 calories
  • Hummus (2T / 30 grams) 51 calories
  • Guacamole (2T / 30 grams) 46 calories
  • Beans (½ cup / 130 grams) 150 calories

Looking for more ideas on how to be even more GREEN? Check out these other Noom blog posts:

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