The best low-cal, healthy snacks for you.
You’re on a diet. Again. It’s still two hours until dinner and all you can think about is that candy bar.
Or maybe dinner was hours ago and you can’t sleep with your tummy growling for a midnight snack. You know you need to eat fewer calories to lose weight, but it’s so hard to deprive yourself of yummy snacks.
The truth is, snacks can contribute to a nutritious, low-calorie diet. It all depends on what you’re snacking on and how much you’re snacking on. The key is to snack on small portions of nutrient-dense foods. Because those high-fat, carbohydrate-filled snacks found in the vending machine will sabotage your good intentions. Instead of letting your diet go down the drain, plan ahead, stop spending money on prepackaged snacks, and make your own snack foods. This way you won’t be as tempted to grab that candy bar each afternoon.
Read on to learn some of the best healthy snacks with 100 calories or less.
If you want to feel full without feeling guilty, snack on fruits and vegetables. Low in fat, but high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber, fruits and veggies are a great option for your snacking needs.
Give them a chance and enjoy great flavor and only a few calories. The following are a few good options to get you started:
- 20 baby carrots = 100 calories
- one stalk of celery = 10 calories
- one can of V-8 Vegetable Juice (low sodium) = 30 calories
- a small banana = 90 calories
- one cup of blueberries = 84 calories
- one cup of raw sweet cherries = 97 calories
- 50 raisins = 78 calories
- two cups of strawberries = 100 calories
- one small orange = 70 calories
If you’re feeling hungry, dragged out, and low on energy, grab a snack with plenty of protein. Protein provides energy and makes you feel fuller for longer. Just watch your portion size, as many protein-rich foods are high in fat (mainly monounsaturated fats, which help lower cholesterol). Nuts and seeds are also high in calories, so set limits before you go overboard.
When you need some protein, try out these low-calorie choices:
- one hard-boiled egg = 78 calories
- hard-boiled egg-egg white only = 16 calories
- 25 raw, unsalted pistachios = 100 calories
- 14 raw, unsalted almonds = 98 calories
- 16 roasted, unsalted peanuts = 96 calories
Low-fat dairy foods are great sources of calcium as well as protein, vitamins, and minerals. Be sure to choose the following low-fat dairy options:
- one mozzarella string cheese stick = 80 calories
- 4 ounces of low-fat cottage cheese = 90 calories
- half a cup vanilla yogurt = 95 calories
Whole-grain foods are rich in fiber, iron, magnesium, and B vitamins. Look for foods that have a main ingredient of whole-wheat flour, brown rice, whole oats, buckwheat, or whole-grain cornmeal.
If looking for good options, consider the following:
- 3 cups of popped popcorn without oil = 93 calories
- six Triscuit crackers (reduced fat) = 98 calories
- one slice of 100-percent whole-wheat bread = 100 calories
- one plain brown rice cake = 35 calories
Don’t Deprive Yourself
Snacking doesn’t have to ruin your diet. In fact, choosing a snack that incorporates one of the food groups is a great way to maintain your diet and get the energy and nutrients your body needs. Have a moment of weakness? Don’t sweat it. Enjoy your favorite unhealthy treat on occasion, but get back on the diet train immediately!
While attempting to incorporate more healthy, low-calorie snacks into your repertoire, stock up on them and phase the unhealthy options out slowly but surely. Soon, you’ll realize how much easier it is to reach for healthy snacks when there is no other option.
Curb Your Appetite
No matter how healthy the food, if you eat too much of it, you can still wind up in some heavy trouble. Therefore, it’s up to you to be on your guard against mindless eating while in front of the television, computer screen, or reading a book. You may have good intentions, but by the time the show’s over, you may be holding an empty popcorn bowl that you licked clean without any help.
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