If you are a grazer (like me!) snacking doesn’t have to put your whole diet out of whack… as long as you keep things under control.
But, if your snack of choice is calorie dense, high in fat and/or sugar, well, what can I say, other than you need to rethink.
The thing about unhealthy snack foods, is they generally give a big overload in calories, for a relatively small amount of food. They aren’t satisfying in the long run, so you’re still hungry afterwards.
In other words, they are not calories well spent.
I don’t know about you, but I prefer to get some “bang for my buck!” So, what’s the secret to snacking smart?
Try to choose snacks which:
- Are rich in fiber — no white flour foods, for example
- Provide a little protein
- Have small amounts of healthy fats — think mono and poly unsaturated over saturated fats
Here are some ideas for snacks under 100 calories
Don’t forget what I said above about balancing carbs with protein and fat for better satiety. For example, some of the snacks are listed as single items, e.g. 1 cup raspberries, but you could balance this out by adding a dollop of natural yogurt, for example.
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 cup mango chunks
- 1 cup grapes
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1/2 medium cantaloupe melon
- 1 cup strawberries
- 1 ounce of raisins
- 1 small apple with 1 teaspoon natural nut butter
- 1 cup broccoli with 1 tablespoon of hummus
- 1/2 a small avocado
- 1 cup of mixed salad leaves with 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinaigrette
- Celery sticks with 2 teaspoons of natural nut butter
- 1/2 cup frozen peas or corn
Dairy foods are helpful when dieting for increasing your level of satiety. Studies have actually shown that people with higher intakes of dairy calcium showed greater excretion of fat in the feces, compared to diets which were lower in calcium.
So, a small amount of dairy can be helpful for weight loss…
- 1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese with 1/3 cup pineapple cubes
- Small pot of low fat natural yogurt
- 1/2 cup green smoothie (e.g. baby spinach leaves, low fat yogurt, fruit)
- 1 ounce of reduced fat cheddar
Instead of reaching for potato chips when you feel hungry, here are some options that will not only remove hunger pants, but also boost your nutrient profile…
- 1/2 ounce almonds
- 1/2 ounce mixed nuts
- 1/4 cup seeds
- 2 cups air popped popcorn seasoned with herbs
- 1 hard-boiled egg
- 2 slices extra lean ham, sliced baby tomatoes, rolled in lettuce leaves
- 1 ounce smoked salmon with small amount of reduced fat cream cheese
- Celery sticks eaten with 1 ounce tuna and 1 tablespoon of natural yogurt
4. Something Hot
Sometimes a hot snack can seem like a treat when it feels like you’ve been eating salad for the last 6 months. Here are some healthy options…
- 1/2 cup cooked oats
- 1 cup vegetable soup
- 1/2 cup cooked millet
- 1 cup of hot cocoa eaten with one small apple — weird, but satisfying!
5. A Little Treat
Who said you can’t have a treat when you’re on a diet? Here are a few suggestions — just remember moderation…
- 10 peanut M&M’s
- 1 ounce fruit leather
- 10 jelly beans
- 1/3 cup fruit sorbet (or make your own by freezing 100% pure orange juice — a serving is 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup low fat frozen yogurt
- Small handful of licorice
- 3 pieces dark chocolate (85%) with 3 apricot halves — my favorite!!
What are your favorite healthy snack ideas?