Snacking is a habit we’ve been doing since we were kids, and it follows us into adulthood. We snack at those times when we feel hungry, but not hungry enough for a full meal.
But, sometimes our quick ‘snack’ becomes as calorically dense as an entire meal. We tend to forget that a snack should be proportioned as a ‘snack’ and should not become something that fills you up as much as an entire meal.
Snacking smart is a simple, yet effective change you can make right now that can assist in your weight loss goals.
By trading in the cookies, chips, and chocolate for something more macro-friendly, you can eliminate an extra 200-500 calories in your daily diet without changing anything else. Eliminating those extra few hundred calories from your diet through smart snacking can have both immediate and long term effects on your weight loss goals.
All of the following 10 snacks contain 100 calories or less – meaning you can satisfy your sweet or savory cravings throughout the day and save some calories for your next meal.
SMART SNACK #1: One Plain Rice Cake with 2 teaspoons Almond Butter
Rice cakes are the perfect snack for anyone looking to get a full feeling in between meals while keeping the calories low. Adding 2 teaspoons of almond butter to the rice cake still keeps this snack at less than 100 calories and bring some sweetness to your snack life.
SMART SNACK #2: Chocolate Pudding
Take yourself back to those childhood snack days with some chocolate pudding. A small, half cup serving contains approximately 100 calories with less than 1 gram of fat. This is a great snack for satisfying your chocolate cravings.
SMART SNACK #3: Popcorn
Popcorn is the perfect low calorie snack for a variety of occasions. Whether you have a snack craving at work or need a low calorie midnight snack, popcorn is filling and keeps the calories low. Many companies now make 100 calorie popcorn packs that yield up to 5 full cups of popcorn when popped, so you can enjoy your popcorn and movie guilt free.
SMART SNACK #4: Banana Smoothie
Smoothies are a great way to get your morning started or as an afternoon snack to fill you up until dinner time. But, you need to ditch the Jamba Juice and make your own. Your favorite ‘health’ smoothie from the local smoothie place can pack a serious amount of calories. For your next smoothie simply combine 1/3 cup banana, ¼ cup non-fat Greek yogurt, and 1 cup of ice. This smoothie falls under the 100 calorie mark, contains no fat, and 5 grams of protein.
SMART SNACK #5: Pistachios
Almonds usually get the most hype when discussing healthy nuts to add to your diet, but pistachios can be just as healthy and tasty. Like with any nuts you need to focus on portion control. Each pistachio accounts for 4 calories, so keeping your pistachio intake at 25 or less will keep your snack total at 100 calories or less. 25 pistachios will also only yield 6 grams of fat and 4 grams of carbohydrates.
SMART SNACK #6: 2 Egg Whites on a Half Slice of Bread
With this snack you can keep the calories and fat low and protein high with a decent amount of carbohydrates supplied by the small slice of bread. Packing 10 grams of protein while keeping the calories extremely low, this is a great mid-morning snack or as something quick and light to get into your system upon wakeup.
SMART SNACK #7: Turkey Jerky
Turkey Jerky is quick, filling, and at only 75 calories per ounce this snack will leave you feeling full. Turkey jerky provides a strong feeling of satiation and provides 12 grams of protein per ounce. So, if you are looking to lose weight but incorporate more protein into your diet, this snack is one of your best options.
SMART SNACK #8: Carrots and Hummus
If you are a vegan, vegetarian, or someone who is looking to incorporate more vegetables into their diet, carrots and hummus is a delicious snack to get you through the day. Again, portion control is important. To keep this snack at 100 calories or less limit your portions to 12 baby carrots with 2 tablespoons of hummus, which will be enough to satisfy that hunger until your next meal.
SMART SNACK #9: Cottage Cheese with Fruit
Cottage cheese can be boring and tasteless, but powering up the flavor with some fruit of your choice can make this snack a tasty favorite. Combining a ¼ cup chopped pineapple with ½ cup of non-fat cottage cheese will keep the calories low and provide 12 grams of protein. Cottage cheese is also a natural source for casein, a slow releasing protein, making it a great before bed snack to satisfy those late night cravings.
SMART SNACK #10: 100 Calorie Packs
If you really can’t ditch the Oreo’s, Chips Ahoy, or Cheez-Its as a side snack with your daily sandwich, then pick up a box of 100 calorie snack packs. These snack packs are already portioned out for you into 100 calorie bags so if you can’t go without your daily Oreo-fix, pick up a box of these and enjoy.
“Snack Attack: What Consumers Are Reaching for Around the World.” Nielsen. Web. 6 Jan. 2016.