If you’re trying to lose weight you may have tried all sorts of tactics to avoid snacking. Dieting can cause anyone to feel hungry, snacking is often considered to be a bad thing. Who doesn’t feel guilty after downing a pack of cookies or sneaking a bag of chips? While you shouldn’t feel guilty for a little slip here and there, the following snacks might help you get through those periods when you just want something to nosh on.
Read on for ideas to curb nearly any type of craving you may have – sweet, salty, smooth, or crunchy. Don’t rely on 100 calorie packs for your snack fix. You can full after noshing on quite a few of the following plus gain a lot of vitamins and other nutrients that will make you feel less and less guilt per yummy bite.
Popcorn has been a favorite snack of dieters for many years. From popcorn cakes to a simple bag of air popped crunchiness, popcorn is the King of low calorie snacks. One cup of plain, air popped popcorn has 31 calories. High in both iron and fiber, popcorn can satisfy the crunchy craving. A bit of salt can help satisfy the craving for salt with an added 581 mg of sodium per 1/4 teaspoon so go easy!
Salt free seasonings can add an extra kick. Be sure to read the label for calorie information as the caloric content can vary per manufacturer. Garlic powder, paprika, rosemary, curry powder, and lemon zest make great seasonings.
One medium apple has 95 calories. To satisfy a sweet tooth one apple can be cored, sliced, and microwaved with a bit of cinnamon. If you are really craving sweets you may add one teaspoon of white sugar for an extra 16 calories. A teaspoon of brown sugar adds 17 calories and a real apple pie flavor.
Purists might prefer to snack on the apple without any additions. That’s perfectly fine and also keeps the calories low. Don’t be fooled into believing that the calories won’t count – there is no such thing as negative calorie foods (which some people claim apples are). Negative calories foods were claimed to burn more calories in eating and digesting than they contained.
Berries are tasty and the favorite snack of many, dieting or not. Berries can probably be considered the most guilt free of all snacks. They contain vitamins, nutrients, and fill you up. Purchase organic to avoid the possibility of pesticides and for the freshest, try visiting a pick-your-own farm. Wild berries can be found all over the United States which can drop your cost to zero dollars.
Gathering wild berries? Be sure to wear long sleeves when picking black berries or raspberries. Both have very sharp thorns that can work through clothing. Be aware of your surrounding, there are animals that enjoy berries, like bears. Make a lot of noise, this scares away bears. Finally, wear insect repellant. Bees and other bugs love hanging around berry bushes.
Blueberries- This native of North America is a favorite snack and food additive. From muffins to pies, blueberries can be found every where. For people that love this berry, take heart! One cup of blueberries has 85 calories. That’s a lot of snacking for very little calories.
Strawberries – These fabulous berries have – prepare yourself – just 49 calories per cup of halved berries. A cup of whole berries has 46 calories.
Raspberries- These delicate berries are amazingly tasty and super low calorie. One full cup has 49 calories. Add to a half cup of vanilla yogurt for a protein punch at about 90 total calories.
Blackberries – While slightly higher in calories than raspberries, blackberries pack a nutritious punch. Still only 62 calories per full cup.
Green sugar snap peas are great snacks for people that want both sweet and crunchy. Be sure to purchase organic peas and leave them in the pod. One and a half cups of these crunchy snack treats bring 40 calories to the table. A little ranch or Italian dressing will add another 30 to 40 calories. The amount dressing adds will depend on the type of dressing and maker. Many people enjoy sugar snap peas with no dressing, try it, you might love it.
Filling, crunchy, and cheesy – what could be better? Six pieces of endive filled with reduced calorie feta cheese can have as little as 60 calories in total. Other fillings can change the amount of calories.
If you’re not partial to endive, try lettuce leaves rolled around the cheese or a turkey slice for similar caloric numbers (46 calories for two lettuces leaves wrapped around two turkey slices.)
An old standby of dieters, carrots are low in calories. One half cup of sliced carrots with one tablespoon of ranch dressing is about 49 calories. Carrot sticks can be boring after a while, so mix it up a bit. Sliced bell peppers can be mingled with carrot sticks for flavor and contrast. Thin sliced radishes can be tossed in or a few slices of zucchini.
A half banana dipped in melted chocolate is under 100 calories. For easier dipping, cut and then freeze the banana. Melt two squares of dark chocolate (semi-sweet baker’s chocolate) and then dip. Prepare several of these and keep in the freezer for a refreshing, low calorie snack any time.
When you want a sweet, cool pick me up, think about making your own popsicles. Molds are inexpensive and you control what goes inside. Fruit can be pureed and poured into molds, then frozen. Yogurt can be mixed with fruit and the calories of one cup of yogurt is spread among six or more popsicles. Many sugar free drinks can make a tasty popsicle. Lemonade is one favorite for summer time flavor options.
Need something savory? Don’t worry about the calories from cheese in this one. Add one tablespoon of nutritional yeast to air popped popcorn. It’s under 100 calories and tastes just like cheese popcorn. Not only will you have a savory pick-me-up, you’ll reap the nutritional benefits of the yeast.
Bacon and Brussel Sprouts
As crazy as it sounds, you can enjoy bacon while on a low calorie diet. Take seven brussel spouts and slice them thinly. Place in a bowl and toss with a single slice of chopped, lean bacon. You can cut the calories even more by choosing a non-pork bacon. Dress with a vinaigrette for flavor and low calories. Creamy dressings will add more calories.