If shedding those extra pounds is on your agenda, you’ve probably tried numerous strategies to resist the temptation of snacking. Dieting often leaves us feeling hungry, and snacking is typically perceived as a guilty pleasure. After all, who hasn’t felt remorseful after indulging in a pack of cookies or sneaking a bag of chips? While occasional slips are normal and shouldn’t induce guilt, the following snacks could be your allies in navigating those moments when you crave a little something to munch on.
Explore the suggestions below to satiate a variety of cravings – whether for sweetness, saltiness, smoothness, or crunchiness. Forget about relying on 100-calorie packs for your snack fix. These options not only fill you up but also provide essential vitamins and nutrients, making each delicious bite a guilt-free pleasure.
Popcorn: Popcorn has long been a favorite among dieters. From air-popped simplicity to popcorn cakes, it reigns as the king of low-calorie snacks. A cup of plain, air-popped popcorn contains a mere 31 calories. Rich in iron and fiber, popcorn satisfies that crunchy craving. Be mindful of salt content and experiment with salt-free seasonings like garlic powder, paprika, rosemary, curry powder, or lemon zest for added flavor.
Apples: A medium apple carries just 95 calories. For a sweet twist, try microwaving sliced apples with a dash of cinnamon. If your sweet tooth demands more, consider adding a teaspoon of sugar for an extra 16 calories or a teaspoon of brown sugar for 17 calories. Enjoy them as is for a low-calorie option.
Berries: Berries are not only tasty but also among the most guilt-free snacks. Packed with vitamins and nutrients, they satisfy your cravings while being low in calories. Opt for organic options to avoid pesticides, or explore pick-your-own farms for fresh selections. Blueberries boast 85 calories per cup, strawberries offer a mere 49 calories per cup of halved berries, raspberries provide 49 calories per cup, and blackberries come in at 62 calories per cup.
Peas: Green sugar snap peas offer a delightful blend of sweetness and crunchiness. Choose organic peas, leave them in the pod, and enjoy one and a half cups for just 40 calories. Add a hint of ranch or Italian dressing for extra flavor, ranging from 30 to 40 additional calories, depending on the type and brand.
Endives: Filling, crunchy, and cheesy – endive leaves filled with reduced-calorie feta cheese total as low as 60 calories for six pieces. If endive isn’t your preference, try lettuce leaves wrapped around cheese or turkey slices for a similar calorie count (46 calories for two lettuce leaves with two turkey slices).
Carrots: A diet staple, carrots are low in calories. Pair half a cup of sliced carrots with a tablespoon of ranch dressing for around 49 calories. To add variety, mix in sliced bell peppers or radishes.
Chocolate Banana: Dip a half banana in melted dark chocolate for a satisfying treat under 100 calories. Freeze these for a convenient and refreshing low-calorie snack.
Popsicles: Create your own popsicles using molds for a sweet, cool pick-me-up. Blend pureed fruit or mix yogurt with fruit to spread the calories of one cup among six or more popsicles. Sugar-free drinks, like lemonade, also make tasty options.
Cheesy Popcorn: For a savory option, add one tablespoon of nutritional yeast to air-popped popcorn. It’s under 100 calories and provides a cheesy flavor along with nutritional benefits.
Bacon and Brussels Sprouts: Believe it or not, you can enjoy bacon on a low-calorie diet. Slice seven Brussels sprouts thinly, toss them with a chopped, lean bacon slice, and dress with a vinaigrette for a flavorful yet low-calorie snack. Opt for non-pork bacon to reduce calories further.
Embrace these snack alternatives, and you’ll find that satisfying your cravings doesn’t have to sabotage your weight loss journey.