Healthy Low Calorie Snacks

When attempting to lose weight, many people start by cutting out all snacks; however, this can actually lead to more weight gain.  Skipping snacks can often lead to overeating at regular meals.  Skipping snacks can also cause the blood sugar to drop and even slow down your metabolism.   Snacking between breakfast and lunch and having a snack a couple hours before dinner will cause the body’s metabolism to speed up, as it is continually burning food.   The answer is not to cut out all snacks, but to make healthier choices for snacking.

Stay away from the candy bars in the vending machine by planning your snacks in advance.  The goal is to choose a healthy snack that will calm your hunger pangs, plus provide energy and nutrients.  Learn how to choose healthy snacks and you’ll have more energy.  Snacks high in sugar cause the blood sugar to rise fast, then crash, leaving you feeling sluggish.  Choosing natural and nutritious snacks keeps the blood sugar steady.

Fruits and vegetables are super smart snack choices because they are low in calories, but also because they are delicious and satisfying.  Plus, fruits and vegetables provide vitamins, minerals and fiber.  Fiber is excellent for curbing those hunger pangs. Many fruits and vegetables are considered negative calorie foods, because it takes more energy to consume them than the calories they contain.  It’s easy to see why these foods are considered smart snack choices. Blueberries, tangerines, lemons, limes, grapefruit, strawberries, spinach, cantaloupe, broccoli, cucumbers, and green beans are considered negative calorie foods.

Nuts are good, healthy options for snacks because they provide protein, increase your energy, and help you feel full longer.  Though some are high in fat, the fat in most nuts is the healthy, monounsaturated fat.  Nuts, however, are high in calories, so eat only small portions, and make nuts an occasional, rather than frequent, snack choice.  Consider the calorie count (Calorie Counter) for a one-cup serving of the following nuts:

Sliced Almonds                                 531

Cashews                                              748

Hazlenuts                                            847

Macadamia                                         962

Pecans                                                  753

Pistachios                                            687

Seeds, such as pumpkin and sunflower seeds are also a healthy low calorie snacks choice.  Like nuts, they are high in protein, but also high in calories.  A cup of dry roasted sunflower seeds have 745 calories and 24.7 grams of protein. (Calorie Counter) So while they are an excellent protein source and a healthy, natural snack, one should choose them as an occasional snack.

Whole-grain snacks are excellent choices, because they are high in fiber and complex carbohydrates, which help provide energy for your body.  Choose from whole-grain pretzels, crackers, bread, cereal, muffins, bagels or cereal bars. A cup of General Mills Multi-Grain cereal has just 113 calories and provides 25 grams of carbohydrates with just one gram of fat, and Kellogg’s Fruit and Nut Grain bars have 120 calories, 22 grams of carbohydrates and 3.5 grams of fat. (Calorie Counter)  Whole-grain snacks are healthy, low in calories and low in fat.

Dairy products are healthy snacks and provide calcium and protein.  Choose low-fat yogurts and cheese. A 6 ounce serving of Yoplait Light Strawberry yogurt has 100 calories and 0 grams of fat. Yoplait Lowfat Cherry Orchard and Yoplait Low Fat Blackberry Harvest each have 170 calories and just 1.5 grams of fat.
A slice of low fat swiss cheese has just 50.1 calories and 1.4 fat grams, compared to a regular slice of swiss cheese, with 106.4 calories and 7.8 grams of fat. (Calorie Counter)

There is absolutely nothing wrong with snacking if you make good choices. Of course, if you frequently snack on candy bars, pastries and French fries, you are very likely to gain weight. However, if you choose sensible snacks, you will be able to avoid overeating at meals, plus you’ll keep your metabolism going strong—two important factors in losing weight.

The following chart includes more ideas for healthy snacks, all with 100 calories or less.

FOOD CALORIES
1 small banana 81
½ cup fresh blueberries 45
1 medium peach 38
½ cup celery 20
½ cup fresh grapes 42
Miniature box of raisins 42
10 pretzel sticks 12
1 hard-boiled egg 81
1 slice whole-wheat toast with apple butter 94
1 ½ cups light microwave popcorn 50
1 slice oatmeal bread 65
½ oz. tortilla chips 75
½ cup cauliflower 14
1 slice low-fat cheddar cheese 49
3 oz. StarKist Chunk Light Tuna 60
Pepperidge Farm whole-grain mini bagel 100
1 oz. Kraft Velveeta Light 62
Dannon Light & Fit peach yogurt  (6 oz.) 60
Breyers no sugar added ice cream (1/2 cup) 97
1 wedge watermelon 85

References

Have You Got Your Own Healthy Low Calorie Snacks Tip? If So We Would Love To Hear Them Below..

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