The key to great snacking is to be allowed to eat what you want right? But you have to keep portion control in mind. You can have ice cream… you just can’t have the whole tub to yourself. So, I’ve put together a list of tips and snacks that’ll sneak in at 100 calories or less.
Tip: get yourself some 1/2 cup containers. Individual jello molds are 1/2 cup, or you can get any reuseable containers. You can usually find them pretty cheap in dollar stores or stashed in the supermarket isle. The trick for these snacks is to portion them off right when you bring it home. If you buy a pint of ice cream, you are less likely to eat the whole thing if you have to open 4 small containers to do it.
1/2 Cup Slow-Churned Ice Cream
Surprise! Ice cream tops our list of low-calorie snacks. The key is to look for slow-churned or double-churned varieties. This refers to a process that reduces fat and calories while retaining the creamy texture of full-fat varieties, so 1/2 cup has just 100 calories. I also like to look for an all-natural brand because I know they have higher quality ingredients with no extra chemicals. As a bonus, you’ll get some protein and calcium.
Cottage Cheese and Cantaloupe
Cottage cheese is a protein powerhouse, with 1/2 cup delivering 14 g. Like fiber, protein can help you stay full longer. Enjoy low-fat cottage cheese plain or with a side of fruit. Personally, I like Fiber One Cottage Cheese best because it is still creamy and delicious, but has the bonus of extra fiber. With each serving weighing in at 80 calories you can add a slice of cantaloupe, 1/3 cup blackberries, 1/4 cup blueberries OR almost 1/2 cup of strawberries and still be at 100 calories total.
Nonfat Greek Yogurt with Honey
Greek yogurt is known for its extra-creamy texture and high protein content. Just 1/2 cup of nonfat plain Greek yogurt has 12 g of protein to help you stay full. Drizzle on a teaspoon of honey, and the whole snack totals 84 calories. The best part is, you may feel like you’re eating dessert. Greek yogurt has more protein than regular yogurt. Most brands that you find in the supermarket have almost twice the protein than the regular yogurt. This makes Greek yogurt a great snack for athletes too.
1/3 Cup Dry Oat Squares Cereal
If you’re a cereal fan, try leaving out the milk for a convenient, low-calorie snack. Pour 1/3 cup dry oat squares cereal into baggies or containers you can keep in the car or at your office. Each serving has 70 calories and barely any saturated fat. That means you can feel free to add in some nuts or raisins and still be within your 100 calorie zone! Other types of whole-grain cereals also work well. Just stay away from overly sweetened varieties and try to find something all-natural if not organic. You can usually find those pretty easily in the grocery store these days.
Tip: Don’t be afraid to count things out. Portion control is a huge factor in sticking to your diet plan, but sometimes it means counting and weighing. Use your small containers and baggies to count things out ahead of time to make portable worry-free snacks. Again, a good idea to do it straight away when you bring the food home to be sure not to over-indulge.
When the munchies strike while you’re on the go, there are few things more convenient than nuts. You can eat 14 almonds without hitting the 100-calorie mark. Plus, they’re rich in fiber and protein, which help keep hunger at bay. They are also great for late night when you get the crunchy-munchies and you want something before bed. These will satisfy the need to crunch and chew without going overboard as long as you don’t have a whole container in front of you to mindlessly munch on.
Don’t let the high fat content in pistachios scare you off — most of the fat is unsaturated or “good” fat. If you’re unsure about good fats, read about them by clicking here. Eat 20 pistachios, and you’ll only take in 80 calories and less than a gram of saturated fat. Plus, they’re rich in protein, fiber, and several key vitamins and minerals. To avoid an unhealthy dose of sodium, eat them raw or dry roasted without salt. I prefer roasted, but you may like them raw better.
Eight Baby Carrots with Hummus
When you’re craving a satisfying crunch, dip eight large baby carrots into 2 tablespoons of hummus. Carrots are an excellent source of vitamin A and beta carotene, while hummus adds protein. Pre-packaged baby carrots are convenient, and there are many varieties of hummus available. If you are packing these to-go try putting the hummus inside of a separate sandwich bag with the carrots. That way when you are ready to eat it, you can just cut one of the corners for an easy-squeezy snack.
Tip: Be creative. If you stick to the same old snacks all the time you are more likely to give into temptations looking for variety. The standards are good, but make it ok to waver sometimes to keep your palate where it goes.
You may not expect cheese quesadillas to make a list of low-calorie snacks, but try this recipe: sprinkle an ounce of grated low-fat cheddar cheese over a corn tortilla. Fold in half and microwave for 20 seconds. This quick and tasty snack has only 100 calories and 1.3 g of saturated fat. If you want to add a little extra to it, just look for flavored tortillas. Many of them even come in high-fiber versions. Also feel free to play with the cheeses a bit. Just be careful of your portions size and calorie count. You want to make sure you are using a low-fat cheese and you should be able to stay within 100 calories.
Cheese-Stuffed Pita Pocket
Here’s one that’s easy to make and gives you the satisfaction of biting into a sandwich. Grab a whole-grain pita pocket and stuff it with 1/2 ounce part-skim ricotta cheese. The fiber and protein will help fill you up, and the whole snack has less than a gram of saturated fat. You could even go a little lighter on the ricotta and throw in a few slices of turkey lunchmeat. Just be careful to grab the 98% fat-free kind to keep your calorie count low.
Half a Baked Potato with Salsa
Microwave a baked potato for an easy snack that’s loaded with vitamin C, not with calories. Half of a medium-sized baked potato has 80 calories – keep the skin, which is packed with nutrients. Salsa is a great topping to replace a lot of butter and cream that would raise your calories. Spread a tablespoon of salsa on top to spice it up without significantly boosting the calorie count.
That’s it for today. Let me know if you have other creative snacking ideas, I’d love to hear them.