10 Satisfying Snacks Under 175 Calories
For me, three meals a day without snacks is a jail sentence and a dieting plan that’s bound for failure.
But you know what? Snacking is not only good for you, but it’s also a great way to stick with a weight loss plan!
Registered dietitian and good friend Shauna Schultz says, “If you view snacking as a bad thing, think again! If you go too long without food in between meals, your body starts to run low on fuel and that can spell trouble when it comes time for your next meal.
“Snacks help fill the gap in between meals and if planned properly can help you meet your nutrient needs for the day.”
BUT … if you view snacks as chips, cookies or candy, you need a little lesson on smart snacking.
Check out Shauna’s 5 smart-snacking tips, then stick around for 10 great snacks under 175 calories.
Plan! Plan! Plan!
The more you plan your snacks, the more likely they are to be healthy! It’s all too easy to grab junk food when the impulse strikes. Having healthy options available helps keep you running efficiently and adds quality to your day. And, you won’t have to think about what you are in the mood for.
Listen to your body
You will probably notice you are hungry at certain times of the day. When enjoying your snack, pay attention to hunger and fullness cues as you do at a normal meal. Remember though that this is a snack and not a meal. If you are ravenous at snack time, take a look at the timing, quality and size of your previous meals.
Balance is key
Just as it is important to balance your meals it is just as important to balance your snacks. A donut will not satisfy and keep your energy levels up as long as an apple and string cheese would. As a general rule of thumb, combine healthy carbs with protein as your snack. The two together will help keep you full for longer. For example, try hummus and whole wheat pita bread, yogurt and fruit, veggies with yogurt dip or peanut butter with pear slices. At the very least, choose higher fiber foods to nosh on.
Keep snacks handy
Make sure planned snacks are stashed where you need them the most. Keep them in your desk drawer, car or in front of the refrigerator where you will see them. Then they will be ready to grab at a moment’s notice! Also, keep some stashed in your gym bag in case you need a pre-workout pick-me-up.
Moderation is okay
If you have chips every now and then, that’s okay. Just balance the rest of your week with healthy snacks. Or, if you have limited choices around you, do the best you can and jump right back into your healthy snacks the next day.
Now that you have a plan, it’s time to stock up on healthy snacks like these tasty 10:
- Banana: Portable, peelable and around 100 calories. It’s a good source of fiber, potassium and is rich in vitamin B6, which regulates blood glucose levels and keeps your moods at an even keel.
- Lions and tigers and bears: Oh, my … animal crackers weigh in at only 12 calories each.
- Half of a whole grain bagel: spread with jam or low-fat cream cheese.
- One almond, one date: Stuff the former into the latter for satisfying sweetness and nutty crunch.
- Baby carrots: Eat a handful with a creamy dip (mix 1/4-cup salsa with 1/4-cup low-fat sour cream).
- Whole wheat pretzels (1.5 oz.): A bona fide snack that’s not junk food.
- Sweet potato: If you think of it only as a side dish, you’re missing out on a great snack. Baked and cooled, it’s a delicious alternative to fruit.
- A cup of instant bean soup: Fiber-packed and filling – just add water!
- Whole grain cereal: Low-fat, low-sugar choices such as Cheerios or Wheat Chex aren’t just for breakfast. Slip a half-cup into a plastic bag to eat when you’re on the go.
- Low-fat string cheese (2 oz.): The perking power of protein and the rich bite of cheese without all that nasty fat.
John McGran has been writing about health and weight loss for several national companies since 2000. He brings his knowledge of diets — and his passion for dropping pounds — to Meal Plan Map because he believes it is the future of smart, stress-free eating and improved health.