It is easy to overindulge on snacks when you get hungry. If you’re in the mood for a quick nosh or nibble, beware. Reckless snacking is the cause of most Lap Band patients excess calorie consumption — and it can very easily add up to weight gain. Remember — your snack is not your main meal and should not contain more than 300 calories.
When the afternoon slump hits, it can be tempting to reach for the office candy jar or swing by the vending machine to help you push through that sluggish feeling until dinnertime. But unfortunately, junk food’s quick sugar rush will disappear in minutes, leaving you groggier than you were before. But it’s not all bad. Studies show that regular mini meals or snacks can help regulate blood sugar, improve metabolism, and prevent overeating later. Instead, it’s time to pick your 3 p.m. poison more wisely.
Few snacking choices pack the antioxidant and nutrition punch of blueberries, and with only 83 calories a one-cup serving, they are about as diet-friendly as you can get. Keep them a little frozen and you’ve got a crunchy, sweet treat.
Sometimes, the simpler the snack, the better. Oranges, which have just more than 60 calories a pop, are one of the best fruits to snack on because they’re high in vitamins, low in natural sugar, and according to one recent study, may even help lower your risk of stroke. Plus the fact that you have to take a few minutes to peel and section oranges will help you savor your sweet snack slowly.
With just 46 calories a 1-cup serving, you can eat a whole cup of strawberries with calories to spare and reap the benefits of a jolt of vitamins and antioxidants. They’re a great juicy snack whenever in season. And frozen strawberries can be just as healthy the rest of the year. Add them to yogurt or a smoothie and still have a low calorie snack.
By mixing different types of melon when you’re on a diet, you give your taste buds a flavor burst filled with good nutrition. “It’s colorful, and when served cold, it satisfies any sweet tooth. Melon typically has about 50 calories in a three-quarter-cup serving — get creative with watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, and more exotic sweet-fleshed choices for a satisfying snack.
Boil up a batch of eggs, put them in the fridge, and you’ve got an instant snack that packs 6 grams of protein into just 78 calories. A high-protein snack such as eggs for a mid morning or afternoon nosh — the protein will keep you full and may help prevent overeating later.
One stick of part-skim string cheese has 80 calories and a whopping 8 grams of protein, plus the calcium helps build strong bones without the saturated fat of other cheese varieties. Try string cheese as part of a healthy lunch, or on its own.
Go A Little Nuts! (and seeds too)
All raw nuts are chock-full of protein and healthy monounsaturated fats, and almonds might be the healthiest nut of all. Numerous studies have linked daily almond consumption with long-term weight control. keep your almond consumption to a small handful to keep your calorie and fat intake in the healthy range.
You can eat 20 pistachios and still ring in at just 80 calories. Pistachios are a good source of unsaturated fat and antioxidants. They’re also what I call a ‘slow food,’ because they take time to open up and eat, which means you can’t eat too quickly!
Opt for shelled, salt-free sunflower seeds for a snack that’s bursting with vitamins, antioxidants, and selenium, a mineral that’s thought to help prevent occurrence of cancer. Plus, you can have a full half cup for exactly 100 calories.
It might be hard to believe, but plain air-popped popcorn only has 77 calories in two-and-a-half cups. By using an air popper, you get the nutrition and fiber of popcorn without the fats and other additives you don’t want or need in your diet. Eat it one kernel at a time to make it last longer.
One-percent cottage cheese has about 84 calories in a half-cup serving. Pair it with a serving of crunchy cucumbers slices at 8 calories each, and you have yourself one delicious healthy snack that’s high in nutrition. Cottage cheese is a good source of protein, and cucumbers are rich in water, which means they fill you up without a lot of calories.
Good Source of Calcium
Get your creamy coffee fix as a healthy snack instead of part of your meal to save calories, and order your latte with skim milk and without sugary flavored syrups to cut even more. Hot beverages are satiating, and lattes are mostly milk, which is a good source of protein and calcium, a nutrient many people are lacking.
Single-serving yogurt calorie counts vary depending on the brand, but most low- and nonfat varieties are less than 100 calories. For and extra boost of protein choose Greek style and a few berries or a drizzle of honey to add sweetness.
Sweet Roll Swap
For a healthy morning snack or anytime you are craving something sweet. A Slice of Raisin Bread tastes like a decadent treat. Try a piece of Ezekiel Sprouted Cinnamon Raisin Bread. At 80 calories a slice. Add a dab of apple or almond butter for a real treat that won’t break the calorie bank.