Low Calorie Snack Ideas
These are not recipes, but instead ideas to keep you feeling satisfied without springing for that 400 calorie cupcake or 380 calorie muffin that you sometimes just can not resist (but sometimes, that's okay)!
All my teeth are sweet! So when I want a snack I often get the urge to reach for something chocolate-y or sugar-y that is WAY too caloric for my daily diet allowance. So instead I try to mix it up with some lower calorie but still very delicious snacks so that I do not feel deprived, which keeps me from binging later on! Some of these ideas include a s'mores, that I either roast on my stove-top or outside grill (the weather is getting warmer!), or if I am in a rush I will just stick it in the microwave. I keep the calories down by using one large marshmallow, two squares of chocolate, and one full graham cracker sheet. Another quick snack I will take with me when I am in a rush is a 100 calorie pack. They have everything from chocolate covered pretzels and mini cookies to chips and chex mix. Not only are they quick they are delicious. However, if you are looking for something to keep you full for a long time this will not be the right choice! Instead opt for a piece of white bread with two teaspoons of whipped peanut butter and two teaspoons of fluff. Looking for a low calorie chocolate milk? Try mixing carnation instant breakfast powder OR real chocolate syrup into a cup of unsweetened cashew milk. It is delicious and half the calories! Have a few minutes? Cut up a few different kinds of sweet fruit such as strawberries, melon, and pineapples to store in your fridge for snacks throughout the week. A nice fruit salad will curb your sweet tooth and keep you satisfied without the guilt! If you are looking for some variety, try mixing your fruit into lowfat whipped greek yogurt or regular lowfat yogurt, or layering it for a parfait. If those are not your kind of fruit, how about slicing an apple and topping it with whipped peanut butter, or try having some fresh cherries (and a side of dark chocolate) to really satisfy your sweet craving. Need some chocolate in your life? Grab a fun sized candy bar. You usually don't need the full bar to satisfy your craving--often a small hershey kiss or fun sized bar will do. Allow yourself a kiss after dinner or lunch a few times a week (keep some in your purse!) and avoid running back for seconds of your favorite pie. =0) This method [of a kiss in your purse] is of course not for when you are hungry, but when you need a little something extra and do not have many calories left.
You can have a graham cracker with cool whip or peanut butter, or try it with a tablespoon of instant pudding and whipped cream for a really delicious take on a cream pie! If you feel the need to have a lot of something, try a serving of 25 jellybeans for only 100 calories! You will not feel like you are depriving yourself, and they have hundreds of different flavors for you to try to keep it interesting!
But if you really want that cupcake or muffin I mentioned earlier, have a vitamuffin vitatop (try using the toaster oven to make it a little crispy almost) and top it with some cool whip. They also have greek yogurt muffin tops (Food Basics), or you can slice the top off of your own muffin for a third of the calories (it's the best part anyway!). Do you feel like having something salty and sweet? Try making your own trail mix with a few semi-sweet chocolate chips (a tablespoon at most) OR m&ms, peanuts, raisins, and cashews. Separate it into sandwich bagged servings to avoid eating the whole thing in one sitting and BOOM you have a nice treat to go.
Larger Servings: Meal-Snacks
Sometimes we are just starving and feel like eating everything in sight. When this happens, don't give in--adjust your focus to something you can eat a lot of while still watching your figure. If you want a big serving of something (who doesn't?!), how about slicing up a sweet potato into small 'fries' and placing them onto a baking sheet for about 15-20 minutes with some salt, pepper, and a brushing of oil (they also have mist sprays that you can fill with oil to save hundreds of calories!). You can also do this with zucchini or squash for something a little less sweet but still super delicious. You may want to sauté spinach and mushrooms for a healthy treat before dinner. Heat up a bag of popcorn and enjoy three cups for 100 calories! You could add some cheese or onion powder, or even cinnamon sugar to mix it up a bit. Opt for baby cheddar goldfish crackers, so you can have a serving of 89 crackers for only 140 calories (their regular goldfish crackers are 55 for 140 calories which is also pretty good!), their regular pretzel goldfish, or goldfish vanilla cookies! Try a smoothie (banana, yogurt, peanut butter, strawberries, and almond milk in any combination) which can be low calorie and delicious! You can enjoy a full cup of your favorite cereal (or have some with unsweetend cashew milk--only 25 calories) as a snack. Cereal is not just breakfast food, people! Along with this, try a few other 'breakfast' staples such as oatmeal with fruit or cinnamon, a sunny side up egg with half of a piece of bread, cinnamon bread with cream cheese, or a hard-boiled egg (to switch this up, try it with guacamole instead of the yolk!!). You can also have peanut butter or nutella with fluff on a piece of whole grain bread [or a rice cake], a mashed sweet potato, or shrimp cocktail with sauce (one shrimp with cocktail sauce is only about 20 calories!). You can have an entire cucumber, a few pieces of celery, or a handful of carrots with hummus as another filling snack-meal (I call them this because it tricks your brain into thinking you are eating something that is a lot more calories because of how much you are allowed to eat!). Try a mini lunch item as a snack such as canned tuna--3/4 of the can with light mayo to stay under 100 calories, a roll up of turkey, cucumbers, cream cheese, and tomatoes (yum!), tomato and avocado, tomato and a serving of sliced part-skim mozarella cheese, OR cucumber and tomato with a tablespoon of oil, salt, and pepper to taste, half of any sandwich, soup, a mini antipasto (containing lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and a slice each of your favorite cheese, ham, turkey, and roast beef. You can also make a tortilla pizza using a 100 calorie tortilla, two tablespoons of pizza sauce, two tablespoons of part-skim shredded mozarella cheese, and a few slices of mini pepperoni (a full serving is 14 slices so keep that in mind for a delicious treat!). Pop it in the toaster oven for a few minutes and YUM. Finally, try a lower calorie bruschetta by using light/low calorie bread (Pepperidge Farm makes thin slices for 45 calories each), or slicing half of a day old hero bread and toasting it. Then, dice tomatoes and add some basil, salt, pepper, and a teaspoon of olive oil. It is delicious and you will feel as though you are cheating on your diet--but you won't have to!
I like to add a few things to my snacks to make me feel as though I am eating more, such as having both cheese and grapes, a low fat cheese stick and a slim jim, an apple and pretzels with hummus on the side, nuts and raisins, or pistachios and a babybell cheese wedge. You can cut any two things in half (literally, or cutting your serving down to half of a portion) to have a little variety and a lot of flavor. If I want to have a few things for breakfast I will opt for a few strawberries, half of a mini roll (50 calories for half-Food Basics), and 1/2 of a cup of cereal with a little cashew milk and it will still clock in at under 150 calories. Variety is key in making your diet easier and more delicious, which will in turn help you stick to it and lose even more weight!