Sunday, May 22, 2011

Put Your Snacks on a 100 Calorie Diet

So long to the 100 calorie pack oreos. We all know what a 100 calorie pack does. It’s like an invitation to want more and more. Sometimes it works when you have a sudden craving that you want to satisfy healthily, but using it as a frequent snack? It doesn’t work too well for me. Okay then, you ask, what can I snack on that won’t negate how good I’ve been all day? Here are a few snacks around 100 calories or less.
  • Sorbet: I see some readers jumping in jubilation. Mango sorbet, lemon sorbet, it’s all good as long as you stick to half a cup. Half a cup of sorbet is about 110 calories. And nutritionally, it’s much better than chocolate fudge ice cream…
  • Berries: If you want a low-calorie snack you can keep nibbling on, berries are the way to go. They contain a ton of antioxidants, and you certainly won’t feel guilty afterwards.
    • 1 cup of raspberries = 64 calories
    • 1 cup of blueberries = 83 calories
    • 2 cups of strawberries = 92 calories
  • Light yoghurt: Light or fat-free yoghurt tends to stay in the 100-calorie range. My favorite brand is the Activia because it’s one of the few low-fat yogurts that is actually very very tasty. But I'll add all sorts of varieties here like low-fat Greek yogurt (tons of protein and just as many calories as yogurt), and soy yogurt (for the lactose intolerant bunch).
  • Cottage cheese: If you are not particularly fond of yogurt, you could try the cottage cheese route. Half a cup of low fat cottage cheese contains about 80 calories. But then again, not everyone can fathom eating cottage cheese.
  • Popcorn: Well, you didn’t think it was movie popcorn, did you? Popcorn in theatres is usually smothered with butter, salt, and sugar to an extent where the calories are sometimes tripled. If you love your popcorn though, you can still have it as a snack; just make sure it doesn’t contain tons of butter, oil, sugar, or salt. One brand I like to turn to is the Orville Redenbachers Natural popcorn. 3 cups are only about 90 calories. If you make your own popcorn at home, the calories are about the same.
  • Soup: The beauty of Soup in a Can (or Cup a Soup) is that they have light versions. For example, Campbell’s Light Chicken with Rice is about 70 calories per serving, and Progresso has similar types of soups with similar calories. A lot of the vegetable soups are also pretty nutritious because some of them are made with a vegetable base rather than a meat stock base.
  • Granola bar: Be careful with the granola bars though. Some of them are made with much more calories than you think, but sold as ‘high in fiber’ or something like that. When in doubt, read the label. Some of the brands that have worked well for me are Quaker Oats and Kashi. They tend to stay under 150 calories per pack.
  • Bread: If you can stick to one slice of whole grain bread, then you’re all set. A slice is usually about 100 calories. However, if you want to feel like you’re eating a larger quantity, get some whole wheat English muffins. One muffin is about 100 to 120 calories, but you get a whole English muffin rather than one flimsy slice of bread, right?
  • Oatmeal: If you’re the kind that feels better when you eat a hot meal, go the oatmeal route. Half a cup of oatmeal is only about 75 calories. I’m a big fan of oatmeal because you can add any fruits you want to it, and so a couple of blueberries can help you nick your sweet craving as well as take care of your hunger.
  • Chewy vegetables: Well, I couldn’t write a whole post without mentioning my precious carrots. One large carrot contains only about 30 calories. For a chewier version, get baby carrots. A bag of baby carrots usually contains about 140 calories, and that is about 4 cups. And 1 stalk of celery only contains 5 calories. A couple of stalks dipped in peanut butter of low-fat ranch dressing still won’t put you over 100 calories. 1 whole cucumber only contains about 40 calories. Chop it up and eat it any which way. 1 tomato contains about 25 calories. Chop them all up, mix them up, and figure out some sort of snack option. In summary:
    • 1 cup of baby carrots = 35 calories
    • 1 stalk of celery = 5 calories
    • 1 cucumber = 40 calories
    • 1 tomato = 25 calories
  • Egg: An egg contains about 75 calories, and a ton of protein. The egg can really do no wrong in my eyes. You need a snack? Boil up and egg today.

There are probably tons of items, especially fruits and vegetables that are not on this list. But I thought it would be great to have a place to start. As always, let me know if you have any questions!

Cheers Eights & Weights!

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