Little things make a big difference. When making healthy lifestyle changes, some people cut snacks out altogether. For me that doesn’t work quite so well. Eating smaller meals more often is much more effective for me.
But snacks are also a really easy way for a few too many calories to sneak into the day. Over the past year or so I’ve found some snacks that bridge the hours between meals without breaking my calorie budget.
Today I’d like to share a few ideas with you in case you find you’re a snack person too. I hope you’ll share some of your ideas too!
Morning Snacks – 100 calories or fewer
These are a few of the things that get me through the morning, and ensure I have energy for my lunch hour walk. They also keep me from getting cranky. Everybody likes it better when I’m not cranky. Morning snacks are the best.
- Nonfat Yogurt. Lately I’ve been enjoying Dannon Light & Fit Greek. (80 calories)
- Celery sticks (approximately 100 grams or 1 cup) with two wedges Laughing Cow Light (~85 calories)
- Low fat cottage cheese (1/2 cup) (~100 calories) – I like mine with a few jalapenos or grape tomatoes
- Almonds (1/2 oz or approximately 12 almonds) raw or roasted (~80 calories)
- Two low fat string cheese sticks (~100 calories)
- Mini Kind bar – I like dark chocolate and sea salt (100 calories)
- Vanilla steamer (or raspberry, salted caramel, hazelnut, etc.) made with 1 cup heated skim milk and two tablespoons Torani sugar-free flavor syrup. I used to love hot cocoa, but this feels even more indulgent! (~90 calories)
- Sliced apple with cinnamon sprinkled on it (95 calories)
- Boiled egg – I make them in my Instant Pot. Best invention ever. (~80 calories)
- Grapes (1.5 cups) (~95 calories)
Breakfast might be the most important part of the day, but the Hobbit in me can’t help loving second breakfast too.
Afternoon Snacks – 200 calories or fewer
Lunch and a little walk around campus really energize me in the middle of the day. Like anyone else, though, as the afternoon progresses I start getting a little low on energy. It’s so very nice to be able to look forward to an afternoon snack! I usually try to include a complex carb and a protein to keep my energy high until dinner.
- Apple and peanut butter (1 Tbsp – I use homemade). My mom used to give us this snack in the afternoons. It’s amazing. (~190 calories)
- Banana and peanut butter (1 Tbsp). It’s a variation on the above, but it’s so amazingly creamy and satisfying that it deserves its own bullet point. (~200 calories)
- Sandwich Thins (Orowheat) with tuna (Starkist Tuna Pouches – I like Buffalo or Jalapeno)(~170 calories)
- Multigrain Crackers (Breton – 4 crackers – 90 calories) with Laughing Cow Light Swiss cheese wedges. I like to top them with jalapenos. (160 calories)
- Mini Babybel Light Cheese (2 pieces) with grapes (1.5 cups)(195 calories)
- Taco Salad Snack – 1/2 c black beans (rinsed and drained) with 1/4 medium avocado over 1 cup chopped lettuce with a squeeze of lime juice over top. (~200 calories)
- Watermelon (1 cup) with feta (2 oz) and fresh basil (3-4 leaves) with a squeeze of lime juice (~175 calories)
- Quinoa (1/2 cup cooked) with cucumber (1/2 cup) and grape tomatoes (6 tomatoes halved) with a squeeze of lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. (~150 calories)
- Omlette (4 egg whites) with smoked provolone (1 slice) (~140 calories) The low calories leave room for jalapenos, salsa, sliced mushrooms, or other veggies.
- Graham Cracker (1 rectangle) with peanut butter (1 Tbsp – 16 grams)(~155 calories)
When I was little, I used to break up the long afternoons with a nice nap. I’d still love to have an afternoon nap, but it’s a little more difficult in an open office environment. These snacks are the next best thing.
Embracing Snack Time
If your healthy lifestyle plans allow for snacks having a list of go-to ideas can be a lifesaver and keep you from over-indulging on convenient junk foods that break your calorie budget and leave you feeling tired.
My summer resolution is to keep a snack list on hand so that I don’t resort to less-healthy options. I hope some of these ideas work for you, or at least give you ideas for your own snack list.
What snacks help you meet your healthy lifestyle goals?