Snacking is considered a dieting no-no by many, a source of excess calories that will derail your weight loss efforts. But while mindless and unhealthy snacking does just that, planned, healthy snacks can serve as your best line of defense against overeating.
Failure to eat at regular intervals can cause blood sugar levels to drop, leaving you hungry and craving sweet, sugary snacks. This is typically when people reach for the unhealthy, nutritionally-void foods, or overindulge come their next meal.
We’ve compiled 10 satisfying 200-calorie (or less) snack ideas to keep you full and fueled all day long.
Roasted chickpeas are a satisfyingly crunchy snack. but pack more protein than they do carbs, like most crunchy crackers, chips or pretzels, which will keep you fuller longer. 3/4 of a cup has just around 200 calories, but packs 10 grams of protein, about 20 per cent of your daily need. To make your own just open a can of chickpeas, drain, rinse, and pat dry. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and arrange your chickpeas in a single layer on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake until golden brown and crispy, around 3 to 3.5 hours. Shake the pan every once in a while to avoid sticking. Season with olive oil and anything you’d like: rosemary, cinnamon and sugar, cayanne, etc. The sky’s the limit.
Half English Muffin With Light Cream Cheese And Jam
Toast one whole wheat English muffin and smear each half with 1 Tbsp fat free cream cheese (or spread on a low-calorie Laughing Cow cheese triangle; they’re only 25 cals each!) and ass 1 Tbsp of no sugar added jam. You’ll swear you’re eating a cheese danish, but without all the guilt.
Apple And Natural Nut Butter
Apples and nut butter is a snack favourite for kids of all ages. Experiment with mixing different types of apples, like granny smith, gala or honeycrisp, and pair them with different nutters, like almond or cashew. Just make sure you buy the all-natural stuff, with no sugar added. Or better yet, make your own in a food processor.
Whole Grain Crackers And Cheese
Enjoy one ounce of your favourite cheese with 1 serving whole wheat crackers. If one ounce is all you get, go for the good stuff, so a little goes a long way. Rogfurt, goat cheese, brie and gouda are great choices and all spread nicely over crackers. Don’t forget to top each with half a cherry tomato.
Mango Carrot Ginger Smoothie
For a light, refreshing, delicious smoothie that isn’t too high in calories, this recipe really hits the spot. Mangos, bananas, coconut and ginger combine for a tropical, refreshing smoothie you can drink for breakfast or as a tasty treat. Get the recipe.
Make deviled eggs a little less devilish by using avocado in place of mayo for your favorite recipe. Usually Greek yogurt is the go-to swap for mayo, but creamy avocado will also do the trick. Eggs get a bad rap because they have cholesterol, but your cholesterol levels are determined by how fatty the foods we eat are, not how much dietary cholesterol are in them. Eggs are packed full of protein and very good for you, so go ahead and enjoy 2 eggs, or 4 deviled egg halves, for under the 200-calorie limit.
Edamame isn’t just delicious, it’s very good for you, too. It’s high in protein, and is a great source of fibre, folate, manganese, and a variety of vitamins. Best of all, they’re easy to prepare in advance and take take with you on the go. You can eat a cup and still stay under 200 calories.
Vegetable Sushi Rolls
Sushi can be very unhealthy (think deep fried, loaded with cream cheese and covered in sugary sauces) but fresh, veggie-based sushi is a very healthy and well balanced snack. (Save the fried tempura and spicy mayo for mealtime, this is just a snack.) Seaweed is extremely flavorful and low in calories, making it a great vehicle for fresh, raw veggies like carrots, cucumbers, green beans and zucchini. Opt for brown rice over white for a little more filling fibre.
Yogurt And Berries
Yogurt is a good source of protein, and berries are always an even better source of vitamins. Spoon yourself out a small serving of all-natural, no-sugar added yoghurt and top it with your berries of choice for an easy, light and delicious snack.
Everyone loves guacamole, but this portable version is so much easier. Halve an avocado, and remove the pit by gentle whacking it with the sharp side of your knife until it sticks. Twist and discard. Sprinkle with sea salt, which has more minerals than conventional salt. Fill the center with approximately 1 Tbsp of salsa and drizzle with a little lime. Grab a spoon and dig right in.