When you're trying to manage your weight or eat better, cravings can be your Achilles' heel. Most of us don't crave healthy or low-calorie foods, unfortunately. It's always ice cream, chips, or chocolate--never cucumbers, rice cakes or broccoli. To make matters worse, those cravings usually hit late at night when we don't have many (or any) calories left in our budget for the day.
The good news is that whether you have a sweet or savory, creamy or crunchy craving, you can satisfy it for 100 calories or less without feeling deprived. Here's how:
First, think long and hard about what you're craving. If it's chocolate, chances are a piece of fruit isn't going to satisfy you. You need to eat what you actually crave to feel satisfied.
To get yourself through the afternoon slump and keep yourself satisfied between breakfast and lunch, and lunch and dinner, there are a number of healthy snacks to have on your radar. Not only are they high in protein, fiber and vitamins, but they are truly tasty. You’ll enjoy munching on them throughout the day, and with under 100 calories each, they’ll keep the weight off.
From apple slices with peanut butter, to edamame, nuts, and even popcorn, these 12 healthy snacks will keep you full and satisfied when food is all you can think about.
1. Apple slices with peanut butter
I’ve completely converted to all-natural organic peanut butter. Anything else is PACKED with sugar, and you’re not really getting any of the awesome benefits peanut butter has to offer. Slice up your apple and measure ¾ of a cup, then spread on the peanut butter, using 2 teaspoons in total. Peanut butter is a great source of protein, plus, what could be better than mixing sweet and salty!
2. Hard-boiled egg
I have to admit I’m not much of an egg person, but when I do eat them, it’s hard-boiled all the way. A hard-boiled egg is an ideal snack because it’s convenient to bring with you on-the-go, and there’s 6 grams of protein in only 78 calories. Make a batch and store them in the fridge to eat throughout the week.
3. 1 cup of blueberries
I love blueberries as much for their taste as their health benefits. They are one of the best sources of anti-oxidants and only have about 83 calories for a 1 cup serving. How great is that! If you’re someone who likes crunchy snacks, you can freeze your blueberries for an extra crunch.
4. Yogurt and sunflower seeds
With ½ cup non-fat plain yogurt and a tablespoon of sunflower seeds you’ll get a good boost of protein with the yogurt, and the seeds only add 19 cals! Sunflower seeds are also a great source of vitamin E, B-1 and copper. Another great tip: Buy non-fat yogurt that has “live” or “active” cultures to get a good dose of probiotics.
5. Non-fat Greek yogurt with honey
If you love yogurt, but you’re more of a sweets person than a seeds person, go for ½ cup of non-fat Greek yogurt and a teaspoon of honey drizzled over it. You may also love this option for an after dinner dessert. You’ll get tons of protein from the yogurt to help you feel satisfied, too!
You can eat 14 almonds and stay under 100 calories. They’re perfect to take on the go or to snack on while you’re at your desk. Almonds are rich in protein and fiber, which means they’re great at staving off hunger.
7. Microwave popcorn
Any popcorn lover is bound to love the sound of this! Popcorn is high in fiber to help keep your hunger at bay, and it’s crunchy and tasty – does it get any better? It does! Some microwave popcorn brands have 100 calories in a whopping 6 cups.
8. 1 orange
A navel orange has about 80 calories, is low in natural sugar and high in vitamins and fiber. They’re juicy and sweet, and their skin makes them super convenient to carry around on the daily. Plus, the fact that you have to peel and section them allows you to savour and eat them slowly.
Another nut that’s high in protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals, eating 20 pistachios will keep you around the 80 calorie mark. They may have a high fat content, but not to worry, it’s “good” fat with plenty of benefits. They’re super tasty and fun to crack open, just make sure you have a garbage can near by!
10. ½ cup of oatmeal
Another one of my go-to snacks, a ½ cup of oatmeal is sure to keep you satisfied throughout the afternoon. It’s rich in protein and fiber, plus it’s warm and delicious. Simply mix an instant pack of oatmeal with boiling water, or heat it up in the microwave and you’re good to go!
11. Smoked salmon and low-fat cream cheese
For a low-calorie twist on bagel and lox, create a smoked salmon pin wheel with low-fat cream cheese. Spread 1 tablespoon of cream cheese on a piece of smoked salmon and you’ll get a helpful dose of protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
12. 1/4 cup of dried cranberries
Tangy and sweet, dried cranberries are the perfect mid-day snack. If you’re worried about the amount of sugar, you can opt for unsweetened varieties, but a ¼ cup of dried cranberries has just 93 calories. They’re perfect for popping in your mouth.