The Best 100-Calorie Snacks for Weight Loss
The word is out; you can snack wisely and still lose weight! True, once upon a time one of the number one diet rules was to avoid eating between meals but now we know better. Fueling your body more frequently throughout the day keeps the ‘fire stoked’ or your metabolism steady and slightly elevated. In addition, your blood sugar (subsequently, your insulin) levels remain steady as well, which keeps you from highs and lows or periods of extreme hunger. You are less likely to overeat when you have small, nutritious, well-planned snacks ready to nosh during periods when meals are greater than 5 hours apart (on average). The best snacks for weight loss are calorie-controlled (ideally, less than 200 calories), balanced (some protein and carbohydrate) and nutrient-dense.
There are hundreds of options for snacks—those to suit every appetite and flavor preference. Opt for ‘ready-to-eat’ or ‘ready-to-drink’ convenience snacks, such as protein bars or shakes to simple choices, such as a glass of milk to mini-meals, such as a ½ sandwich. While 150 to 200 calories is generally optional in terms of energy content of a snack, if you prefer to graze throughout the day, eating several 100-calorie snacks per day might be the perfect option for you. The following five snack choices provide about 100 calories each and offer a balanced combination of satisfying protein and healthy fats as well as energizing carbohydrates:
- String cheese and crackers: 1 stick (1-oz.) light string cheese and 3 reduced-fat Triscuit whole-wheat crackers: 102 calories, 3.5 g fat, 8.5g protein, 11 g carbohydrate, 2 g dietary fiber
- Pria™ snack bar by Powerbar (mint chocolate crisp, French vanilla crisp, etc…) or a Special K snack bar (chocolate peanut, blueberry cereal, etc.): 110 calories, less than or equal to 3.5 g fat, at least 4 g protein, 15 to 18 g carbohydrate, 2 to 3 g dietary fiber
- Guacamole snack pack and bell pepper strips: One serving 100-calorie Wholly Guacamole snack pack with 10 raw bell pepper strips (for dipping): 105 calories, 10 g fat (only 1.5 g saturated fat), 2 g protein, 7 g carbohydrate, 4 g dietary fiber
- Nesquik no sugar added chocolate milk (8-oz. bottle): sweetened with sucralose (ready-to-drink); one serving/bottle provides: 100 calories, 2 g fat, 8 g protein, 13 g carbohydrate
- Hummus on English muffin: 1 tbsp roasted red pepper hummus spread onto ½ toasted whole-wheat English muffin: 95 calories, 2 g fat, 3.5 g protein, 16 g carbohydrate, 3 g dietary fiber
High-protein, low-carb snacks
There are many tasty options when it comes to carbohydrate-rich snack choices, such as chips, crackers, popcorn, snack bars and all types of sweets. Many dieters, or those trying to lose weight, are advised to increase their protein intake and slightly decrease their carbohydrate intake. Protein, like fat, is a satisfying nutrient. Choosing protein-rich snacks may curb hunger for a longer period of time than those rich in carbohydrates and low in protein. Try any of these five protein-packed snacks to curb your hunger. Each provides around 100 calories.
- One jumbo-sized hard-boiled egg (about 63 g): 98 calories, 6.7 g fat, 8 g protein, 1 g carbohydrate
- Worldwide Sports Nutrition Pure Protein Bar (1/2 of a bar or 25 g): 100 calories, 3 g fat, 10 g protein, 8 g carbohydrate, ½ g dietary fiber
- Greek yogurt (such as Chobani) 0% fat (plain/unflavored, 6-oz. container): 100 calories, 0 g fat, 18 g protein, 7 g carbohydrate, 0 g dietary fiber
- Tuna and mayo on a cracker: mix ¼ cup light tuna (canned in water, drained, solids only) with ½ tbsp light mayonnaise; spread onto one Rye Krisp cracker (7 g): 98 calories, 1 g fat, 11.5 g protein, 6 g carbohydrates, 1 g dietary fiber
- Cheese and fruit: a 1-oz. serving of Cabot reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese with (70 calories, 4.5 g fat, 8 g protein) and ½ cup apple slices (about 55g): 101 calories, 4.5 g fat (3g saturated fat), 8 g protein, 7g carbohydrates, 2.6 g dietary fiber.