There are dozens of benefits to snacking. It regulates your blood sugar levels, keeping you from both crashing and storing fat when you finally sit down at a regular meal. It is also a great way to stay full without indulging in a complete breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
When done improperly, however, it can be a sure fire way to pack on the pounds. The trick is snacking properly. You want to be eating just enough to make you feel full, but not enough that you exceed your daily caloric requirements by a wide margin. Listed below are some great snack ideas that are not only healthy and nutritious, but also under one hundred calories each.
Yogurt is extremely high in calcium and protein, as well as Vitamin D and probiotics. This makes it excellent for bone health, your immune system, and even your digestive system. Studies have shown that individuals who eat diets high in protein and dairy are up to 20% better equipped to lose weight.
For even better nutritional value, try the low-fat Greek variety. It has more protein and less sugar. Be careful, as loading up your yogurt with fruit toppings or even granola can take it from an “under-100 calorie” snack to almost double that amount.
Perhaps the most underrated snacks of all time, nuts and seeds are great for your health. If you look at the nutritional facts on the packaging, you may be thrown off by the fat content. Don’t worry about this as most of this is polyunsaturated and monounsaturated, and this includes the heart healthy Omega-3 fatty acids. They are also high in protein, fiber, and all kinds of vitamins and minerals. Eat a handful as a snack and then drink a glass of water to expand the fiber. You will feel full for hours.
Making your own fruit salad is a great way to get a dose of vitamins while staying under 100 calories. The simple sugars found in the fruit will give you a quick boost of energy without spiking your blood sugar too much, and the options available to you are practically endless. Use different fruit combinations for a snack that will never get old.
Peanut Butter and Celery
Peanut Butter is an excellent source of protein, fiber and various vitamins. Celery actually burns more calories than it adds (the process of digestion requires more energy than the celery provides). Together, they make a snack that is both healthy and is in no danger of expanding your waistline. When shopping for peanut butter, look for the all natural kind that isn’t full of sugar and has the added benefit of Omega-3 fatty acids.
What do you do if you need a snack but don’t have time to prepare or plan one? Simply look for a low calorie, reduced sugar granola bar. You can take them anywhere, and they practically never go bad. Granola bars are high in fiber and protein, and will likely keep you full for quite a long time. Just remember to avoid products that are high in sugar, as this can easily cause them to exceed the 100 calorie mark.