Snacking can be a downfall for many people watching their weight. Finding low-calorie snacks that keep you satisfied until your next meal is crucial in avoiding overindulging. Registered dietitians Jennifer Nelson and Katherine Zeratsky from MayoClinic.com suggest planning and preparing snacks ahead of time. This strategy gives you a chance to have low-calorie snacks available for when your next snack attack occurs. Several tasty low-calorie options are available that are quick, easy and 80 calories or less.
Fruit is a classic snack packed with vitamins and minerals, which makes it a healthy and nutritious choice. Additionally, fruits are rich in fiber which helps curb your appetite. According to the United States Department of Agriculture National Nutrient Database, the following fruits contain 80 calories or less: a banana less than 6 inches long, 1 cup of blackberries, 1 cup of sliced apples, 1 cup of pear slices and 1 cup of diced honeydew.
Foods packed with protein provide a snack with staying power. Protein digests more slowly than carbohydrates, so it keeps you feeling fuller longer. Protein snacks are also an ideal way to make sure you are meeting your daily protein requirements. A hard-boiled egg comes in right under 80 calories and provides 6.3 grams of protein, while 2 ounces of canned white tuna in water contain 13.4 grams of protein and still under 80 calories. Low-fat dairy snacks are high in protein, too. Three ounces of 2 percent milk-fat cottage cheese yields 10 grams of protein, while 4 ounces of plain low-fat yogurt have 5.9 grams of protein. One-half cup of non-fat mozzarella cheese provides a whopping 17.9 grams of protein. All of these snacks are 80 calories or less.
If you want the feeling of eating a satisfying amount of food without consuming a lot of calories, vegetables are the way to go. They are mostly water in weight so you can eat larger amounts. Three cups of broccoli have less than 80 calories, as do 5 cups of peeled, sliced cucumbers and 1 1/2 cups of raw carrots. Given the larger serving size, you can consider eating smaller portions while adding some low-fat salad dressing or hummus. Additionally, the National Cancer Institute reports cruciferous vegetables like broccoli contain compounds called glucosinolates that may have anticancer effects.
Low-calorie sweet options are still available, although serving sizes are generally smaller. For instance, a one-third-cup serving of orange sherbet has less than 80 calories. Other options at or below 80 calories are "no sugar added" frozen fudge pops as well a single serving of your favorite flavored gelatin snack.