40 Low Calorie Weight Loss Snacks to Satisfy Any Craving

    
Emmie Satrazemis, RD, CSSD
Emmie Satrazemis, RD, CSSD

Let’s be honest, sticking to a low-calorie diet can be pretty tough sometimes, especially when cravings take over. But it is possible to indulge a little bit and still stay on track, it’s all about portion control and finding the best snack options that won't blow up your macros or calories. Here are my favorite ways to get ahead of mindless eating and unhealthy food cravings with easy low-calorie snack options.

Get snack inspiration for when you're craving something:

Healthy Snacking Tips

Dieting often leads to cravings which, when ignored, can lead to mindless snacking or diet binges. Mindless snacking can add up quickly and cause a lot of frustration when your expectations for results are not met. Even just a little bit of over-snacking throughout the day can make a relatively large impact on your overall week. Becoming more mindful of your habits is a great start. 

How can you decide if snacking is right for your diet? Listen to your gut, literally. If you are having a hard time waiting until your next meal and can find snack options that won't destroy your calorie goal, it might be worth it. But if you’re finding its really just becoming a mindless habit, you can skip it.

Easy Snacks Under 150 Calories

As long as you maintain calorie control, snacking is not a bad habit. The key is to find options with relatively low calories for a high volume of food - meaning more bang per bite! Here's some of the best ways to indulge your cravings a bit without adding too many calories to your day.

10 Crunchy and Salty Snacks

In the mood to munch on something salty? Grab some of these easy crunchy and healthy options with little to no meal prep required. Just remember to portion out what you want and leave the family size bag at home or out of sight.

1) Rice Cakes

Rice cakes are a very friendly snack for most diets, and they tend to come in a variety of flavors like white cheddar, caramel corn, apple spice, etc. One brown rice cake, unsalted has

  • 60 calories
  • 0.5 grams of fat
  • 14 grams of carbs
  • 1 gram of protein

Plain rice cakes are the perfect snack to spice up and customize based on your dietary needs.

If you need some additional healthy fats in your diet, try adding a small serving of avocado and top with red pepper flakes or a light spread of peanut butter (~1 tablespoon) for an additional two grams of protein, eight grams of fat and four grams of carbs. 

Or if you need some additional protein, add two tablespoons of fat free cream cheese for an additional four grams of protein and only 30 more calories.

2) Popcorn

If you are looking for convenience, then low calorie popcorn brands like Skinny Pop and Boom Chicka Pop are great options for a very high volume snack low in calories. Both the Skinny Pop original flavor and the Boom Chicka Pop sea salt flavor are about 140-150 calories for almost four cups of popcorn! Also, if you have the time and feel like spicing up your popcorn, there are some really yummy ways to make healthy popcorn at home. Try some of these toppings:

  • Nutritional yeast
  • Paprika and garlic salt
  • Lemon pepper
  • Old bay
  • Taco seasoning
  • Curry powder and salt

3) Pickles

Pickled veggies are nearly calorie-free, and depending on which type of pickle you choose you might also get a healthy dose of fiber and good nutrition with it. Skip the bread and butter or sweetened options, these can pack significantly more calories  from added sugar. Instead, opt for spicy, kosher, dill or more zesty flavors.

One pickle spear has less than five calories and only one gram of carbs. Other pickled veggies to try include:

  • Pickled carrots
  • Pickled asparagus
  • Cocktail onions
  • Pickled ginger
  • Pickled radish
  • Pickled cauliflower

Or create your own healthy pickles with this easy pickling recipe.

4) Kale Chips

You can easily create your own homemade version of kale chips or opt for store-bought options that come in different flavors like ranch and nacho cheese. Just keep an eye out for too many high calorie added ingredients and keep your portion size reasonable. For most brands, a 1-ounce serving of kale chips clocks ina round:

  • 130 calories
  • 10 grams of fat
  • 7 grams of carbs
  • 5 grams of fiber

Plus, kale chips tend to provide a good source of fiber (3 grams), vitamin A (25% of the daily value), and vitamin K (100% of the daily value).

5) Roasted Seaweed

Roasted seaweed or nori sheets taste buttery and salty but have hardly any calories to back up their flavor, with only 50 calories per pack (20 sheets). Plus, they are already portion controlled and it's hard to over do it. They also come in a variety of yummy flavors like teriyaki, wasabi, and sriracha.

6) Edamame

Grab a bag of frozen edamame (in the shell) for a quick, high protein snack that will also keep you satisfied. Just defrost and toss in some sea salt. Each ½ cup serving has:

  • 100 calories
  • 3.5 grams of fat
  • 8 grams of carbs
  • 10 grams of protein

They also have six grams of hunger-busting fiber per serving and are a good source of vitamin C and iron.

7) Red Bell Pepper & Guacamole

One whole bell pepper has only 30 calories and when paired with a healthy fat like 1/4 cup of guac, you get a well-rounded snack for less than 120 calories. But we all know it’s hard to stop when the full container is in front of you, so look for single-serve guacamole in the store or portion out what you need in advance.

8) Carrot Sticks & Hummus

Just about any crunchy veggie pairs well with hummus, and it’s easy to change up the flavors in this snack with different added seasonings or hummus varieties. And this snack is macro-balanced to keep you feeling fuller longer. Ten carrot sticks and 1/4 cup of hummus will provide:

  • 140 calories
  • 7 grams of fat
  • 14 grams of carbs
  • 6 grams of protein

9) Chips and Salsa

It may be easy to get out of hand with chips and salsa at Mexican food restaurants, but a well planned and well-portioned serving of whole grains chips with salsa can be a great snack option. To cut even more calories, opt for baked chips over fried. A 3/4 cup serving of baked chips (~18 chips) and 1/2 cup of salsa is only:

  • 150 calories
  • 4 grams of fat
  • 27 grams of carbs
  • 4 grams of protein

Just remember to portion it out and leave the full bag of chips out of reach.

10) Almonds

Nuts can be pretty calorie dense if you’re not watching your portions, but a little bit can also be extremely satisfying and serve as a great snack option. Around 20 almonds will get you:

  • 150 calories
  • 14 grams of fat
  • 5 grams of carbs
  • 5 grams of protein

low calorie snack options weight loss snacks popcorn

5 Sweet Snacks

Sugar cravings can be a diet deal breaker, especially if you are cutting calories really low. If you’re finding it hard to stop the sweet stuff altogether, consider adding in a few low-calorie sweets that will help keep you sane.  

1) Sugar-free jello

Sugar-free jello and pudding likely won't fill you up much, but they can definitely help satisfy a sweet tooth craving in a pinch. One pudding pack adds about 60 calories to your day, whereas one cup of sugar-free jello is only:

  • 80 calories
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 19 grams of carbs
  • 1 gram of protein

2) Protein Ice Cream

Thanks to the ingenuity of food manufacturers you can now enjoy ice cream with less sugar and calories, and more protein. Brands like Halo Top, Enlightened, and Breyer’s Delights will allow you a full cup of ice cream for roughly:

  • 130 calories
  • 5 grams of fat
  • 14 grams of carbs
  • 9 grams of protein

Just keep in mind that even though they advertise that you can eat the whole pint, you might not want to - one full pint gets you just as many calories as a serving of full-fat ice cream. So instead, portion out your bowl and savor every bite!

3) Dark Chocolate

Yes, you can have chocolate, even on a diet. Dark chocolate (more than 60% cacao) tends to be lower on the sugar end, and can add a small amount of nutrition to your day. Chocolate can be a source of fiber, iron and magnesium, plus natural antioxidants. In addition, chocolate releases feel good hormones that can actually boost your mood. The trick is to stop at just a couple small bites. Try sticking to individually wrapped squares and only pack what you plan to enjoy. One pounce of dark chocolate has: 

  • 150 calories
  • 9 grams of fat
  • 17 grams of carbs
  • 1.5 grams of protein

4) Fruit

Fruit is fairly low calorie to begin with and tends to also provide a decent source of fiber which helps balance out the natural sugars. This guilt free snack can also be eaten dried, frozen, dipped in yogurt, drizzled with honey, etc. to create a really satisfying sweet treat that won't derail your diet. One medium sized piece of fruit has:

  • 100 calories
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 25 grams of carbs
  • 0 grams of protein

Dried fruit offers similar nutrition but in a smaller portion (since all of the liquid has been removed).

To make your fruit feel a little more exciting try some of the following:

  • Freeze grapes and enjoy cold
  • Dip your blueberries or banana in vanilla yogurt and freeze
  • Pair your fruit with a small amount of cheese or peanut butter
  • Drizzle strawberries with balsamic glaze
  • Sprinkle watermelon with Tajin

5) Greek Yogurt with Honey

Greek yogurt is an excellent source of protein to keep your hunger at bay, and adding a small drizzle of honey will transform the tangy flavor into a sweet snack. One single serve, non-fat Greek yogurt with 3/4 tablespoon of honey is only:

  • 150 calories
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 21 grams of carbs
  • 17 grams of protein

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15 Savory Snack Ideas

If you tend to crave more high fat foods or savory flavors, you should include more healthy fats and proteins in your snack options. Hare some quick, fresh food combos that won't disappoint. 

1) Cherry Tomato and Mozzarella

Quickly throw together your own caprese salad with one cup of cherry tomatoes, one ounce of small mozzarella balls, fresh basil and one tablespoon of balsamic glaze. Each serving has:

  • 150 calories
  • 6 grams of fat
  • 23 grams of protein
  • 8 grams of protein

2) Hard Boiled Eggs with Toppings

Hard boiled eggs are a good balance of protein and fat, and pair well with so many flavors. Get creative with low calorie toppings and seasonings like pickles, dijon mustard, smoked paprika and salt, or kimchi, sriracha. Or for a little more fat (and calories), add a small dollop of pesto or mayo - pssst, you can also remove some of the yolk to keep calories controlled. Two hard boiled eggs have:

  • 150 calories
  • 10 grams of fat
  • 1 gram of carbs
  • 14 grams of protein

3) Cottage Cheese and Fruit

Cottage cheese is protein dense and incredibly versatile. Go savory with tomatoes, chili flakes and a drizzle of oil. Or make it sweet and creamy by pairing it with fresh fruit like a peach, banana, or apple. A 1/2 cup serving of cottage cheese (1% fat) has:

  • 81 calories
  • 1 gram of fat
  • 3 grams of carbs
  • 14 grams of protein

4) String Cheese and Pepperoni

Try a couple of low-fat string cheese and turkey pepperoni (or light salami) to curb your pizza cravings.  While it doesn’t taste exactly like the real thing, it's a great high protein snack that doesn't feel like diet food. Two light string cheese and ten turkey pepperoni slices have:

  • 150 calories
  • 7 grams of fat
  • 3 grams of carbs
  • 20 grams of protein

5) Deli Meat and Whole Grain Crackers

Lean deli meat can also be an excellent source of protein. Look for quality options that are less processed, and pair it with whole grain crackers. Use portion control with the crackers by counting out exactly how many you need. Add some additional flavor to this snack with a small spread of mustard or low-fat cream cheese. Four Triscuit crackers and two ounces of deli meat have:

  • 143 calories
  • 4 grams of fat
  • 18 grams of carbs
  • 9 grams of protein

6) Marinated Artichoke Hearts and Olives 

Portion out your favorite canned (or jarred) veggies for a light Mediterranean salad or part of a healthy Mediterranean platter. Marinated artichokes, olives, palm hearts, sundried tomatoes, and roasted red peppers all work great for a quick mezze snack. Ten kalamata olives with five marinated artichoke heart quarters has only:

  • 114 calories
  • 10 grams of fat
  • 6 grams of carbs
  • 1 gram of protein

For a little more oomph, add in a small amount of feta cheese or light salami.

7) Turkey Bacon Wrapped Dates

For the ultimate sweet and salty combo, try bacon wrapped dates. Wrap the turkey bacon around pitted dates and bake until bacon is fully cooked. This portion feels small, but it packs a ton of satisfying flavor and a decent amount of protein. Plus, these work great for meal prep since they can be eaten at room temp. Three pieces of turkey bacon with three dates has:

  • 149 calories
  • 6 grams of fat
  • 17 grams of carbs
  • 8 grams of protein

8) Jerky

Jerky and cured meat has come quite a long way! There are a ton of lean and grass-fed options available for purchase, all in a variety of flavors. Keep an eye out for too much added sugar and opt for lower fat options to get a larger portion size. One and a half ounces of lean jerky has:

  • 120 calories  
  • 1 gram of fat
  • 8 grams of carbs
  • 20 grams of protein

9) Buffalo Dipped Chicken 

Trifecta chicken has only 136 calories per four-ounce piece, making it a great centerpiece to any high protein or low-calorie snack. Slice up one chicken breast and dip in hot wing sauce for a super lightened up version of buffalo wings. Three ounces of chicken breast with one tablespoon of wing sauce has:

  • 150 calories
  • 7 grams of fat
  • 1 gram of carbs
  • 21 grams of protein

For a little more flavor, add in 1/2 tablespoon of blue cheese crumbles for an extra 35 calories, six grams of fat, and four grams of protein. 

10) Chicken Sausage or Meatballs

Slice up some store bought chicken sausage or look for lean chicken meatballs for a sweet and savory snack. Dip them in calorie free sauce, like mustard, or try a sugar-free barbeque sauce. Three meatballs or one sausage has:

  • 140 calories
  • 9 grams of fat
  • 3 grams of carbs
  • 10 grams of protein

11) Cantaloupe and Prosciutto

Cantaloupe is one of the lowest calorie fruits, with very little natural sugar - one cup has only 50 calories! Grab a medium size melon and slice it into thin moon shaped pieces. Then wrap each piece with a small portion of prosciutto for the ultimate salty and sweet snack, that is also refreshing. One-fourth of a medium melon with two ounces of prosciutto has:

  • 150 calories
  • 5 grams of fat
  • 16 grams of carbs
  • 16 grams of protein

12) Peppadews and Goat Cheese

Peppadew  or piquante peppers are tiny, sweet, and somewhat spicy peppers that come ready to eat in a jar (check the salad bar section of your local store). They are de-seeded and can be easily stuffed with goat cheese or low-fat cream cheese for an awesome and healthy snack. A 2/3 cup serving of these peppers is only 60 calories, paired with one ounce of goat cheese you’ll get:

  • 140 calories
  • 6 grams of fat
  • 15 grams of carbs
  • 5 grams of protein

13) Shrimp Cocktail

Shrimp is naturally lean and low calorie - four ounces has only 80 calories and one gram of fat! A serving of Trifecta shrimp dipped in three tablespoons of cocktail sauce has:

  • 136 calories
  • 1 gram of fat
  • 14 grams of carbs
  • 15 grams of protein

You can also try dipping your shrimp in pesto for added fat and flavor (just be mindful of the increased calories).  

14) Avocado Toast

Avocado calories can rack up if you don't portion it out, but low cal dieting doesn't mean you have to skip out on this healthy fat, or bread for that matter. Look for thin sliced whole grain bread (~40 to 70 calories per slice) and top with 1/4 of a medium avocado to get:

  • 127 calories
  • 6 grams of fat
  • 16 grams of carbs
  • 4 grams of protein

Sprinkle with sea salt and a drizzle of lemon or lime for even more great flavor.

15) Shashimi

Sushi can easily pack in a ton of unwanted calories if you overdo it on the rice, sauces and fried options. But when you cut all that out and focus just on the fish, you’ve got yourself a lean and healthy snack option. Sashimi ranges from 25 to 40 calories per piece compared to nigiri (fish with rice) that can have double that. Of course, it depends on the fish you choose, with white fish tending to be the leaner choice. Four to five pieces of sashimi fish has somewhere around:

  • 150 calories
  • 4 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of carbs
  • 29 grams of protein

5 Easy Low Calorie Snack Recipes

Need recipe ideas to meal prep healthy snacks for the week? Try one of these easy recipes

1) Ahi Tuna Salad

Creamy, crunch and extra satisfying. Made with simple and healthy ingredients like avocado and ahi tuna. Plus it’s loaded with healthy fats and lean protein to keep your hunger in check. Works great as a light meal or snack option. Enjoy as is or pair with a handful of whole grain tortilla chips.

the best ahi tuna salad recipe low calorie healthy snacks weight loss

Cut this recipe in half to get a snack sized portion that contains:

  • 105 calories
  • 6 grams of fat
  • 6 grams of carbs
  • 8.5 grams of protein

Get the recipe here - The Best Avocado Ahi Tuna Salad

2) Salmon Toast

This savory salmon and cream cheese toast makes for a hearty snack option. May not travel well, so save this one for home, or toast your bread and piece the ingredients together when ready to enjoy. 

high protein snacks weight loss salmon toast

Cut the recipe portion in half to get:

  • 145 calories
  • 4.5 grams of fat
  • 14 grams of carbs
  • 12 grams of protein

 Get the recipe here - High Protein Salmon Toast

3) Avocado Egg Salad

Creamy, tangy and guilt-free! This simple and healthy egg salad is made with fresh avocado and hard boiled egg whites to help you cut calories. This recipe makes for the perfect high protein snack or main meal. 

AVOCADO-EGG-SALAD-HEALTHY-EGG-SALAD-RECIPE-MEAL-PREP-1-1

One serving has: 

  • 146 calories
  • 5 grams of fat
  • 7 grams of carbs
  • 18 grams of protein

Get the recipe here - Avocado Egg Salad

4) Chia Pudding

Calm your sweet tooth and get a little more nutrition in with this healthy dessert option that also works great as a low calorie snack during the day. Made with canned pumpkin, chia seeds, and non-dairy milk, it tastes juts like Thanksgiving pie in a cup. Plus it's vegan, paleo, and keto!

pumpkin chia pudding recipe low calorie snacks weight loss

One pudding has:

  • 98 calories
  • 5 grams of fat
  • 10 grams of carbs
  • 4 grams of protein

Get the recipe here - Pumpkin Chia Pudding 

5) Dark Chocolate Black Bean Brownies

You'll never guess that these fudgy, chocolaty brownies hare made with black beans and avocado. Easy to make and portion out for a healthy sweet option all week long. Did I mention the portions are huge!?

black bean avocado brownie recipe low calorie snacks weight loss sugar cravings

Each brownie has:

  • 155 calories
  • 5 grams of fat
  • 17 grams of carbs
  • 11 grams of proteins

Get the recipe here - Dark Chocolate Black Bean Brownies

How to Change Bad Habits

A wonderful way to hold yourself accountable is to keep a journal of your "temptation" snacks and the things that you would normally have just a little bit of. Write these down every time you come across them and convince yourself to either have something else or skip the extra snack. Add the calories "saved" by not consuming these products (ie: half of a Chocolate Chip Complete Cookie = 180 calories). Daily, Weekly, or Monthly add these "temptations" up and realize just how much the little things add up! It will help you stay accountable for your decisions as well as motivate you to stay away from those little temptations.

Another great habit is pre-portioning your snacks. This means counting out the chips before you start eating them. This will prevent you from over-eating, and it helps you enjoy each chip because you only get so many. The food industry is making a lot of money by doing this for you. It only takes a few tries before it becomes second nature, and then you won't find yourself elbow deep in a chip bag when you only intended to eat a few.

When done properly, snacking gives you the much-needed boost to make it to your next meal without all the extra calories. When done incorrectly, it can leave you feeling frustrated and confused. The key tip is to start paying attention to everything you are putting into your body. Plan for your meals as well as your snacks. And don't assume that your healthy meals compensate for your unhealthy snacking.

Want to get even better at holding yourself accountable and sticking to your calorie goal? Get started on the Trifecta app and log your daily food intake - including your snacks! 

GET STARTED

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