45 Best Snacks With 50 Calories Or Less
Trying to lose weight without fueling your body throughout the day is like trying to power through an all-nighter without enough caffeine—you're bound to crash.
According to experts, snacking in between meals wards off hunger and aids weight loss by maintaining blood-sugar levels and reducing blood insulin levels. "When your body produces less insulin, you're much less likely to convert dietary calories into body fat," says weight loss expert Dr. Wayne Scott Andersen. "If we feed the body at regular intervals we send a signal to the body that it doesn't have to store calories," he adds.
At a loss for what to eat? Look for something that's around 130 to 250 calories. Or just mix and match a few of these low-calorie calorie snacks for weight loss. We've studied the nutritionals for you, so you can enjoy each and every one guilt-free.
Cucumbers are about 95 percent water, so not only will they hydrate you, but they'll also boost your weight-loss efforts thanks to their low-calorie count. For added health benefits, step away from the peeler! Cucumber skin is a potent source of vitamin K, a nutrient that helps regulates blood clotting and contributes to healthy bones.
Ultra-portable and packed with filling water and satiating soluble fiber, apples are one of Mother Nature's very best weight loss foods.
Though they carry more natural sugar than most other veggies, carrots are loaded with fiber which helps prevent your blood sugar levels from spiking. When you're shopping for the veggie, look for some that have a deep-orange hue and are free of cracks. They'll taste better, which will eliminate the need for a high-cal dip.
This breakfast favorite contains a nutrient called choline that boosts metabolism and may help turn off the genes responsible for belly fat storage. It's also filled with protein which aids muscle growth and boosts its satiety value.
Kosher Dill Pickle
If you're craving something savory but don't want to totally blow your diet, reach for a pickle.
Pickle jars are filled with vinegar, which can quench your cravings and whittle your waistline. Studies show acidic foods help increase the rate at which the body burns off carbs by up to 40 percent! And the faster you burn off carbs, the sooner your body starts incinerating fat.
Tart and sweet, cherries are like candy from the earth. They're about 81 percent water per volume, which keeps them low-calorie. Cherries are also packed with flavonoids, powerful antioxidants that help fight potentially cancer-causing free radicals.
Pro tip: Put them in the freezer for a nice cold treat!
Low-Fat Cottage Cheese
Cottage cheese is a good addition to your diet because it's high in protein and relatively low in calories. It's also considered a complete protein, which means it contains all nine essential amino acids your body needs to function properly and build lean muscle mass.
Packed with powerful linoleic acids, sunflower seeds have a secret weapon against unwanted pounds. Studies have shown that consuming the nutrients can help lower body weight, BMI, total fat mass and waist-to-hip ratio. Just be mindful of your portions: A mere tablespoon will run you 50 calories.
It's easy to see why pistachios ranked as one of the best nuts for weight loss, they've helped countless Biggest Loser contestants trim down. "We keep pistachios in ample supply at the ranch, says Biggest Loser dietitian Cheryl Forberg, RD. "Not only are they a satisfying, heart-healthy snack, they also aid weight loss. Studies suggest having to manually remove the shell helps people eat more mindfully and slows the rate at which they nosh, helping to reduce portion size and calorie intake, she explains"
Think of each raspberry as a magical weight loss pill. Packing more fiber and liquid than most other fruits, they boost feelings of satiety without doing any damage to your waistline.
Most orange vegetables and fruits, like oranges, are spiked with carotenoids—fat-soluble compounds that are associated with a reduction of a wide range of cancers, as well as reduced risk and severity of inflammatory conditions such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis. Oranges are also packed with Vitamin C, a nutrient that lowers levels of cortisol, a hormone linked to belly fat storage.
Fat cells fear fruit—especially watermelon. At less than 50 calories per cup and 90 percent water by weight, the summer staple is almost impossible to eat too much of. What's more, noshing on the juicy fruit has been shown to increase blood levels of L-arginine, an amino acid that's kryptonite for belly fat. One group of women who supplemented with L-arginine dropped an average of 6.5 pounds and two inches from their waists in just 12 weeks, according to a recent study. Add the fruit to your weekly lineup to reap the benefits, or pair it with one of these other best fruits for fat loss for a more filling snack.
Most people know that green tea is a potent source of catechins (an antioxidant that hinders the storage of belly fat) but what most people don't realize is that pears are filled with the stuff, too. Nosh on some slices to reap the flat-belly benefits.
Sizzle up a slice of this breakfast favorite for a savory protein boost—so long as you think you can cut yourself off after a slice or two. Recent research has found that processed meats, such as hot dogs and bacon, are carcinogenic to humans, however eating the stuff in moderation isn't a major risk, say diet experts. The more you eat, the higher your risk of disease.
High in fiber and extremely low-calorie, this cruciferous veggie can help you feel fuller longer, leading you to consume few calories and, in turn, lose weight.
A grapefruit a day in addition to your regular meals can speed weight loss. The fruit's acidity slows digestion, meaning it takes longer to move through your system, and you'll end up feeling fuller, and more satisfied, for longer. And the vitamin C-packed grapefruit works to lower cholesterol and decrease the risk of stroke, heart disease, and some types of cancer.
Noshing on strawberries is a flavorful and healthy way to sate a sweet tooth. But that's not the only reason we're fans of this vibrant berry. The fruit is also packed with polyphenols, which can help you burn fat and even stop it from forming.
Pure Organic Fruit & Veggie Strip Strawberry Apple
Think of these as healthy Fruit Roll-Ups for grown-ups. The best part? This sweet fruit leather is made from actual apples, pumpkins, and strawberries, and it doesn't contain any artificial sweeteners or preservatives, some of the worst additives for your health.
Skinny Pop Original Popcorn
Before you sit down to watch Empire, grab a small bowl of this skinny snack. We love SkinnyPop because it's free of additives and exceptionally tasty—without being too salty. Though we're partial to the Original flavor, the popcorn also comes in equally low-cal flavors like white cheddar and kettle corn if you're in the mood to mix it up. Just a few changes to your diet like this can mean big weight loss.
The Laughing Cow Sun-Dried Tomato & Basil Light Mozzarella
Keep one of these cheese wheels in the office fridge to fight on-the-job hunger. Spread a couple wedges over whole wheat crackers, and you hit both major benchmarks of satiety: protein and fiber—without breaking the calorie bank.
Siggi's Blueberry Low-Fat Yogurt Tubes
Finally, an eat-on-the-go yogurt tube we can get behind! Made with just five simple ingredients (including hormone-free, low-fat milk) and only five grams of sugar, there's no reason not to throw one of these into your snack pack. During the warmer months, put a few yogurts into your freezer—they make for a healthy popsicle alternative, too.
Bolthouse Farms Veggie Snackers, Carrot Meets Ranch
Carrots are one of the most satiating veggies out there, according to Australian researchers—likely because of their high water content. These snack packs come with a handful of carrots and a package of seasonings, which punches up the flavor like dips and dressings without the excess calories or fat.
Jelly Belly Jelly Beans
If you're craving something sweet and sinful, grab this mini pack of jelly beans. With just 4 calories in each bean, they're the slimmest way to enjoy cotton candy, toasted marshmallows, and strawberry shortcake. As an added bonus: Jelly Belly uses real fruit purees to flavor their beans. It's still candy in every sense, but it's certainly the lesser of many sugar-loaded evils.
Mini Babybel Light
Proof that good things come in small packages: these little cheese rounds. They may be tiny, but they're great for staving off hunger. "Babybel cheeses offer some protein that can help slow digestion and promote feelings of fullness and satiety," says Isabel Smith, MS, RD, CDN, registered dietitian and founder of Isabel Smith Nutrition. And if you can't get enough of the creamy stuff, pick up a few of these best cheeses for weight loss.
Stretch Island Fruit Company Fruit Strip Abundant Apricot
This snack is perfect for kids of all ages—yes, your inner child counts! While Fruit Roll-Ups are loaded with corn syrup, chemicals, and artificial dyes, Stretch Island's take on the snack contains no added sugars and is made solely from a blend of wholesome fruit purees. There's no question, this snack is the clear winner in our eyes.
Brothers-ALL-Natural Fuji Apple Crisps
Don't be fooled by the crunchy chip-like texture, these freeze-dried apples are perfect for anyone on the go and looking to slim down. Though the sugar count may look a big high, it's all coming from the fruit. This is a no-sugar-added snack we love.
Pacific Foods Free Range Chicken Broth
Clear broth is a successful dieter's secret weapon. Why? It fills the belly for almost zero calories. We're fans of Pacific's grab-and-go containers and all-natural nutritional profile. You won't find any weird chemicals in this soup—trust us! It's only made with ingredients you'd find in your own kitchen.
Arctic Zero Vanilla Maple
No, that isn't a typo. This skinny alternative really has just 35 calories per serving! It isn't too shocking when you consider that makers of the treat replaced the cream and milk typically found in ice cream with water and whey protein. While staffers who tried this stuff out thought the taste was on point, they did note that the texture was more icy than creamy. For more low-cal ice cream alternatives, check out these best ice creams for weight loss.
Tuna Fish Canned in Water
This portable, affordable protein is a must-eat for anyone looking to lose a few. Why? Canned tuna is a prime source of a specific omega-3 fatty acid, docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), which has been shown to "turn off" fat genes in the abdomen, preventing belly fat cells from growing larger. To keep calories to a minimum, skip the mayo and instead add a few cranks of ground pepper, a splash of balsamic vinegar and serve the fish over a bed of greens—super filling, yet low-cal.
Applegate Organics Smoked Turkey Breast
If you're on a low-carb diet, noshing on a couple slices of turkey meat is an easy way to quell your hunger pangs. Just be sure to stick to our recommended serving size to keep sodium levels down.
Unsweetened Applesauce with Ground Cinnamon
Keep a few containers of this low-calorie snack in your desk drawer. Its just-sweet-enough flavor and filling properties are sure to help you keep your hands out of the office cookie jar. Bonus: The addition of cinnamon can help control blood sugar and prevent diabetes.
Annie's Cinnamon Bunny Grahams
This whole-grain snack offers just the right amount of sweetness and is perfect for little ones and grown-ups alike.
Milas Olives Natural Green Pitted Olives Lemon & Rosemary
Like olive oil, olives are filled with healthy monounsaturated fats that boost heart health and ward off hunger. With just 50 calories for an entire to-go pack, you can't go wrong with Milas Oloves' savory, citrus- and herb-infused snack. Though they're sold at a number of health food stores, most Starbucks locations recently started carrying them (along with some other new healthy snacks), so they're easy to find in a pinch.
Bakeology Vanilla Chai Crunchy Cookie Bites
Six grams of sugar in three of these chai-infused vanilla cookies?! It doesn't get much better than that. In lieu of butter, Bakeology uses coconut oil to bind the organic ingredients that make up their dessert, which is good news for your belly. The tropical oil converts into energy more easily than other types of fat, so less flab is apt to be stored on your frame. We're also big fans of the real bits of cinnamon, ginger, ground cloves and cardamom that give these cookies an authentic chai flavor.
Celery Stalks with Hummus
This crunchy, creamy duo is a perfect low-calorie snack to tide you over between meals. Though celery isn't particularly packed with vitamins, it does serve up a host of flat-belly fiber for very few calories, making it a perfect vessel for a more calorie-dense dip like hummus.
Sugar Snap Peas
This pop-in-your-mouth veggie is loaded with fiber and water, which can help aid satiety and weight loss efforts.
Kid-tested, nutritionist-approved, this childhood fave is one low-sugar kids' cereal we can actually get behind. Ditch the milk and crunch on the stuff as a low-cal snack.
Sure it's low-cal and low-carb, but a cup of this sweet orange melon also provides more than a hundred percent of the day's vitamin A. This fat-soluble nutrient helps maintain eye and skin health in addition to boosting immune function. Although cantaloupe tastes great on its own, it also pairs well with cottage cheese, another item that made this list!
Go Raw 100% Organic Ginger Snaps Super Cookies
Made from just four whole-food ingredients: coconut, sprouted sesame seeds, naturally sweet dates and ginger powder, you can eat a few handfuls of these without breaking the sugar or calorie bank. Admittedly, they don't taste exactly like a traditional ginger snap, but they're not too far off. And they're far better for your waistline, which makes them so worth it.
Studies show that peaches may help ward off metabolic syndrome — a name for a group of risk factors, of which belly fat is a predominant determinant, that increase the risk for obesity-related diseases including diabetes. The belly-good properties of stone fruits come from powerful phenolic compounds that can modulate fat gene expression. Better yet, fruits with pits are among the lowest in fructose or fruit sugar.
Though it's lacking in the fiber department, Honeycomb is an easy non-perishable snack to eat on the go. Throw some dry cereal in a baggie and keep it on hand so you're always prepared with a low-sugar treat whenever hunger strikes.
Kellogg's Eggo Minis Buttermilk Pancakes
Don't get us wrong, this isn't a healthy snack by any means, but if you're craving something a bit more indulgent these cute mini pancakes aren't a bad bet for your waistline. Pair them with some cinnamon and raspberries for a low-cal, filling treat.
Woodstock Mini Me's Organic Rice Bites Dark Chocolate
Traditional rice cakes are bland and boring, but these salty-sweet chocolate dunked treats are anything but. Grab three for a mere 50 calories.
Pacific Foods Light-Sodium Creamy Tomato Soup
All the comfort of winter's favorite for just 50 calories!? It doesn't get much better than that! And balance salt and protein perfectly with these soups that burn fat!
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