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7 Healthy Snacks to Keep You Full & Fit

As I have mentioned before on my fitness and weight-loss journey, I like to feel full.  I don’t like being hungry and for me that means eating healthier and making conscious food choices – and lots of them! Contrary to what my husband thinks (or use to think), a healthy diet isn’t about eating three full meals a day – at least not for me. I am a snacker, and maybe you are too…. or could be!

Staying on track is a balance of nutrition, hunger management and activity. By eating small, healthy portions I am able to control my appetite effectively. I have found that a nutrient filled snack of about 120 – 200 calories is perfect and helps keep me feeling satisfied through the day. I won’t lie, this took a little getting use to but it has made all the difference in my efforts. The trick for me is to remember to snack before I get overly hungry (thus more likely to eat a larger portion). After years of “watching what I eat” not paying off, I am down 14 pounds from what I was just three months ago. I feel better than I have in years and I’m not starving, I promise!  Here are some of my personal favorite snacks, with approx. calorie counts.

#1 Fruit

I love fruit. Give me a mango and I’m a happy girl. Leave the skin on for extra fiber and nutrition. I suggest cutting it into cubes or slices for easy eating. Fresh fruits are great options for healthy snacks that will fill you up without using up a ton of calories, plus most of them come in the perfect portion sizes without any measuring needed! Some people dislike the sugar in fruits, but I don’t worry about these sugars – added sugars are what I aim to avoid. Choose for yourself by what feels right to you and by how your body responds.

  • Mango (130 cals)
  • Apple (65 cals)
  • Banana (105 cals)
  • Pineapple (2 cups 150 cals)
  • Grapes (2 cups 180 cals)
  • Fresh Cherries (enjoy a bowl full for just under 100 calories)
  • Avocado Half (140 cals)

#2 Raw Almonds

A quarter cup of almonds will run you about 160 calories and provide you with a nice dose of protein to ward off hunger. Almonds happen to be a favorite of mine, but other nuts are great too. Stick to plain varieties – no added salts, sugars, honey, etc. Most raw varieties seem to run about 160 calories for a 1/4 cup, which is actually a nice portion despite sounding small.

#3 Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is low (or no) fat, generally around 140 – 180 calories per serving, creamy, full of protein and just down right tasty. If you aren’t down for plain, choose one of the many fruit added varieties (that’s me!). I love yogurt for breakfast, but they make great snacks too! When choosing a yogurt, watch the ingredients list and nutrition labels – many contain high fructose corn syrup and/or excess sugars (I like my yogurt to be around 20g sugar or less). I am currently obsessed with Chobani’s pomegranate flavor, but Stonyfield Organic Oikos and Fage are great options too!

#4 Homemade Kale Chips

Consider my Kale Chip Recipe. I may be addicted to these – I pick up a bunch of kale every time I go to the grocery store because I just love these so much. Potato chips are a big no-no and while kale chips aren’t the same, they do provide a lightly salted, crunchy snack that I just can’t get enough of. My kids love them too. Watch the salt and get creative by using other seasonings too!

#5 Kind Bars

I love Kind Bars. At 180-210 calories a pop, they sure do pack a nutritional punch with whole ingredients like almonds, cranberries, macadamias, honey, peanuts, raisins, cashews, and so on. These bars are simply delicious, even offering dark chocolate varieties for those who need a chocolaty snack….. umm.. I mean antioxidants. If a full bar isn’t what you need for a snack, consider their Mini Variety Pack for half sized bars that are perfect for curbing cravings.

#6 Salad

Mmm, salads. Organic greens can be pricey and growing your own is so easy, even in small spaces. I highly suggest giving it a try. Either way, toss together greens, half an avocado, some chives and maybe some tomato and I have a mean salad for about 200 calories – including a low cal dressing (watch the ingredients!). I love these for a snack, add some grilled chicken for an extra filling meal.

#7 Veggies

Vegetables are great for you and incredibly low cal. They are a must with meals and great for filling in between meals. I like to choose veggies that I can eat plain or with minimal dressing to avoid unwanted ingredients. Since veggies are super low cal, I tend to pair them with a small portion of hummus or raw nuts for protein and fat. If ranch type dips are your go-to, consider DIYing using plain greek yogurt as a base.

  • Cucumber (45 cals)
  • Baby Carrots (4 cals each)
  • Cauliflower (25 cals / cup)
  • Bell Pepper (25 cals each)

If you have time too cook, I am a huge fan of brussels sprouts or asparagus roasted with a bit of olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. In fact – I have been guilty of making a whole meal from them. Note: When choosing fruits and vegetables be sure to buy organic, or based on the EWG Clean 15, to reduce your exposure to harmful pesticides.

These snacks as part of a healthy diet can make a big impact in the way you feel and the results that you see. Consider a modest, nutritive breakfast and lunch, but fill in the gaps with some of these ideas to keep hunger away and feed your body the nutrients that it desires, and then enjoy a well rounded, delicious dinner that will leave you feeling full and satisfied.

What are your favorite healthy snacks to keep you going through the day?

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