If you want to undo all of the damage done by rich holiday foods, perhaps you should try cutting back on fattening snacks by replacing them with snacks under 50 calories. It's the season for dieting now that the holidays are over, and your New Year's resolution might include a specific number of pounds. that you want to drop. Dieting is definitely difficult, but that salad you had for lunch will feel a little more filling if you follow it up with a few small snacks spread out during the rest of the day. Here are a few snacks under 50 calories to add to your post-holiday diet:
1. One Tablespoon of Hummus with Six Baby Carrots
This is one of the most satisfying snacks under 50 calories because it can be eaten slowly if the hummus is used as a dip. The hummus will quench your craving for something salty, and baby carrots have a satisfying sweet crunch. The yummy veggies are loaded with antioxidants, and they're good for your heart and your vision. They also contain a lot of Vitamin A, which is essential for healthy skin. The hummus consists mostly of fiber-packed chickpeas that will make you feel full, and it also contains heart-healthy olive oil.
2. Two Prunes
Prunes don't have a very glamorous reputation. Most people look at the wrinkly fruits and think of wrinkly skin since they're so popular with older people. However, the sweet dried fruits might actually keep you looking younger with their aging-fighting antioxidants. They're also an excellent diet food because they contain soluble fiber. The fiber normalizes blood sugar levels and prevents weight gain by making food leave the stomach at a slower rate. Prunes are an excellent replacement for fruit snacks loaded with artificial ingredients, and you can even purchase prunes that have been infused with natural flavors like orange, lemon, and cherry.
3. One Cup of Air Popped Popcorn
It's a good idea to stock your kitchen shelves with low-calorie foods that actually take some effort to make. You'll be less likely to over-snack if you don't have a ton of convenient foods around like potato chips or pork rinds. A bag of plain ol' popcorn kernels is a great snack food because it's not something that you can just rip open and chow down on, and popcorn is extremely low in calories when it's not covered with unhealthy butter flavoring. If you don't have an air popper, you can make popcorn in your microwave by pouring 1/3 cup kernels into a brown paper lunch sack and folding down the top of the bag a few times. Cook the bagged popcorn on high for 1 1/2 minutes and shake a little sea salt in the bag once it's cooled down. This makes more than one cup of popcorn, so share it with a friend or save some for later.
4. One Kiwifruit
This tangy green fruit is an excellent snack item to slice up and bring to work or school in a plastic baggie. A kiwifruit has more vitamin C than an orange, so it's good for your immune system. The tropical fruit is packed with DNA-protecting phytonutrients, and it's another good source of fiber. It also contains an enzyme that aids in digestion. If you're a big fan of sweet and sour foods, then this might be the perfect low-calorie snack for you.
5. 2 Scrambled Egg Whites
Egg whites are an excellent source of protein. They also make a great snack for those who love breakfast foods. Just scramble them up and add a little salt and pepper for flavor. I also like to eat mine with a good helping of hot sauce. If you like spicy foods, you might want to go crazy with the Tabasco, too—some studies have shown that hot peppers can rev up the body's metabolism.
6. ½ Cup Mixed Berries
If you want a low calorie snack that consists of more than one food, serve yourself a mix of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries. Each berry has a distinct flavor, and the fruits pack a powerful antioxidant punch. The berries' colorful skins show that they contain anthocyanins that protect against obesity and heart disease. They might also protect against certain cancers. So your body will be "berry" thankful if you replace that bag of fruit-flavored candy with this healthy snack.
7. 1 Cup of Sugar Snap Peas
I absolutely love sugar snap peas. They're such a fun food to eat since they're pods full of little peas, and they have that satisfying "snap" when you break them in half. They make a great snack food for dieting since you can eat them like potato chips while not having to worry about calories. Just be sure to prepare them by washing them well and removing the stems and the fibrous strings that run down the length of certain varieties of the slightly sweet legume. You can also lightly steam or sauté them for a warm treat.
So if you want to keep your New Year's resolution, get ready to do a little kitchen cabinet cleaning. You definitely should replace your candy and chips with foods like those on this list. Which of these snacks under 50 calories is your favorite?