A calorie-free beverage doesn't qualify as a real snack, but if you find yourself scouting the kitchen just because you're bored, rather than hungry, this tasty drink may just hit the spot. Plus, green tea has been shown to help dieters lose more weight, according to a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, thanks to its metabolism-boosting antioxidant compound called EGCG.
Where I live, in Sydney, Australia, there is a sushi shop on every corner. Sushi is always cheap, fresh and readily available. However, if you live in a place where sushi is difficult to come by, simply make your own. Most good Asian grocery shops stock everything you’ll need: sushi rice, nori paper, wasabi, mirin, soy sauce and cucumber. The rice should be made with vinegar and sugar. Limit your portion to approximately 30 grams of dry rice – not much.
When tomatoes are out of season, you can still make great bruschetta by breaking out a can. Slowly roasting canned whole tomatoes concentrates their flavors, and mixing them with basil and red wine vinegar as a topping for toast produces a delicious year-round snack. We like to rub the toasts with garlic before spooning on the tomatoes to get an extra layer of flavor.
When hunger strikes, a hardboiled egg is a great grab-and-go snack. It’s high in protein, which will curb your appetite and keep you from reaching for something less-than-healthy. Plus it packs nutrients like vitamins D and B12, but only contains 77 calories. Simply prep a bunch of hard-boiled eggs at once, and store them in the fridge for a quick hunger fix.
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.
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.
If you're looking for a creative way to add more fruit to your diet, try frozen banana pops. Slice several peeled bananas in half and insert popsicle sticks. Coat each half with an ounce of low-fat plain yogurt. Put the pops in the freezer, and soon you'll have ready-to-eat low-calorie treats. At just under 80 calories a pop, this is a snack you can feel good about.
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.