Snack Attack!

Snacking can be the downfall of any diet. It can happen when you least expect it or hit about the same time every day. Super sizing everything is a big culprit. So to manage the snack attack keep the calories to 100 or less. If you focus on the calorie count, it can make it much easier to stick to your diet.

Make sure the 100 calories contain a bit of protein, fiber, and fat, as well as some carbohydrates. These kinds of balanced snacks — like some peanut butter on a whole-wheat cracker, for example, or a light cheese with a pear — will satisfy your appetite as well as help reduce the amount of food you’ll eat at the meal that follows.

Stay away from empty calorie foods. And as a general rule, snacks should be less than 30% fat and not sugar laden. For a sugar craving, eat a piece of fruit. It will satisfy the sweet craving without adding too many calories to your diet.

Of course, sometimes only a cookie will do. If that’s the case have a cookie. One cookie, not half a dozen. Pre-portioned foods help take the guess work out of it. Many food manufacturers now offer pre-measured, 100-calorie packages.

Have healthy low calorie snacks on hand to help resist the temptation of grabbing the bad ones. Also try to keep the unhealthy options unavailable. Out of sight, out of mind.

Here are some healthy 100 calorie snacks:

1. Half an apple with 2 teaspoons of peanut butter
2. An orange and a few dry-roasted nuts
3. 10 cashew nuts
4. 10 almonds
5. 2 ounces of lean roast beef
6. Half a small avocado
7. 3 ounces cooked whole-grain noodles with 1 fresh tomato and 1/2 ounce hard cheese
8. 1 seven-grain Belgian waffle
9. 4 mini rice cakes with 2 tablespoons low-fat cottage cheese
10. 3 ounces low-fat cottage cheese and 3 whole-wheat crackers
11. 1/4 cup fat-free ranch dressing with mixed raw veggies
12. 6 Wheat Thins crackers with two teaspoons of peanut butter (or any nut butter)
13. 1 small baked potato with 1/2 cup salsa and 2 tablespoons of fat-free sour cream
14. 1/3 cup of unsweetened applesauce with 1 slice of whole-wheat toast, cut into 4 strips for dunking
15. 1/2 cup frozen orange juice, eaten as sorbet
16. 2 large graham cracker squares with 1 teaspoon peanut butter
17. 3 handfuls of unbuttered popcorn, seasoned with herbs
18. 4-6 ounces of no-fat or low-fat yogurt
19. A 5-ounce tossed salad with lettuce, tomato, cucumber and 1/4 cup fat-free dressing
20. Half a “finger” of string cheese with 4 whole-wheat crackers