Calories add up quickly. And if you want to lose weight, you have to burn more calories than you consume. It takes intentional time and vigorous effort to burn off 200 calories—let alone your coworker’s (600+ calorie) retirement cake. Believe it or not, the average working adult eats an additional 1,277 calories a week by snacking on accessible food at the office, according to 2017 United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) survey data. So it’s crucial for healthy living to snack smart, and we’ve got a list of some delicious choices under 200 calories.
From juicy apples to protein-packed Greek yogurt, our list of healthy options for snacks under 200 calories is filled with vitamins, nutrients and most importantly, deliciousness.
You can make the whole weight loss process easier for yourself by eating smarter with these versatile super snacks under 200 calories:
It might seem a little strange to count out 23 almonds, but 23 almonds equal one ounce, which is the serving size we recommend on The South Beach Diet. Clocking in at under 200 calories, almonds offer the heart-healthy benefits intrinsic to Healthy Fats and also provide six percent of your daily potassium, 14 percent of your dietary fiber, 7.7 percent of your daily calcium, 5.8 percent of your daily iron, plus six grams of protein. In a March 2005 Journal of the American Dietetic Association study, researchers found that almonds increase Vitamin E levels in plasma and red blood cells defending against damage and artery-clogging cholesterol. Another study published in 2015 by Gynecologic and Obstetric Investigation found women who ate peanuts, walnuts and almonds reduced their breast cancer risk by two to three times.
2. Snap Peas
Twenty-four-year-old Tyler James lost 27 pounds on the South Beach Diet* and says she craved something unexpected during the process: sugar snap peas. “After my taste buds started to change, sugar snap peas started to taste like candy!” she says. Are snap peas candy? Of course not. But you might try Tyler’s trick when your sweet tooth is calling. One cup of raw sugar snap peas is one serving and that’s just 67 calories. Potassium, fiber, iron, calcium, and vitamins C and A are added bonuses. Plus, they’re the perfect dippers for another one of our favorite under 200 calorie snacks: Hummus!
This flavorful under 200 calorie snack doesn’t taste like it should be healthy…but it is. If you’re in Phase 2 or 3, enjoy a quarter cup of this Good Carb for just 100 calories. The dietary fiber is why we love hummus, and according to Nutritionix, there are 3.6 grams in just one serving, which gives you 14 percent of your daily value. And, while the fat content clocks in at 5.8 grams, the fat is polyunsaturated and monounsaturated, and they’ve been proven to boost heart health and lower your risk of cardiovascular disease. Watch the sodium content in store-bought hummus and don’t touch pita bread—unless you eat half of a high-fiber pita (with 3.5 grams of fiber). Tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, celery and jicama make terrific dippers and you get added health boosts by eating the raw veggies.
While we’re talking about dips and dietary fiber, it’s time for guacamole (with 14 percent of your daily dietary fiber) to enter this list. Avocado is a Healthy Fat on the South Beach Diet and a serving of guacamole is a quarter cup. A quick look at the numbers tell us it has around 90 calories, lots of Vitamin C and potassium and a nice helping of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. Again, watch the sodium content in premade guacamole. If you make your own, smaller batches are better to avoid browning. Adding extra lime juice can help slow down the oxidation process but your best bet is to only use half an avocado at a time and leave the pit in the other half. No browning!
We couldn’t pick just one type to highlight. All cheese is delicious and it’s all snack swoonworthy. The hardest part is sticking to one ounce, which equates to about 115 calories depending on the type. A simple way to eyeball a one-ounce serving is to cube cheese into four dice-sized pieces. The best way to snack on cheese is to pair it with veggies to make it last. You can’t beat a snack of fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and balsamic vinaigrette. Pepper jack cheese and sliced bell peppers can kick things up. Or, try cheddar with some roasted broccoli. A January 2013 study published in the journal Pediatrics found that children are more satisfied and consume less calories when they eat a snack of veggies and cheese. Interestingly, the effect was more pronounced among children who were overweight or obese. The study was not conducted on adults, but if portion sizes are kept small, it’s likely the combo works for the whole family.
6. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Have some extra time on Sunday afternoon? Boil a dozen eggs. When kept in their shell and refrigerated, hard-boiled eggs last for a week, meaning you have seven days of easy snacking. A whole egg provides six grams of protein, nine essential amino acids, iron, phosphorus, selenium, vitamins A, B12 and B5 and 113 mg of choline for your brain health—not to mention lutein and zeaxanthin, which according to International Journal of Obesity, promote eye health. Prefer soft- or medium-boiled eggs? Reduce the cook time to three minutes (for soft boiled) or six minutes (for medium boiled). Adding a little baking soda to the water during cooking—and dunking the eggs in an ice bath after the allotted time in hot water—can help with peeling.
7. Greek Yogurt
Like cheese, yogurt counts as a Healthy Fat on the South Beach Diet. And, yes, you want full fat yogurt (and milk and sour cream and cottage cheese and cream cheese). While excess amounts of rich food can increase the risk of obesity and LDL (the bad) cholesterol, the opposite effect occurs when dairy is consumed in moderation, suggests a July 2018 study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Stick to the serving sizes and you’ll decrease the risk for obesity, heart disease and stroke. Plus, thanks to the calcium and potassium levels, you’ll help keep your body and bones strong, staving off osteoporosis and osteopenia.
Because they’re salty like chips, a serving of olives will make the munchies melt away. Clocking in at under 200 calories calories, olives are high in vitamin E, iron, copper, calcium, and sodium. But the biggest nutrition takeaway is that olives are 11 to 15 percent fat and 64 percent is oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid (the main component in olive oil) that’s been tied to many health benefits including decreased inflammation, a reduced risk of heart disease and blood pressure and even may fight cancer, according to Healthline. Researchers are now exploring if fermented olives have probiotic effects in the body and if olives play a role in reducing the risk of osteoporosis, as rates of the bone-degenerative disease are lower in Mediterranean countries.
Without the movie theater butter and salt, air-popped popcorn is a really filling snack for under 200 calories. In fact, according to Nutritionix, it’s 100 percent whole grain and one (3 cups!) serving contains 93 calories, 1 gram of fat, 3 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of fiber. It’s important to avoid microwave popcorn as manufacturers often include trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils. Also beware of kettle-cooked popcorn because it’s loaded with sugar. If you want to add more flavor to your popcorn, try a drizzle of avocado or olive oil and seasoned salt. Try a sprinkle of black pepper, too.
10. Apple & Peanut Butter
Believe it or not, you can eat a whole, medium-size apple and slather some all-natural peanut butter on top and enjoy it as an under 200 calorie snack. From reducing your risk of stroke and diabetes and lowering levels of bad cholesterol to warding off cancer and obesity, apples are nutritional powerhouses. Most of the fiber and antioxidants are found in the peel so eat your apple whole. Despite rumors of pesticides on skin, laboratories have consistently found very low levels of pesticides on apples, says Medical News Today. All-natural peanut butter provides fiber, plenty of potassium, vitamins and antioxidants. The fat content is high, yes, but some saturated fat is okay, says Harvard Health. Food must be examined as a whole package, not just specific parts.
*Expect to lose an avg 1-2 lbs per week. Weight lost on prior program. Casting Call volunteer, complimentary program provided.