Snacking is one of the biggest challenges in our health and fitness journey. When one feels hungry between meals and wants a little treat, there is a tendency to reach out for junk food. Although, there are several healthy snack options with many benefits. We need to plan our cravings with a handy list of healthy snacks to meet our physical goals.
Unfortunately, not eating healthy snacks is detrimental to weight loss. Because even though it satisfies that craving and curbs hunger at first, it never lasts. Before you even realize it, you have finished the whole bag of chips or that entire chocolate bar and are feeling hungry and tired within half an hour.
We crave something interesting during midday and evenings. Burgers, samosas, pizzas, or a pack of instant noodles are sometimes our go to options. Avoiding unhealthy snacks is essential, but listening to your body is equally important. Starving yourself can cause you to feel dizzy and is never sustainable. On the other hand, if you substitute these unhealthy options with healthy snacks, it helps significantly with weight loss.
Healthy Snacks – A Plethora of Options to Choose from
If you think there might not be that many healthy Indian snacks, you are wrong. We have combined a list of many snack ideas under 100 calories to make your life easier. With so many healthy snacks for weight loss and yummy options, you can avoid junk and fried food.
Snack Options for the Morning
So, you’ve had your breakfast, and it’s not quite lunchtime yet, but you feel a little peckish. These snacks are better had in the morning as they dispense a steady release of energy throughout the day.
1. Hard-Boiled Egg
Eggs are an excellent source of protein. They keep you fuller for longer. This snack not only hits the cravings but helps you lose weight.
Protein helps build muscle, and muscle burns fat faster than any other tissue in your body. So increasing your protein intake leads to faster fat burning mechanisms. Moreover, hard-boiled eggs are effortless and quick to make.
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Boil a bunch of them, wrap them in foil paper, and you have an instant snack on the go.
2. An Orange
Fruits have natural sugars. It is best to have them in the morning. Orange is a fantastic source of fibre. More fibre in your diet leads to better bowel movements. They are also one of the best sources of vitamin C.
Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant. It is crucial for immune function, skin health and lung health. Oranges are also good for your metabolism, leading to faster weight loss.
3. A Handful of Almonds
Almonds and other nuts are a great source of plant protein. So if you do not eat eggs, this is a superb alternative. As we know, protein helps shed pounds. Additionally, almonds are rich, powerful antioxidant vitamin E and offer heart-healthy, cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fats.
A study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association states that eating almonds instead of buns or muffins are great for health. In addition, it decreases cholesterol and belly fat in those with elevated LDL cholesterol levels.
4. Half Cup Nonfat Greek Yoghurt
Greek yoghurt is now readily available in the market and is also easy to make at home. Just drain out the excess water for a couple of hours from non-fat yoghurt, and there you have it, a great source of protein, calcium and loads of Prebiotics. Prebiotics keep the gut healthy, which means a healthy metabolism.
A study found that overweight adults who consumed three servings of fat-free yoghurt a day as a reduced-calorie diet lost 61% more body fat. This report compares those who cut calories and didn’t incorporate any calcium source in their diets. Yoghurt eaters also lost 81% more belly fat than non-yoghurt eaters.
5. A Glass of Apple Cider Vinegar with Honey
In the morning, this refreshing drink can give you the pick me up to fight that early afternoon slump. Since the taste of apple cider vinegar by itself can be a little too sour, add a dash of honey to sweeten it.
Studies show that apple cider vinegar leads to burning fat in the body. It also has a lot of other benefits.
6. A Cup of Grapes
Grapes are nature candy. When that craving for sugary sweets hits you, snacking on some frozen grapes satisfies it better than ever. They are also packed with antioxidants called polyphenols and provide you with many fibres.
Additionally, they are easy to grab and go for a quick snack. The sugar gets metabolised through the rest of the day’s activities.
7. Half Cup of Oatmeal
If you have a little time to spare on your hands, this is a filling and hearty snack. Cook half a cup of oats in some water and add a sprinkle of cinnamon for some flavour. You can also add half a banana for some sweetness.
Oats have a ton of fibre in them that helps you with digestion and keeps you full for an extended period.
8. Baby carrots
To fit in the 100 calorie count, have eight baby carrots with one tablespoon of dip. The snack has so many benefits that it is okay to go a little over.
Carrots are incredibly healthy for you as they provide beta carotene and lutein, which are essential nutrients for the health of your eyes. It is also a great source of fibre. Make sure the dip is healthy, for example, some hummus that offers protein and healthy fats.
9. Berry Smoothie
Not only do smoothies taste creamy and delicious, but they are rich in nutrients, and you can also add some veggies in there without tasting them.
For example, for a low-cal smoothie snack with loads of vitamins and minerals, blend a handful of frozen spinach, a ½-cup of frozen blueberries, and 1 cup of unsweetened almond milk.
10. 3 Crackers with Cheese
We think it’s fattening when we think of cheese, but that’s not always true. In moderation, cheese offers a bunch of protein and calcium.
The fibre from the crackers keeps you full till your next meal. Stick with low-fat cheese to stay within the 100 calorie limit.
If you want to skip the crackers, opt for one stick of string cheese. It has approximately 87 calories and provides the same protein and calcium.
Snack Options for the Evening
The time between lunch and dinner is when almost all of us crave a snack. These healthy evening snacks are filling and nutritious.
1. Raw Veggies and 2 Tablespoons of Low-Fat Ranch Dressing
Some green bell peppers, cucumbers and chopped broccoli with ranch make the perfect crunchy yet creamy snack. Raw veggies are rich in healthy nutrients. Bell peppers and broccoli help in fat burning.
In addition, bell peppers contain a compound called capsaicin. Studies show that capsaicin increases fat-burning and curbs appetite, leading to weight loss.
2. Baked Apple
We all know the famous saying, an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Apples are a great source of essential nutrients. In addition, this delicious snack is perfect for losing weight.
It is a filling snack that boosts metabolism and satisfies your sweet tooth. It tastes like apple pie without carbs when you sprinkle cinnamon and nutmeg.
3. 1/3 Cup Edamame
Edamame is a young soybean that packs a ton of protein along with fibre to keep you full for a long time. With a sprinkle of salt, it’s a delicious snack that offers 10% of the recommended daily allowance of iron.
It also makes for an instant snack since it is usually available ready to eat.
4. 20 Pistachios
Pistachios are delicious and packed with essential vitamins and nutrients. However, don’t be afraid of their fat content because most fat is unsaturated or good fats.
These fats are necessary for the body’s functioning, keep you full, and in some instances, have been proven to help in weight loss.
5. Frozen Banana Pop
If you are a fan of ice cream lollies, this snack is perfect for you. Mash up a banana and put it in an ice lolly mould, and that’s it.
You have a cold refreshing snack that aids in your weight loss. Banana is also known to have compounds that can help in shedding weight.
6. Three Cups of Air-popped Popcorn
When the evening rolls around, and you don’t want to spend too much time making a snack, this is a quick and easy one.
The calorie content of 1 whole cup of popcorn is just 33 calories. So if you’re in the mood for fun food, this is the perfect snack. It fills you up and tricks your brain into thinking you ate a lot.
7. Small Latte with Almond Milk
When you want a nice hot beverage, we tend to go with the usual tea or coffee with lots of milk and sugar. An excellent way to substitute this is by switching it with almond milk coffee.
It contains almonds, and together with tea or coffee, you have a warm, hearty drink that can power you throughout the day.
8. 1/2 Cup Slow-churned Ice Cream
Yes, you read that correctly, ice cream! This delicious treat satisfies all the sugar cravings, but the important thing here is to look for the word “slow-churned” or “double-churned”.
The process reduces fat and calories while maintaining the creamy texture of full-fat varieties. Of course, the other important thing is only to eat half a cup to stay within the 100-calorie limit.
9. Half a Baked Potato with Salsa
This snack is guaranteed to keep you filled till even a late dinner. Apply a dash of olive oil and bake half a medium-sized potato with the skin.
Potato skin has many nutrients and becomes crispy with the heat. Add a spoon of salsa to impart flavour, and you have yourself a warm, hearty, and delicious snack.
10. ¾ Cup of Boiled Corn
Corn is a delicious snack. It contains a high amount of fibre.
Boiled corn is readily available, or you can cook it yourself with minimal effort. Sprinkle some salt, pepper, chilli powder and lemon, and that’s it. It is a simple, time saving and healthy option.
Healthy Indian Snacks for The Desi-Dieter
These snacks are a dream for those desi souls who love a good masala packed snack or a punch of Indian flavours. They are filled with a desi punch to make your taste buds go crazy while being healthy and under 100 calories. Our rich culture and heritage have known these slimming ingredients for ages, and now you can add them to your diet to help you lose those pounds.
1. Rajma and Chickpea Bhel
Beans like rajma and chickpea are an excellent source of protein, and protein is essential for weight loss since it builds muscle that burns fat. Protein also keeps you full, thus maintaining your appetite within limits. Beans also contain essential vitamins and fibre that ensures the proper functioning of the body.
To make this bhel, add cooked rajma and chickpeas with chopped cucumber, tomato, salt, pepper, lemon juice and some fresh coriander. It is an easy to cook delicious snack full of desi zing that helps weight loss.
2. Roasted Chickpeas
While we are on the topic of chickpeas, if you don’t have enough time to make a bhel but want an instant snack, this is for you.
On a Sunday, roast a whole pack of chickpeas in the oven and add chaat masala, chilli powder, coriander powder and cumin powder. Store this in the fridge for a week, and you have a quick pre-made healthy snack with all the benefits of chickpeas.
The khatta-meetha Indian snack is perfect if you are craving candy and anything sweet.
Imli, also known as tamarind, contains hydroxy citric acid (HCA) compounds. Studies have shown HCA suppresses appetite and reduces body weight gain. It also increases the release of the hormone serotonin in the brain, which makes you feel happy and less hungry.
4. Moong Dal
Roasted Moong dal is terrific for weight loss. Not only is it crunchy and delicious, but moong dal is an excellent source of the two things we have learned that help in weight loss: protein and fibre.
It is a crispy and tasteful snack that will pair with any beverage you wish to have.
You can have 3 of these without feeling guilty as each one is light and comes to around 33 calories. They come in a variety of flavours as well to keep things interesting.
6. Roasted Makhana
Makhanas are lotus seeds that pack a lot of health benefits like stabilising blood sugar levels and promoting heart health. They are a rich source of several micronutrients, including calcium, magnesium, iron, and phosphorus.
They are also rich in fibre that keeps you full for longer, thus regulating your appetite. Apart from this, they are easy to make. Just roast a cup of makhana in 1 tablespoon of ghee, and you have a delicious snack under 100 calories.
Dhokla is a fermented snack and is excellent for gut microflora. It is moist, tangy and delicious. Plus, many brands sell readymade dhokla or even dhokla mix if you don’t have the time to make it yourself.
Poha is guilt-free and mouth-watering. So if you have some time on your hands, add chopped veggies, garnish with lemon and coriander, and enjoy. Half a cup of Poha has just about 100 calories, so you can have it guilt-free and be full for a long time.
9. Puffed Rice
It is a tasty and readily available low-calorie option that goes perfectly with a steaming cup of green tea. One cup of puffed rice contains 54 calories. It is ideal for people who want a quick, savoury pick-me-up as it has 12.29 grams of carbohydrates, dietary fibre, and iron.
These different sweet and savoury snacks will have you feeling content, fulfilled, and triumphant on your weight loss journey. However, it is essential to remember that your body is a machine that works to keep you functioning optimally throughout the process. Therefore, it’s vital to be kind to yourself and remind yourself of everything your body does for you.
It is easy to get carried away and starve yourself just so you see quick and fast results, but these never last long. You will get tired of following restrictive eating habits in a month or two. The best way to approach weight loss is to eat clean, healthy and make your heart happy. It will help your mental health and give you a wholesome perspective towards weight loss.
So next time you get that craving for an unhealthy snack, remember there are many other delicious healthy ones you could choose from.
Healthy Snacks – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q1. What are the top 10 healthiest snacks?
A. Fresh fruits, hard-boiled eggs, nuts like almonds and walnuts, non-fat Greek yoghurt, baby carrots, raw veggies like capsicum and broccoli, khakhras, popcorn, dhokla, and beans.
A. The best snack for weight loss would be a food with high protein and fibre content and a high nutritional value. For example, a hard-boiled egg, some beans or some almonds.
A. Apple cider vinegar may help burn belly fat. In addition, beans, almonds, non-fat Greek yoghurt, capsicum, and broccoli have shown belly fat burning abilities.
A. It can be tricky to get kids to eat healthy foods, but snacks like trail mix (mixed nuts, raisins and whole-grain cereal), peanut butter and apple slices, or popcorn are usually a hit. Plus, some flavoured yoghurt or low-fat string cheese can be an excellent delicious option that supplies the calcium required for their growth.
A. The evening time is usually a big gap between lunch and dinner. Hence, a snack that keeps you full for a long time is ideal. Go with some raw cut up veggies like capsicum, cucumber, carrots etc., along with a low-calorie dip.
A. Greek yoghurt is the best thing to eat before bed, primarily if you have worked out during the day. It is high in protein and low in fat which helps repair and build muscle. The more muscle your body has, the more fat it burns.
A. Indian snacks like khakhra, makhana, and dhokla are healthy and delicious. A quick bhel made with rice puffs, chopped onion, tomato and some imli sauce can hit those cravings perfectly.
A. The best snacks to have in the evening are some edamame, sweetcorn, half a baked potato with salsa, or you can have a small latte with almond milk. All of these will satiate your hunger levels till dinnertime.
A. Yes, a mid-morning snack will help regulate your hunger levels and also keep you from getting dizzy or irritable.
A. Having fruits as a snack is the best thing in the morning. Fruits are rich in natural sugar, which get metabolised throughout the day’s activities and fuel your body by giving you energy.
A. After dinner, people generally want to have something sweet. A small portion of slow-churned ice cream is healthier than regular ice cream. The slow churning process removes the fat content while keeping the texture creamy. If you want to be even healthier, go for frozen Greek yoghurt, which will help build muscle and burn fat.
A. When dieting, some of the best snacks to have are popcorn, pistachios, a berry smoothie or a cup full of frozen grapes, depending on if you wish to snack on something sweet or savoury.
A. Some great low-calorie snacks are coconut chips, peanut butter and apple slices, hard-boiled eggs, Greek yoghurt with berries or some toasted pumpkin seeds.
A. With the Slim-Fast plan, you can have snacks under 100 calories. A few delicious options are a handful of almonds, three bran crackers with a thin slice of low-fat cheese, 3 cups of air-popped popcorn or 1 cup of roasted makhanas.
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