To lose weight, you need to decrease your calorie intake. Each set of 3,500 calories that you cut from your diet could, in theory, help you lose 1 lb. of body fat. If you feel hungry between two meals or just feel like eating a little something without exceeding your calorie budget, choose low-calorie snacks that provide less than 50 calories. Carefully measure the serving size to keep your calories low.
Most fruits contain more than 50 calories per serving but there are a few low-calorie options that you can eat at snack time if you feel like having something sweet. Avoid larger fruits, dried fruits, canned fruit and fruit juices and stick to low-calorie fruits. For example, you could snack on 1 cup of strawberries for 47 calories, 3/4 cup of grapes for 46 calories or a clementine for 35 calories.
Non-starchy vegetables have a very low calorie content and make a good snack option for your low-calorie diet. For example, 1/2 cup of baby carrots contains 30 calories, 1/2 a cucumber has 23 calories and a whole red bell pepper has 19 calories. You can dip your serving of raw vegetable in 1 tbsp. of hummus or guacamole, each of which contains an average of 20 to 25 calories.
You can also snack on protein-rich foods, which can be a good way to allocate your budget of 50 calories considering their high satiating power. For example, you could have a small hard-boiled or poached egg for 50 calories, 1.5 oz. of tuna fish canned in water for 49 calories, two slices of ham for 46 calories or 1/2 oz. of cheese for 43 calories. If you choose cheese made with partially skimmed milk, you could have a serving of up to 3/4 oz. for 50 calories.
Nuts are very dense in energy and calories, but if you can restrict yourself to a small serving, they can be a good way to get satiating protein and healthy fats. Your low-calorie snack could be 1/4 oz. of any nut for 42 to 48 calories, which corresponds to about six almonds, three macadamia nuts or 12 pistachios. Alternatively, you could have 1/2 tbsp. of nut butter, such as peanut butter or almond butter, for under 50 calories. You can spread it on celery sticks, which provide only 1 calorie per 4 inch-long stick.