Hummus is a dip that originates from the Middle East. The main ingredients in traditional hummus are chickpeas, olive oil, garlic, salt, lemon juice and tahini -- a paste made from sesame seeds. As a snack or a side dish, hummus can be a tasty, nutritious way to add variety to your weight loss plan, provided it works with the rest of the foods you eat each day.
Determine how hummus fits into your daily calorie intake. You need roughly 15 calories per pound of body weight each day to maintain your weight -- and 500 calories less than this amount to lose 1 pound per week. This means a 140-pound woman needs around 1,600 calories per day to maintain her weight, while a 200-pound man needs 2,500. A 2-tablespoon serving of hummus contains around 70 calories. You could eat three servings per day -- one with lunch, one with dinner and one as a snack -- which would only use up 210 of your calories.
Spread hummus on sandwiches or crackers. Mayo-based condiments are typically high in calories and make a serious dent in your allotted calorie intake, but hummus is a good lower-calorie substitute, notes dietitian Cynthia Sass in a Shape.com article.
Dip vegetable sticks into hummus for a filling, tasty snack. The traditional combo of hummus and baked chips isn't the worst choice in the world, but you'll do a lot better using veggies instead of the chips. Red pepper slices are ideal, as the vitamin C they contain helps your body absorb the iron from the hummus, adds nutritionist Peggy Kotsopoulos in a Fitness.com article. You could also opt for sliced cucumber, zucchini, carrots or asparagus spears.
Look for a lower-calorie hummus choices. The traditional version is usually a safe bet, but some brands and manufacturers use higher amounts of olive oil, or add in extra flavorings, which can increase the calorie content. Double check brands when you're shopping and pick the one with the lowest calories.
Make your own hummus. This is a fail-safe way to make sure you know the exact ingredients and calorie content. Blend the basic ingredients until smooth, substituting in a little water for some of the oil if you're looking to lower the fat content. Add in extra herbs and spices, such as coriander, cayenne pepper or crushed chillies, if you want to spice it up without upping the calories.
Check the ingredients of any store-bought hummus to make sure it doesn't contain anything to which you're allergic. Consult your doctor or a nutritionist before starting a weight loss plan.