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5 Healthy, Surprisingly Low-Calorie (and Tasty!) Snack Ideas

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5 Healthy, Surprisingly Low-Calorie (and Tasty!) Snack Ideas

Tasty low-calorie snacks are perfect for enjoying a variety of good foods without overeating. Here are some snack ideas that caught my eye (and tongue!).

 

While meal frequency doesn’t help or hinder our goals of weight loss or muscle growth, I like eating a meal every few hours, and eating a variety of foods throughout the day.

Protein shakes and bars are a go-to for most active individuals, and so I won’t waste your time by listing those. Instead, let’s have some fun.

Here are 5 healthy low-calorie snacks that are quick and easy to make, and quite tasty.

1.  Portobello Mushroom Pizza

portabello-mushroom-pizza

Picture courtesy of Snack Girl

 

We’re all likely to be swayed by cravings for a cheesy pizza, but when you’re closely watching what you eat, one seemingly innocent slice can contain enough carbs and grease to keep you from meeting your nutritional goals.

Trick your tongue with these little pizza bites, which replace the calorie-dense crust with Portobello mushroom caps.

Use homemade sauce with vegetables and Italian sausage for an even better mini pizza alternative.

Per Serving

115 calories / 10 g protein / 7 g carbohydrates / 6 g fat / 200 mg sodium  / 2 g fiber

 

2. Banana Bran Muffins

banana-bran-muffins

 

To make a high-protein snack tailored to your individual tastes, bake up your favorite treats with a few simple substitutions, swapping out oil or butter for non-fat Greek yogurt and trading half the flour for whey protein powder.

For even more protein, choose recipes that contain eggs and nuts, like these bran muffins. With 1/2 cup of Greek yogurt in the batter, plus 3/4 cup protein powder, each muffin contains 8 grams of protein. And if you take the extra step to bake the bananas, your baked goods will have an indulgent caramelized flavor.

Per Serving

158 calories / 9 grams protein / 23 g carbohydrates /4.5 g fat / 200 mg sodium /  2.5 g fiber

 

3. PB & Strawberry Chia Seed Jam Sandwich

strawberry-chia-seed-jam-1

Picture courtesy of Naked Avocado

Sandwiches make great meals, but half-sandwiches can make a delicious well-balanced snack.

This kid-friendly PB&J gets an extra dose of nutrition from chia seeds with this delicious DIY jam. And you don’t have to fuss with the stove because this fruit spread thickens in the fridge overnight.

Pick a sprouted grain bread for maximum protein, use one tablespoon of peanut butter, and this quick one-slice sandwich will fill you up with about 10 grams of protein.

If you want to make an even lower-calorie version of this sandwich, use PB2 instead of peanut butter.

Per Serving

218 calories / 10 g protein / 25 g carbohydrates /  9 g fat / 230 mg sodium / 4 g fiber/

 

Want to know how to build muscle and lose fat eating delicious foods like these?"Dieting" doesn't have to suck. You CAN eat foods you like and have the body you want!

4. Lentil Salad with Walnuts and Goat Cheese

lentil-goat-cheese-salad

Picture courtesy of Lisa’s Kitchen

 

Make this one in your downtime to have on hand for quick snacks and side dishes throughout the week.

Lentils are already a high-protein legume, but here they get a little help from the flavorful additions of walnuts and goat cheese.

The recipe makes six servings, but if you split it into two equal servings you get about 200 calories per. With a good balance of fat, carbs, and protein, it will fill you up until dinnertime.

Per Serving

206 calories / 10 g protein / 15 g carbohydrates1 / 2 g fat / 38 mg sodium /  7 g fiber

 

5. Pumpkin Seeds

pumpkin-seeds

It’s common knowledge that a handful of peanuts or almonds is an easy way to get an extra dose of protein, but 2 tbsp. of pumpkin seeds has just as much protein to offer along with a few other beneficial nutrients: zinc, magnesium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin B, vitamin E, vitamin K, and antioxidants.

They are also known to have antimicrobial properties thanks to the lignans the seeds contain, which are especially good at fighting viruses. If that’s not enough, pumpkin seeds support prostate health, making this one high-protein snack all guys should add into their diet.

Per Tablespoon

112 calories / 4 g protein / 2 g carbohydrates / 7 g fat / 1.2 g dietary fiber

What do you think of these healthy, low-calorie snack ideas? Have anything else you’d like to share? Let me know in the comments below!

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I'm Mike and I'm the creator of Muscle for Life and Legion Athletics, and I believe that EVERYONE can achieve the body of their dreams.

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  • Jonathan Fuller

    More articles like this is a great idea! I am always looking for new snack ideas, because my work often means I’m out and about many hours of the day.
    I gotta try those muffins!

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Jon! More to come! 🙂 Love anything banana with muffins, hahah.

  • Iris Johnson-de Graaf

    Yum! Delish snacks! Fruit jam with chia just jumped to the top of recipes I have to make.

    • Michael Matthews

      Nice! I hope you enjoy. 🙂

  • Brad Porter

    Great post. The portobello mushroom pizza sounds like a surprisingly tasty treat! 😀

    • Michael Matthews

      Thanks Brad! Yeah I liked that. 🙂

  • Kim Warren

    Great to know that pumpkin seeds are a healthy snack – are any of the other seeds as healthy?

    • Michael Matthews

      Yeah, I like sunflower seeds too. Just VERY calorie dense, which can be good or bad depending on what you’re doing with your diet.

  • JP

    Even after doing a men’s physique show, and placing 2nd, I still mull over so much concerning my diet…and so, I ordered your material and ready to implement your advise! I was wondering how you felt about no fat greek yogurt and avocados as “sauces”. When I was well over weight I loved, loved sauces….so it’s nice to have some spreads over your proteins. Some diets state that avocados are much like broccoli, spinach or asparagus where the caloric total is negligible. Is that true to a degree? Should I be overly concerned about fractions of a gm(s) of sugar and sodium? Getting down to 3% or less BF was not only boring but was painful and I know there has to be a more tasteful way. An example of what I make is: non-fat greek yogurt, dill, chopped chives, cucumber, 2 avocados, fresh garlic cloves and a little pepper (or cayenne). Puree in the blender and only use a couple TSP at a time. Thoughts? Thanks!

    • Michael Matthews

      Congrats on the 2nd place finish! That rocks.

      I really like 0% Greek and avocados are great but you have to be fine with getting the fat from them of course.

      Every calorie counts and avocados are full of calories. Whoever told you that is really really wrong–ignore everything they say.

      I’m not a fan of water and sodium manipulation. Keep them balanced and just get lean enough.

      Remember that WHAT you eat isn’t the key. It’s HOW MUCH…

  • Lansdale Robinson

    Mike. There’s been a lot of attention on chia seeds recently. Are the benefits of eating it great enough that I should be adding it to my diet on a daily basis?

    Lans

    • Michael Matthews

      Good question. They’re nutritious but nothing particularly special.

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