Sometimes breakfast, lunch and dinner just aren’t enough and you need snacks to get you through the day. But how do you deal with the urge to eat ALL the things when you’re trying to limit how many calories you’re consuming? You need an arsenal of low-calorie snack ideas to draw on in your time of need, so I asked the good people from the MAN v FAT Forum for what they turn to when peckish…
Quavers are the don of crisps. Cheesy, crunchy, curly, and only 85 calories for a bag from a multipack.
…and other crisps
An honourable mention for some other crisp varieties: Wotsits (90 cals a bag), Space Raiders (58 cals) and French Fries (78 cals).
Pink n Whites
Pink n Whites have amassed a bit of a cult following with Instagram Slimming Worlders, as they’re only 2.5 syns (that’s 50 cals). I’ve seen people on IG microwaving them, which sounds bonkers but actually looks quite nice – crispy wafer and melty mallow – if very messy and sticky.
You know you’re scraping the barrel of your calorie allowance for the day when you’re snacking on a Flump. Sickly-sweet marshmallow that does nothing to satisfy your peckishness but that does satisfy your sweet tooth. They’re 40 cals and you can relive your youth by getting them for 10p from the corner shop.
Itsu crispy seaweed thins
They might seem a bit weird at first, but they’re a great alternative to your regular crisps – and only 24 calories per pack(!)
A little pot of Hartley’s no added sugar jelly is FIVE calories, so although it’s not going to fill you up, it is a small sweet treat that will keep your hands busy during those times where you feel like you need something to eat, like when watching a film (or is that just me?). Alternatively, you could have it served with a scoop or two of ice cream and satisfy your inner child. Or, like @atb88 says, ‘I’m a fan of just pouring them into my trap’!
As long as you’re not slathering it in caramel, popcorn is generally a good shout for a low-calorie snack. You can pop it yourself with the help of a microwave (use a silicon pan like this one for perfectly popped corn), pan or air-popper – this gives you the most control over the calories as you can control the oil and flavourings, plus a huge bag of popcorn kernels is just over a fiver on Amazon and will last you a while.
Or you can buy bags of popcorn which aren’t too bad, calorie-wise. My favourite is Morrisons’ sweet & salty popcorn, which is 131 cals for 1/4 a bag (or, let’s be real, 524 cals for the entire 100g bag) but if you can’t trust yourself to not eat the entire bag (I feel you), then Propercorn’s sweet and salty popcorn comes in a multipack with six 63 calorie bags.
I’d always dismissed Snack-a-jacks as the kind of thing that people eat purely because they’re seen as a ‘diet’ food, but I recently bought the caramel flavour and couldn’t believe how good it was – it tasted like popcorn and had a very pleasing crunch. Plus the jumbo ones are huge, so it feels more substantial than it actually is. You can get savoury and sweet flavours in a variety of sizes, but my faves are the jumbo caramel (51 calories per disc/serving) and choc chip (62 cals).
Sometimes only chocolate will hit the spot. Now, I’m not suggesting that having a hot chocolate is the same as burying your face in a big bar of Dairy Milk caramel, but it does go a little way towards satisfying any chocolate cravings you might have. My favourites are Options (a sachet of the white chocolate flavour is 44 calories made with water) and Highlights (a sachet of the fudge flavour is 38 calories when made with water), and settling down with a nice mug of cocoa is a lovely way to end the day.
Rich tea biscuits
38 calories per biscuit isn’t bad, but as @alanmonks2010 says, they’re a good snack ‘as long as its only 2’. It’s way too easy to suddenly look down and realise you’ve eaten half the pack.
Fibre One peanut butter popcorn bars
@Gareth_James says “Only 90 calories and just sheer heaven. A little white chocolate on the base to gives you that chocolate hit.”
Probably one of the most satisfying snacks on this list is the humble mini omelette, as made by @Bhgriffiths, which clock in at around 75 calories each and are packed with protein thanks to the egg.