- one apple, pear, orange, tangerine, nectarine, mango, banana
- or 1/2 cup of grapes, cherries, or plums
- or 1 cup of strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, watermelon, honeydew, cantaloupe, apricots, sliced pineapple or kiwi – with no added sugar.
If you wish to sweeten these fruit, use a zero-calorie sweetener such as Splenda (Sucralose) or Equal (Aspartame).
- canned fruit with little or no added sugar (sometimes labeled “lite”). Respect the serving size indicated on the can.
Warning: Beware of fruit juices! Even fruit juices that claim to have no added sugar usually bring in too many calories. Fresh fruit is a much better alternative: It’s much lower in calories, and also supplies the fiber necessary for effective weight loss (which fruit juices are lacking).
- a plateful of fresh vegetables (such as lettuce, celery, cucumbers, spinach leaves, tomatoes, red or green peppers, etc) – with 2-3 crackers and low-fat salad dressing
- canned vegetables – e.g., sweet corn, beats, green beans, etc (most types are quite low in calories)
- vegetable juice (for example: 8 oz of V8 vegetable juice = 50 calories)
- Soup: One can (10 oz) of low calorie soup (e.g., Campbell’s or Healthy Choice) – shouldn’t bring in more than 120 calories per can (read the nutrition label to make sure of this fact).
- Low calorie broth (chicken or beef flavored bouillon cubes that dissolve in water – 5 calories per cube, and tastes like real soup).
- A lean ham sandwich, with low fat dressing or mustard.
- One piece of whole grain toast with a tablespoon of peanut butter or jam.
- etc, etc – you get the idea…
- Coffee (preferably decaf, with a non-dairy creamer and a zero-cal sweetener such as Equal or Splenda). If needed, you may have 2-3 biscuits along with your coffee.
- Tea (preferably green or oolong tea), but regular tea is fine too – sweetened with Equal or Splenda, plus/minus 2-3 biscuits.
- Diet drinks – such as diet pop, unsweetened ice-tea, flavored water, tonic water, sparkling water, etc
- Low fat yogurt or cream (Dannon, Yoplait, etc) – one or two servings
- One hard boiled egg, or 2 hard boiled eggs without yolks
- Two tablespoons of honey
- One ounce (about 2 tablespoons) of nuts (e.g., peanuts, walnuts, almonds). Avoid however prepackaged products containing added sugar – e.g., honey-roasted peanuts.
- Combination snacks, such as:
- One tomato with one tablespoon low fat cheese
- One red pepper with one tablespoon low fat cheese
- Any carb snack (except chocolate or candy) that doesn’t exceed 250 calories and contains sugars less than 6-7 grams (identified on the nutrition label). For example:
- water crackers
- peanut butter crackers
- reduced sugar cookies, etc
The idea is, you don’t want to put more than 150-250 calories in
your body with any one snack, and you don’t want foods high in saturated fats or sugars.
- Total Calorie Count up to 250 calories per serving. This can be increased to 300 calories per serving, if needed for adequate hunger control.
- Saturated Fat up to 3 gram per serving
- Trans Fat zero
- Sugars up to 6-7 gram per serving *
- Additionally, a high fiber content (2-3 gram or more per serving) is a bonus – since fiber is known to facilitate weight loss.
- Also, a high protein content (5 gram or more per serving) is beneficial for providing energy and may control hunger more effectively.
When choosing a prepackaged food product, always check the nutrition label on the package to ensure it meets the above conditions for healthy snacks.
*For fresh and canned fruit, the healthy sugar limit can be increased to 15-16 gram per serving, since fructose (the main sugar in fruit) has a low glycemic index. Higher sugar levels (up to 20 gram per serving) may be acceptable for canned fruit – provided adequate portion sizes are respected.