When your energy sags and you need a pick-me-up, a 100-calorie snack may be the answer. While snacking mindlessly can lead to weight gain, a small, calorie-controlled snack boosts your energy and ups your daily nutrient quotient. The best snacks are quick to make and take the edge off your hunger without weighing you down or ruining your next meal.
- Make your own 100-calorie snack packs by bagging eight walnut halves, 28 pistachio kernels or 12 raw almonds. Skip the pre-packaged 100-calorie snacks that come with a 16 to 279 percent cost premium due to packaging and convenience, reports the Center for Science in the Public Interest. The protein and healthy fats will help you feel full. “New York Times” columnist Jane Brody notes that nuts are full of nutrients designed to produce a new plant — these nutrients, which include vitamin E and selenium, will also give you a boost of energy.
- Combine an ounce of protein, such as an ounce of skinless, roasted rotisserie chicken, or 2 1/2 slices of lean, nitrate- and nitrite free deli meat, with three woven wheat crackers for a mini “sandwich.” Use one slice of reduced-fat cheese if you prefer not to have meat. The protein will satisfy you while the crackers offer carbs for instant energy. Using woven wheat crackers, which contain whole grains and fiber, will give you a steadier energy supply than white crackers.
- Grab a piece of fruit. One average piece of fruit, such as an apple, pear or banana, or a cup of berries offers approximately 100 calories. The fruit provides energy-boosting sugar in a natural form. This snack is especially good just before you head to the gym.
- Open a cup of yogurt, which provides a combination of carbs for energy and protein for satiation. Yogurt also offers you gut-supporting probiotics and calcium for strong bones.
- Combine veggies and a protein-packed dip for a satisfying boost of energy. Have 2 tablespoons of store-bought hummus with eight baby carrots or 4 ounces of 1 percent cottage cheese with half of a red bell pepper. Include veggies in your snack to also help you get your five servings per day for good nutrition.
- Top a corn tortilla with one small scrambled egg for another carb and protein energy duo. The toast and eggs take no time to make. Add a teaspoon of spicy salsa for zing.
To make all of these easy to access — keep your fridge and pantry stocked with healthy options so it’s easy to make good choices. Take a few minutes when you get home from the store to chop veggies and put them in clear containers on one shelf in the fridge, and portion out 100 calories’ worth of nuts into plastic snack bags. That way, when you’re ready to eat, you just grab and go.