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When you’re trying to lose weight, it can be challenging to choose meals and snacks that keep you full without adding too many calories to your daily intake.
If you’re craving carbs, but trying to avoid eating fattening items, check out these low calorie foods that will keep you satisfied until your next meal.
Whole Grain Oatmeal
Instead of grabbing a bagel or donut for breakfast, try 100 percent whole grain oatmeal. Not only will this fiber and protein packed meal keep you feeling full until lunchtime, it prevents the blood sugar drop and subsequent energy loss that occurs when you consume a sugary breakfast.
If oatmeal isn’t something you can make quickly, try simple toast or whole wheat rolls. They are better than that donut, and keep you full without the need to cook on the stove.
Homemade Trail Mix
Store bought trail mix is often high in sugar, salt, and preservatives. Instead, make your own mix with raw almonds and dried apricots for a snack that only adds about 200 calories.
The almonds are packed with important nutrients like iron, calcium, and vitamin E, while the dried apricots provide the fiber that keeps you feeling full.
Not only does this type of yogurt contain less sugar than the standard variety, it also doubles the fiber for a morning lift that lasts. It’s also easy to grab and eat on the go, so it’s the perfect healthy snack to get you through a long afternoon at your desk.
Sliced raw veggies like cucumbers, carrots, zucchini, celery, broccoli, and cabbage make a great, crunchy snack, especially when paired with a low fat dip like hummus. They are full of fiber and incredibly low in calories, so load up to keep from bingeing on less healthy cravings.
Broth based bean soups make a low calorie, yet filling meal that is full of important vitamins and minerals, especially when you bulk it up with veggies. Try a half cup serving of pinto, black, or cannellini beans.
These contain between 6 and 8 grams of fiber and about 8 grams of protein with only 120 calories making it a great choice for keeping you full.
Individually packaged portions of low fat snack cheeses keep you from eating too much, and with about 9 grams of protein, they will satisfy you until the next meal.
Pair with fruit or veggies for a light, healthy lunch or robust snack.
Instead of snacking on chips after dinner, go for a bowl of popcorn. Three cups of air popped corn contains just 90 calories–the same amount in just a quarter cup of potato chips.
Next time you want to grab a quick snack like a bagel, toast or other high calorie food, try using these alternative options. They’ll keep you full, healthy and ready for the next challenge.
Brooke Chaplan is a freelance writer and blogger. She lives and works out of her home in Los Lunas, New Mexico. She loves the outdoors and spends most her time hiking, biking and gardening. She recommends Klosterman Baking Company for better whole grain breads. Brooke is available via Twitter @BrookeChaplan.