What’s a girl to do if she just loves to snack but doesn’t love gaining weight? Sometimes, a person doesn’t overeat because she’s hungry, because she’s eating her feelings, because her diet lacks nutrients, or for any of the other top reasons people will suggest you’re always noshing on something. Some people just love the act of eating. That can, of course, be rather dangerous for your waistline. The trick is to find foods that it’s nearly impossible to overdo it on. Some foods are so low in calories, so time-consuming to eat, and so healthy, that you could pop them into your mouth non-stop for the duration of a movie (or drinks with that friend who talks too much) and still not feel bloated. As a snack queen, I’ve had to learn what these foods are. People say to me, “You’re always eating but you’re thin!” These snacks are my secret, but they’re not a secret—anyone can have them. Here are snacks you don’t need to feel bad binging on.
The key is to have plain popcorn—not the buttered stuff—and drizzle guilt-free toppings like cayenne pepper or a little salt and pepper on it. It’s hard to get more than a few pieces in your mouth at once, and it’s so low in calories, that you can eat a massive bowl of popcorn and barely consume 300 calories.
Celery and cauliflower hummus
One stalk of celery has just six calories, so a whole head of the stuff won’t even get you up to 100 calories. Rather than dipping it in regular hummus, replace half the traditional chickpea dip with pureed cooked cauliflower—it cuts the calories drastically without diminishing the taste.
Spicy kale chips
Spicy kale chips are oh-so-addicting. Once you have one, you won’t want to stop eating them. But, unlike the popular potato chip with a similar slogan, it’s okay to eat a whole tray full of these as one cup contains barely 30 calories.
Cantaloupe and low-sodium prosciutto
This dish isn’t just for fancy cocktail parties. If you can find low-sodium prosciutto and wrap it around cantaloupe, you’ll have a tasty and low-calorie snack. A cantaloupe wedge contains just about 20 calories and two slices of prosciutto contain about 70 calories.
Rice crackers and vegemite
One large rice cake has just around 35 calories and one serving of vegemite has just nine calories—five of which are from protein.
One grape has just around two calories so, as you can see, this is one food you can feel free to binge on. Freezing the food gives it a satisfying crunch, and makes it a nice cooling snack for a hot day.
Bruschetta on cracker thins
If you make bruschetta the right way, it’s very low in calories. Just use chopped up tomatoes, some fresh garlic, diced onions, a drizzle of olive oil, salt, pepper, and oregano. The olive oil makes up the majority of the calories. Put this on cracker thins and you have a delicious but healthy appetizer.
Raspberries, chia seeds, and honey
Raspberries have just around one calorie per berry. Put one tablespoon of chia seeds on there, and you’ve only added around 130 calories. Drizzle a little honey and you have a sweet, fiber-full snack.
Veggie broth soup
Vegetable soup will fill you up without weighing you down. One cup of vegetable broth has just 12 calories. If you’re simply adding vegetables like carrots, broccoli, and celery to that, you’re barely making a dent in your calorie budget for the day.
Light deviled eggs
Try using low-fat Greek yogurt in place of mayonnaise in your deviled eggs. While this isn’t a calorie-free snack, it has such a great protein-per-calorie ratio that you’ll feel satisfied long before you’ve had many bites.
Most pickled vegetables contain almost no calories. A cucumber pickle sphere contains just three calories. Grab a jar and pickle some carrots, mini corn, and cucumbers for a crunchy, salty, healthy snack.
One whole beet has just around 35 calories. Meanwhile, this semi-sweet vegetable makes delicious oven-roasted chips that are guilt-free.
While the traditional dish uses heavy mayo, vinegar-based coleslaw is very low in calories and arguably tastier than the original stuff. Use your regular veggies with apple cider vinegar, grainy mustard, a little honey, and olive oil.
You can consume six large buffalo cauliflower pieces and only eat 150 calories. Just stay away from the blue cheese dip.
This may be your new favorite summer snack. Cut jicama into spheres and sprinkle with lime juice, sugar, salt, and chili powder. It’s surprisingly bursting with flavor and super low in calories.