Calories aren’t the only factor to consider when choosing a snack to indulge in. Foods with plenty of fiber or high in protein can leave you feeling full and, therefore, much less likely to overeat and put on weight.
The following seven foods are intended to be part of a balanced diet, so make sure to supplement these items with other healthy options. If you have any concerns about your dietary needs, consult a medical professional for guidance.
Popcorn is a great food that doesn’t come with weight gain worries. One cup of air-popped popcorn has only 31 calories. Plus, the fiber in popcorn creates a feeling of satiety. However, the butter and oil found in most microwave or store-bought popcorn bags means more calories, so stick to air popping and refrain from drowning your popcorn in butter.
If you don’t have a popcorn popper, you can make popcorn on the stove in any lidded pot. There are also silicone popcorn poppers for microwaving kernels. Once your popcorn is ready, it’s time for seasoning. A dash of salt is traditional but think about trying different spices, such as ranch seasoning and nutritional yeast, for added tastiness.
Eggs are packed with protein and not too high in calories — a hard-boiled egg has about 80. Plus, the many ways to prepare eggs can add variety to snacks and meals. In addition to boiling and scrambling, you can bake eggs, poach them, or include them in an omelet with some vegetables to add fiber to the meal. However, pay attention to what else is added when you cook your eggs, and try to pair them with other highly nutritious foods and seasonings.
Broccoli and Cauliflower
Though almost all vegetables are safe to indulge in, these cruciferous powerhouses get a special mention because they deliver more protein than most other veggies. They also contain fiber: 1 cup of cauliflower has more than 2 grams of fiber, while 1 cup of raw broccoli has a little under 2.
Berries are fantastic fruits to indulge in for a little extra sweetness without the guilt. One cup of halved strawberries is 49 calories and delivers 3 grams of fiber. One cup of blackberries has 62 calories and nearly 8 grams of fiber. Raspberries top the fiber chart for berries, with 1 cup providing 8 grams of fiber and 64 calories.
A bowl of oatmeal is almost always a safe indulgence, as you should feel full after eating oats. There are 4 grams of fiber and nearly 6 grams of protein in a cup of cooked oatmeal.
One way to eat oatmeal is with fruit, such as berries. You can also season it with cinnamon or cocoa powder. Oatmeal can also be a base for savory meals. Top your bowl of oatmeal with a cooked egg, or try stirring in vegetables like carrots and broccoli.
Another food to enjoy without gaining weight is edamame, which are unripened soybeans. One cup of these legumes has 8 grams of fiber and 18 grams of protein.
This sweet fruit is more than 90% water and relatively low in calories — only 46 in a cup. Plus, watermelon’s fiber helps you feel full after eating, and a 2019 study showed that overweight people who ate watermelon instead of cookies lost weight and lowered their blood pressure.
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