My weight loss came about when I started counting calories and cutting down portions. It helped that I worked out quite a bit, but the difference was made on the dinner plate.
The worst part about that is big stinking bags of potato chips making their way, chip by chip, into my mouth.
I don’t really miss meat (and still partake on occasion). I don’t miss huge mounds of pasta oozing with sauce and cheese (though that sounds damn good now that I type it out).
The main thing I miss is not being able to sit down in front of the TV and destroy a bag of potato chips.
You eat a handful of chips and 150 calories are gone. And I can’t just eat a handful. I need ten handfuls.
I have a hypothesis
I thought,what if it isn’t the chips themselves that I love, but simply the act of eating on autopilot. There’s psychology behind being able to reach down and grab something and chew on it while you’re otherwise occupied.
We’re wired for mindless eating. So I figured I could just replace the bad stuff with something better.
So here’s a list of low calories, high volume foods that I keep around for mindless snacking.
One caveat about this list: I focus on calories primarily, and these are low. BUT many of them are high in sodium, or fat, or carbohydrates. If keeping up with those things is your thing, some of these won’t be your thing.
Life is full of tradeoffs. In this case you’re trading some calories for a buncha salt.
Enjoy, and send me your low-cal, high-volume snacks if you have them:
- Kettle Brand Jalapeno Chips – 28g for 150 calories (it’s not much of an improvement, but it’s better)
- Simply White Cheddar Cheetos Puffs, 32 pieces for 150 calories (Cheetos are delicious, these are slightly healthier than their neon orange counterparts)
- Cheddar Jack Cheezits, 29 pieces for 150 calories (there’s a “reduced fat” version that’s slightly less caloric and has bit less fat, but don’t waste your time)
- Baby Carrots – tons of carrots, not many calories (dip em in hummus, but I like them on their own)
- Wasabi Edmame from Sprouts – 28g for 120 calories (28g is a big handful of these things, which are addictive)
- Roasted Veggie Chips from Sprouts – 1oz for 130 calories (my kids like these as well)
- Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies – 30g (51 crackers) for 140 calories
- Kalamata Olives – 8 or 9 calories apiece (don’t be ashamed to combine them with the bunny crackers after the kids have gone to bed)
- Refrigerator Pickles – lotta pickles for a few calories (I love pickles, and these are easy to make – ignore this recipe and go with something like 1 part apple cider vinegar, 1 part water, two cloves of smashed garlic, some dill, and anything else except for the sugar)
- Avocado Tzatziki – portion size varies, but the calories are low (dip your cheezits in this stuff, or put it on sandwiches, swap out plain Greek yogurt for the sour cream)
- BabyBel Lite Cheese – 1 wheel, 50 calories (you won’t want to eat a bunch of them, but break one into pieces and mix them into your odd bunny/olives/cracker/tzatziki concoction and it’ll probably work)
- Buffalo Cauliflower Bites – a bunch of these will be about 150 calories per serving if you go with a recipe that doesn’t have a bunch of butter and flour (I haven’t had this specific recipe before, but cauliflower is adaptable to a lot of different flavors and you can eat infinite quantities)