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If you need a crunchy snack, try popcorn.
One of the hardest parts about trying to lose or maintain weight is making sure you’re not eating too many calories. Food is delicious, and especially those foods with lots of calories. Trying to lose weight with all of these delicious foods around can make for a lot of work. With kids, it’s generally even more difficult as you’ll often have some of their favorite snacks on hand as well.
Snacks such as chips and crackers are so easy to grab when you’re hungry. When you want something salty and crunchy, grabbing a bag of chips easily fills that craving. Chips are absolutely delicious - I love them. They are also generally loaded with calories as well. You’re usually looking at 100 calories for a handful of chips. Since you’re not eating just a handful of chips, you’re probably looking at 400+ calories when you get the chips out. Add on to that that chips really don’t fill you up - you’ll usually be quite hungry fairly quickly after eating chips.
Instead of chips, a much better snack is air-popped popcorn. Air-popped popcorn is about 30 calories for a cup of popped popcorn. That means that you can eat 3 handfuls of popcorn for every handful of chips. Also, popcorn is generally a little more filling than chips - that’s because it’s got a bit more volume to it.
If you find that you’re having trouble eating plain popcorn as it’s too plain, then you can spray it with a little bit of cooking spray and then add some popcorn flavors to the top. This will add about 5 calories per cup of popcorn (assuming you don’t douse the popcorn in the cooking spray). Give the popcorn a really light spray so that the toppings will stick to it.
Beyond calories, another great thing about popcorn is that most kids love it as well. With many diet foods that are low calorie options, they don’t taste as great. Popcorn is something that most kids will gladly eat - you can replace some of your kids high calorie snacks with popcorn as well.
If you find that you don’t have time to make air-popped popcorn when you need a snack, you can easily pop plenty of popcorn well in advance. Pop several batches of popcorn on the weekend, keep it in a big paper bag, and then pull it out and scoop out what you want when you’re ready to eat. Popcorn will last a couple of weeks and taste fine for up to two weeks if you keep it in a dark cool place. Make sure you don’t add any toppings until you’re actually ready to eat it.
If you have to go with microwave popcorn, you can do so, but make sure you find some with as low calories as possible. While there are some decent options out there, most of them are just too loaded with butter and other high calorie ingredients that it’s not worth it. Make sure you’re reading the serving sizes and calories per serving.
Finding low calorie tasty snacks can be hard sometimes. Popcorn is an easy choice though if you need to save calories but don’t want to cut salty crunchy snacks from your diet.