100 Calorie Packs: A Good Strategy for Calorie Control?

Most of us eat snacks between meals at least some of the time. Snacks can be good way to help you manage your appetite over the course of the day. The trick is to make sure that snacks are not too high in calories. A between meal snack should serve the purpose of providing things you need like fiber and nutrients. It should be enough to help prevent excessive hunger and overeating at the next meal.

100 calorie packs have become a popular choice for people who count their calories and snack. They are available for many brands of cookies, crackers, and salty snack foods. The idea behind the smaller packaging is to promote portion control and portion awareness. The trouble is that the amount of actual food in one of these packs is often incredibly small and may not be very satisfying at all. Hence, a second or even third 100 calorie pack can easily become the amount consumed.

A possibly better approach to snacking is to devise your own “snack packs” that include foods with more nutritional value and more fiber. Here are examples of what you can get for about 100 calories:

  • 6 oz. nonfat light yogurt
  • 2 cups raw carrots
  • 1 medium apple or orange
  • 1 bananaFor calorie control, a snack does not have to come in at exactly 100 calories either. Anything between 100 to 200 calories is a perfectly acceptable amount. Below are a few snacks thatwould not be more than 200 calories:
  • 1 low fat mozzarella cheese stick with an apple
  • 12 almonds with an apple or pear
  • 1/3 rd cup low fat cottage cheese with 1/2 cup fruit
  • 1 small (3”) whole grain pita with 2 tbsp hummus
  • 1tbsp peanut butter on half banana

So, are 100 calorie packs useful to the calorie counter? Possibly yes, if you can follow the rule of one pack only and feel satisfied with that. Most will not have much by way of nutritional value. When you make your own snack packs using healthy foods, there’s no doubt about the benefits: it will save you money and you get to have something healthy and satisfying to eat.

© 2010, Gretchen Scalpi, RD, CDE. Publication rights granted to all venues so long as article and by-line are reprinted intact and all links are made live.

Gretchen is an author, consultant, speaker and Registered Dietitian & Certified Diabetes Educator. She is also a Certified LEAP Therapist (Lifestyle Eating and Performance), specializing in the clinical management of food sensitivities and related conditions. She opened her private nutrition practice in 2002 and has expanded to two office locations in New Windsor and Beacon, NY. Gretchen’s practice provides individual nutritional counseling in the areas of diabetes, weight management, food sensitivities, gastrointestinal disorders, and general wellness. To work with Gretchen Scalpi please visit http://www.nutritionxpert.com

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