Ok, judging from how many chocolate recipes there are on this site I bet none of you even thought it was possible that the word “diet” ever crossed my mind. Well you’d be wrong. It’s for this very same reason that I must delve into the world of calorie counting every now and then!
Cooking & therefore eating too many home baked cookies & cakes = inches & pounds. Now I am not a nutritionist but this equation is one that is pretty easy to understand!
However, dieting is no easy feat for most people and it’s often hard to kill those cravings for the ravenous sweet tooth. When I first started, I could not find any website that had a decent list of tasty low calorie snacks nor good meals to make. (Having never been on a diet before.) So I thought I would compile a list of helpful tips & satisfying snacks for you all.
Now I’ll be honest, I have no comparison as My Fitness Pal (calorie counting) worked so well for me the first time around I haven’t had a need to look for any other type. I got the i-Phone app too as it was free & helpful to keep a real handle on what you were eating, wherever you were eating it. You simply enter a few details such as height, goal weight etc, then it works out a daily calorie target for you and away you go!
Top Tip no.1
If you make a note of what you are eating you can see everything, including all naughty treats in black & white. Sounds bad, but it can make you feel guilty if you see too many treats or calories on there & help drive you to success! Easily achievable if you use the Fitness Pal App.
Top Tip no. 2
Watch your portion sizes & weigh your food. Sounds simple but it can make a big difference. After the first couple of days your stomach will adapt to smaller portion sizes and you won’t actually need a huge plate of food to fill you up anymore.
Top Tip no. 3
Even though you only have a certain daily calorie allowance, you can always earn more by doing exercise. Yes I know, the dreaded ‘E’ word! But it doesn’t have to be an hour down at the gym. It can be simple things such as walking or cycling to work, or even weeding your garden! It doesn’t need to be as strenuous as you think and it’s so much more satisfying when you sit down with a chocolate bar and think, “I’ve earnt this!”
Top Tip no. 4
Don’t forget about drinks. Some drinks have more calories than you might think! Especially fresh fruit juices & smoothies. Also, if you are running low on your daily calories remember that water is free! Yep, might be tasteless and boring but it is good for you, it has zero calories & can actually help fill you up too!
Top Tip no. 5
I found it wise to switch some of the things I eat most often to lower calorie versions. It makes those calories stretch a little further with you barely even realising. For example, I stopped using semi skimmed milk and started using skimmed milk, saving approx 30 calories per 200ml. I switched normal margarine for a lighter version, saving approx 36 calories per 10g spreading. I also stopped buying normal sized bread & opted for the smaller 400g loaves saving up to approx 50 calories per slice! These may not sound like much but it can make a big difference over the length of a day, sparing calories that could allow you a little treat later on.
Tasty Snacks under 100 calories
So now to the good bit, a few tasty low calorie treats I’ve found that are almost guaranteed to stop a craving in it’s tracks without going over your calorie allowance!
- 81 cal – Velvet Crunch Thai Sweet Chilli Crisps
- 83 cal – Velvet Crunch Cheddar Cheese & Spring Onion Crisps
- 88 cal – Walkers Quavers
- 96 cal – Walkers French Fries
- 96 cal – Walkers Squares
- 95 cal – Walkers Wotsits
- 99 cal – Special K Mini Breaks Chocolate
- 99 cal – Special K Mini Breaks Citrus
- 99 cal – Special K Mini Breaks Original
- 70 cal – Alpen cereal bar Chocoalte & Fudge
- 70 cal – Alpen cereal bar Summer Fruits
- 70 cal – Alpen cereal bar Chocolate & Orange
- 70 cal – Alpen cereal bar Double Chocolate
- 51 cal – Snack A Jack (Jumbo) Caramel
- 62 cal – Snack A Jack (Jumbo) Chocolate Chip
- 38 cal – Snack A Jack (Jumbo) Cheese
- 40 cal – Snack A Jack (Jumbo) BBQ
- 41 cal – Snack A Jack (Jumbo) Salt & Vinegar
- 52 cal – Sainsburys Basics Cookies
- 30 cal – Mini Milk Ice Lollies
- 68 cal – Sainsburys Vanilla/Chocolate Spiral Lollies
- 85 cal average – Fruit Split Ice Lollies
- 90 cal – Fab Ice Lollies
- 95 cal – Fab Ice Lolly Apple & Blackcurrant
- 60 cal – Walls Light Vanilla Ice Cream, 2 scoops
- 70 cal – Carte D’or Light Vanilla Ice Cream, 2 scoops
- 76 cal – Sainsburys Natural Yoghurt 125g
- 70 cal – Kinder Chocolate mini treat
- 85 cal – Cadburys Timeout (single finger)
- 30 cal average – Most boiled sweets
- 35 cal – Sainsburys low calorie Hot Chocolate
- 35 cal – Tesco Light Choices Hot Chocolate
- 2 cal – Pepsi Max (pint)
- 2 cal – Diet Coke (pint)
- 4-8 cal – Fruit squash & cordials
Appetizing Low Calorie Recipes
Here are a few good low calorie recipes & meal ideas that I have come across since watching those pounds.
Chocolate & Vanilla Pudding ← My new personal favourite!!
Healthy Readymeals (i.e. Sainsburys Be Good To Yourself)
Beans/Spaghetti on Toast (From 400g Loaf)
Jacket Potato with Cottage Cheese or Beetroot Salad
Soup with Bread (from 400g loaf)
Breaded Chicken with Large Salad
Dieting doesn’t have to be a depressing experience. That’s why I like the calorie counting because you can mould it to fit your needs. I’m the sort of person who needs a treat after dinner so I work in those little tips on cutting down on calories throughout the day to allow me to do it. At the end of the day you can pretty much eat what you like so long as you keep a close eye on portion sizes & try not to go over your daily calorie allowance. Obviously it’s a good idea to make sure you get 3 meals a day but if you wake up late on a Saturday and have a late breakfast, who’s to say you can’t use that missed lunch worth of calories for a pudding later? But if you know you want a good naughty weekend treat, do a little exercise to earn calories towards it. It’ll feel much more rewarding!
Please remember that I am not a nutritionist and what works for me may not work for everyone. If this way doesn’t work for you, don’t give up! There will be a diet out there that is better suited for you. You’ve got to want to do it and if you have the will power you will succeed.
(If there is really such a thing!)