Fall and winter bring shorter days and colder nights, making many of us want to hibernate in front of the television rather than venture outside. Streaming services have made it easier than ever to spend hours in front of the TV binging on our favorite shows.
Binge watching a TV show can also unintentionally lead to overeating unhealthy snacks. When you’re focused on what’s on the screen, you’re less likely to pay attention to what and how much is going into your mouth. This can be a slippery slope, especially if you’re trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight. Too many of the wrong snacks can easily increase your daily calorie intake. Add this to the fact that you are not moving, and the excess calories, and pounds, can quickly add up.
But this doesn’t mean you have to quit snacking altogether! Instead, reach for lighter snacks with lower fat and calorie loads, and portion your snacks instead of grabbing from the box to avoid eating too much in one sitting. Also try to limit your snacks to certain times, because no matter how healthy the snack, eating for hours straight is never a good idea.
However you choose to “Netflix and chill,” here are some healthy snacks to make and enjoy without the added guilt.
Salt and vinegar zucchini chips
Image source: Sugar-Free Mom
If you’re a fan of salt and vinegar potato chips, you’re bound to like this lighter version using zucchini from Sugar-Free Mom. Each half cup serving is only 40 calories, compared to over 150 calories for the potato chips. Plus, it’s also low carb and has all the nutritional benefits of zucchini!
Frozen blueberry yogurt bites
When you’re in the mood for something sweet, reach for this frozen yogurt berry treat. A dozen bites adds up to a mere 38 calories, so you won’t derail your daily diet by treating yourself to seconds. The snack also packs antioxidants from the blueberries and protein from the yogurt.
Healthy baked broccoli tots
Image source: Gimme Delicious
These broccoli tots are baked instead of fried, making them lower in fat. Because you’re making them at home, they’re savory without all the added sodium that comes in packaged foods. The broccoli, which also comes with its plentiful nutritional benefits, is also high in fiber and high in vitamin C.
Crispy kale chips
Kale chips are the best of both worlds. They allow you to enjoy a satisfying, crunchy snack while still getting your veggies in. This recipe uses one bunch of kale to make four servings, coming in at just 84 calories per serving. Eating two servings might still put you below the same amount of popular packaged chip brands.
Roasted green bean fries with creamy dipping sauce
Image source: Sprinkle Some Fun
Looking for an alternative to French fries? Look no further. These roasted green bean “fries” are just as snack worthy, without the extra calories. They’re made using coconut oil and nutritional yeast, and the creamy dipping sauce will make you forget about sugar-loaded ketchup. The recipe calls for sour cream, but you can use non-fat plain Greek yogurt to reduce the fat even more.
Hummus is a healthy, classic snack. The creamy dip can be paired with raw veggies for some guilt-free munching, and it’s also pretty simple to make yourself – as you’ll find in this recipe from Gimme Some Oven!
Baked sweet potato chips
Image source: A Spicy Perspective
Sweet potatoes are high in fiber and antioxidants. They’re also naturally sweet, so you don’t have to do much to them to garner flavor. These sweet potato chips are no exception, made with a light coat of olive oil and a dusting of salt.
Baked cucumber chips
Cucumbers are known for being low in calories – they’re mostly water, after all! This recipe calls for cucumbers seasoned only with spices, or just plain salt and vinegar. Baked until crisp, you can eat a lot of these chips without worrying about blowing your calories for the day.
Chili-lime roasted chickpeas
These chickpeas from Willowbird Baking pack a flavorful punch with their spice and herb topping. They’re very easy to make – just roast chickpeas until crunchy and coat with the mixed topping. Chickpeas are also high in protein and fiber, helping you stay full for longer.
Like chickpeas, edamame can be roasted and turned into a crunchy high protein, low calorie snack. This recipe keeps it simple with just a couple of other ingredients, but Living Sweet Moments suggests playing with other herbs and spices for added flavor.
Homemade apple chips
Image source: Amsterdam & Beyond
It may look like you’re about to eat a bowl of potato chips, but don’t fret, it’s just a couple of apples! These apple chips from Amsterdam & Beyond provide the comforts of fall in a light, crisp package, and a host of nutritional benefits.
Chili and lime popcorn in coconut oil
Popcorn doesn’t have to derail your diet. The popped kernels themselves aren’t the problem – it’s the toppings (think movie-theater butter) that can get you into trouble. This popcorn is popped in coconut oil and sprinkled with just enough chili pepper and lime juice to add an explosion of flavor. Want an even lower calorie option? Put unpopped kernels in a paper bag and throw it in the microwave. Pop it, add the toppings, and your high fiber low calorie snack is ready to go!
Peanut butter fruit dip
Need a little incentive to choose a fruit bowl over an ice cream bowl? This dip might do the trick. It combines vanilla Greek yogurt with peanut butter for a creamy complement to a variety of fruits. Cooking Classy recommends using bananas, apples, raspberries, or strawberries.