One of the best parts of summer is days on the beach or at the pool! Whether you’re a bikini gal or rocking that cute one-piece you found, you want to be looking your best out in the sun. That’s why zero-calorie snack foods are a great idea for everyone, even if you’re not dieting. Of course, these snacks are great weight loss foods, too. Plus, some of these low-calorie foods are delicious, so why not munch on something a bit healthier?
Now if you’re skeptical of the whole “zero calorie food” idea, don’t get too concerned about it. No, there aren’t any foods that literally have zero calories. However, some foods are so low in calories that experts refer to them as negative calorie foods. Your body literally burns more calories digesting the snack than it takes in when you’re eating it!
So what are these magical negative calorie foods? We’re talking a lot of fruit and veggies, but some desserts make the cut, too! The key is to stay sugar-free, go for low-fat foods, and pay attention to portion control. So without further ado, here is my list of the top 24 zero calorie snack ideas!
The major zero calorie food group is veggies, so here are a few of the ones that I find the most delicious for a quick afternoon snack.
- “Free” ranch dip. I always prefer my vegetables with a dip, so I found a quick and easy option for a low-calorie. All you need is 2 tbsp of fat-free sour cream and ¾ tsp of a ranch dip mix (the recipe I found recommended Hidden Valley). Mix together and have a delicious addition to your snack with any of the following veggies.
- Celery. Two large stalks contain about 13 calories.
- Cucumber. Half of an average-sized cucumber has 20 calories.
- Tomato. A medium tomato is a 25 calorie snack.
- Carrot. This is my personal favorite because I have always loved carrots. My mom used to tease me that I would turn orange if I wasn’t careful! One average size carrot has 30 calories. If you’re a person that prefers baby carrots, grab probably 5-7 for an equivalent snack.
- Cauliflower. A cup has about 14 calories. Plus, if you boil it and mash it up, you have a great alternative to mashed potatoes. I actually prefer mashed cauliflower sometimes!
- Green beans. A cup has about 31 calories.
- Garlic. It adds a ton of flavor to any of your veggies, and there are only about four calories in each clove.
The second major category for low-calorie snacks is (naturally) fresh fruit. Here are my picks!
- Peaches. An average peach has about 37 calories.
- Grapefruit. Half a grapefruit has the same caloric value as a peach – 37 calories. I know a lot of people prefer grapefruit with some sugar on top, but that is going to add quite a few calories. One tablespoon of sugar has about 48 calories in it. If you want to keep the number as low as possible, try using cinnamon instead of sugar – 1 tbsp only has about 19 calories. I know it sounds odd, but I tried it when I was doing the Whole30 a few years ago, and it’s actually pretty delicious!
- Watermelon. The quintessential summer picnic item makes the list! A cup of watermelon pieces is about 51 calories – that’s roughly equivalent to a large slice at the picnic.
- Cantaloupe. A slightly higher calorie option, but cantaloupe makes the list with 56 calories per cup.
- Honeydew. Even higher up there, but honeydew sneaks in with 61 calories for a cup.
- Strawberries. One of my summer favorites for sure! A cup of sliced strawberries only costs you 50 calories.
Guilty Pleasure Snacks
Maybe this heading doesn’t totally do this category justice, but we’re moving into the less natural zero calorie snack ideas, so it seemed to fit the bill. Ten more items to go – hopefully, one of them hits the spot when you’re looking for your next snack break!
- Skinny Pop. This low-calorie popcorn is genuinely just as tasty as the full-fat One cup is only 40 calories, and it’s the perfect snack to bring to a drive-in movie.
- Jell-O. Not the most glamorous snack, perhaps, but delicious nonetheless. Half a cup of a sugar-free Jell-O only has ten calories in it! That means that you can mix in fresh fruit or even top it with a small scoop of a fat-free cool whip and stay below the zero calorie threshold.
- Dole Fruit Juice Bars. The no sugar added variety again, but these fruit juice bars are a great summer dessert! You’re looking at about 30 calories per pop.
- Dill pickles. Maybe I’m the oddball here, but I think that dill pickles are a great snack! They give you that salty fix without the super high sodium intake, and you can eat three for only 47 calories.
- Hummus. Don’t go too crazy here, but if you use a small serving of hummus as a dip for your veggies, this can be a great fit, also! Two tablespoons of your typical hummus contain about 50 calories.
- Bacon. That’s right – even a nice, fatty piece of bacon makes the cut if that’s what you’re craving. One slice has about 43 calories.
- Cottage cheese. I’ve never been a huge fan of this one – just can’t get past the texture. But if you do like cottage cheese, ¼ cup only has 41 calories (and I hear it’s great to mix with peaches).
- Sunflower seeds. You’ve got to indulge in this one sparingly since one tablespoon has 50 calories in it. But if you’re craving a bite of something salty, this can be a delicious way to go.
- Green tea. Iced tea is a great summer refresher, and if you go for a green tea with no add-ins, you’ll only be taking in two measly little calories! That means there’s plenty of wiggle room to add a dash of milk or sugar and still stay well below your zero calorie snack limit. Or opt to mix some berries in and enjoy a flavored tea!
- Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Almond Kisses. I told you there would be some delicious desserts that made the list! You can eat 2 of these kisses for only 47 calories – and, as a bonus, you’re getting a little protein from those almonds.
Whether you’re looking for the best food for weight loss, some new low-calorie recipes, or just reading out of curiosity, I hope that you found something interesting here! I think that zero-calorie food is great for everyone. Whether you want to lose weight, get a bit more in shape, or just maintain your current look, these snacks are your new best friend!
This is by no means an exhaustive list (I had to leave some of my favorite fruits in the dust!) but, hopefully, it gives you some new ideas. So what do you think? Is there a snack on this list that surprised you? Did I miss your favorite zero calorie snack idea? I’m always looking for new afternoon snack ideas to try, so please try these or add-on and let me know what works for you!
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