150-Calorie Snacks That Are Actually Really Satisfying
What Makes a Snack Healthy?
When you're hungry AF but your next meal is still a good four or five hours away, it's officially time for a snack. Sometimes the word "snacking" has a negative connotation, but there's a big difference between mindless snacking when you're stressed or upset, and intentional snacking that keeps your energy up and supports a healthy lifestyle.
One of the most common questions I get from my nutrition clients is how many calories should be in a snack. To be honest, I don't think calorie-counting is the end all be all, and definitely not the right approach for everyone, but having an understanding of nutrient density and how to "spend" calories on foods that help you feel satisfied and nourished can help you stick with healthy eating habits for the long haul. (See: The #1 Reason to Stop Counting Calories)
As a very general guideline, I typically recommend between 100 and 250 calories for a snack. While there's no golden rule about the number of calories you shouldn't exceed, a150-calorie snack is a good jumping-off point.
Ideally, you want some protein and/or fat plus fiber to give your snack some staying power. Opting for complex carbs over their refined counterparts and watching out for added sugar can help your snacks be more satisfying by preventing you from burning through the calories (aka energy!) and experiencing a sharp blood sugar spike and crash, which can mess with your energy, mood, and appetite control.
Know that if you require more calories based on what your body needs are or what your other meals and snacks have provided that day, that's totally okay. Otherwise, if you just need a "little something", these 150-calorie snacks will satisfy you surprisingly well.
Easy Yogurt Bowl
Plain Greek or Icelandic yogurt with 3/4 cup berries or a tablespoon of chia seeds provides a filling combination of protein and fiber. In the fall, 1/2 cup of pumpkin purée and a sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice makes a great stand-in for berries or seeds and still provides 3 grams of fiber per 1/2 cup.
Cocoa powder stirred into the yogurt is another creative way to work in fiber (about 2 grams per tablespoon and only about 10 calories), and it adds a nice texture and rich flavor. Craving something creamy? Top your chocolate yogurt with a teaspoon or two of your favorite nut butter.
Two hard-boiled eggs provide about 150 calories, 12 grams of protein, and 10 grams of fat. Eggs are also a good source of choline, a nutrient that's key for brain function—helpful on a day you really need to focus. I love adding Trader Joe's Everything But the Bagel Sesame seasoning to mine for flavor. (Related: 7 Ways to Use Trader Joe's Everything Bagel Seasoning Besides On Avocado Toast)
If you need to add some fiber, add a side of sliced veggies like cucumber or celery or eat them with a fork over greens. Want something hot? The Sous Vide Egg White Bites at Starbucks are a great option. Yes, they're 170 calories, but that extra 20 is nothing in the scheme of your daily calories and so worth it on a day you want a little upgrade.
I know that nuts get a lot of airtime as a healthy snack (as they should—they're packed with healthy fats and fiber), but that 150-calories doesn't typically translate to more than 1/4 cup, and if you need to be mindful of allergies, it's good to have a safe option that's equally convenient. (Related: The Healthiest Nuts and Seeds)
Crispy roasted chickpeas make a handy go-to 150-calorie (ish) snack that packs a winning combination of protein, fiber, and complex carbs. You can DIY (toss chickpeas with olive oil and your fave spices and roast at 350 degrees until crispy) or buy them pre-made if you need a shelf-stable option you can toss in your bag or car. I almost always have a few single-serve packets of Biena's Sea Salt flavor in my carry-on when I travel. For 130 calories, you get 6 grams of protein and fiber each.
Healthy Snack Bar
A macro-balanced bar is great for when you need an easy packaged snack option. (Related: The Best Healthy Packaged Keto Snacks You Can Buy)
If your favorite bar has more than 150 calories, you can always have half at a time. The Kid's RXBAR is an option for those who can't just stop at half (so relatable), and the brand also has a savory bar option called TIG which clocks in at 140 calories and features plant-based protein from lentils and chickpeas that come in flavors like buffalo, bbq, and chili lime.
Fruit and Cheese or Nut Butter
A small piece of fruit and a 1-ounce serving of cheese or a tablespoon of nut or seed butter is a super-easy way to cover your nutritional bases in a 150-calorie snack.
Mix it up with the seasons to keep from getting bored. In the summer, for example, you can enjoy stone fruit or a cup of berries, which pair well with goat cheese or blue cheese, and in fall and winter, you can enjoy an apple or pear with sharp cheddar or aged gouda. Then experiment with nut and seed butter. Tahini and apple are delicious together, for example, and a great change of pace from peanut or almond butter. (Related: Everything You Need (and Want) to Know About Nut Butter)
Guacamole and Veggies
Guacamole is a satisfying option because it provides healthy fat and fiber, which will keep you full for a while. You'll get about 100 calories in a 1/4-cup serving and around three grams of fiber, so add half a serving more for a creamy 150-calorie snack.
I love Wholly Guacamole Classic Minis because they come in these convenient single-serve cups, and are super easy to throw in a lunch bag or keep in the fridge for when you want to enjoy the taste of delicious hand-scooped avocados, without the hassle of dealing with knives. (Avocado hand fears, anyone?) Plus, there are no preservatives. Scooping this guac up with a generous serving of raw veggies adds fiber plus lots of key vitamins and minerals. Try cucumber slices, baby carrots, celery sticks, or cherry tomatoes.
You might think of oatmeal as only a breakfast food, but oats can totally work as a snack since they provide slow-burning complex carbs and fiber. Cool 1/3 cup rolled oats (or one packet unflavored instant oatmeal) in water with cinnamon for a satisfying 150-calorie snack. You can make it with milk for some protein (try pea protein milk for a dairy-free option) or top with two teaspoons of your favorite nut or seed butter after cooking.
Half Sandwich or Toast
Just cut your sandwich in half for a 150-calorie snack (or close to it) that feels like you're having a whole other meal. Go for sprouted grain bread (Food for Life's Ezekiel Bread is my favorite) or whole wheat to make sure you're getting some fiber, and add your favorite protein-rich fillings like low-sodium turkey or hummus and veggies. (Related: What's the Difference Between Whole Wheat and Whole Grain?)
Plus, sandwiches are a great vehicle for upping your vegetable intake, so make sure you load up on those greens. If you just can't get into the sandwich idea, a slice of toast topped with nut butter, ricotta cheese, or even a generous smear or plain Greek yogurt or cottage cheese and some cinnamon and a drizzle of honey. Berries or sliced tomato and sea salt works, too.
Popcorn is a great snack for when you want something crunchy that will take you a while to eat. You'll get about 100 calories and 3 grams each of protein and fiber in a three-cup serving, so just grab another cup and a half for an even 150-calorie snack. Or add one tablespoon of nutritional yeast or grated parmesan cheese sprinkled on top adds a little more protein and flavor for about 50 calories.
You can buy popcorn pre-made, but it's also really easy to DIY in a microwave by placing about two tablespoons of corn kernels in a brown paper bag, folding over the top of the bag, and microwaving in one-minute intervals until the corn has stopped popping. Then shake on whatever seasonings or add-in you like. (Related: Healthy Popcorn Recipes with Tricked-Out Toppings)
Mini Mezze Plate
You can easily pile a meal's worth of food onto a cutting board for a beautiful, but more filling mezze plate. So make a smaller version with a cup of cherry tomatoes or sliced cucumber, two tablespoons of hummus, and about five kalamata olives for a lux mini-meal that actually a less-than-150-calorie snack. And it offers up a filling combo of fat and fiber. If hummus without crackers feels like sacrilege, add a couple of high-fiber crackers like GG Crackers, which have 20 calories and 4 grams of fiber per cracker.