By Sally Wadyka from Runner's World
Snacking is part of everyday life, especially for runners who need to keep themselves well fueled. But when you're trying to lose weight, every calorie counts. "You need to find calorie bargains and decide what you don't mind substituting," says Charles Stuart Platkin, author of The Diet Detective's Count Down (Fireside, 2007). For example, both tortilla chips and pretzels would satisfy a salty-snack craving, and on a one-to-one basis they are close in calories (one tortilla chip is 13.5 calories, compared with 12 calories for one pretzel). But the extra 1.5 calories per chip add up fast when you eat a couple of handfuls. Here are some more snack comparisons to consider:
One McDonald's french fry: 5 calories VS. One Pringles potato chip: 10 calories
A handful of chips over a handful of the fries equals 100 extra calories.
One M&M: 4.3 calories VS. One bite of a Hershey's bar with almonds: 37 calories
Okay, so you won't eat one, but each M&M candy is relatively low in calories and easier to portion control.
One tablespoon of cream cheese: 50 calories VS. One tablespoon of peanut butter: 90 calories
The peanut butter has nearly double the calories of the cream cheese, but it also has more protein and healthy fats.
One grape tomato: 1 calorie VS. One green seedless grape: 4 calories
Both are healthy choices, but if you're trying to lose weight, grape tomatoes have fewer calories and more fiber.
One peppermint Altoid: 3.5 calories VS. One jelly bean: 4 calories
Even the mints you use to freshen your breath must be factored into your daily calories. When you pop one, it's equivalent to eating a jelly bean.