Many people think of snacks as anything you consume between meals. This definition can include some “snacks” that contain as many or more calories than a meal!
The Science of Dieting’s definition of a snack is a food that contains less than 150 calories per serving/sitting. Like a credit card bill at the end of the month, all calories count and add up quickly, but snacks are meant to be small charges to your dietary tally to help get you through the day and provide you with a little bit of pleasure.
In and of themselves, they shouldn’t ruin your diet or your calorie budget. Low or no calorie snacks such as black coffee, unsweetened tea, veggies, and pickles can be consumed on a nearly unlimited basis. Others, such as nuts need to be monitored more closely.
Any traditional snack food that contains more than 150 calories per serving/sitting should be considered an indulgence. Indulgences should be a special treat and not part of your everyday diet, especially if you are actively trying to lose weight.
Below is a basic list of snacks and indulgences.
Greek yogurt (plain)
Hard boiled eggs
Unsweetened apple sauce
Unsweetened iced tea
Veggies & dip
Pretty much every other thing thought of as a traditional snack
It should be noted that some indulgences can be incorporated into a weight loss or weight maintenance diet; however, you must be able to control yourself. One beer/night or an occasional glass of wine will not break your diet, but this is a slippery slope that can easily turn into multiple drinks and unintended indulgences when your defenses are down. Only you can determine what you can and cannot control.