I Get By with A Little Help from My Snacks

By , SparkPeople Blogger
by SparkPeople member Kristina, aka KARVY09

Since the beginning of 2009, I've lost 52 pounds, 45 of those on SparkPeople in the last 5 months. I credit many people in my life for helping me get this far, including my awesome husband and friends, and my incredible friends on SparkPeople. (Man, does this sound like an acceptance speech or what?)

I also got a lot of help from some awesome snack foods along the way...

Yes, snack food.

There are some foods that I do not think I would have gotten this far without, and for that reason, I just have to pay tribute to my Top Five in blog form to give them the recognition that they deserve. So here they are, in no particular order.


Oh, String Cheese. I remember you being the snack of choice in the 80s, and we would battle on to see who could eat you the slowest. Yes, the slowest. The only food I know that has a slow-eating component to it, unlike your hot dog- and pie-eating contests and whatnot. Take a tiny string of that cheese stick, savor it, and see if you can get a smaller string than your friend.

That spirit of competition lives on. And the reduced fat version costs me only 70 calories and 4 grams of fat and packs 8 grams of protein. So, I slowly tip my hat to you, String Cheese. Thank you for being such a great snack.


How can you not salute a food that satisfies both your salt and sugar cravings in one luscious air-popped bite? I cannot, so I must applaud heartily for this warm treat with only 100 calories and 1.5 grams of fat. The bag almost seems endless, which is another plus. You kind of FEEL like you're binging. It also has the ability to annoy every single other person in the office, as its captivating aroma wafts across each and every cubicle, which is great if you don't particularly care for your coworkers.


For every salt and sugar craving, there is a more specific craving for chocolate. While chocolate often has you jonesing for yes, more chocolate, I like to get my chocolate in nut form. These treats are only 75 calories for 14 almonds and gives you that burst of protein too for added fullness. You simply cannot beat it. [Editor's note: Find a recipe here.]


Doctors are evil, poking you with things, treating you with derision and scorn, making you feel better and stuff... OK, well maybe they aren't that bad, but who wants to go to the doctor? I sure don't. And we all know that apples are to doctors as garlic is to vampires, right?

We all have our favorite variety. I'm a tart Macintosh girl and the husband prefers a sweeter Gala or Braeburn. But whatever your pleasure, there's such satisfaction in chomping on an apple and getting that little dribble of juice down your chin. Yum. Apples!


Go Greek. You haven't had yogurt until you've had Greek yogurt. And yogurt isn't yogurt if it has aspartame in it. It's just aftertaste-y. So do yourself a favor, and grab some of this stuff. It is tasty and filling and ranges from 100-160 calories, with tons of protein and calcium. And it has wonderful flavors such as pomegranate, pineapple, and honey! Yes, we Greeks invented both democracy and the combination of yogurt and honey, both which have left this world a much yummier place.


Kristina is 28, hails from the Boston area, and has been "sparked" since June 2009, when she couldn't run a minute, nevermind a 5K. Since then, her cause has been to convince larger runners that they don't have to wait until they lose more weight to start running! She co-leads two SparkTeams, Half Marathoners and the Couch to 5K Group. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling locally and abroad and writing fiction and commentary. Her favorite outdoor activities are kayaking, swimming, hiking, and running.

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ILOVEROSES 3/16/2018
Great blog, thank you. Report
ANHELIC 3/12/2018
Great information. Report
So glad I read this blog!!! Gearing up to start my journey tomorrow and am so happy to see great snack ideas. I love snacks and these are such healthy alternatives that I actually like. Report
What a big difference changing from regular yogurt to Greek yogurt has made for me. Much more filling! Report
I agree with everyone. Great topic. I like to eat unsalted almonds with grapes. The combination is great. When my chocolate craving hits I will have 15 mini semi sweet chocolate chips with the almonds. But since almonds and chic chips can be addictive for me, I count each one and pre package them. It keeps me on a good track. (I learned this the hard way).... Report
Great blog! I think using snacks will be helpful for me too. Right now I have green grapes in the freezer, never had them before like that - I have read they are tasty that way! I love trailmix, cocoa roasted dark chocolate almonds, yogurt with fruit. Report
My favorite is frozen grapes. But when I want something that is so good it would have to be Fiber One, Key Lime yogurt mixed with sugar free lime jello. Only 55 calories. Report
As always a superb Healthy blog from you. I enjoy all those snacks you mentioned I also liked the twist on the almonds. I look forward to trying that recipe out soon.
I completely agree that snacking is essential in losing weight!! Some of my favories are apples like you mentioned (I'm honeycrisp, braeburn, and red delicious, depending on my mood), sugar free jello w/ lite cool whip, smoothies w/ frozen fruit and skim milk, and air popped popcorn. Keep on snacking!! :) Report
Thank you for this blog. I am starting to see that I should be using snacks as well to stay on track. I need to kick it in gear and get going! lol Report
Frozen blueberries straight from the bag. Little icy bits of sweet that have the added bonus of making your children laugh at you for your stained fingers and tongue. Report
GREAT post! String cheese and apples are two of my favorite go-to snacks. Report
Greek Yogurt- I add 1 T each of raisins, dried blueberries, flax and pumpkins seeds with 2 splendas and I have a wonderful filling nutritious meal/snack in late afternoon. My other stand by is hot chocolate- 1 cup of skim milk, 1 T of dark cocoa and 2-3 splendas- cut chocolate cravings and gives me calcium. Report
ummmmm, greek yogurt! It is the best! Report
Thank you! I love apples and string cheese, too! Report
great blog and great comments! Report
I live on pretzels and popcorn as my two staple snacks. I take air popped popcorn and spread it on a cookie sheet, then I spray it slightly with Parkay, then sprinkle with 1 pkg of splenda and finally add cinnamon and toss. Another Sparker had this recipe and I have used it a ton of times to get past a sweet binge. Report
the popcorn & string cheese
are good, but
i like the
sugar free-Fat free
Jell-o Pudding cups
the dark chocolate & regular chocolate
get me through. it does me good
when I have a chocolate
craving. Report
Love the pop corn the best!!--my fav Report
apples and string cheese are good choices... yum!

congrats on your loss and thanks for sharing with us. Report
I have to agree with almonds and apples..they help me get through Report
I don't snack, but then I'm on Atkins & don't get hungry between meals Report
I love your snacks, here's a few more: All-Bran crackers (5 grams of fiber), Multi-grain cheerios, Healthy Choice fudge bars, almond butter.

We just saw that COSTCO carries greek yogurt - we need to try it out! Report
I take in more calories from snacks each day than I do 3 meals. Now, most of my "meals & snacks" are all within 300-500 calories.

Mixed nuts, apples, yogurt, natural PB on Arnold sandwich thins are my favorites. Report
I love pistachios, Light Laughing Cow cheese wheels, apples, light, natural peanut butter and wheat bagel and Dannon Light & Fit yogurt. Report
I love fruits and vegetables to have as a snack during the day, but I find they are expensive and don't really last long in the house when two people are eating them!

How does that Greek yogurt taste? I have seen it used on a few cooking shows I watch, but I am a picky eater and don't want to buy it if I won't like it. Report
I have lost 56 pounds and I can honestly thank snacking for my success. I love berries...they are great for nibbling. I also take snap peas, cherry tomatoes, baby carrots,strawberries, apples, and yogurt to work every day. NOW, I want to find the Greek yogurt. Where can one buy it? My hubby does the grocery shopping so I don't get to the store much, so maybe it's there. Thanks for the great blog. Report
All Great Choices! Report
I eat all these snacks too. :) Report
I eat all of your snacks. I think they are great. I really don't like yogurt but do like Greek yogurt with a little honey and walnuts. That's how we greeks eat it. Report
Greek yogurt tastes decadent, even the 0% fat variety. Those Greeks know a good thing! Report
What great tips! Thanks for sharing...the Greek yogurt sounds fantastic. Report
Yummmy....I am so hungry from seeing those pics. I just got up and havent had a chance to eat yet Report
I like all those too, just reading your blog has given me the urge for a snack.....I think popcorn sounds really good. Report
I like to eat fruits and veggies for a snack. Not big on the popcorn and cheese.. looks like I should start. Report
A huge WooHoo to the Greek yogurt! I have 3-4 oz on my heart healthy serving of oatmeal w/ raisins - that IS THE BEST breakfast! Add a sprinkling of cinnamon and sugar - heavier on the cinnamon and I'm in breakfast heaven.
Daily I have an apple - Pink Lady for me w/ 1 T of reduced fat peanut butter for my mid-morning snack. I agree - what would we be without our snacks - That was one of the best things to find out fat people can snack and in doing so become thin! Who would have thunk it????? Report
I couldn't agree with you more. LOVE the greek yogurt, yet it is difficult for me to get where I live. I go to town every two weeks and last time I went, one store was out of it and the other had it for $6.00 for a container that had two cups of yogurt. I like to eat it pretty much daily so the $6.00 would mean $42 of my grocery budget on yogurt. I went home without it and I've been regretting it every day. Next time, I'm paying the $42 no matter what. Report
Thank you! I needed some new ideas like this and these are great! Report
Rice cake 40 calories with 1 TBS Almond Naturally more Almond Butter--85 calories. Report
Boy am I ever glad I clicked on this blog!!! I've been getting bored with my afternoon snacks....you have great ideas! Thanks for sharing!!!
Susan Report
Almonds & walnuts & apples!! Oh yes yogurt too but I get the carb control kind.. Report
What a great commentary!
I love all the choices, but my go-to snack is air-popped popcorn.
4 of the 5 are on my list, especially APPLES! I have been eating an apple a day for almost two years now and I can't live without them.

The one missing from my list was the kettle corn popcorn. Please share what brand you use as I have yet to find one that doesn't tastes like fake sugar when popped! I love kettlecorn and was so excited when I first saw it in the stores, but I've tried various brands with no success.

My addition to the list would be frozen bananas. They have kept me many a night from running to our local ice creamery for a fix. One whole frozen banana in the blender with a splash of FF milk, blended to creamy goodness is the best ice cream substitute ever!

It's great to see that so many of use Report
Ohhh I do have to agree! I've discovered almonds, string cheese AND greek yogurt recently. My love for those items that is! Apples? I've maintained having one a day since August, woah!

Popcorn however, I could definitely go without. Instead I would probably add in carrots and yogurt. :-) Report
What a wonderful blog. You also have me more ideas about healthy snacks. Thanks for sharing your success, inspiration and ideas with us. Report
Love these natural fat fighters: almonds ( wow homemade cocoa ones, can't wait), raspberries/strawberries (add reddi-whip, real cream next to no calories), swiss cheese, sweet potatoes (without all the gooey marshmallow), use mustard instead of other condiments, cinnamon with non-fat hot cocoa (don't need as much sugar), oranges ( gotta go for the vitamins and natural fat fighter here; will have to eat less "sweet" foods when I eat these). Love popcorn too!
Don't worry so much about the fats in nuts. They are good fats that your body can actually use. About 3 ozs of nuts is a good serving. Report
Great list! I'm with you on all but the Greek yogurt, 'cuz I'm just not a yogurt person. I DO bake with Greek yogurt however! Report
I will be making the Cocoa Almonds tonight. I have never tried them but they sound great! Report
I, too, am a huge fan of the Greek yogurt. I like to add fresh, in-season berries (although frozen works also) with a little Splenda. I whirl it up with my stick mixer and take it for lunch. I like to add Grape Nuts or Bran Buds for a bit of crunch and fiber. Yummy!! Report
Kristina, you're my kinda gal! I enjoy every one of the snacks you mentioned. Good ideas, all! Report
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