Switch Up Your Snack Shopping to Shake Off the Pounds
By Tracey Walton wlr team
If it’s not in your fridge or cupboard, you can’t eat it. Especially relevant when we’re spending more time at home.
Snacks can make up a big part of daily calorie intake, so if you want to lose weight it's worth paying them some attention.
A simple way to lose lbs ...
The idea is to go through your usual shopping list and find lower calorie (and maybe healthier) alternatives for all your grab and eat snack foods.
It's as simple as swapping snacks you like for something similar but lower in calories.
The focus for this article is packaged snack foods. They are part of the regular shop for most of us and are so easy to grab and eat without really thinking about it.
You could choose to be a bit more adventurous with some of your swaps, for example ditching the cake for some strawberries and fromage frais. (Recommended if you have a tendency to keep going back for more when there are snacks in the cupboard.)
It’s worth bearing in mind that fresh fruit is a great low-calorie convenience snack option – naturally packaged with health benefits. Give yourself a pat on the back for every packet snack you swap for fruit. Take a look at our Fruit Calorie Counter to see the calories in all kinds of fruit.
Small differences in calories soon add up ...
You only need to eat 250 fewer calories a day to lose ½ lb a week. Of course the opposite is true – 250 a day extra and you’ll gain ½ lb. (Find out more about the calories you need to lose weight.)
At the end of each snack foods list we’ve put the difference in calories between the top and bottom item to highlight the range of savings that can be made.
Here’s some examples to get you started with the swapping:
Crisps and Chips
Examples are for multipack bag sizes because those are the most likely to be in the cupboard at home.
|Doritos, 1 bag/30g||150|
|Mini Cheddars, 1 bag/25g||128|
|Sunbites, 1 bag/25g||120|
|Walkers Baked Crisps, 1 bag/25g||109|
|Snack A Jacks Sweet Chilli, 1 bag/22g||91|
|Wotsits, 1 bag/16.5g||90|
|Frazzles Bacon, 1 bag/18g||87|
|Quavers, 1 bag/16g||86|
|Skips, 1 bag/13.1g||71|
|Difference top to bottom||79|
Other Packaged Savoury Snacks
|Pringles Pop & Go Original, 1 pot/40g||206|
|Sausage Roll, 1 roll/60g||189|
|Graze Veggie Protein Power, 1 pack/28g||132|
|Graze Spicy Thai Sriracha, 1 pack/26g||115|
|Beef Jerky, 1 pack/40g||114|
|Peperami Original, 1 stick/22.5g||113|
|Dairylea Dunkers Jumbo, 1 tub/45g||108|
|Fridge Raiders Chicken Bites, 1 pack/50g||105|
|Cathedral City Mini Mature Cheddar, 1 pack/20g||83|
|Mini Babybel, 1 mini/20g||62|
|Cheestrings Cheddar, 1 string/20g||61|
|Difference top to bottom||145|
Nuts are a special case when it comes to snacking. They are fabulous food for health but come with a high calorie price tag. We also tend to buy nuts in large packs and eat them by the handful, often mindlessly, which doesn’t help.
On the upside, nuts are high in protein, good fats and fibre so they really fill you up. We’d suggest 20g is enough for a satisfying snack. (Eat them slowly one-by-one so your stomach has the chance to know they're there.)
This list emphasises serving size because it makes a big difference.
|Nut Variety||Calories per serving:|
|Peanuts, roasted, salted||123||184||307|
|Peanuts, dry roasted||119||178||297|
|Cashew Nuts, roasted, Salted||118||178||296|
|Pistachios, roasted, shelled||116||175||291|
|Difference top to bottom||21||31||52|
Examples are for multipack bar sizes because those are the most likely to be in the cupboard or fridge at home.
|Double Decker, 1 bar/47g||215|
|KitKat 4 Finger, 1 bar/41.5g||209|
|Picnic, 1 bar/38g||182|
|Cadbury Caramel, 1 bar/37g||179|
|Wispa, 1 bar/30.5g||167|
|Crunchie, 1 bar/32g||149|
|Flake, 1 bar 25.6g||133|
|Kinder Bueno, 1 bar 21.5g||122|
|Curly Wurly, 1 bar/26g||118|
|Cadbury Fudge, 1 bar/25.5g||114|
|KitKat 2 Finger, 1 bar/20.7g||104|
|Difference top to bottom||111|
It’s interesting to note that the main reason for calorie differences between these bars is weight, but not necessarily volume. If you have a regular chocolate habit, swapping to lower weight bars can make a big difference over time.
The thing to watch for with lower calorie bars is thinking that it’s ok to have 2 – that could just make matters worse!
(KitKats are the odd exception - maybe you spotted that 2 x 2 Finger bars have one less calorie than 1 x 4 Finger 🤔)
|Eat Natural Maple Syrup Pecan & Peanut, 1 bar/45g||240|
|Nature Valley Crunchy Granola, 1 pack/42g||192|
|Graze Cocoa Vanilla Oat Bites, 1 bar/30g||138|
|Cadbury Brunch Bar Choc Chip, 1 bar/32g||137|
|Alpen Strawberry & Yogurt, 1 bar/29g||119|
|Jordans Frusli Blueberry Burst, 1 bar/30g||113|
|Special K Fibre Chocolate Delight, 1 bar/24g||96|
|Coco Pops Cereal Bar, 1 bar/20g||84|
|Difference top to bottom||156|
Cakes and Buns
We’ve focussed mainly on single serving size cakes here, and you can see from the list that serving size can make a big difference. This means it’s worth checking your serving size when you have a slice of a multi-portion cake.
Watch out for dodgy numbers – we often see that a cake that says ‘serves 6’ gives the calories per serving based on 1/8th of a cake. (Mr Kippling, we're calling you out for exceedingly bad numbers!)
Also, remember to add the 'cost' of butter when you’re eating fruit buns or teacakes, expensive at ~ 7.5 calories per gram! (For context, a thin spread on a normal sized slice of bread is around 7g, 52 calories.)
|Frosted Cupcake, 1 cake/64g||307|
|Blueberry Muffin, 1 cake/75g||275|
|Iced Ring Doughnut, 1 cake/58g||250|
|Victoria Sponge, 1 slice/57g||225|
|Mr Kipling Cherry Bakewells, 1 tart/46g||197|
|Hot Cross Bun, 1 bun/70g||181|
|Chocolate Brownie, 1 piece/40g||169|
|Banana Loaf Cake, 1 slice/40g||152|
|Mr Kipling Bakewell Slices, 1 slice/35g||146|
|Mr Kipling Angel Slices, 1 slice/33g||139|
|Hobnobs Oaty Flap Jack, 1 slice/30.7g||133|
|Iced Finger Bun, 1 bun/40g||128|
|Cadbury Mini Rolls Milk Chocolate, 1 roll/27g||115|
|Mini Chocolate Chip Muffins, 1 cake/25g 109||109|
|Difference top to bottom||198|
Get Swapping with Your Shopping
The lists above are not exhaustive but hopefully they will give you some clues as to where to look for making your own calorie savings.
Because quick snacks are the things that we grab and eat with little thought about the calorie content, they are a great place to start if you want to lose weight.
The food that is available around us determines what we eat. Switching what’s available in your kitchen makes it easier to shake off the pounds.
You'll find just about every snack you can think of in the wlr food database. Get access and take our weight loss tools for a spin, try it free