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A Simple Way to Shave Calories and Lose lbs

There are easy wins to be found in your shopping list ...

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:

Savoury Snacks

Crisps and Chips

Examples are for multipack bag sizes because those are the most likely to be in the cupboard at home.

Snack Calories
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

Snack Calories
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:
20g 30g 50g
Brazil Nuts 137 206 343
Walnuts 136 204 340
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

Sweet Snacks

Chocolate Bars

Examples are for multipack bar sizes because those are the most likely to be in the cupboard or fridge at home.

Snack Calories
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 🤔)

Cereal Bars

Snack Calories
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.)

Snack 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.

Count the Calories in All Your Snacks

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

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