Humans are so hard to please. We want to fill our stomachs to the brim with our fave food, yet we whine about not having slender enough bodies and the ineffectiveness of our monthly gym memberships. But it doesn’t have to be a vicious cycle of caving in to our snack cravings, binging thoughtlessly, then being hit with an avalanche of guilt and regret after.
We bring you 9 reverse-engineered junk food alternatives that skimp on calories but not on flavour:
1. The < 100-calorie bubble tea
Here’s a protip to get the same level of shiok-ness sans the damage to your body: swap out your black pearls for white pearls (42 Kcal), ai yu jelly (45 Kcal) or even oat cereal (54 Kcal) for that extra bite.
It also pays to go the extra mile – opt for the milkless tea options and cut back on sugar levels to slash your calorie count even further. The concoction might seem a tad bland, but your tastebuds will catch on after awhile.
2. Soya-milk Ice Cream
Ice cream is undisputably a godsend in the sweltering heat – but it also makes us second-guess our life choices after every cone we devour. The next time you find yourself reaching for an excessively sweet treat when your cravings kick in, opt for soya milk-based ice cream (136 Kcal) instead.
And healthier options aren’t necessarily bland – even with less calories, sugar and fat, these soya ice cream products still pack a refreshing texture and flavour.
3. Baked Nuts
Nuts are freaking addictive. Once you start, you’ll wipe out an entire bag before you even know it. We usually go for the common honey-glazed almonds or chocolate-coated peanuts because the snacker in us just can’t resist their appeal.
For all my fellow gluttons out there, here’s a life hack: make a beeline for Nature’s Wonders brand of nuts instead of the usual ones. Having no cholesterol or trans-fat, feel free to indulge in this replacement till you go nuts.
Give the Baked Pistachios or USA Baked Walnuts a shot for your daily dose of healthy nibbles. If you’re gunning for something a little more sweet to satisfy your sweet tooth, opt for the Fruits and Nuts Fusion to curb your cravings.
4. Healthy Instant Noodles
It pains me to admit that I occasionally make 2AM instant noodle runs when I’m desperate for something savoury to silence my growling stomach. Cue oat noodles – the healthier maggi mee alternative. Comprising of 49% real wheat and 51% wholegrain oat, a single packet of the noodles can contain the same amount of fibre found in a bowl of oats.
And for en even healthier alternative, try shirataki (konjac) noodles made primarily from konjac yam plants with almost 0 calories. You won’t feel the guilt whipping up a bowl of their Mee Goreng or Teriyaki Chicken flavoured noodles for a bedtime snack.
5. Baked Sweet Potato/Veggie Fries
Fries are a staple in any fast food junkie’s diet. But between the oil-drenched starch and the generous sprinkles of seasoning, the harsh truth that a poor diet is taking a toll on your body will start to sink in.
Substitute them with Heirloom carrot fries or any kind of vegetable sticks for a healthy snack with a similar texture. Since they’re baked not fried, they’ll easily reduce the calories and fat content in your diet.
6. DIY Butter-less Popcorn
I was stunned when I realised that a huge box of popcorn encases over a thousand calories thanks to all the sugar and preservatives. Das right gurl, you’ll need to run more than 40 rounds around a 400m track to burn off everything you’ve consumed thereafter.
But it’ll be too idealistic to cut off popcorn from our lives unconditionally, so here’s an alternative: Start off with plain popcorn kernels, and throw in some ground cinnamon, nutmeg or even lemon pepper after they pop for the perfect tub to suit your palate. By whipping up your own popcorn, you stand to cut about 400 or more calories. Score!
7. Naturally-Sweetened Cakes & Cookies
If you’ve ever baked before, you’ll know that a truckload of sugar goes into each slice of cake. Instead of walking into the same trap repeatedly and dragging yourself to the gym afterwards, keep an eye out for stores and products touting the use of natural sweeteners like dates and Stevia to flavour their creations.
Avoid all the artificial flavours and allow the natural ones to provide you with energy without worrying about the aftermath of the sugar translating into extra weight.
8. Dark Chocolate/Carob Bars
Chocolate has been proven to help boyfriends pacify girlfriends on their period lift spirits due to a scientific logic that I’m not qualified to explain. Before you reach out for that beautiful milk chocolate bar, consider switching it up for other choices like Cacao, Carob, or Dark Chocolate.
The latter has properties that can help you to reduce cholesterol levels, lose weight and even nourish your skin. Yes, chocolate can possibly help you to trim your waistline – I kid you not.
9. Healthy Chips
You can find chips at home, at parties or even on your office table because they’re just so darn irresistible. But recklessly diving into a whole packet of Sour Cream & Onion chips will only lead to a spike in your fat intake, and possibly result in a sore throat the day after.
Tai Sun’s UCA Cassava Chips (148 Kcal) have gotten wind of our woes, promising to be a tasty alternative to our beloved chips. Potatoes are swapped out for cassava roots, so that the chips are crispier, lighter and healthier for your enjoyment. Flavours are designed to tantalize your tastebuds too – besides the Original, give the Grill Barbeque or Hot & Spicy chips a try for that extra punch.
Healthier snacks for the aspiring fitspo
It’s an uphill task to steer clear of mouthwatering snacks, but it’s super convenient to just alter your dietary habits a little and easily chase any trace of guilt away. Keep your eyes peeled for healthier substitutes that can satiate your burning cravings – and it’s even better if they carry the Healthier Choice Symbol.
To keep your body happy and healthy, eating right is quintessential. You don’t have to turn into a health freak overnight and aggressively avoid anything other than greens and water, but it’d help to opt for healthier snacks that’ll quell your cravings all the same.
Get hooked on Tai Sun’s UCA Cassava Chips
For habitual snackers a.k.a everyone, keep an eye out for Tai Sun’s UCA Cassava Chips: a game-changer in the realm of snacks. Shed your guilt and get your carb fix with these delectable treats. With three flavours – Original, Hot & Spicy and Grill Barbeque – to pick from, you’ll definitely take a liking to at least one of them.
These UCA chips are gluten free, and are void of trans-fat and cholesterol. As opposed to other popular brands of salted potato chips, a bag of UCA Original chips contains lesser calories, lesser sodium, and lesser fat.
The Grill BBQ and Original flavours are perfectly salted, while the Hot & Spicy one lives up to its name, leaving a tangy sensation after every bite. Being on par with regular potato chips in the taste compartment, it’ll be difficult not to get hooked. But rest assured – this time, you can feed your addiction sans the toll on your body.
It’s time to chuck your worries aside, and snack away with a peace of mind.