Imagine, if you will, a conversation in your Pilattes studio or gym locker room, or even on the train in any city in Japan, between two slender women, whom nobody would ever guess to be worried about their weight.  These women could be any age, married, single, with or without children, the point being that they are slender.

“I’m getting fat!  I really have to watch what I eat!”

“Me too!  My weakness is snacks I can’t help eating snacks!”

“Oh, guess what?  I found an article on RocketNews 24 about ‘diet snack food’!  It introduces 20 of them, I’m pretty sure it says they are no more than 100 calories each!”

Two heads meet in the center to gaze over an i-phone.

The last thing a person who REALLY needs to lose weight needs to be thinking about is snacks!  But 20 low-calorie snacks definitely is an attention grabber for just about anybody, especially women who care about their appearance.  Here is a list of snacks that say, “feel better about yourself for caring about your appearance, food which is enjoyable yet ‘safe’!”   Eat, and be assured that it won’t be going straight to your hips!  At least you will appear to care about how you look, if not appear to be health conscious, and impress your friends, which is very important!

  1. Chocolate covered banana – half a frozen one dipped in a 2cm square of melted dark chocolate.
  2. Frozen grapes- any kind, any color, a cup or 28 grapes, frozen for two hours in your freezer.  Berries are OK too!  Three blueberries equal one grape. Have fun counting them!
  3. Cream covered blueberries-  two teaspoons of whipping cream over a cup of blueberries
  4. Tropical fruit smoothie – 1/4 a cup of Pineapple, orange, and apple juice each blended in the blender with ice.
  5. Dark Chocolate – a 3cm2 block of any dark chocolate, no more, no less.
  6. Chocolate covered strawberries - 5 berries dipped in 2cm squared melted dark chocolate.
  7. Banana Chips – squeeze lemon juice over thinly sliced bananas and bake them in the oven till crisp
  8. Jellybeans – You can have 25 whole jellybeans!
  9. Pistacia nuts – You can have 25 of these too!  If you get the un-shelled ones you get the added excercise of shelling them and the added benefit of drawing out the enjoyment of eating them!
  10. Edamame, soybeans – 1/4 cup un-podded.
  11. Dried apricots – 30 grams, which would be about 5 small apricots
  12. Raisons – also 30 grams, each one is about 0.6 grams so that would be about fifty, better start counting!
  13. Dried prunes – these you get 40 grams!  You can weigh your prune but one is usually 10 grams, so that means four of them!
  14. Canned pineapple – 100 grams if it is the ring type then about two pineapple rings about 40-50 grams each
  15. Canned mikan (mandarin oranges) – 150 grams, if you are into counting one slice is about 5 grams, so go for it, thirty of them!
  16. Canned peaches – 100 grams.  If it is a can of peach halves, then each is 50 grams so 2!

OK, up to here, the list is obviously full of healthy and basically available food just about anywhere.  The final four snacks are highly Japanese and therefore may not be easily found outside of Japan.  You can always try your luck at your  local asian market, if you have one, but at least it is interesting to know the options available in Japan in the way of low calorie snacks!  Definitely try them on your next trip to Japan!  Here are the last four.

  1. Mizuyoukan – a block of red sweetbean in firm jellied form.  You can have 60 grams of it!
  2. Brown sugar karintou – this is a cracker deep-fried, really crunchy!   You can have 8 of the small ones but those big ones, only two!
  3. Surume, dried squid – 30 grams a small piece might be about 25 grams.  Surume is great for chewing on and getting the digestive juices flowing!
  4. Tokoroten – this is… jellied seaweed noodles eaten in a tangy vinegar and soy sauce dressing.  150 grams, the size they are usually sold in just make sure you don’t cover them in brown sugar syrup instead of the vinegar sauce!

Back to our two women,

“This looks great!”

“Yeah it’s all so healthy too!”

“I’m going to go home to count my dried fruit into one hundred calorie servings right now!”

“Want me to help?”

[ Read in Japanese ]