Let's get one thing straight: There's no such thing as a zero-calorie food that you can munch on with abandon, but there are a few very low-calorie options that come close. According to nutritionist Lisa Young, Ph.D., RD, CDN, these foods tend to be either non-starchy fruits or vegetables. She argues that these foods contain so few calories and so many nutrients that no matter how many portions you eat, it shouldn't noticeably impact your weight.
Young tells Insider that these foods are the ideal snacks to reach for when you're trying to get in shape. Why? They're mostly made up of water, are low in calories, and contain fiber, which can help make you feel fuller for longer. Plus, they're packed with vitamins, antioxidants, and other vital nutrients needed in a balanced diet.
This is exactly what a nutritionist snacks on when she's trying to get in shape:
Ninety-five percent of this vegetable is water, and one serving contains only six calories.
High in antioxidants, blueberries also contain 14% of your daily fiber intake.
Grapefruit is high in fiber and can help stabilize your blood sugar levels.
Eat the skin and seeds—they contain most of the food's nutritional value.
This vegetable is most nutritious when eaten raw or steamed.
Rich in vitamin C and polyphenols, strawberries are a great naturally sweet snack.
One serving contains about 25 calories.
Be sure to eat the orange pith, which contains a lot of fiber.
Kale's calorie-to-protein ratio is excellent for those trying to shape up. One cup has 33 calories and contains three grams of protein.
Stocked up on these healthy, low-cal ingredients? Shop these kitchen essentials to prep your snacks.