See why dieters can’t stop raving about these 20 healthy snacks for weight loss!
One of the biggest mistakes dieters make when trying to drop pounds is cutting out snacks. Although excessive snacking can lead to weight gain, smart snacking can help with weight loss.
Snacking smart does not mean munching on boring old carrot sticks and celery. You can have fun and enjoy snacks that still fit your goals. So, what is the difference?
Instead of grabbing a quick bag of chips or a sweet treat that will leave you wanting more, reach for something that contains more nutrients that will keep you full.
Smart snacking means snacking with intention. Chips, candy, soda, and other convenience snacks are mainly carbohydrate based.
Although this will give you the initial surge of energy, it does not keep you full for long and we are often tempted to overeat.
Not only that, but these foods also tend to be higher in calories. This type of snacking can cause you to pack on the pounds.
To make your snack time more satisfying, look for satiating ingredients such as protein, fiber, and healthy fats.
A combination of these nutrients will fuel you to your next meal without that sugar crash in between.
Not sure what this looks like? We got you. Below are 20 effective and delicious snacks you can adopt into your daily routine to help satisfy your hunger between meals while still hitting your goals on the scale.
Healthy Snacks for Weight Loss
Research on whether snacking promotes weight loss is not conclusive. However, it was evident in some research that adding meal frequency with snacking may help prevent hunger and manage blood sugar (1, 2).
When done right, snacking can also help increase your nutritional intake. This may be particularly helpful to those who don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables in their regular meals (3).
1. Greek yogurt and berries
A classic, portable, and delightfully light snack option, Greek yogurt and berries are equally filling and delicious.
The protein from the Greek yogurt combined with the fiber from the berries will keep you full for hours. This snack is great for when you are craving a sweet treat. Be sure to choose a low-sugar Greek yogurt to avoid additional calories.
2. Cottage cheese and pineapple
An oldie but a goodie, cottage cheese and fruit are often overlooked. Cottage cheese contains a hearty dose of protein, and the pineapple provides a dose of sweetness without the added sugars.
Best of all, this snack is relatively low in calories, clocking in at less than 150 if you stick with only ½ cup serving.
3. Cucumbers and hummus
Hummus is incredibly versatile, packed with fiber and plant-based protein. Spread it on some cucumbers for a refreshing and savory mid-afternoon snack that will keep you focused and energized for the remainder of the day.
4. Roasted edamame
Crunchy, salty, savory, roasted edamame is a protein-packed snack champion. Easy for on-the-go snacking, or to add to your favorite trail mix or mixed nuts.
This snack is great for plant-based dieters as it provides a whopping 13 grams of plant-based protein in a third of a cup and 8 grams of fiber.
It’s shelf-friendly and you can purchase different varieties in individual serving packages. Be sure to note the sodium content if you are following a low-salt diet.
5. Roasted chickpeas
Like roasted edamame, roasted chickpeas are delightful and savory. You can easily make these at home with just a can of chickpeas and your favorite seasoning. It is inexpensive, packed full of fiber, and great for meeting those crunchy, salty snack cravings.
6. Chia seed pudding
Another snack you can make at home or purchase prepared at the supermarket is chia seed pudding.
Chia seeds are full of fiber, with 10 grams in just 1 ounce of these little seeds you will be set up until your next meal.
Simply add chia seeds to almond milk and top with fresh fruit or nuts for an indulgent treat. This snack works great in the summertime as a refreshing alternative to sweets such as ice cream or frozen yogurt.
7. Apple with almond butter
Apples and almonds are loaded with filling fiber. Almonds also contain protein and healthy fats to help keep you feeling nice and full up until your next meal.
This snack is both nutritious and filling. Crank it up a notch with a little cinnamon on top to make it fun.
8. Banana with peanut butter
Another classic is bananas with peanut butter.
It’s simple but effective. With a good dose of fiber from the banana and healthy fats and protein from the peanut butter, you won’t hear any complaints from your stomach.
Looking for something sweet? Melt and drizzle a little dark chocolate on top for an antioxidant boost that will also boost your mood.
9. Carrots and guacamole
Who says guacamole is only for tortilla chips? Swap out those high-carb, sodium-laden chips for fresh baby carrot sticks.
You get to keep the crunch and still enjoy your south-of-the-border snack. Avocados are rich in healthy fats and fiber, with about 10 grams per avocado.
Make your own guacamole recipe or grab a pre-made pack at the supermarket for convenience. If you want to add an extra dose of protein, mix the guacamole with 2-3 tablespoons of non-fat plain Greek yogurt. The results are creamy and delicious without guilt.
10. Pears and cheese
An unlikely combination, pears and cheese pair well together. Pears provide a good dose of fiber, vitamins, and minerals, while cheese provides the protein and fat that keeps you full.
The cheese you choose is up to you however, lighter varieties tend to go better, such as parmesan. This snack combo mixes both salty and sweet in one package.
11. Nuts and seeds trail mix
Nuts and seeds are rich in healthy fats and protein. Whether you prefer a certain kind or enjoy a mixture, these are great snack option that works well for those with a fast-paced lifestyle.
You can also use these to easily add to other snacks or meals to make them more filling.
Consider making your own trail mix with nuts, seeds, and a small portion of dried fruit to fuel you for hours. Just be sure to skip the M&M’s.
12. Whole grain toast with mashed avocado
Avocado toast has been a popular snack and meal option over the past decade.
Layer that creamy, decadent avocado on top of hearty whole grain bread and you have a fiber-packed snack that only takes a minute or two to assemble.
Dress it up to your liking by adding your favorite seasoning on tops, such as everything but the bagel seasoning or a tablespoon of hemp seeds.
13. Kale or veggie chips
If chips are your go-to snack, this one is for you. If you’ve never had kale chips, you are missing out.
Although they may not sound very appealing, kale chips are easy and inexpensive to make, and they create the perfect crispy, salty flavor profile many looks for in potato chips.
Not only are these little chips nutrient-dense, but you can also easily get in an additional serving of veggies by snacking on these crispy green treats.
If kale is not for you, don’t worry. You can make chips out of almost any veggie. Play around with making your own with some of your favorite vegetables or try a combination.
14. Green smoothie
Another great way to sneak in some veggies while meeting that snack craving is indulging in a green smoothie.
A green smoothie is simply a smoothie made mostly of vegetables. Don’t worry, a small dose of fruit can create a light and crisp flavor that makes these drinks a delicious option.
Play around with different recipes to find one that suits your flavor preferences. Bonus points for adding in nut butter, Greek yogurt, or low-sugar protein powder to make it even more filling.
15. Hard-boiled eggs and grapes
Eggs are rich in protein and healthy fats. Combine them with a handful of sweet and refreshing grapes and you have an easy and satiating snack on your hands.
Both portable and inexpensive, this snack is easy to meal prep ahead of time to have on hand for the week.
16. Deli meat and cheese roll-ups
It doesn’t get any easier than this next snack option. Grab some of your favorite deli meat and roll it up with your choice of cheese for a high-protein, filling snack. You can dress it up more if you want and roll up a pickle spear in the center and dip it in some mustard.
17. Ants on a log
A true snack classic, ants on a log combine celery with peanuts butter, and a few raisins to resemble just that. This snack is a great mixture of protein, healthy fats, and fiber wrapped up in a sweet and savory package.
18. Cashew butter stuffed dates
Dates are a fabulous sugar alternative that has become popular in the health and wellness community.
These sweet drupes create a caramelized flavor and chewy texture that resembles candy. When stuffed with cashew butter, you get nature’s candy with a fraction of the sugar of your usual candy bar.
The cashew butter provides a dose of protein and fat that pairs well with the carbohydrates from the dates.
Although it’s often seen as a breakfast item, oatmeal can make a hearty snack. Packed with heart-healthy fiber, oatmeal is low in calories and rich in nutrients. You can add nuts, seeds, fruit, and more to taste making it as versatile as it is delicious.
20. Protein shake
Finally, for those constantly on the go, a quick protein shake can do the trick in a jiffy. Just be careful to choose a protein shake that does not contain a lot of added sugars or artificial ingredients.
Just because you’re on a diet does not mean you need to eliminate snacking. Instead, grab a smart snack that will keep you feeling full while nourishing your body so you can meet your weight loss goals.
Make sure these snacks include protein, fiber, or heart-healthy fats such as the combinations listed above. Healthy snacks don’t have to be boring just because you’re trying to be healthy.