Did you know great snacks play a HUGE role in your weight loss journey? Yes, they do. But wait……….I thought snacks were meant to be a convenient way of snacking on the go?! Silly me. If only I knew that snacks can actually help me lose weight.
Snacks That Can Help You Lose Weight
Whole wheat toast with canned fish
Canned fish, such as canned salmon, sardines, and tuna, may not be the first food that comes to mind when you think of snacks, but it’s a fantastic option that requires no refrigeration.
Plus, salmon and sardines are incredibly high in omega-3 fatty acids, which decrease your risk of heart disease, inflammation, and other health problems
Topping a piece of whole wheat toast with canned fish will give you a highly nutritious snack that will leave you feeling full until your next meal. For something smaller, try a few whole grain crackers with tuna or salmon.
Edamame is a dish of steamed unripened soybeans that makes a great snack for anyone following a vegan or vegetarian diet.
It’s a fiber-rich food that’s considered a complete, plant-based protein source
One cup (155 grams) of edamame provides around 18 grams of protein and 13 grams of carbs, 8 of which come from fiber
Oatmeal is a truly versatile snack that you can enjoy hot or cold — at home or on the go. Just whip up a slightly smaller portion of oats than you might for a meal.
Oats are a nutritious whole grain that provides a good amount of fiber and higher protein content compared with other cereals
What’s more, you can satisfy your sweet tooth with oatmeal topped with fruit, cinnamon, cocoa powder, and chocolate chips, or go for a savory version by adding eggs, avocado, and veggies like mushrooms or tomatoes.
Pear slices with ricotta cheese
Pear slices and ricotta cheese make a satisfying snack with a sweet taste and creamy texture, and it provides fiber and protein
Homemade trail mix
Make a trail mix by combining dried fruit and nuts for fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Choose fruits without added sugar and get creative with flavors. Try dried mango with cashews, dried apples with almonds, and dried cherries with peanuts.
While homemade trail mix is perfect for on-the-go snacking, stick to a modest portion size, as dried fruit and nuts are calorie-dense.
Turkey roll-ups are delicious and nutritious.
Turkey contains high quality protein, which helps you feel satisfied and is linked to beneficial effects on weight management
Try rolling up a slice of turkey with a slice of cheese and some vegetables for added crunch and nutrients.
Olives with feta cheese
Olives are one of the nutritious staples of the Mediterranean diet.
They’re very high in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and provide powerful antioxidants
Combine olives with feta cheese for a Greek-inspired snack that’s rich in protein and healthy fats. You could eat them by themselves or serve them over whole wheat bread to complete your snack with some complex carbs.
Avocados are among the most nutritious and satisfying foods due to their high fat and fiber content Sprinkle half of a medium avocado with salt and a dash of cayenne pepper for a savory, filling snack under 120 calories
But think air-popped popcorn — not the movie-theater kind doused in butter and salt.
Popcorn delivers filling fiber and less than 100 calories in a generous 3-cup serving
Add flavor with a little bit of olive oil, Parmesan cheese, or nutritional yeast.
Roasting chickpeas helps turn them into a crunchy and delightful snack.
Chickpeas are a source of fiber and plant-based protein
You can make your own or look for roasted chickpeas in the snack section of your grocery store.
Cantaloupe slices wrapped in prosciutto
Cantaloupe is a nutritious, delicious fruit delivering fiber and vitamins A and C
Combining cantaloupe with prosciutto (dry-cured ham) creates a balanced, sweet-and-salty snack.
Try wrapping 4 medium cantaloupe wedges (276 grams) with a thin slice of prosciutto each for a snack under 180 calories
So, what counts as a healthy snack?
Think of a healthy snack as a mini-meal, says Koch. “It should be more than just a handful of popcorn or a bag of chips. Like a meal, it should contain some protein, carbs, and healthy fats. Bonus points for fiber, as that helps fill us up and slows digestion leaving you feeling fuller longer,” she adds.
But whipping up a perfectly portioned snack is easier said than done. Who really has the time to measure out exactly two tablespoons of nut butter? Don’t worry. We have taken the guesswork out of healthy snacks and chatted with some of your favorite healthy food bloggers and registered dietitians to give you the ultimate go-to list for healthy (and tasty!) snacks for weight loss.
Some of these snacks are low calorie and high fiber while some snacks are high fat and high protein (looking at you, keto dieters). Basically, there is something for everyone. (You’re welcome).
Best Healthy Snacks For Weight Loss, According To Nutritionists
Chocolate-Covered Banana Pops
Something about eating food on a stick just makes it more fun—especially when that food is covered in chocolate and tastes like it should have way more calories than it does.
Per serving (1 pop): 144 calories, 9 g fat, 21 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 2 g protein
Microwave Egg Taco
Get creative with your microwave and make a tasty snack with enough protein to carry you to your next meal.
Make it: “Crack one egg into a microwave-safe mug and cook for 90 seconds,” says Plotkin. Immediately stir in 1/2 ounce shredded cheddar, then serve inside a small whole-wheat tortilla.
Per serving: 182 calories, 10 g fat (5 g saturated), 11 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 360 mg sodium, 3 g fiber, 11 g protein
Vitamin C Tropical Green Smoothie
You don’t have to wait until sick season to whip up this vitamin C smoothie, but it would definitely help ward off the plague once it starts going around the office. Plus, it just looks pretty!
Per serving (⅕ of recipe): 283 calories, 7.1 g fat, 53 g carbs, 11.7 g fiber, 8.2 g protein
“If you’re craving something salty and crunchy, roasted beans are a much better option than chips thanks to their combo of protein and fiber, says Jessica Levinson, RD.
Make it: Rinse and drain a can of chickpeas, then toss them with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, and whatever spice you want. Roast at 400° F for 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, then eat. One batch makes three servings.
Per serving: 160 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated), 17 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 292 mg sodium, 4 g fiber, 5 g protein
Avocado Chocolate Mousse
Got ripe avocados? Tired of making guacamole? Put those avocados to unconventionally-good use by mixing them with chocolate for this healthy, creamy, totally-doesn’t-taste-like-avocados mousse.
Per serving: 146 calories, 13.1 g fat, 11.1 g carbs, 7.2 g fiber, 3.1 g protein
Almond Butter Crackers
“Peanut butter crackers serve as a quick option for people on the run, but the pre-packaged snack can have many hidden ingredients and calories,” says Shamera Robinson, RD. DIY it instead.
Make it: Spread 1 tablespoon almond butter (or any nut or seed butter) between 1 ounce whole grain crackers.
Per serving: 233 calories, 12 g fat (2 g saturated), 23 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 227 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 8 g protein
Fruit Salad With Citrus Mint Dressing
We know fruit salad can get B-O-R-I-N-G when you’re eating it day after day. This recipe jazzes up beautiful berries and banana slices with the bright flavors of citrus and mint to make your boring fruit salad a bold one.
Per serving (¼ of recipe): 117 calories, 0.8 g fat, 28.8 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 1.7 g protein
“Popcorn is a great snack to fill up on,” says Robinson, thanks to all the fiber. And you don’t have to stick with the plain stuff, either. “Try sprinkling garlic powder and dried rosemary (or Italian seasoning) for extra flavor,” suggests Robinson.
Make it: Pop 3 tablespoons of popcorn kernels in 1/2 Tbsp canola oil in a large saucepan on the stove. Top with your favorite herbs or spices.
Per serving: 161 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated), 28 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 15 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 4 g protein
Banana Mocha Smoothie
Now you don’t have to choose between your midday moccachino and something nutritious—this smoothie combines cold brew coffee with frozen bananas and cocoa powder for a healthy snack option with a jolt of caffeine.
Per serving: 288 calories, 7.2 g fat, 46.9 g carbs, 4.9 g fiber, 14.3 g protein
Healthful snacks to eat for weight loss
Baked sweet potato with nut or seed butter
Sweet potatoes aren’t just for lunch or dinner. The sweet flavor paired with six grams of fiber make the orange tubers a satisfying snack, too. Add a protein-rich topper for more staying power—like a tablespoon of almond butter or tahini.
Oatmeal with cinnamon
Why limit something this good to just breakfast? Research shows that oats are rich in beta-glucans, a type of soluble fiber that boosts satiety. Pflugradt recommends cooking 1/4-cup rolled or steel-cut oats with 1/2-cup 2% milk for a filling combo of fiber and protein. Top with your favorite fruit plus a sprinkle of cinnamon—studies suggests that the spice could help promote stable blood-sugar levels.
Pears with parmesan cheese
One medium pear packs nearly six grams of fiber. Enjoy it with an ounce of Parmesan cheese, which is protein-packed and makes for a yummy sweet-salty combo, says Shapiro.
The protein in eggs has been shown to keep hunger hormones at bay and promote weight loss. But if you’re bored with snacking on hard-boiled ones, shake things up by making bite-sized frittatas in a mini muffin tin.
Help yourself to a cup of the soybean pods, Shapiro recommends. You’ll get a whopping 18 grams of protein and eight grams of fiber, which will help keep you going until your next meal.
Craving something salty? Try protein- and fiber-rich pistachios. People who snacked on 240 calories’ worth of the green nuts lowered their BMIs by one point in just four weeks, while those who ate a similar amount of pretzels saw no change, according to a June 2010 study in the Journal of American College of Nutrition. Pick in-shell pistachios—they take longer to eat than their shelled counterparts.
Split pea soup
It might seem like an odd choice for a snack, but get this: The protein in split peas has been shown to help reduce hunger more than the protein from dairy foods like Greek yogurt, a 2011 study in Nutrition Journal found. In fact, just one cup of split pea soup serves up 10 grams of protein—along with five grams of fiber.
Spread a slice of whole-grain toast with one tablespoon of almond butter and top with mashed blueberries (frozen berries that have been thawed are fine!). You’ll get a combo of protein, healthy fat, and fiber along with an extra boost: Anthocyanins, an antioxidant compound found in blueberries that evidence shows is tied to weight loss.
Green tea latte
The grassy brew is rich in catechins, antioxidant-rich compounds that research suggests can boost calorie-burning. Still, store-bought tea lattes tend to be loaded with calories and sugar. Make your own better-for-you version by blending half a cup of brewed green tea with a cup of warm low-fat milk. (Blending gives the latte a rich, frothy texture.) Stir in a teaspoon of honey if you want a hint of sweetness, Shapiro says.