Are you constantly on the lookout for the healthiest snack for weight loss? Do you regularly find yourself wanting to eat something healthy but do not know what snacks are good for your diet? Have you reached into your snack drawer and tossed a bag of chips in the garbage because you knew that it was no good for your diet? If so, then this article is perfect for you. The article will help you choose among these snacks:
Can snacking be a part of a healthy diet?
Of course! When you choose a snack, choose one with protein, fat and/or fiber. All of these nutrients take longer to digest, so they fill you up. Snacks are also a great way to add extra nutrition to your day. Think of snacks like carrots and hummus, an apple with almond butter or whole-grain crackers with cheese. Also, if you let yourself get too hungry, you’re more likely to overeat at your next meal. So even though we tend to think of chips and candy as “snack” foods, eating snacks can help you from overeating.
You may think calories are the most important thing for snacking when it comes to losing weight. But you can have 100 calories of jelly beans and not be satisfied at all, versus eating 200 calories of nuts and dried fruit. That’s not to say calories don’t matter at all, but it’s also important to choose a snack that delivers nutrition and fills you up. All of our weight-loss meal plans allow for two snacks a day and on the 1,500-calorie meal plans, each snack is around 200 calories per day.
What about evening snacking?
The biggest problem with nighttime snacks is most of us typically reach for ice cream and chips—not fruit and yogurt. That’s not to say you can’t have a treat after dinner. Some of your favorite evening snacks may even be on this list (Chocolate! Popcorn!).
One thing to note, if you’re always hungry after dinner, make sure your meal is made up of filling and nutritious foods, such as including our best dinner foods for weight loss and you’re eating enough food. If all you’re nibbling on is a lackluster salad, you may legitimately be hungry and need an evening snack.
If you love an evening snack after dinner, serve yourself an appropriate portion onto a plate or bowl, so you’re not scooping straight from the container where you’re more likely to eat more. Having your own bowl allows you to check in with your body and hunger levels.
Looking for inspiration for nutritious snacks? Read on to find out our top ten smart snack choices to manage weight.
Nuts are a great healthy snack. And even though they’re high in fat, you don’t need to avoid them if you’re trying to manage your weight.
For instance, almonds deliver filling fiber, protein and healthy fats. They help keep hunger at bay, improve your heart health, and may even help you lose belly fat. An one-ounce serving of almonds includes 23 almonds, which provides 172 calories, 3 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein. Grab a handful, eat them with some dried fruit and dark chocolate or spread some almond butter on an apple.
You don’t need to go on a grapefruit diet to reap the health benefits of this ruby fruit. A whole grapefruit has about 130 calories and 5 grams of fiber. Not to mention, it delivers 100 percent of women’s vitamin C needs for the day. That’s a lot of nutrition packed into this tart citrus fruit.
Keep chickpeas in the pantry. They have a meaty texture and a nutty flavor along with plenty of satiating fiber and a little protein-perfect when you’re watching your weight. Every half cup of chickpeas has about 150 calories, 8 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber. Try roasting them or popping them in an air-fryer for a crunchy snack that packs up easily.
Grapes may be high in natural sugar, but you can savor them individually and slowly to satisfying your sweet tooth. With every cup of grapes offering about 100 calories, toss grapes in the freezer for an easy snack or pair them with cheese for an easy to pack snack for work.
Losing weight doesn’t mean giving up the foods you love. Believe it or not, giving yourself little treats may be the secret to losing weight for good. But, aiming to be “too good” sets you up to fail and doesn’t allow you to fully enjoy your foods.
If you like a glass of wine with dinner, make room for it. Prefer dessert? Skip the drink and go for a small chocolate treat instead. Remember, if you have both—that’s OK too. Don’t beat yourself up. Just enjoy a healthy breakfast tomorrow.
Pictured recipe: Lemon-Parm Popcorn
Popcorn is high in fiber and even delivers a little protein. A one-ounce serving (about 3 cups) of air-popped popcorn has 4 grams of fiber, almost 3 grams of protein and clocks in at 110 calories. This combination makes it a snack with staying power. Popcorn is a whole grain and 3 cups is a huge serving—especially when you compare it to other crunchy, salty snacks like chips. Many companies are making bagged popcorn—see our favorite healthy popcorn picks. You can also make your own with our Healthy Popcorn Recipes.
Healthy Snacks for Weight Loss You’ll Want to Eat Every Day
From oatmeal to avocado toast to hummus, you’ll actually want to reach for these.
When trying to lose weight, you may consider nixing snacks from your diet. But reaching for the right snacks can actually aid in your weight loss plan, and they don’t have to be boring. Wholesome nibbles can help you stay satisfied between meals, making you less likely to feel ravenous and overeat or indulge in unhealthy temptations.
A healthy snack can also quell cravings and ward off feelings of deprivation, helping you ignore junk foods’ siren song. The only catch: It’s not always obvious which snacks are actually satisfying and good for you. We all no a nutrient-deficient bag of chips or processed, sugary sweets may not be an ideal snack, so what exactly counts as healthy when it comes to a snack?
Generally, you want to aim for foods with around 200 to 250 calories, around 10 grams of protein, and five grams of fiber, recommends Sarah Pflugradt, R.D., nutrition expert and author of You Get One Body. That amount of calories is enough to fill you up without sending you over your daily budget. Plus, the combo of protein and fiber will help you stay fueled until your next meal.
The good news is that there are a ton of healthy snacks that will curb cravings, satisfy your hunger, and aid in weight loss—all while tasting so delicious. If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are the tastiest, expert-backed healthy snacks for weight loss in 2022. We promise they’re not boring and you’ll actually want to eat them!
Swap your regular chips for a healthy version with kale. The green veggie is loaded with protein, fiber, and antioxidants like beta carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. Kale can aid in weight loss too, a study published in Biomedical Reports found. Results showed that kale helped lower plasma glucose levels, which has been linked with weight loss.
In addition to being packed with protein (around 25 grams per cup), full-fat cottage cheese is rich in linoleic acid, a fatty acid that’s tied to fat loss. A study published in The Journal of Nutrition found that a higher intake of protein and dairy products like cottage cheese helped overweight and obese premenopausal women loose fat and gain lean muscle. Top with some fresh raspberries for a mega dose of fiber—you’ll get a whopping eight grams from one cup.
Eating a 3/4-cup of legumes, like chickpeas, can help you lose nearly one pound in six weeks without making any other changes to your diet, suggests a March 2016 review in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. Instead of eating them plain (talk about boring!) try roasting your chickpeas with extra-virgin olive oil, sea salt, and a generous sprinkle of cumin or smoked paprika for a boost of flavor. Yum!
Almonds with pomegranate seeds
Overweight and obese women who ate 1 1/2 ounces of nuts as part of a low-calorie diet for three months lost more weight than women who didn’t eat nuts, found May 2014 study from the Journal of Research in Medical Sciences. Try pairing 1/4-cup almonds with 1/2-cup pomegranate seeds. The water and the fiber in the fruit will fill you up even more—not to mention satisfy your sweet tooth, says Pflugradt.
Hummus and carrots
Hummus is just another tasty way to get a daily helping of beans, so dig in. As for your dipper? Go for raw veggies like celery and carrots—they’re rich in carotenoids, polyphenols that research suggests could help improve your insulin sensitivity as well as lower your waist circumference and body mass index.
The small-but-mighty seeds aren’t just loaded with protein and fiber. “They’re great for weight loss,” says nutrition expert Amy Shapiro, RD. “They hold up to 10 times their weight in water, so they expand in your stomach and help keep you full.” Try them in a sweet chia pudding with unsweetened almond milk, chopped walnuts, and dried blueberries. This recipe makes enough for two snacks, Shapiro says.
Apple with peanut butter
Apples are one of the top fruits for weight loss, thanks to their high-fiber content, according to a 2015 study in PLOS Med. Add a shot of protein and healthy fats with two tablespoons of natural peanut butter, and you’ll be set, Pflugradt says. Just be sure to read the labels on peanut butter jars carefully and check for added sugar and unhealthy oils.
Dessert hummus with fruit
Just like savory hummus, the sweeter variety is made with protein- and fiber-rich chickpeas that’ll fill you up for the long haul. Make your own in dessert hummus by pureeing chickpeas with vanilla extract, unsweetened cocoa powder, and a touch of maple syrup for some natural sweetness. You can also pick one up at the store as a dip for fresh strawberries. Just be sure to avoid those loaded with sugar–and stick to the serving size.
Guacamole with jicama
Good news, guac lovers: Avocado eaters weigh less and have lower body mass indexes compared to people who steer clear of the green fruit, according to sponsored study from Nutrition Journal. Enjoy the dip with jicama instead of the usual chips. A one-cup serving of the sliced veggie has six grams of belly-filling fiber and just 46 calories.
Smoothies are a satisfying way to sneak in an extra serving of veggies, making it a great snack for weight loss. “I like a 50/50 combo of veggies and fruit with a protein add-in and a fiber-add in,” Pflugradt says. Think a handful each of baby spinach and frozen mango with 3/4-cup low-fat milk and one tablespoon ground flaxseeds, or a handful each of kale and frozen berries with 3/4-cup unsweetened almond milk and one tablespoon almond butter.
Savory Greek yogurt
Swap your usual fruit or granola add-in for roasted, salted pumpkin seeds, chopped olives, or sliced cherry tomatoes, Pflugradt recommends. You’ll still get around 23 grams of appetite-squashing protein per cup of yogurt. Not to mention a shot of probiotics, which could help you shed up to four percent of your body fat in just six weeks, research suggests.
Best Healthy Snacks For Weight Loss, According To Nutritionists
Homemade Chocolate Chip Granola Bars
Yeah, this one’s a classic—but for good reason. Homemade granola bars cut back on sugar and fat without sacrificing flavor, and offer fiber (rolled oats), omega 3s (almonds and flaxseed meal), and a much-needed pick-me-up (chocolate chips).
Per serving (1 bar): 240 calories, 14 g fat, 28 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 4 g protein
5-Minute Healthy Strawberry Frozen Yogurt
That froyo shop down the street is tempting, but when you can make your own froyo at home in five minutes (at just 100 calories per cup), why would you pay money for a snack loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients?
Per serving (1 cup): 100 calories, 0 g fat, 27 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 2 g protein
Banana Ice Cream
Okay, this one is a bit of a cheat: it’s not actually “ice cream,” per se, but it is frozen banana blended into an ice cream consistency and finished off with your favorite toppings for a healthy and low-cal alternative.
Per serving (1 banana): 105 calories, 0 g fat, 27 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 1 g protein
Pumpkin Pie Dip
All the yummy, fall flavors of pumpkin pie in a lightened-up package, perfect for dipping tart green apples into or spreading on a fat-free graham cracker.
Per serving (½ cup): 105 calories, 4 g fat, 21 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein
Coconut Lime Raspberry Chia Pudding
Don’t have the cash to take a beach vacation this year? No worries, eating this chia pudding—with summery coconut, lime, and raspberry—will have you convinced you’re on an island somewhere, and those plumped-up little chia seeds will satisfy your appetite for hours.
Per serving (1 cup): 157 calories, 10 g fat, 15 g carbs, 10 g fiber, 4 g protein
Cranberry Pistachio Dark Chocolate Bark
Heads-up, chocolate lovers: this cranberry pistachio bark is loaded with antioxidants, vitamin C, fiber, and potassium. Pair it with a handful of fat-free berries to round out this sweet afternoon indulgence.
Per serving (1 oz): 126 calories, 8.1 g fat, 15.3 g carbs, 2.1 g fiber, 2.6 g protein
Simple Vegan Broccoli Soup
Made with only three ingredients, this broccoli soup is an easy, wholesome snack you can feel good about eating.
Per serving: 69 calories, 1 g fat, 14 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 4 g protein
Protein-Packed Avocado Toast
Avocado toast is a healthy snack in its own right—loaded with fiber and unsaturated fats. You can upgrade it and make it even better by adding more protein from cottage cheese and fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants from cherry tomatoes. Nutritious? Check. Delicious? Check.
Make it: Simply mix together ¼ cup cottage cheese, ¼ medium avocado (diced), and a couple of cherry tomatoes cut in half. Place on top of a slice of whole-wheat toast and sprinkle with an everything bagel spice blend.
Per serving: 210 calories, 8 g fat, 25 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 13 g protein
All about apples and need a snack ASAP? Then you will love these easy apple dippers.
Make it: Koch says all you need to do is mix ½ cup of 2% plain Greek yogurt with one tablespoon of nut butter and a dash of cinnamon. Cut up a medium apple into slices, then dip them into the homemade yogurt sauce.
Per serving: 270 calories, 10 g fat, 31 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 14 g protein
Savory Snack Plate
Hummus is packed with protein and fiber, but it’s also high in carbs. You can still eat hummus while on a keto diet if you keep the amount small like one to two tablespoons. Also, swap crackers with low-carb veggies like red pepper. For people who are on a low-calorie diet, you can pair hummus with jicama and pistachios.
Make it: Serve two tablespoons of hummus with red pepper and jicama slices and one ounce of lightly salted pistachios.
Per serving: 240 calories, 18 g fat, 17 g carbs, 7 g fiber, 9 g protein
Pumpkin Protein Cookies
This is for those of you who have a sweet tooth. These cookies, made with oats, almond flour, and pumpkin, are a perfect combination of carbs and protein and each is under 250 calories. Bonus: There are only four steps in this recipe from Koch.
Per serving (1 cookie): 235 calories, 8 g fat, 34 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 10 g protein
Peanut Butter Energy Bites
Snacking on the go? Make and grab one or two of Koch’s no-bake peanut butter energy bites, perfect for snacking no matter where your busy day takes you!