25 Snacks That May Help With Weight Loss


Eating snacks for weight loss may help satisfy hunger between meals, prevent cravings, and provide healthy nutrients. This article includes 25 healthy snack ideas, and reviews how snacks work for weight loss and how to plan your snacks into your weight loss meal plan.

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How Snacks Work for Weight Loss

People snack for a variety of reasons, including hunger, boredom, social activities and special occasions, out of habit, or cravings.  Snacks can be an important part of a weight loss eating plan.

Snacking may help you increase your intake of fruits and vegetables, which 9 out of 10 Americans do not get enough of in their diets.

Snacks may also increase satiety (a satisfying fullness) between meals, especially when eating of fiber-rich and high-protein foods. Increasing satiety between meals can help manage hunger, leading to improved appetite control to help meet your weight loss goals.

Research is mixed on whether snacks benefit weight loss directly or not, with some suggesting that increased meal frequency is equivalent to other weight loss regimens and may help improve blood sugar regulation.

Snacks high in fiber can help increase satiety between meals. Soluble dietary fiber has additional health benefits, such as the potential for improving cholesterol levels and aiding in blood sugar management.

Benefits of High-Protein Snacks

High-protein snacks may be beneficial when trying to lose weight. Protein takes longer to digest compared to carbohydrates, therefore promoting a feeling of satiety longer than a high-carbohydrate snack. Protein is also vital to maintaining muscle mass, which is important when trying to lose weight.

Including a source of protein with each meal and snack may benefit weight management goals.

25 Snack Ideas to Lose Weight

Below are 25 snack ideas that when substituted for unhealthy snacks may help you lose weight.

Apple and Nut Butter 

Apples are high in dietary fiber. Nut butters, such as peanut or almond butter, are also high in fiber, as well as healthy fats and plant-based protein. All these nutrients combine to provide a filling snack.

A medium apple with the skin on has about 95 calories and provides 1 gram of protein and 3 grams of fiber. A 1.5-tablespoon serving of almond butter contains about 147 calories and 5.1 grams of protein and 2.4 grams of dietary fiber.

Nut Butter Tip

Look for nut butter without added sugar or oils. Some grocery stores have a grinder so you can make nut butter from plain nuts with no added ingredients.

Berries and Cottage Cheese 

Berries are full of fiber, antioxidants, and phytochemicals (beneficial chemicals found in plants). A one-half cup of mixed berries contains around 80 calories.

Low-fat cottage cheese is packed with protein, having an impressive 12 grams of protein and 90 calories in a half cup, along with beneficial nutrients, including calcium, phosphorus, and potassium.

Sprinkle some ground cinnamon on top for an extra hint of sweetness to complement your snack.

Carrot Sticks With Hummus

Carrots are high in beta-carotene, fiber, potassium, and vitamin K. One cup of chopped carrots has 50 calories, 4 grams of fiber, and 1 gram of protein.

Hummus, traditionally made from chickpeas and tahini (sesame seed paste), is filled with plant-based protein, fiber, healthy fats, and nutrients like iron, magnesium, and folate. A 2-tablespoon serving of hummus contains about 73 calories, 2.2 grams of protein, and 1.6 grams of fiber.

Don’t have any carrots on hand? Other chopped veggies, such as celery, broccoli, bell peppers, and cucumber, also taste great dipped in hummus.

Greek Yogurt With Fruit

Nonfat, plain Greek yogurt is an excellent source of calcium and protein, boasting 16 grams of protein and 90 calories in a 5.3-ounce serving.

Combine that with some sliced fruit, such as a banana. Bananas are rich in fiber, potassium, and vitamin C. One medium banana has about 110 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and 1 gram of protein.

Drizzle in a teaspoon of honey for added sweetness, if desired.

Whole Grain Toast With Avocado

One hundred percent whole-grain bread is full of fiber and even includes some plant-based protein. A medium slice of whole-grain toast contains about 92 calories, 2.2 grams of fiber, and 4.5 grams of protein.

Top your toast with avocado for a boost of nutrients, such as dietary fiber, vitamins C, E, and K, healthy monounsaturated fats, folate, and magnesium. One-half of an avocado contains 120 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 1.5 grams of protein.

Add a dash or two of everything bagel seasoning to top it off.

Almonds and Cheese

Nuts and cheese are a classic pairing, containing filling fats, dietary fiber, and protein—making this combo a perfect snack for weight loss. Almonds, in particular, may aid in weight loss when included in a balanced weight-loss eating plan.

One ounce of raw almonds and 1 ounce of cheddar cheese together contain 279 calories, 13 grams of protein, and 3 grams of fiber.

Fruit Smoothie With Greek Yogurt

If you are getting bored of the regular yogurt and fruit in a bowl combination, try mixing them all together for a smoothie. Start with a base of nonfat plain Greek yogurt and your choice of fruit.

Then toss in your add-ins, such as nuts or nut butter, seeds, avocado, and a teaspoon of sweetener, such as honey or pure maple syrup, if desired.

Mixed Nuts

Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, cashews, pecans, pistachios, and more, offer many nutritional and health benefits, including the potential to aid in weight loss.

Nuts are great sources of protein, healthy fats, dietary fiber, vitamins, and minerals. An ounce of mixed raw nuts contains about 160 calories, 5 grams of protein, and 2 grams of fiber.

Celery With Peanut Butter

Take a bite of crunchy and crisp celery topped with smooth, creamy peanut butter for a satisfying snack. Two small stalks of celery, each topped with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter will provide about 192 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and 8 grams of protein.

Chia Pudding

Chia seeds are tiny round seeds that pack in a powerhouse of nutrients. Research shows these “superfood” status seeds may benefit weight loss, as seen in a randomized controlled trial of people with overweight or obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Just 2 tablespoons of chia seeds provides about 140 calories, 4 grams of protein, 11 grams of fiber, and other nutrients, such as calcium, zinc, and copper.

To make chia pudding, mix one-half cup of your choice of milk with 2 tablespoons of chia seeds and a teaspoon of your sweetener of choice. Cover and allow the mixture to refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight. Top with your favorite fruit to add some color and extra nutrients.

Hard-Boiled Eggs

A simple, no-fuss option for a dose of protein in your day is hard-boiled eggs. Two large whole eggs contain about 160 calories and 13 grams of protein and are a good source of vitamins A, D, and E, choline, iron, and folate.

Peel your hard-boiled eggs and keep them in the fridge for an easy grab-and-go snack option.

Cheese With Whole-Grain Crackers

Whole-grain crackers provide a satisfying crunch and dose of fiber to your day. Add an ounce of cheese to balance it with a tang and for some filling fats and protein. 

Be sure to look for crackers that are baked, not deep fried, and that contain 100% whole grains.

Beef Jerky

Beef jerky is a fantastic high protein, low-carb portable snack. Beef jerky or beef sticks, on average, contain about 114 calories and 9 grams of protein per one-ounce serving.

Look for options with less than 300 milligrams (mg) of sodium per serving and as few added ingredients as possible.

Tuna Wrapped in a Whole Wheat Tortilla

Fatty fish, including tuna, is a great way to get heart-healthy omega-3 fats into your diet. Canned tuna is a convenient and affordable protein-packed option. Season it with lemon juice and dill, and wrap it up in a whole wheat tortilla for a quick snack. 

Three ounces of tuna on a whole wheat tortilla contains about 190 calories, 23 grams of protein, and 5 grams of fiber.

Edamame

Edamame are immature green soybeans that are high in protein, fiber, iron, vitamin C, and calcium. They come in tough, fuzzy shells that are edible, though likely hard to chew, but most often the beans are eaten shelled. You can eat them cold or hot.

One cup of shelled edamame provides about 188 calories, 8 grams of fiber, and 18.4 grams of plant-based protein.

Trail Mix

Make your own trail mix at home by mixing and matching your favorite nuts, seeds, and dried fruit for fiber, protein and healthy fats. Look for dried fruits without added sugars. 

Keep in mind portion sizes when snacking on trail mix for weight loss, as calories can add up quickly. A 1-ounce serving of trail mix with nuts and fruit provides about 129 calories, 3 grams of protein, and 1.9 grams of fiber.

Whole Wheat Flatbread With Sliced Tomatoes and Mozzarella

Whole wheat flatbread topped with part-skim mozzarella cheese and sliced tomatoes is a delicious combination that provides a host of good-for-you nutrients. Toss it in the air fryer for a few minutes to melt the cheese, roast the tomatoes, and crisp the bread for a mouthwatering, nutritious snack. 

One whole wheat flatbread with tomato slices and an ounce of part-skim mozzarella contains about 195 calories, 8 grams fiber, and 14 grams of protein.

Popcorn Sprinkled With Nutritional Yeast

Air-popped popcorn is an excellent whole-grain snack option. Sprinkle with nutritional yeast for a cheesy-like taste and a boost of nutritional value. Three cups of popcorn have less than 100 calories, 3 grams of protein, and over 3 grams of fiber.

Add just 2 teaspoons of nutritional yeast for an extra 20 calories, 3 grams of protein, and 1 gram of fiber. Plus, nutritional yeast delivers a vegan source of vitamin B12, as well as other B vitamins such as vitamin B6, riboflavin, niacin, and folate.

Roasted Chickpeas

Level up your chickpea game by roasting them in the oven for a tasty, fiber-filled, high protein crunchy snack. Experiment with different seasonings to find what you like best. 

A 1-cup serving of drained and rinsed chickpeas delivers 210 calories, 9.6 grams of fiber, and 10.7 grams of protein. Other nutrients include vitamin B6, folate, manganese, phosphorus, and more.

Don’t have time to make your own roasted chickpeas? Look for some at your local grocery store.

Turkey Roll-Ups

Turkey roll-ups are a simple snack that offers a filling and tasty option. Using a whole wheat tortilla, apply a thin layer of mustard and plain nonfat Greek yogurt for some tang, then layer sliced turkey, lettuce, and thinly sliced tomatoes and onions.

Roll it all up and cut it into eight equal slices. When snacking, eating four pieces will tide you over until your next meal. Switch up the ingredients of your roll-up to try new flavor combinations.

Oatmeal

Oatmeal may sound boring, but you can dress it up any way you want, sweet or savory, to make it tasty and filling. One-third cup of whole grain oats provides around 102 calories, 3.6 grams of protein, and 2.7 grams of fiber.

Up the flavor and nutrition by adding in some seeds, chopped nuts, nut butter, sliced fruit, your favorite protein powder, and/or some ground cinnamon. Go savory by topping with an egg, diced avocado, chopped spinach or kale, diced tomatoes, and/or mushrooms.

Dates Stuffed With Nut Butter

A favorite pre-workout snack for many, dates stuffed with nut butter provide a fiber-filled snack. Medjool dates are naturally sweet, making a great snack option if you are craving something sweet. 

Two Medjool dates, each stuffed with 1 teaspoon of peanut butter, provide about 196 calories, 4.2 grams of fiber, and 3.5 grams of protein.

Green Smoothie

Green smoothies are a good alternative to green salads to help get some green veggies into your day. Pour your choice of milk into a blender, along with a couple cups of spinach or kale, a small to medium banana, your choice of additional 1 cup of frozen fruit, and your favorite protein powder.

Optional add-ins include chia seeds or flaxseed, nuts, and ground cinnamon. The options are endless, so make it your own.

Protein/Energy Balls

Make a batch of protein balls to have on hand for an easy, delicious, and portable snack. The base of many protein balls includes a whole grain, such as oats, a nut butter to hold things together, protein powder, and an optional sweetener of choice. All this combined provides a fiber-rich, protein-packed snack in just a couple of protein balls.

Additional add-ins to your protein balls include chia or flax seeds, cacao nibs, chopped dried fruit or nuts, or unsweetened shredded coconut.

Kale Chips Sprinkled With Parmesan Cheese

A healthier alternative to deep-fried potato chips is baked kale chips—though they can be just as addicting. They are a fun way to get enough nutrient-rich greens.

Kale is rich in antioxidants, beta carotene, vitamins K and C, and manganese. One cup of kale has only 7 calories, 0.6 grams of protein, and just under 1 gram of fiber.

To make kale chips:

  1. Lightly toss washed and completely dried chopped de-stemmed kale with olive oil or avocado oil and salt.
  2. Sprinkle some finely shredded Parmesan cheese on top to add another layer of flavor and a bit of filling fats.
  3. Bake at a low oven temperature, about 300 degrees F, for 15 to 25 minutes, stirring halfway through.

For convenience, you can also find premade kale chips at the grocery store.

Planning Your Snacks

The best time of day to include snacks has not been determined, and it may depend on the individual. However, some studies suggest that snacking earlier in the day may be better for yourr health than late at night.

One study of working adults found that those who snacked more in the evenings were associated with higher body mass index (BMI), higher intake of fast food, French fries, and soft drinks, and higher percentage of distracted eating. Those who snacked earlier in the day had higher intakes of fruits and vegetables.

An older study found similar results, concluding that nighttime eating may increase weight compared to eating earlier in the day.

Planning midmorning and /or afternoon snacks high in fiber and protein may be a good option to help with weight loss. However, if you have not eaten much during the day and are truly hungry, it’s fine to eat a nutritious meal or snack in the evening.

The frequency of snacking will vary based on your individual activity level, daily routine, and meal size. Some people may perform best with two to three snacks per day, while others prefer only one snack.

Snacks should not be high in calories, as they are not a full meal. Sticking to about 150 to 250 calories per snack is enough to satisfy, but not so much decrease appetite for your regular meals or have a dramatic increase in your overall daily calorie intake.

Types of Snacks to Avoid

While snacking may benefit weight loss, if not done right, it can hinder weight loss and may even lead to weight gain. Limiting snacks high in saturated fat and added sugar is best for health. These include foods such as cookies, pastries, ice cream, candy, sugar-sweetened beverages, chips, and other deep-fried foods.

Summary

Snacks can be included in your weight loss eating plan. Snacks may help satisfy hunger between meals, prevent cravings, and provide healthy key nutrients in your diet. High fiber and high protein snacks are best to aid in satiety and may benefit blood sugar management, as well.

Choose a snack schedule that works for your lifestyle, including anywhere from one to three snacks per day. People who snack in the midmorning and afternoon may have a higher intake of fruits and vegetables and see greater weight loss compared to those who snack late at night.

Choosing snacks that are limited to around 150 to 250 calories can encourage weight loss and help you achieve your health goals.



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