You may wonder if it’s possible for weight loss while not giving up a healthy snacks.
If you choose healthy, whole-food options with a lot of protein and nutrients, healthy snacks can be integral for weight loss. Some can even help keep you full throughout the day and limit your cravings for unhealthy foods.
Here are 29 healthy, weight-loss-friendly snacks to add to your diet to lose weight.
How snacking can help you lose weight.
Eating healthy snacks throughout the day is actually one of the best ways to avoid an expanding waistline. researchers found that participants who ate more snacks daily weighed less than those who snacked less.
Why? Consistent snacking helps maintain blood-sugar levels, keeping you full, and preventing your body from storing excess fat.
Why these are the best Healthy Snacks to buy for Weight Loss
As editors of Eat This, Not That!, we get to try hundreds of new products every year. Not only do the following picks pass our taste bud test, but they also meet some strict nutritional requirements.
- Each snack is under 250 calories.
- No healthy snack has more than 15 grams of sugar.
- Every snack is made with good-for-you, whole-food ingredients; you won’t find any artificial ingredients, unpronounceable additives, or weird preservatives here.
We included a mix of high-protein snacks, low-sugar snacks, low-carb snacks, and high-fat snacks because everyone’s weight-loss needs will differ. Some people are following low-carb diets while others are simply trying to increase their protein intake.
To reach your weight loss goals faster, close your eyes and pick any of these essential 50 best healthy snacks to buy for weight loss, compliments of the experts here at Eat This, Not That!
Here are the best smoothies that you can use aside with the healthy snacks !
What to Look for In a Healthy Snack for Weight Loss
Protein, fiber, and healthy fats all increase the satiety factor of meals and snacks, which means you’ll feel full longer and be less likely to overeat, says Sheri Vettel, R.D., a registered dietitian from the Institute from Integrative Nutrition. This trio is also digested slower than simple carbohydrates, which helps to regulate blood sugar levels, she adds. Add whole-grain carbs into the mix and you’re sure to steer clear of plummeting blood sugar (and the irritability and cravings that come with it). (Related: 14 Crazy Things People Do to Add More Protein to Their Diet)
While protein, fiber, and healthy fats are all key components of an overall healthy eating style, they’re also important parts of a diet geared toward reaching weight loss goals. That’s because they keep you full for a long amount of time and for a lower number of calories. (Remember: Cutting back on calories, even slightly, can play a big role in helping you lose weight.) Protein, for example, takes twice as long as carbohydrates to digest, keeping you twice as full for the same amount of calories (both have four calories per gram), Healthy fats also help with satiety and add flavor for about nine calories per gram, she adds.
Another important component to consider, according to Vettel? Bio-individuality, aka the idea that everyone has different needs or nutritional requirements. For example, how much protein you (vs., say, your mom) might need varies depending on age, overall health, and physical activity level, she explains. This means that for many individuals, focusing on specific grams of fiber or protein isn’t entirely necessary.
“I also suggest focusing on the nutrient-density of your food choices, rather than a strict calorie goal,” says Vettel. “Listen to your body to identify how much fuel you need, if any, between meals.”
When you do need something, Vettel recommends a smart weight-loss snack that includes at least two of the following: a vegetable, a fruit, a whole grain, a healthy fat, or a lean source of protein. “Honor that some days snacks may contain more calories than others, and that’s okay,” she says.
Ahead, a list of the best store-bought and homemade healthy weight loss snacks that follow this formula, so the only thing you need to do it stock up and have them at the ready. (Related: 14 Post-Workout Snacks Trainers and Dietitians Swear By)
Here are 10 healthy, weight-loss-friendly snacks to add to your diet.
Red bell pepper with guacamole
Red bell peppers are extremely healthy. Although all bell peppers are nutritious, red varieties are particularly high in antioxidants like beta carotene, capsanthin, and quercetin.
They’re are also rich in vitamin C. In fact, 1 large red bell pepper contains over 300% of the daily value (DV) for this nutrient.
Pairing 1 large red bell pepper with 3 ounces (85 grams) of guacamole adds healthy fat and fiber while keeping this snack’s calorie count under 200.
Apple slices with peanut butter
Apples and peanut butter taste fantastic together.
Apples are high in fiber and polyphenol antioxidants that improve gut health and reduce heart disease risk Peanut butter may have additional benefits for heart health. It has been shown to increase HDL (good) cholesterol and reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol and triglycerides
That said, peanut butter is fairly high in calories.
Although it generally hasn’t been linked to weight gain, it’s best consumed in moderation.
A medium apple with 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of natural peanut butter provides a nice balance of sweet flavor with crisp and creamy textures at under 200 calories.
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 lose weight. Plus, almonds deliver filling fiber, protein and healthy fats. Almonds help keep hunger at bay, improve your heart health and may even help you lose belly fat (learn more about all the amazing health benefits of almonds). Grab a handful, eat them with some dried fruit and dark chocolate or spread some almond butter on an apple.
A serving of almonds, one ounce or 23 almonds, has 164 calories, 4 grams of fiber and 6 grams of protein
You don’t need to go on a grapefruit diet to reap the health benefits of this ruby fruit. A whole grapefruit has about 100 calories and 4 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 (see other powerful health reasons to eat more grapefruit).
One study found that when people simply ate grapefruit with each meal, they lost up to 3 1/2 pounds over three months. Grapefruit may help manage appetite by lowering insulin levels, say researchers.
Cottage cheese with flax seeds and cinnamon
Cottage cheese, flax seeds, and cinnamon each have impressive health benefits. Together, they’re incredibly healthy.
Flax seeds are beneficial for weight loss and blood sugar control. They may also reduce breast cancer risk
Cinnamon helps lower blood sugar and may improve gut health
Here’s an easy recipe that provides about 15 grams of protein with fewer than 150 calories:
Cinnamon flax seed pudding
For this recipe, mix the following ingredients in a small bowl:
- 1/2 cup (80 grams) of cottage cheese
- 1 tablespoon (15 grams) of ground flax seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon (5 grams) of cinnamon
- A dash
of stevia or another sweetener, if desired
Cherry tomatoes with mozzarella
Tomatoes and mozzarella cheese are a flavor match made in heaven — and they’re healthy, too.
Mozzarella is high in protein, calcium and vitamin B12. It may also decrease heart disease risk by raising your levels of HDL (good) cholesterol
Baby carrots with blue cheese dressing
Carrots are among the best sources of carotenoids, including beta carotene, which your body can convert into vitamin A.
The carotenoids in carrots may reduce your risk of cancer, heart disease, and cataracts (40
It’s a good idea to pair carrots with a creamy salad dressing or dip because fat increases your absorption of carotenoids.
Pepitas and Applesauce
Rich in mood-boosting magnesium, pepitas — essentially pumpkin seeds without a hull (shell) — make for a healthy snack no matter your goals. Just take these Superseedz (Buy It, $23 for 6, amazon.com) for example: With 2 grams of fiber, 7 grams of protein, and 12 grams of healthy fats in just 1/4 cup, they’re a clear top-notch nosh. For an even more fibrous option, mix this heathy weight-loss snack with unsweetened, no-sugar-added applesauce, says Doerfler.
Toss grapes in the freezer for an easy snack. Because they’re sweet and you savor them individually and slowly, you’ll get a lot of satisfaction for just a handful of calories. Even though grapes are high in sugar for fruit (see our ranking of fruits from lowest to highest carb here) they are a great way to naturally satisfy your sweet tooth. 1 cup of grapes has about 100 calories.
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. 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
Homemade Snacks for Weight Loss
Hard-Boiled Eggs and Cheese
A fast and easy snack I love is two hard-boiled eggs with 1 oz aged cheese, such as sharp cheddar, parmesan, bleu, swiss, or brie,” says Autumn Bates, C.C.N, a certified clinical nutritionist in California. It’s high in protein and fat — nearly 20 grams of each — for around 270 calories, she explains. “Aged cheeses also have the lowest lactose levels which can minimize GI distress.”
Raw Vegetables and Ranch Dip
Sometimes food is just a vessel to eat some dip. Instead of chicken wings, pair one cup raw veggies — i.e. carrots, celery, or bell peppers — with a delish DIY dip. All you have to do is mix 2 percent fat Greek yogurt with a ranch seasoning packet (Buy It, $2, thrivemarket.com), explains Wilson. “It’s a great snack with a bit of healthy fat and lots of protein — about 12 grams per 4 oz,” she adds. And ICYDK, veggies are considered one of the best weight loss snacks (and, TBH, snacks overall) because you can eat a lot of them for not a lot of calories — plus, they physically take up space in your stomach, creating that full (satisfied) feeling, and offer up plenty of important nutrients.
Protein Snack Box
While there are versions available at Starbucks — which Bates recommends if you’re on the run — and from the grocery store, you can save money (and additives) by making your own protein box. Start with a few low-fat cheese cubes (~1-2 oz) or lean deli meat (~2-3 oz), add in about 1/4 cup almonds or pistachios, and finish it off with 1 cup grapes or berries, says Wilson. This healthy weight loss snack has the trifecta: fiber, protein, and healthy fats. Best of all you can mix up the flavors and options every day.
Greek Yogurt and Berries
One cup of Greek yogurt provides 12-14 grams of filling protein for around 80-120 calories, says Wilson. Look for Greek yogurt that’s unsweetened or low in sugar, such as Chobani’s Non-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt.
Adding 1 cup of berries takes this healthy weight loss snack to the next level with extra fiber, vitamins, and minerals, says Wilson. And lower sugar fruits (such as berries) or vegetables can help you feel full for not a lot of calories, she adds.