The 21 Best Healthy Snacks For Weight Loss
If you’ve ever snacked your way through a jar of peanut butter in a day, you’re probably pretty damn convinced that snacking is your worst enemy when it comes to weight loss.
But yeah, no. Snacks (you know, the healthy, well-portioned kind) can help ensure you don’t get so damn hungry you just say “screw it!” and give up on your whole diet.
Still, whipping up your own perfectly portioned snack is way easier said than done. (Honestly, who knew a serving or peanut butter was only two measly tablespoons?!)
Make things a whole lot easier on yourself and whip up these nutritionist-approved best healthy snacks for weight-loss snacks instead.
1. Trail mix
“My ideal healthy snack combines a little of each of the macronutrients—protein, carbohydrates, and fats,” says Kath Younger, R.D. “I love to rely on the combination of nuts and fruits, either fresh fruit or dried fruit for a longer shelf life. A small handful of trail mix is one of my favorite snacks that won’t spoil my appetite for my next meal.”
Make it: Combine equal parts unsweetened dried fruit and unsalted roasted nuts (sorry, no M&Ms this time). Reach for a quarter cup of the mixture when you need a boost.
Per serving: 163 calories, 9 g fat (1 g saturated), 19 g carbs, 13 g sugar, 3 mg sodium, 2 g fiber, 5 g protein.
2. Yogurt with nuts and berries
Younger adds a sprinkle of nuts to protein-rich fat-free yogurt for some satiating healthy fats. A small handful of berries or another chopped fruit will add texture and sweetness, plus filling fiber. It might sound basic, but it’s a classic snack for a reason.
Make it: Combine 1/2 cup Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons chopped nuts, and 1/2 cup berries in a bowl.
Per serving: 205 calories, 11 g fat (0 g saturated), 13 g carbs, 7 g sugar, 43 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 16 g protein.
3. Sliced tomato with a sprinkle of feta and olive oil
This savory dish will make your taste buds happy. Tomatoes pack umami flavor, while feta adds tang and a little bit of salt.
Make it: Slice 1 medium tomato (or slice up 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes), and top with 1 ounce feta and 1 teaspoon olive oil.
Per serving: 133 calories, 11 g fat (5 g saturated), 5 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 265 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 5 g protein.
4. Shrimp and cocktail sauce
Make it: Mix 1 teaspoon canned tapenade (such as Divinia) with 1/2 cup canned white beans (drained and rinsed).
Per serving: 126 calories, 4 g fat (0 g saturated), 20 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 121 mg sodium, 6 g fiber, 6 g protein.
10. Dates and pistachios
“It’s the usual fruit and nuts combo, but a little more sophisticated,” says Tolbert. Dates have a honey-like sweetness, which combines with the strong flavor of pistachios into a snack that feels like dessert.
Make it: Combine 2 pitted dates with 2 tablespoons pistachios.
Per serving: 213 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated), 40 g carbs, 33 g sugar, 35 mg sodium, 5 g fiber, 4 g protein.
11. Edamame with sea salt
Plotkin loves sprinkling edamame, in its shell or out, with a bit of sea salt. In addition to plant-based protein, you get fiber and a good dose of potassium.
Make it: Drizzle 1/2 cup shelled edamame with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.
Per serving: 140 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated), 8 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 481 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 8 g protein.
12. PB-chocolate apple ‘nachos’
This sounds crazy-indulgent, but it’s actually a well-balanced snack, says Plotkin. You’ll get protein and lots of fiber, which will help slow the digestion of the little bit of added sugar from dark chocolate (preventing a mid-afternoon crash).
Make it: Thinly slice a medium apple, then drizzle them with 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter and 1/2 ounce melted dark chocolate.