Healthy Snacks That Are Good for Weight Loss
Healthy Snacks for Weight Loss
Starting a weight loss program should make you feel good. You do not need to starve yourself or resort to extreme dieting to lose weight—and you don’t have to drop the snacks. If you’re a snacker or grazer, there are plenty of healthy snacks for weight loss that can help keep you full between meals. In this article, we list a few healthy snack ideas that you might consider adding to your grocery list.
Healthy Snacks for Weight Loss
Unhealthy snacking is a common obstacle some people face as they attempt weight loss. Many times, snacking isn’t even a response to real hunger, but to boredom or stress. Luckily, there are plenty of healthy snacks oriented towards supporting weight loss that you can choose from when the snack attack strikes.
Think of fruit as like nature’s snack. Often self-contained, fruit are nutrient-dense foods, containing a lot of vitamins, minerals, and fiber in a relatively small, easy-to-carry package. As a weight loss snack, fruit does not contain many calories. Plus, the fiber and water in fruit can help keep you fuller between meals, meaning that you won’t consume as many extra calories—a win-win.
Some fruit-forward healthy snack ideas include:
- Apple slices: Apples are an easy snack to select. Pink lady, red delicious, or honeycrisp, all apples are great options. Just make sure you eat the skin, too—it provides a lot of fiber, helping you feel full.
- Mixed berries: Mixed berries are another great snack for weight loss diets. Mixed berries are a good source of antioxidants and can have a positive impact on your heart health. To make the snack a bit more robust, consider adding some Greek yogurt for some protein.
- Bananas: Not just for monkeys, bananas are another great healthy snacking option. Bananas are high in a wide variety of vitamins and minerals. In particular, bananas have lots of potassium, an important electrolyte that can provide you with much-needed energy and prevent you from getting dehydrated when you exercise.
Vegetables also make great weight loss snacks for many of the same reasons that fruits do. Vegetables tend to be very low in calories, which means that you can eat a lot of them without gaining weight. Furthermore, many vegetables have a tremendous amount of fiber. This can help you feel full and reduce the urge to fill up on unhealthy snacks. The water in vegetables can also contribute to this sustained feeling.
There are plenty of healthy veggie snack ideas out there, such as:
- Cauliflower: Don’t dismiss cauliflower until you try it! Even though cauliflower by itself might not taste that great, it will take on the flavors you pair with it. A classic option is dipping it in hummus, but cauliflower can also be cooked with buffalo sauce for a great party snack. Packed with water, cauliflower makes a great snack—a whole cup of cauliflower only has 27 calories and 2 grams of fiber.
- Zucchini sticks: You might also want to try chopping up some zucchinis into sticks. Dip some zucchini sticks in hummus, yogurt, and other dips for a heathy afternoon snack. You can also bread and bake them to make zucchini “fries.”
- Carrot sticks: Carrots make for a snack that is very high in fiber, with a single cup having approximately 3.5 grams of fiber. This versatile snack can go well with hummus, and often comes pre-packaged at grocery stores. Or, sneak in multiple veggie servings when you dip your carrot sticks in baba ghanoush, a smoky Mediterranean eggplant dip.
Nuts and Seeds
If you are trying to lose weight, it’s time to embrace nuts and seeds. They are a great source of minerals, vitamins, healthy fibers, healthy fats, and proteins. However, nuts are high in calories so they should be eaten in moderation. Overall, incorporating nuts into your diet can improve health outcomes and fortify your diet. There are plenty of healthy snacks that fall into this category, including:
- Mixed nuts: You might want to make a homemade bag of mixed nuts of your favorites. Consider almonds, pine nuts, cashews, and pistachios. Consider purchasing unsalted nuts if you want to lower your sodium intake, and skip the honey-roasted varieties for less sugar.
- Dark chocolate almonds: For a sweet treat with less sugar, indulge in almonds coated in dark chocolate. Dark chocolate and almonds make a great dessert pair and together contain healthy fats and antioxidants.
- Nuts and Greek yogurt: Greek yogurt is an excellent basis for any healthy snack—just as you can add some mixed berries to Greek yogurt, you can add some nuts to it as well (why not add both?). This makes for a great snack or even a quick and easy breakfast!
You don’t have to swear off carbohydrates entirely if you’re snacking for weight loss. Turning to crackers or other grains for your snack time is fine, but be sure to focus on healthier whole grains. High-fiber whole grains can give your metabolism a boost without the sugar crash from refined sugars. Some of the grain-centered snacks you may want to consider include:
- Whole grain crackers and cheese: Whole grain crackers make for a simple yet healthy snack. Add some cheese such as feta, ricotta, or mozzarella on top for a charcuterie-inspired weight loss snack. Just be sure to take a look at the calories and fat in the cheese before deciding what to pair with your crackers.
- Oatmeal: Good for more than just breakfast, oatmeal is a great snack that you can enjoy with fruit, nuts, and plenty of other toppings. Choose whole-grain oatmeal for bonus fiber and protein.
- Whole grain crackers with hummus: Hummus spreads on crackers just as deliciously as it pairs with vegetables. Made from chickpeas, hummus is relatively low in calories but also high in protein.
Consuming plenty of protein is important when it comes to both losing weight and building lean muscle. If you’re consuming more protein, you tend not to eat as many fats or carbohydrates—which could help you lose weight. Protein can help you increase your metabolism and feel fuller longer. Some of the protein snacks you may want to try to include are:
- Cherry tomatoes and mozzarella: Mozzarella cheese has a lot of protein, and cherry tomatoes have plenty of vitamins and minerals. If you drizzle this mixture with balsamic vinaigrette, you’ve made yourself a delicious snack. Add a little chopped basil if you’re feeling adventurous.
- Chia seeds: A delicious plant-based snack, many people like to add chia seeds to protein shakes and smoothies. Chia seeds are great for people trying to lose weight because they contain a lot of fiber, omega-3 fatty acids, and protein.
Hard-boiled eggs: Eggs can be very filling breakfasts because they contain a lot of protein, but some forms are great for snacking, too. Try giving hard-boiled eggs a try—the mess-free, protein-dense snack can be prepared in advance and travels well.
Healthy Snacking Tips
Choosing which healthy snack to munch on is the easy part. To completely defeat unhealthy snacking, it is important to be mindful of your habits and take steps to change them. To help you snack more mindfully, here are some healthy snacking tips:
Don’t buy unhealthy snacks at the store
One of the easiest ways to avoid unhealthy snacks is to not have them at home. Only buy healthy snacks like fruits or nuts at the store and keep unhealthy snacks away. This will remove any temptations and make it so that you have an easier time eating a healthy diet.
Prepare healthy snacks in advance
Of course, you won’t always be at home when you have the urge to snack. To ensure you have healthy snack options in the office or for activities, prepare them in advance. For example, you may want to wash and cut your fruits and vegetables ahead of time, then portion them out—making it easier to grab them and go.
Drink plenty of water
Because of the way our brain works, your body can think you are hungry when you really just need some water. If you keep yourself hydrated, you may find yourself consuming fewer calories. Make sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated and support your physical health.
Mindless eating should be avoided. If you’re snacking, focus on what you’re eating by sitting down somewhere quiet and enjoying your meal. Try to avoid playing video games or watching TV while you eat—you may lose track of how much you have eaten (and loset track of your hunger cues).
Unhealthy snacking can be a challenge for anyone trying to lose weight. We hope the healthy snack ideas listed in this article can help you pass on high-calorie sweets and craft healthier snack options that enable you to stay on track and achieve your weight loss goals.
If you find yourself having trouble losing weight because you cannot control your snacking, consider speaking to your doctor about a prescription weight loss medication that can help control your cravings. For those who have obesity or suffer from weight-related conditions, getting started with prescription weight loss medication can help support your health journey when combined with proper diet and exercise. Learn more about a prescription weight loss medication option by visiting our FAQ page.