Healthy snacks for weight loss

What are some healthy snacks for weight loss?

By Michelle Katz, MS, RD, certified diabetes care and education specialist Sep 06, 2023 • 5 min

If you’re striving to lose weight, keeping hunger at bay is important for your success. Long-term weight loss requires lasting changes to your diet. You’re unlikely to be able to permanently commit to any eating plan that leaves you feeling hungry all the time. Plus, hunger can cause you to overeat at mealtimes.

For these reasons, finding ways to address hunger between meals is a key part of designing a weight loss meal plan. There are many healthy low-calorie snacks, as well as snacks with protein, fiber and healthy fats. There are also snacking tips that can help you curb hunger while adhering to your weight loss plan.

Healthy snack ideas

When you’re at home, you can whip up a tasty snack to complement your diet. Prioritize protein and fiber, which can help you feel full. Here are some ideas to try:

  • Celery sticks filled with peanut butter and topped with raisins
  • Greek yogurt with fresh berries
  • Protein shake or a smoothie made with leafy green veggies
  • Hummus with fresh vegetable dippers
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Pudding made with chia seeds
  • Dark chocolate and almonds
  • Homemade veggie chips made in an oven or an air fryer with a drizzle of olive oil
  • Low-fat cottage cheese or water-packed tuna spread on whole-wheat crackers
  • Roll-ups made with low-sodium turkey or chicken deli meat and low-fat cheese
  • Plain popcorn topped with chili powder, garlic powder or other spices 

Healthy snacks to buy

When you’re pressed for time, buying ready-to-eat snacks is an option. Some healthy, simple on-the-go snacks include:

  • Pretzel sticks
  • Protein bar or shake
  • Greek yogurt
  • Trail mix without added sugar
  • Instant oatmeal
  • Part-skim string cheese
  • Fruit

Tips for healthy snacking

To choose the right foods and stick to your weight loss plan, follow these tips when snacking.

Read nutrition labels

When you’re buying on-the-go snacks, review the nutrition labels carefully. Avoid snacks that contain large amounts of sodium and added sugar. Choose foods that have whole rather than refined grains. Also, pay attention to the saturated fat content.

Keep an eye on portion size

Portion control is essential for weight loss, and some nutrient-dense foods like nuts and seeds may have more calories than you think. Before you snack, check the portion size printed on the nutrition label. Use measuring cups or a food scale to help you avoid overeating at snack time.

Plan ahead

Making healthy choices when you snack is simpler when you plan in advance. At the start of the week, create a meal plan for each day. Fill it in with snacks that supplement the nutrition you get in your meals. For example, if breakfast didn’t include fruits or vegetables, choose carrots and hummus or an apple and some almonds for your first snack.

Once you have your eating plan, put together your shopping list. Prepare some snacks in advance to make it quick and easy to reach for something healthy when hunger strikes.

Choose beverages wisely

What you drink during the day matters. Skip the sugary drinks, like sports drinks, sweet tea, regular soda and coffees made with syrups, whipped creams and drizzles.

Water is an excellent go-to beverage. Try it sparkling or throw in some fruit slices, mint leaves, berries or cucumber for added flavor. Green tea is another refreshing choice. Pour a tall glass over ice and add a couple of mint leaves. You can also drink it hot.

Practice mindful eating

It’s easy to tune out in front of the TV or get lost in the scroll on your phone screen while you snack. When this happens, you may end up eating more than you intended. To avoid overindulging, make snacking a mindful activity. Enjoy your snack while seated at a table, and focus just on eating.

Published September 2023.

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