After an exhausting day, you get home and devour the first food you come across. Despite aiming to choose healthy snacks, you always find yourself not making reasonable food choices.
The truth is that hunger pangs are hard to handle, which is why you should plan about what to snack on if you would like to stay on track in your weight loss journey.
You may ask, what qualifies to be a healthy snack? Well, a healthy snack should not add a lot of calories to your daily intake. In addition, it should also keep you fuller for longer.
In this simplified guide, we’ll discuss the best snacks for weight loss. Keep reading to learn more.
Estimated reading time: 12 minutes
Table of contents
- Understanding Healthy Snacking Habits: How to Choose Snacks That Support Weight Loss
- The 10 Best Snacks for Weight Loss
- Building Your Own Snack Creations: DIY Snack Ideas for Customized Nutrient Intake
- FAQ About Healthy Snacks for Weight Loss
Understanding Healthy Snacking Habits: How to Choose Snacks That Support Weight Loss
Snacking can be an essential part of a balanced diet, especially when aiming for weight loss. However, not all snacks are created equal. By understanding healthy snacking habits and making mindful choices, you can enjoy snacks that not only satisfy your cravings but also contribute to your weight loss goals. Here’s how to choose snacks that support your journey towards a healthier you:
- Prioritize Nutrient Density: Opt for snacks that are nutrient-dense, meaning they pack a significant amount of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients in relation to their calorie content. Fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and yogurt are excellent choices that provide a range of nutrients to fuel your body.
- Include Protein: Protein is known for its ability to promote satiety and help control hunger. Choose protein-rich snacks like Greek yogurt, cottage cheese, lean meats, eggs, and legumes to keep you feeling full and satisfied between meals.
- Favor Fiber-Rich Options: Fiber is another key player in keeping you full and satisfied. Whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and nuts are great sources of fiber that can help curb your appetite and support digestive health.
- Watch Portion Sizes: Even healthy snacks can contribute to excessive calorie intake if portion sizes are not controlled. Pre-portioned snacks or using smaller containers can help you avoid mindless overeating.
- Limit Added Sugars: Be mindful of added sugars in snacks like granola bars, flavored yogurt, and sweetened beverages. Opt for whole foods with natural sweetness or choose products with no added sugars.
- Choose Whole Foods: Opt for whole, minimally processed foods whenever possible. These foods retain their natural nutrients and are generally lower in unhealthy additives and preservatives.
- Combine Macronutrients: Aim for a balance of carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats in your snacks. This combination helps provide sustained energy and keeps you feeling satisfied.
- Stay Hydrated: Sometimes, feelings of hunger are actually signals of thirst. Stay hydrated by drinking water throughout the day, and consider hydrating snacks like fruits with high water content.
- Mindful Eating: Practice mindful eating by paying attention to your hunger and fullness cues. Eat slowly and savor the flavors of your snacks to prevent overeating.
- Plan Ahead: Prepare healthy snacks in advance to avoid grabbing convenient but less nutritious options when hunger strikes. Having a variety of snacks readily available can help you stay on track.
- Listen to Your Body: Your body knows best. If you’re truly hungry between meals, choose a nutrient-rich snack. If you’re not hungry, focus on staying hydrated and wait until your next meal.
By adopting these healthy snacking habits, you can make positive choices that support your weight loss journey while enjoying delicious and satisfying snacks. Remember that consistency and balance are key to achieving your goals and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The 10 Best Snacks for Weight Loss
Here are healthy snack ideas that you can choose from:
Nuts are a healthy snack since they are high in fat. You don’t need to avoid them if you’d like to lose weight sustainably. Almonds are rich in protein, fiber, and healthy fats, all of which helps to keep hunger at bay, improve heart health, and help you lose excess body fat, especially stubborn belly fat.
Whenever you feel the urge to snack, grab a handful and eat them with dark chocolate or dried fruit. You can also opt for almond butter and spread it on an apple. One ounce of almonds (23 almonds) has 164 calories, 6 grams of protein, and 4 grams of fiber.
If you’re craving a sweet snack, frozen grapes can help satisfy those cravings. Because they’re sweet, you can savor them slowly to avoid overeating them since they have a handful of calories. Even though grapes are high in sugar and calories, they’re great for someone with a sweet tooth.
A cup of grapes has approximately 100 calories, and thus you shouldn’t overfeed on these sweet fruits.
This is another sweet snack for chocolate lovers and those with sweet tooth. As unhealthy as it might sound, dark chocolate makes a healthy snack for some reason. If you prefer desserts, you can skip a glass of wine and opt for a small chocolate treat instead.
The same way a glass of wine after dinner is healthy, a scoop of chocolate can make a perfect treat. Therefore, give yourself a little treat of chocolate to satisfy those afternoon cravings – don’t beat yourself up.
Although grapefruits are high in calories, they also make healthy snacks. You can reap the benefits of this ruby fruit by eating it as a snack.
A whole grapefruit has approximately four grams of fiber and 100 calories. Not to mention that it’s rich in vitamin C. That’s a lot of nutrients for a snack. So, go ahead and include this tart citrus fruit into your snack list.
A study found out that people who ate grapefruit as a snack lost 3.5 pounds in three months. Grapefruit has been found to help in curbing appetite since it lowers insulin levels.
Snacks serve different purposes, including filling nutritional gaps and fighting hunger pangs when dieting. That’s why you should choose a snack that’s nutrient-dense, such as yogurt.
When you couple yogurt with fruit, you get calcium, fiber, protein, gut-healthy probiotics, and vitamins.
The best yogurt for weight loss is plain yogurt. If you’d like to add your flavor, blend it with fruit. A fruit adds natural sweetness, fiber, and taste, enabling you to snack without getting bored.
Flavored yogurt delivers a lot of extra calories and added sugar, which is why you should avoid it. Low-fat plain yogurt and whole milk are healthy snacks you can opt for.
And for those looking for more protein in their snacks, you can opt for Greek yogurt, which has almost double the protein content as compared.
High in fiber and low in protein, popcorn is an excellent nighttime snack. One ounce serving of air popcorns (about three cups of air-popped popcorns) has four grams of fiber and approximately four grams of protein. However, keep in mind that this will add 110 calories to your daily count, which means you shouldn’t overfeed. Popcorns is a whole grain, and that’s why it’s a healthy snack.
Oatmeal is a good source of fiber. It’s a complex carb, which means it fills you up without causing spikes in blood sugar. Eating more fiber helps people lose weight.
While many people eat it as a breakfast meal, a small bow of oat can make a hearty, delicious snack to keep you going during the day. Make sure you go with unsweetened oatmeal.
Eating fruits provides the body with vitamins and minerals and aids in weight loss since it’s packed with filling fiber.
If you’re to snack on dried fruits, go for dried fruits with no sweeteners or added sugar. You can pair dried fruit with nuts to get a good balance of proteins and healthy carbs. Dried fruit is an excellent snack to keep you going during the day.
If you want an afternoon snack, you can skip the vending machine and save some money while at the same time getting nutrients by opting to eat some hummus.
Try combining cut veggies with some hummus. A serving of hummus, which includes two tablespoons of hummus, paired with vegetables can help satisfy the afternoon “munchies.”
The good thing about this snack is that it’ll provide you with complex carbs and proteins that will help you make it to dinner time.
Chickpeas have a nutty flavor and meat texture. They are loaded with plenty of satisfying fiber and proteins, two things that can help keep your weight in check. Try roasting your chickpeas to make them crunchy.
A ½ cup of chickpeas can make a sizeable serving containing approximately 100 calories, five grams of fiber, and five grams of protein.
Building Your Own Snack Creations: DIY Snack Ideas for Customized Nutrient Intake
Creating your own snacks allows you to tailor your choices to your individual taste preferences and nutritional needs. Building DIY snack creations not only empowers you to make healthier choices but also ensures that your snacks are delicious and satisfying. Here are some creative and nutritious DIY snack ideas that you can customize to meet your specific nutrient goals:
- Trail Mix Magic:
Mix and match your favorite nuts, seeds, dried fruits, and a sprinkle of dark chocolate chips for a balanced and energy-boosting snack. Customize the ratios to control calorie intake and suit your taste.
- Greek Yogurt Parfait:
Layer Greek yogurt with fresh berries, granola, and a drizzle of honey for a protein-packed snack that’s rich in probiotics and antioxidants.
- Veggie Delight Platter:
Create a colorful platter with sliced veggies like cucumbers, bell peppers, cherry tomatoes, and carrot sticks. Pair them with a protein-rich dip like hummus or Greek yogurt-based dip.
- Nut Butter Apple Slices:
Slice up crisp apple wedges and pair them with your favorite nut butter for a satisfying blend of fiber, healthy fats, and natural sweetness.
- DIY Rice Cakes:
Top whole-grain rice cakes with ingredients like avocado slices, smoked salmon, cottage cheese, or almond butter for a quick and versatile snack.
- Crunchy Veggie Wraps:
Use large lettuce leaves or collard greens as wraps and fill them with lean protein (chicken, turkey, tofu), colorful veggies, and a drizzle of vinaigrette.
- Smoothie Bowl Fun:
Create a nutritious smoothie bowl by blending your favorite fruits with Greek yogurt or milk, then topping it with granola, chia seeds, nuts, and fresh fruit slices.
- DIY Popcorn Mix:
Air-pop popcorn and add your choice of seasonings, such as nutritional yeast, cinnamon, or a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, for a satisfying and whole-grain snack.
- Homemade Energy Bites:
Prepare energy bites using ingredients like oats, nut butter, dried fruits, and seeds. Customize them with your preferred flavors and enjoy them as a grab-and-go snack.
- Protein-Packed Egg Muffins:
Make mini egg muffins using eggs, veggies, and lean meats. These portable snacks are high in protein and can be customized to include your favorite ingredients.
- Cottage Cheese Creations:
Top a bowl of cottage cheese with fresh fruit, nuts, seeds, and a drizzle of honey for a balanced snack rich in protein and nutrients.
- Colorful Fruit Salad:
Combine a variety of fresh fruits like berries, citrus segments, and melon cubes to create a vibrant and refreshing snack packed with vitamins and fiber.
- Customized Oatmeal Cups:
Make your own oatmeal cups with oats, milk, and your choice of mix-ins like berries, nuts, seeds, and spices. Bake them for an easy and satisfying snack.
Creating your own snack creations not only adds variety to your diet but also encourages you to explore different nutrient combinations. By customizing your snacks, you can ensure that you’re getting the nutrients you need while satisfying your taste buds and supporting your weight loss goals.
Healthy snacks for weight loss can help you stay on track. Having ideas for what snack to pack for work or grab from the store will help you make reasonable choices. This will help you keep going till your next meal and ensure you don’t overeat.
Remember to go for nutrient-dense snacks (those rich in protein, minerals, vitamins, and fiber). Such snacks will provide your body with the right nutrition and also keep you feeling full for longer. Make sure you don’t forget to hydrate frequently – water helps to keep your hunger hormones at bay.
FAQ About Healthy Snacks for Weight Loss
While whole foods such as vegetables, proteins, grains, and fruits supply your body with essential nutrients, healthier snacks help you stay on track in your weight loss journey. Here’s how healthy snacks promote weight loss:
Keeps you from overeating. If you are cutting down on your eating portions or skipping meals to lose weight, you’ll need a snack between meals to fend off hunger. A healthy snack may help you curb food cravings and keep you from overeating your next meal, especially when the snack is high in protein and fiber.
Provide your body with nutrients. Healthy snacks for weight loss such as those we’ve discussed in this guide can provide your body with macronutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, and fats, and micronutrients such as minerals and vitamins. Consuming nutrient-dense snacks can help promote weight loss in the long run. A study done on 120,000 adults over two decades by the Department of Nutrition at Harvard School found that people who ate a diet rich in vegetables, yogurt, whole grains, and nuts were more likely to lose weight than gain it.
Control sugar cravings. If you have a sweet tooth, snacking on a high-fiber, high-protein snack can help alleviate the urge to snack on sugary foods whenever you feel hunger pangs. Fiber slows down digestion and absorption of nutrients in the gastrointestinal tract while proteins also take longer to digest.
When losing weight, make sure you choose healthy snacks as they’ll give you the above benefits.
A healthy snack should be part of your weight loss routine. A healthy snack constitutes fat, fiber, and protein. All these nutrients not only keep you full for longer but also add extra nutrients to your body. Think of snacks combination such as almond butter with an apple or carrots and hummus as good combinations. The above benefits of healthy snacking may help you not to overeat in your next meal.
Nighttime snacking is discouraged because many people reach for chips and ice cream rather than yogurt and fruits. That’s not to say that you shouldn’t have a treat in the evening or after dinner. Some of the favorite healthy snacks you can have in the evening include popcorn and chocolate.
One thing, if it’s the hunger that’s driving you to snack after dinner, you can choose more filling options. If you must snack, serve yourself onto a plate rather than eating from the container where you’re likely to overeat.
- “The Healthy Snack Cookbook” by Sarah Koszyk
- “Snacking Cakes: Simple Treats for Anytime Cravings” by Yossy Arefi
- “The Plant-Based Snack Cookbook” by Jessica Jones and Wendy Lopez
We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!
Let us improve this post!
Tell us how we can improve this post?