Need help sticking to your weight loss diet? Add these 15 good-for-you treats.
When it comes to dieting and weight loss, snacking can be an important tool in sticking to your diet.
Munching on something healthy every few hours keeps your metabolism running and your blood sugar stable.
Not only that, snacking is a great way to fuel your body with sustainable energy between meals.
They help ensure you won't approach a meal with a ravenous appetite.
The key is to be selective in what types of healthy snacks you eat.
Low-calories, low in carbs, but high in proteins, fiber, and healthy fat is ideal for weight loss.
Snacks high in protein and fiber have proven effective in reducing your calorie intake (1).
To give some ideas, here is a list of 15 healthy snacks that meet all the nutritional criteria above.
15 Healthy Snacks for Weight Loss
1. Protein Shake
Protein is one of the most important nutrients for losing weight, body fat, and getting a lean body. It's essential for building muscles, repairing tissues, as well as regulating your metabolism and reducing your appetite.
It's also repeatedly been proven to increase satiety and prevent overeating (2).
For a healthy woman, the ideal amount of protein to eat daily is 46 grams. For a man, 56 grams per day.
One of the easiest (and my favorite) ways to get quality protein into my diet is through protein shakes.
For example, 1 scoop of Vega Protein powder provides you with 20 grams plan-based protein, plus 6 grams of dietary fiber and 1.5 grams Omega-3 ALA - all that under 150 calories.
Now, that's a low-calorie super healthy snack!
We love it because it’s low in calories (150 per scoop), high in protein (20 grams per serving), and contains 50% DV of 12 vitamins and minerals
It also happens to taste delicious!
It can easily be paired with many flavors so it’s easy to incorporate it into your usual protein shake recipe.
If you don't have a go-to shake recipe, here’s my fail-proof one that you can use.
It's our favorite banana strawberry protein shake recipe made with Vega One protein powder.
- 1 cup (unsweetened) almond milk.
- 1 scoop Vega One powder
- 1 medium ripe banana, broken into large chunks (can be frozen)
- 1-1½ cups strawberries, frozen
- 1/2 cup crushed ice
- Combine all the ingredients in a blender and process until smooth.
- Pour into a glass and enjoy!
Calories: 150–200 calories and 20+ grams of high-quality protein. I like to Sprinkle cacao nibs on top.
2. Healthy Trail Mix
Don't you love a snack that requires zero prep time?
I know I do!
Nuts contain the perfect balance of healthy fat, protein, and fiber.
With mixed nuts, you can get a healthy dose of protein, and good omega 3-fatty acids in a delicious and quick serving.
The Omega-3s found in nuts have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease, cancer, depression, and other diseases.
Though nuts are relatively high in fat and calories, several studies suggest that eating nuts in moderation can help you lose weight.
With one serving of 1oz (28 grams) of nuts being below 200 calories - about 180 calories, they're an ideal nutritious snack for eating healthy on-the-go.
When picking nuts, stay away from pre-mixed, flavored trail mix. Many are loaded with preservatives, sugar, and are often high in sodium. All these things are harmful to your health and can negatively impact your weight.
Instead what I like to do is to make my own mix.
Here's how to make your own:
- Pick your favorite kind of nuts (almonds, cashews, peanuts, pistachios, pecans..etc.)
- Add some seeds (pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds,
- Add sweet add-ons (dark chocolate, cacao nibs, dried pineapples, dried mango, coconut flakes, banana chips, dried apples, Goji berries, cranberries.)
- Spicy and savory add-ons (dried ginger, ground cumin, cinnamon, garlic powder..etc..)
- Add all together and mix. There you have your very own trail mix. Pour a handful in a small zip bag to snack on.
3. Yogurt Parfait
If you’re anything like me, you get hit by sweet cravings more often than you’d probably like to admit.
One effective way to keep your hand out of the cookie jar is to have alternative healthy snacks within reach.
Yogurt parfait is one of my favorite go-to sweet snacks when I'm craving something sweet.
Sweet, creamy, and filling— this high protein, low-carb snack is perfectly indulgent, yet completely guilt free.
Your body will feel nourished, satisfied, and energized by the nutritious ingredients in this parfait.
A combination of fiber, healthy fats and protein will help you get over that mid-afternoon slump.
Thankfully, unlike other snacks, it won't put you in immediate nap mode since you’ll be keeping your carb and sugar intake low and protein intake high.
Keep in mind that you’ll need to stick to the right ingredients.
Make sure to use Greek yogurt over regular yogurt and choose plain over sweetened varieties.
Greek yogurt is an excellent source of high-quality protein, calcium, and potassium.
Berries also make healthy toppings, providing antioxidants and some essential vitamins.
We also like to mix different berries since a mixture of different colored berries provides a good variety of antioxidants.
My favorites are strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries.
According to research in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, the high Vitamin C content in strawberries can increase your body’s fat burning ability (3).
By combining a single-serving container of Greek yogurt, a cup of strawberries, and a half-tablespoon of honey, you’ve got yourself a simple, healthy snack that tastes almost like dessert.
- 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 1/2 Tsp. honey
- 1/4 Tsp. cinnamon (optional)
- 1/2 cup of granola (check out our Hawaiian granola. It's a delicious power snack you can easily make at home.
- 1 cup of berries (strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries).
- Using a whisk or fork, stir the protein powder, honey, and cinnamon, into the Greek yogurt. Get rid of as many lumps as you can.
- Next, put a layer of yogurt mixture into a glass container.
- Spoon roughly half of the granola on top of the yogurt and then add a layer of fruit to cover the granola.
- Alternate layers of yogurt, granola, and fruit until the container is nearly full. Keep a little bit of the granola for the topping.
4. Hard-Boiled Eggs
Eggs are one of the most nutritious and tasty foods you can eat.
They're an excellent source of high-quality protein - in fact, it's so high that egg protein is the gold standard used to rank all other proteins.
Also, eggs are the only protein food with more usable protein than spirulina.
In one large egg, you can find around 70 calories, 6.3 grams of high-quality protein, 5 grams of fat, and other minerals like Iron, and vitamins K2 and B12 (4).
It's a perfect snack anytime of the day.
In addition to protein, the egg yolks are one of the few foods naturally rich in vitamin D, a much-needed vitamin for calcium absorption that few of us get enough of (5).
Vitamin D is also linked to lower risks of various cancers (6).
Hard-boiled eggs have another factor that's helpful for your weight loss, and that is satiety after eating. The fullness keeps overeating at bay and helps reduce the number of calories you eat throughout the day, helping you lose weight as a result (7).
5. Grass-Fed Beef Jerky
Beef jerky makes a great healthy portable snack on the go.
They're high in protein and low in carbohydrates, providing about 12 grams of protein per serving (28g).
But be careful you can also easily go wrong when choosing a jerky variety.
Some beef jerky brands contain excess sugar, sodium, and artificial flavors.
Be sure to check your labels and pick the varieties made of 100% organic grass-fed beef. Research shows that grass-fed beef contains more healthy Omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed beef.
Generally, fewer the ingredients, better it is. So be sure to check the label and its ingredient list.
6. Green Smoothie
Looking to boost your nutrient intake? — Say bonjour to green spirulina smoothie.
There's no better way to sneak superfood into your diet than adding Spirulina into a smoothie.
Spirulina is a superfood made of between 55 to 70 percent of digestible protein, which is more than beef, chicken, and soybeans. It also contains all the nine essential amino acids.
In addition, it contains high levels of iron, beta carotene, and tons of other healthful vitamins including B12 and phycocyanin, a pigment protein antioxidant complex found only in blue-green microalgae.
It's one of the cleanest and highest levels of plant-based protein you can get. While there are many brands of spirulina on the market, I only use Pure Hawaiian Spirulina Pacifica from Nutrex.
It's made in Kona, Big Island Hawaii, where air, water, and other environmental conditions are best suited for the growth of the spirulina algae. It's the only brand's Spirulina I trust and use.
Here's what you need to make this green smoothie.
- 1 celery stalk
- 1 cup of kale
- 1/2 green apple
- 1 tsp ground flax seed
- 1 tsp raw honey
- 1 cup coconut water
- 1 tsp Hawaiian Spirulina
In a Blender blender, combine all ingredients and blend on high until smooth. Pour into a glass and enjoy!
Fruits are great for anyone who wants to snack on something healthy to lose weight.
They're naturally sweet and rich in nutrients like potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate.
They are one of nature's best sources of natural vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
These carbohydrate foods can be a great weight-loss friendly snack low in fat, sodium, and calories.
They are also cholesterol free.
Whenever you’re not sure what to snack on, grab a piece of fruit.
Fruits are widely accessible anywhere you go, so you’ll likely always have this option within reach. My favorite fruits to eat are apples, berries, bananas, and oranges. Here in this list, you can see more of the best fruits for weight loss.
If you need something quick, nutritious between meals, just a piece of fruits and you're good.
8. Oatmeal and Blueberries
This make-ahead recipe is easy and quick to prepare.
Toasting the oats takes about 10 minutes and finishing up the recipe in the morning is a snap.
While ready-to-make, pre-mixed oatmeal packs are obviously more convenient, there’s a huge advantage to choosing steel cut oats.
They’re far less processed than instant options and are not overloaded with sugar. Excess sugar can stall your weight loss and cause weight gain.
With this homemade steel cut oat recipe, you’ll enjoy a richer flavor with a nice chewy texture.
How to make Oatmeal Blueberries.
- Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and spread out your steel cut oats on a baking sheet.
- About halfway through the bake, add some water and stir them.
- Remove from the oven once they are nice and golden brown.
When you are ready to eat:
- Boil some water or almond milk and pour into a small bowl or mug.
- Add in the oats you toasted the night before, and stir until your oatmeal is soft and chewy.
- Add in a cup of blueberries, walnuts, honey, and cinnamon.
We’d advise toasting extra oats because you’ll definitely want to eat this snack more than once!
9. Tortilla & Guacamole
Guacamole is the classic avocado dish, easy to make and healthier than advertised.
Unlike virtually all other fruits, guacamole's main ingredient avocados are rich, creamy and loaded with fat. But since fat has no impact on blood sugar, avocados are great additions to a fat loss diet when eaten in moderation.
Avocado in guacamole is also magical when paired with carbs like tortillas. The fat will slow digestion of the meal, making it easier on your blood sugar and prevent insulin resistance.
Avocados also contain more soluble fiber and protein than any other fruit.
To stay under your calorie budget, use 1/4 of avocado with a handful of tortilla chips or better yet, bell peppers.
Mash avocado with a fork and add lime, chopped cilantro, and onion. Sprinkle a pinch of salt, and serve with low-sodium tortilla chips.
10. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate with 70% or more cacao (without sugary additives) can actually be an uber healthy treat with a bundle of health supporting nutrients.
That's because cacaos, seeds from the cacao tree is a rich source of antioxidants, soluble fiber, and minerals.
In fact, just 100g (about the size of 1 bar) of dark chocolate comes with
- 7.9 g protein (16% DV)
- 11 g fiber (44% DV)
- 12 mg iron (67% DV)
- 1.8 mg copper (89% DV)
- 2.0 mg manganese (98% DV)
It also contains omega 3s and 6s, potassium, zinc, and calcium, making it a healthy indulgence that won't ruin your health or weight loss.
Though dark chocolate can be healthy, be sure to eat in moderation as it's also a source of sugar.
Stay conservative on the serving size and break a bar into pieces and eat a few at a time.
11. Apple, Peanut Butter
A snack staple, peanut butter on a slice of apple is a healthy well-balanced, high-protein snack with monounsaturated fat that's known for fat-burning and muscle building.
This vegetarian and vegan-friendly snack come with 3-4 grams of fiber and 7 grams of protein per serving.
Surprisingly, apples are not particularly high in vitamins or minerals, but they are loaded with antioxidants called flavonoids, known to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease.
According to one study, eating a small apple with the skin provided total antioxidant and anti-cancer activity equal to 1,500 mg of vitamin C (8).
To serve up, slice up half an apple and smear peanut butter on top. Ejoy!
12. Energy Protein Bar
I'm not always a big fan of protein bars since most of them are filled with preservatives, added sugar, and some ingredients I can't even pronounce.
And those are the exact harmful ingredients that many health nuts like you and I are trying to avoid in all foods.
In fact, some protein bars are so bad that they are nothing more than candy bars.
But not these energy bars.
These energy bars are gluten free, dairy free, non-GMO, and has no artificial flavoring.
They are high in quality protein, fiber, and heart healthy fats. Their energy is fueled by clean ingredients like almond, walnuts, chia seeds and walnuts —as all protein bars should be.
If you are doing your own picking of bars, be sure to look for at least 3 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein, preferably from plant-based proteins.
Also, stick to a bar with shorter ingredient list with pronounceable foods like nuts, seeds, veggies, and fruits like RXBAR.
These selective energy bars meet all those requirements.
And not surprisingly, they are my favorite go-to bars.
You can also grab them in our store. We'll ship them to you for free.
RXBAR: All natural ingredients and no added sugar and preservatives. These protein bars are made using egg whites, almonds, cashews, and dates. Not many ingredients in them, which is an amazing thing. Fewer the ingredients, the better. And that's what RXBAR is all about.
Paleo Caveman Bar: This protein bar has everything you'll want in an energy bar: peanut free, soy-free, dairy free, Non-GMO, and certified gluten free. If you're looking for a quick guilt-free snack bar, this is the one.
Kind Bars: Made with real foods and wholesome ingredients you can pronounce. They also happen to be super delicious.
13. Hummus and Carrots
Hummus is made from mashed chickpeas, tahini, sesame seeds and a few other healthy ingredients like olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice.
It's one of the most popular food dips in the U.S next to guacamole.
And that's for good reasons!
Hummus contains a lot of nutrients that are good for us. For starters, it is very high in protein, dietary fiber, and heart healthy fats. Plus, hummus has a very low-glycemic index score. The lower the GI ranking, the less of a spike in blood sugar levels the food causes.
But for those of us looking to lose and manage our weight, hummus is on the high side of high-calorie food, so be very mindful when eating.
No more than a 100 grams per serving, which is about 6 to 7 tablespoon and 166 calories.
And one medium carrot dipped in 100 grams of hummus has 191 calories.
So your whole snack is under 200 calories.
Seaweed is not only delicious, but they're actually quite nutritious too.
Seaweeds are low in calories and packed with important vitamins and minerals such as iodine, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, and vitamins A and C.
When buying dried seaweeds at your local health store, pay close attention to the label. I saw one the other day with a possible cancer-causing substance.
When you are shopping for seaweeds, look out for a short ingredient list with real ingredients like olive or sesame oil and salt.
Individually packed seaweeds are perfect for lunch and to-go snacks, but if you are at home, try using seaweed as a wrap alternative.
Get a sheet of seaweed and lay it flat on a plate. Spread some mashed avocado, line up a thinly sliced cucumber and pickled ginger on top, and sprinkle some sesame seeds. Roll it up and cut in half. You can dip in low-sodium soy sauce or sesame dressing.
It's a perfectly balanced nutritionally and tastes as refreshing as can be.
Edamame is a fresh green young soybean, available in shelled or in the pod. They most often come steamed with a bit of salt sprinkled over them.
They are high in protein, yet low in carbs and fat, offering 17 grams of protein and 180 calories per single cup. They also happen to be naturally gluten-free.
Edamame is, in fact, one of the few plant foods that offer a complete protein.
There are also more benefits other than its high-protein content.
They're rich in kaempferol antioxidants, known to cause weight loss and manage blood sugar, according to studies.
Here’s a snapshot of the nutritional information for edamame:
- Calories: 180
- Protein: 17 grams
- Fiber: 8 grams
- Vitamin C (10% DIV)
- Vitamin A (10% DIV)
Edamame is also high in folate, iron, magnesium, and manganese.
When picking edamame, be sure to select only the non-GMO ones.
If you're hungry between meals, eat a snack. Snacking on something healthy not only provides sustainable energy between meals but also ensures that you won't approach a meal with a ravenous appetite.
This list of healthy snacks should give you plenty ideas of what you can snack on to lose weight.