By Amy Gorin, MS, RDN
Want a list of the best snacks for weight loss? Here you go! Use these healthy, yummy snacks to fill satiated for longer!
Wondering how you can put together a healthy snack for hours of energy without the extra calories? Here you go!
I'm a snacker. In fact, as I'm writing this, I'm munching on a few crackers and cubes of cheese. I love snack meals as much as I love snack time itself.
While I definitely wouldn't advise trading all your healthy quick meals for snacks, healthy snack time most definitely has its place if you also enjoy snacking. How to make good choices with snack foods? When making food choices, I encourage you to think outside the vending machine chips and candy box because snacks are soaring to a whole new nutritious level.
Think crunching on roasted chickpeas and an apple instead of potato chips and chocolate! Go ahead and take a look at these out-of-the-box snack ideas that can easily be turned into mini meals. If you're eating a snack just to have a filling snack, aim for a smaller portion–no more than about 150 to 200 calories.
The Best Snacks for Weight Loss
Feeling a mid-afternoon slump coming on? I rely on healthy snacks to keep me going year-round, especially during this busy back-to-school season. If you have kids, I know it's hard enough to get them ready and out the door in time.
If you don't have children, like me, that doesn't make this time of year any calmer! My stay-fueled strategy when I'm this busy: in between meals, I look for simple bites made with filling ingredients–like nuts, whole grains, fruits, and veggies. A banana ice cream with nut topping is one of my favorites!
Healthy snacking doesn't need to be complicated. I love making watermelon "fingers" for a quick and easy bite—especially this time of year!
If you're bored of the same old snacks, try these new spins on healthy snacks:
Cottage Cheese Parfait
I love cottage cheese. It’s so creamy, and ½ cup contains 13 grams of protein—making it a great source of protein. It's also a good source of calcium. Top a bowl with blackberries, blueberries, walnuts, granola, and cinnamon. You can also go for a savory version with avocado, grape tomatoes, and cilantro. You can even add a drizzle of olive oil on top!
Strawberry Toppings Bar
Strawberries are a treat and full of disease-fighting antioxidants. To make the fruit even sweeter, set up a toppings bar. Offer spoonfuls of whipped cream, mascarpone, chocolate, sprinkles, nuts, and trail mix.
New Spin on Hard-Boiled Eggs
If you're a fan of protein-packed eggs, try serving up avocado deviled eggs for snack time. The healthy-fat-packed avocado adds creaminess, in lieu of mayo. Whip out your food processor, and get going!
Comfort Foods That are Good for You
When I’m stressed, sad, or just plain bored, sometimes I reach for chips or chocolate. But often, I choose to munch on a frozen banana, salad, tea or nothing at all. As it turns out, research published in Health Psychology shows all three options can equally soothe a bad mood.
Researchers at the University of Minnesota conducted several experiments. In one of them, 110 college students were given either their favorite comfort food like chocolate or ice cream, an equally liked non-comfort food such as popcorn or almonds, a food they were neutral about granola bars, or no food.
All foods—as well as no food—were all about equal in boosting the students’ negative moods. Interestingly, the amount of food wasn’t an issue either. Both small and large portions were soothing.
So next time you need a mood boost, try reaching for a healthier snack—like the picks below—or skip the nosh and take a walk, call a friend or shop online for those Fall boots you’ve been wanting.
The Best Snacks for Traveling While Losing Weight
I’m always that person who travels with a gigantic snack bag. Hey, I want to make sure I have ample snacks on a road trip! And I like to be prepared because I can’t be sure of the offerings that will be available at a convenience store or vending machine.
I always think about my packing list and what I’ll take aboard a plane to munch on. Since flights can be very long, I always plan to be prepared when hunger strikes!
Traveling this summer? Give these snack picks a try. I'm giving you ideas both for the plane and a car ride that'll stay fresh without any need for a cooler. And remember: You can always add low-calorie fruits and veggies to any snack to make it heartier.
I find a warm cup of tea soothing on a long plane ride. I love fruity Echinacea tea for an on-board immunity boost and a green peppermint tea for a morning wake-up on an overnight flight.
I always carry a fruit-and-nut bar in my bag, and when traveling is no exception. The protein and healthy fat in the bars help tide me over, whether during a designated snack time or a lag in between meals.
Beans like chickpeas boast protein and fiber that will help to keep you full. Roast ‘em, and they’re easy to transport in a zip-top baggie.
Try it: Healthy roasted chickpeas
Nuts and Nut Butter
If I’m not in the mood for a fruit-and-nut bar, I’ll have a handful of nuts. Or I’ll pack a single-serve packet of almond butter, which I may pair with pretzels served in-flight or a sliced banana.
Sweeten pistachios with pomegranate juice, unsweetened cocoa powder, and candied ginger.
Try it: Candied pistachio dessert
A long flight is dehydrating, so I like to have a fresh-fruit snack on hand. Pack bananas, apples, and pears—which will all stay fresh without refrigeration. Also bring along a baggie of baby carrots, sliced bell peppers, and grape tomatoes for a crunchy travel snack. I store grapes in mini spill-proof containers.
Try it: Oxo Mini LockTop Containers
Rich in heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, olives are a filling in-flight snack.
Once I’ve prepared all my goodies, I pack them in a travel-friendly bag. I love:
- Baggu’s 3D Zip Bag because it’s lightweight and foldable
- Flight 001’s F1 X-Ray Quart Bag because it's a TSA-approved quart-sized containers. (Remember that nut butters count as a liquid!)
More Healthy Snack Ideas
Want even more healthy snack ideas? Here you go!
- Tummy rumbling well before dinnertime? I spoke about the healthy snacks I turn to most often, like fruit smoothies and oatmeal, in this RedbookMag.com interview! You can also pack adult hanger kit to prevent getting hungry and angry.
- Get more healthy snack ideas–and tips from me and other experts–in this CheatSheet.com article.
- You can design snacks that won't break the calorie bank and that offer balance to your day. They can even serve as mini meals! In this USNews.com article, my dietitian colleagues and I weigh in on our go-to snack picks.
This blog post was updated in September 2020. A version of this content originally appeared on WeightWatchers.com.
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I'd love to hear from you! What are your favorite healthy snacks? What are your go-to store bought options?
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