If you typically have a small snack before going out to eat that’s definitely a smart move—and one that keeps you from ordering everything (healthy or not) off the menu the second you arrive. You see, the less ravenous you are when you sit down to a meal, the easier it will be to make healthy snack choices that align with your better-body goals. But that doesn’t mean you should reach for a piece of candy or some chips to quell your hunger. These types of snacks don’t provide any beneficial nutrients to your body and they won’t ward off hunger long enough to keep you from going overboard during mealtime.
Healthy snacks should have fewer than 250 calories and be rich in hunger-squashing nutrients like water, fiber, and protein. All of our weight-loss friendly snack recommendations below contain these slimming nutrients and are free of scary additives and chemicals. And since it’s not always possible to fix a fresh snack, we’ve gathered both fresh and packaged options that are easy to eat on the run. Ready to stock up your pantry? Great! But before you head to the store, skim these 30 Ways to Save at the Grocery Store Without Coupons for the very best tips on losing weight—without lightening your wallet.
All of these simple, fresh bites can be pulled together in less than five minutes…
1 slice of Ezekiel bread, 1/4th avocado: 183 calories, 10 g fat, 2.1 g saturated fat, 78 mg sodium, 19.3 g carbs, 6.5 g fiber, 5 g protein
Avocado toast isn’t just for breakfast, guys. Thanks to its healthy fat, fiber, and protein content, the combo makes for a filling snack, too. To whip up a slice, toast a piece of Ezekiel or whole grain bread and top with chunky, mashed avocado. Sprinkle chili pepper flakes and a light drizzle of olive oil. For more tasty avocado ideas, check out these avocado recipes for weight loss.
Did You Know?!
Avocados are packed with something called monounsaturated fat, a type of fat that can prevent body fat from forming around the belly.
Snap Peas with Hummus
1 cup snap peas, 1/4th cup hummus: 221 calories, 6.6 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 244 mg sodium, 30 g carbs, 11 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 13 g protein
Veggies and hummus make for the perfect afternoon snack. Not only does the crunch help to keep you alert through the mid-afternoon slump, the combination of fiber, protein, and water (snap peas are 90 percent H20) is sure to keep your stomach satisfied until suppertime. To ensure your snack remains diet friendly, plan to stick to one of our go-to hummus choices.
1 cup: 64 calories, 0.8 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 4.6 g carbs, 5.4 g sugar, 1 g protein, 8 g fiber
Raspberries may be small, but they’re awful mighty—think of them as nature’s magical weight loss pill. Packing more fiber and liquid than most other fruits, they boost feelings of satiety without doing any damage to your waistline. Eat them solo or throw them in a Greek yogurt for a creamy, more protein-rich snack.
Protein Roll Up
1 tsp. hummus, 1 oz deli turkey, 1 slice Swiss cheese, thick tomato slice: 149 calories, 9 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 412 mg sodium, 4.4. g carbs, 1 g fiber, 1.5 g sugar, 11.7 g protein
Think of this as a flavorful sandwich minus the bread. To make a protein-filled roll up, lay a slice of Swiss cheese on a cutting board. Top with a slice of turkey, a thick tomato slice, and a spoonful of hummus. Wrap like a jelly roll and enjoy.
Eat This Tip!
Sick of your post-workout protein shake? Make this roll up without the cheese (its fat content will slow the absorption of the nutrients your body needs to recover) and pair it with an apple. The combination of protein and carbs is just what your muscles need post-pump. For even more recovery ideas, check out our report, 20 Trainers Reveal What They Eat After a Workout.
1 medium fruit: 105 calories, 0.4 g fat, 0.1 g saturated fat, 1 mg sodium, 27 g carbs, 3.1 g fiber, 14 g sugar, 1.3 g protein
Not only can the humble banana‘s water and fiber content keep you away from the vending machine (75 percent of the fruit is pure water), each one comes with a free carrying case, so you can grab it and go!
Ants on a Log
3 celery stalks, 2 tbsp. peanut butter, 1 tbsp raisins: 233 calories, 16 g fat, 3.4 g saturated fat, 189 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 9 g protein
To make this high-protein childhood favorite, slather celery with smooth or chunky peanut butter and then top it off with raisins. But before you whip up this tasty snack, you might want to find out where your favorite PB falls on our exclusive list of The 36 Top Peanut Butters—Ranked to make sure it’s a good-for-you pick.
95 calories, 0.3 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 2 mg sodium, 25 g carbs, 4.5 g fiber, 19 g sugar, 0.5 g protein
As one of the easiest fruits to eat on the run, apples are one of our go-to snacks. The best time to eat one? As a pre-meal snack. According to Penn State University researchers, munching on an apple before a meal can reduce overall calorie consumption by 15 percent! If that doesn’t convince you to add them to your healthy snack time lineup, we’re not sure what will.
Homemade Cheese Herb Popcorn
189 calories, 8 g fat, 4.6 g saturated fat, 265 mg sodium, 21 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 12 g protein
A potent source of fiber and filling whole grains, popcorn is a satisfyingly delicious healthy snack. But pop the wrong kennels and you could be doing your body more harm than good. Many major brands of microwave popcorn, for example, line their bags with perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), the same stuff found in Teflon pots and pans; some studies have linked it to infertility, weight gain, and impaired learning. Thankfully pulling together a healthier snack is a simple task. Simply add 2 tablespoons (which yields about 2 ½ cups popped) of your favorite popping kernels to a small paper lunch bag and fold the top down a few times. Then, zap it in the microwave until you hear only a few pops every five seconds. While still hot, toss the popcorn with a half cup grated Parmesan and rosemary. For even more delicious popcorn hacks, try these 20 Delicious Ways to Dress Up Your Popcorn!
Peanut Butter Stuffed Dates
2 dates, 2 tbsp. peanut butter: 250 calories, 16 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 148 mg sodium, 25 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 19 g sugar, 9 g protein
It may be hard to believe, but this salty-sweet combo serves up as much protein as a cup of milk and as much fiber as an apple. Making it is super simple, too. Just split open the date, remove the seed and top each half with your favorite all-natural nut butter. For some added flavor and texture, you can even sprinkle on some unsweetened coconut flakes. Yum!
Snack-Sized Berry Spinach Smoothie
1 serving: 230 calories, 2.5 g fat, 20 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 7 g sugar, 26 g protein
Short on time? Blend up a small, snack-sized smoothie. Registered dietitian Kristin Reisinger gave us one of her go-to recipes—which features fibrous berries and filling protein powder—for our New York Time’s bestselling book, Zero Belly Smoothies, and it makes for the perfect filling treat. To make it, toss ½ cup of mixed frozen berries, a handful of spinach, 8-ounces of almond milk, and vanilla protein powder into a blend and combine until smooth. For more tasty blends, be sure to get your copy of the book today!
Cottage Cheese with Pineapple
1/2 cup 1% cottage cheese, 1/2 cup pineapple: 143 calories, 2.3 g fat, 1.4 g saturated fat, 460 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 8.5 g sugar, 16 g protein
Sick of Greek yogurt? Break open a container of low-sodium cottage cheese and top it with some sweet yellow pineapple. So long as you stick to a half-cup serving of each, you’ll craft a protein-packed snack that contains less than 150 calories! If you want some added flavor, top your bowl with some low-sugar or no-sugar-added coconut chips. The combination of flavors is reminiscent of a piña colada!
5 dried apricots, 3 teaspoons crumbled blue cheese, 5 pistachios, ¼ teaspoon honey: 137 calories, 5 g fat, 1.8 g saturated fat, 139 mg sodium, 22 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 17 g sugar, 5 g protein
It may look like a fancy appetizer, but this snack comes together in mere minutes. To pull it together, lay 5 dried apricots on a plate, smear each one with some crumbled blue cheese, and then sprinkle with some chopped pistachios and honey. With 5 grams of fiber and a ton of flavor, this is one healthy snack that’s sure to keep your energy levels soaring. For even more foods that will keep you alert and ready to roll, don’t miss these 23 Best Foods for Energy.
Almond Butter and Peach Toast
1 tbsp. almond butter, 1 slice Ezekiel bread, 1/2 peach: 200 calories, 8.7 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 75 mg sodium, 25 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 8 g protein
While pairing almond butter with peaches may seem like an odd combination, we can assure you that the salty and sweet mix is a pleasing one. After you’ve toasted the protein-packed Ezekiel bread, simply smear on the nut butter, and top it off with some fresh peach slices—super easy!
Dark Chocolate with Nut Butter
1 tbsp. peanut butter, 5 pieces dark chocolate: 202 calories, 17 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 82 mg sodium, 9 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 6 g protein
This naughty-sounding snack duo is actually super low-sugar and satiating. In their purest forms, both peanut butter and dark chocolate are superfoods overflowing with nutrients. We adore Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate 85% Cacao Bar for its high fiber count and low sugar content. When selecting a nut butter, look for something that contains just two ingredients: nuts and salt. If you see anything else printed on the label, there’s a very good chance it’s not a health food.
“Cheesecake” in a Bowl
1/3 cup part-skim ricotta, 4 strawberries, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 crumbled graham cracker: 210 calories, 8 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 189 mg sodium, 24 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 13 g sugar, 11 g protein
While cheesecake is far from a healthy snack, this combo of flavors is an entirely different story. While the ricotta lends a creamy texture reminiscent of the light and fluffy dessert (not to mention loads of protein!), the graham crackers and honey provide sweetness and a crust-like crunch. If you’re not a big fan of strawberries, feel free to sub in any other fruit you feel would be pleasing. Blueberries, kiwi, or a mix of various berries are all delicious and filling alternatives thanks to their high water and fiber content.
Sometimes you just need to grab something and go. These packaged eats can all be tossed in a bag and enjoyed on the run…
Rhythm Superfoods Broccoli Bites
1 bag: 225 calories, 12 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 345 mg sodium, 22.5 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 7.5 g sugar, 10.5 g protein
Not only is broccoli a great source of vitamins A and C, it’s also packed with a third of the day’s fiber and 7 grams of hunger-quelling protein. While raw florets are hard to eat on-the-go, this packaged, seasoned variety can be easily noshed just about anywhere.
Siggi’s Icelandic Style 4% Yogurt Vanilla
1 container: 120 calories, 5 g fat, 3 g saturated, 40 mg sodium, 9 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 10 g protein
Although just about every yogurt is a good source of calcium and protein, few other flavored varieties are so low in sugar. Siggi’s uses Madagascar bourbon vanilla in lieu of traditional additives and sweeteners to produce a snack that has a deliciously sweet flavor and won’t derail your weight loss efforts. (For us, it was love at first bite!) We reach for whole milk yogurts because they’re uber filling and tend to have more protein and less sugar than their leaner versions. In fact, 4 percent yogurt is one of these 20 Best Full-Fat Foods for Weight Loss.
Bolthouse Farms Veggie Snackers Carrot Meets Ranch
1 pouch: 25 calories, 0 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 200 mg sodium, 6 g carbs, 2 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 1 g protein
Carrots are one of the most satiating veggies out there, according to Australian researchers—likely due to their high water content. These healthy snacks come with a handful of carrots and a package of seasonings, which punches up the flavor like dips and dressings without the excess calories or fat. Need more calories to power through until your next meal? Pair this savory snack with one or two of these 50 Snacks With 50 Calories or Less.
Seapoint Farms Dry Roasted Edamame, 100 Calorie Snack Pack
1 pouch: 100 calories, 3 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 115 mg sodium, 8 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 11 g protein
If you like noshing on nuts and seeds, you’re bound to enjoy dry-roasted edamame. Besides having a satisfyingly crunchy texture and a slightly salty taste, is provides 11 grams of soy protein and six grams of belly-filling fiber in each 100-calorie serving—it doesn’t get much better than that!
Arrowhead Mills Gluten Free Instant Quinoa & Oat Hot Cereal
1 packet: 100 calories, 1.5 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 0 mg sodium, 19 g carbs, 3 g fiber, < 1 g sugar, 4 g protein
This may look like your average packet of oats, but it’s worth a second glance. Made with a blend of oat flakes and quinoa—an uber filling ingredient not typically found in oatmeal—this Arrowhead creation is the perfect blank canvas for just about any snack time creation. Top off your bowl with some nuts or a half-cup of raspberries for an additional 4 grams of satiating fiber. Both oats and raspberries made our list of these 30 High Fiber Foods That Should Be in Your Diet.
Pacific Organic Roasted Red Pepper & Tomato Soup
1 single serve container (8 oz): 110 calories, 2 g fat, 1.5 g sat fat, 720 mg sodium,16 g carbs, 1 g fiber, 12 g sugar, 5 g protein
According to a Purdue University study, slurping soup keeps people fuller longer than solid foods. While we wouldn’t suggest living on soup alone, it’s gaining some traction as an easier—and delicious—way to detox and boost weight loss results. We like Pacific’s slow-roasted red pepper variety because it provides a dose of bone-building calcium and can easily be stored, opened and warmed in an office break room.
Emerald Natural Almonds 100 Calorie Packs
1 packet: 100 calories, 9 g fat, 0.5 g sat fat, 0 mg sodium, 2 g fiber 1 g sugar, 4 g protein
This snack-sized serving of almonds serves up more protein and fiber than other similar nut blends. Plus, each pouch provides 25 percent of the day’s vitamin E, a nutrient that boosts immunity and helps maintain skin and eye health.
Mediterranean Snacks Roasted Garlic Hummus + Sea Salt Lentil Crackers Tapaz 2 Go
1 pouch, 250 calories, 12.5 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 485 mg sodium, 27 g carbs, 6 g sugar, 7 g protein, 3 g fiber
This gluten-free mini meal is comprised of crunchy lentil-based crackers and a flavorful, creamy hummus that’s packed with fiber. Enjoy this hunger-taming duo as a healthy road trip or mid-afternoon office healthy snack.
Beanitos Original Black Bean Chips with Sea Salt
1.5 oz, 140 calories, 7 g fat, 0.5 g saturated fat, 85 mg sodium, 15 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 0 g sugar, 5 g protein
If no one told you these chips were made from navy beans, brown rice, oils and spices, you’d never be the wiser. This snack time favorite has a texture and flavor reminiscent of traditional crisps. The primary difference? Beanitos will fill you up without filling you out. Pair it with a bean dip to boost satiety even more. We like Desert Pepper’s black bean variety.
RELATED: 35 Best-Selling Chips—Ranked
KIND Nuts & Spices Bar, Madagascar Vanilla Almond
1 bar: 210 calories, 16 g fat, 1.5 g saturated fat, 15 mg sodium, 14 g carbs, 6 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 7 g protein
The high fiber and protein content isn’t the only good thing about this bar. It also has fat-blasting Madagascar vanilla, which is a potent source of oleic fatty acids, monounsaturated fats that can help reduce appetite and promote weight loss. To see how all of your favorite KIND bars stack up in terms of nutrition, check out our special report, Every KIND Bar—Ranked!
Iconic Lean Ready-to-Drink Protein Shake
1 bottle, 12 fl oz: 130 calories, 2 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 220 mg sodium, 8 g carbs, 4 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 20 g protein
Full of sweeteners, toxic contaminants, chemical additives, and trans fat, many protein powder labels read like the stock list of a chemistry lab. But not this pre-made protein drink. Made with natural ingredients like grass-fed milk protein isolate, cocoa powder, organic agave, and sea salt, this is one of the better bottles in the supplement store. Not to mention, it has more protein than three hard boiled eggs which practically ensures it will keep you full and satisfied for hours between meals.
ThinkThin Protein Nut Bites
10 pieces: 190 calories, 12 g fat, 2.5 g saturated fat, 115 mg sodium, 16 g carbs, 3 g fiber, 8 g sugar, 9 g protein
While protein and snack bars can be healthy snacks for busy folks, sometimes you just want to slowly pick at something—like these small, chocolate coated protein bites. Not only do we like that you can grab three or four bites instead of committing to an entire bar, we’re also digging the clean ingredient label. The bulk of this snack is comprised of almonds and pumpkin seeds, which explains the slow digesting (read: filling) protein and healthy fats.
The New Primal Spicy Beef Jerky
1 oz (½ package), 90 calories, 2.5 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 250 mg sodium, 5 g carbs, 0 g fiber, 3 g sugar, 12 g protein
Made with omega-3-rich grass-fed beef, and flavored with pineapple juice, coconut aminos, honey, lemon juice, jalapeno peppers, cayenne, and other delicious herbs and spices, this jerky is one of the cleanest options you’ll find at the market. Pair it with a piece of fiber-rich fruit like an apple or a pear to add some filling fiber to your snack-time lineup. Curious how your other favorite meat snacks stack up to this one? Don’t miss our report The Best and Worst Beef Jerky—Ranked!.
The Good Bean Crispy Crunchy Chickpeas
1 oz: 120 calories 3 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 102-185 mg sodium, 18 g carbs, 5 g fiber, 1- 6 g sugar, 5 g protein
These dried chickpeas are downright addictive. Luckily for you, they’re low in calories and sugar and loaded with fiber and protein. Snag a bag in every flavor. From savory Thai coconut to sweet cocoa vanilla, they’re all delicious—and are a welcomed break from raw nuts.
I Heart Keenwah Quinoa Clusters
1 oz: 120- 130 calories, 3.5 – 6 g fat, 0.5 – 2 g saturated fat, 60 – 105 mg sodium, 17 – 20 g carbs, 1- 2 g fiber, 6 – 8 g sugar, 3 g protein
Quinoa isn’t just for your dinner plate anymore. Breakfast quinoa bowls and snacks made with the super grain have been trending for awhile now. We love that this bite-sized snack is wholesome and free of scary additives, yet taste like sweet, sinful treats.