"Take two of these and call me in the morning."
It's what every patient longs to hear—a doctor offering a simple cure for what ails them. It's even better when the doctor's talking about potato chips.
Smart snacking can work wonders on your waistline. Having a little something between meals keeps your metabolism humming, and it can also wards off blood sugar dips that can leave you feeling ravenous. But if you reach for the same humdrum snack day after day—we’re lookin’ at you, mister carrots and hummus—you’re likely going to get bored, grab Pop-Tart and fall off the healthy eating bandwagon altogether.
To help you stay on track without dying of boredom, Eat This, Not That! checked in with some of the nation’s top diet experts and asked them what easy-to-make snacks help keep them trim and satisfied. Scroll through to see their top picks. And also don't miss our essential Eat This, Not That! list of the top 50 Best Snacks for Weight Loss.
When You’re Craving Something Crunchy
“When I’m trying to trim down a bit, I might snack on a cup of sliced, raw carrots, zucchini, cucumbers and red peppers. I’ll pair the veggies with a dip made from two tablespoons of avocado, 1/3 cup of Greek yogurt and two tablespoons of salsa. This voluminous, vibrant snack has no more than 110 calories, yet still provides the belly-filling magic of 5 grams of both fiber and protein.” – Lisa Moskovitz, R.D., founder of Manhattan-based private practice, The NY Nutrition Group
“A handful of Snapea Crisps provides a whopping five grams of satiety-boosting protein and four grams of fiber for a mere 110 calories. Plus, this snack is non-perishable so it can be easily eaten just about anywhere.” – Lisa De Fazio, MS, RD, Los Angeles-based Registered Dietitian
When You’re Craving Something Creamy
“When I’m in the mood for something creamy, I take one piece of pre-sliced, low-fat cheese like mozzarella or Monterey Jack, cut it into four equal squares and use it to top four wheat crackers. Cracked Pepper and Olive Oil Triscuits work great for this and have a really nice flavor. Pop the cheese and crackers into the microwave for about 15 seconds, or until the cheese is melted. This gooey, whole grain ‘treat’ serves up eight grams of protein and comes in around 200 calories.” – Christine M. Palumbo, MBA, RDN, FAND, a Chicago area registered dietitian and nutrition communications consultant.
When You’re Craving Something Sweet
“When hunger or a craving for something sweet strikes, I enjoy five no sugar-added dried plums. They have a delicious, intense flavor and are really filling. Since they are easy to keep in the car’s glove box, they’re also great as an on the go snack.” – Christine M. Palumbo, MBA, RDN, FAND, a Chicago area registered dietitian and nutrition communications consultant. Or try these Best Fruits for Weight Loss.
When You’re Craving Something Salty
“Sliced turkey wrapped around a dill pickle always hits the spot when I’m in the mood for something salty. The protein from the turkey also helps tide me over until my next meal.” – Lisa De Fazio, MS, RD, Los Angeles-based Registered Dietitian
“I try to make sure my in-between-meals noshing to no more than 150 calories and follows my own personal ‘rule of 5,’ meaning my snack must have at least 5 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein. For a salty and crunchy fix that fits the bill, I’ll have three cups of air-popped plain popcorn sprinkled with 2.5 tablespoons of grated parmesan” – Lisa Moskovitz, R.D., founder of Manhattan-based private practice, The NY Nutrition Group
When Hunger Strikes at the Office
“Take one envelope of unflavored instant oatmeal, prepare it according to the package directions, then add in a tablespoon of chopped nuts such as pistachios or walnuts. This is easy to stash in your desk drawer and is much healthier than fighting off hunger at the vending machine.” – Christine M. Palumbo, MBA, RDN, FAND, a Chicago area registered dietitian and nutrition communications consultant.
When You Want Something Sweet & Salty
“I love spreading two tablespoons of almond butter on apple slices. The protein and fiber combination helps keep me satiated, and I love the salty-sweet flavor combination.” – Lisa De Fazio, MS, RD, Los Angeles-based Registered Dietitian
“A small banana cut in half lengthwise and lightly smeared with a
tablespoon of natural almond butter makes for a tasty snack. The flavor profile from this snack duo hits the spot when I'm craving something sweet and creamy, and it does a great job of keeping my hunger in check, too!” – Michelle Loy, MPH, MS, CSSD, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and owner of Go Wellness in Orange County, California
If You Love Trail Mix
“One of my favorite slim down snacks is a mix of Brazil nuts, goji berries and unsweetened coconut flakes. This selenium-rich combination helps boost the metabolism—plus, they taste amazing together!” – Dana James, nutritionist and founder of Food Coach NYC
When All You Want Is Fro-Yo
“A simple, yet protein-strong pairing of plain Greek yogurt swirled with a half cup of fresh berries helps keep my hunger under control for hours. Plus, I love the light sweetness and pop of texture the berries offer without the added sugar often found in other treats.” – Michelle Loy, MPH, MS, CSSD, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and owner of Go Wellness in Orange County, California
“When I need to take off a few extra pounds after too much holiday feasting or so I can fit into a not-so-forgiving dress, I make sure to have healthy snacks available at all times. If I am in the mood for something sweet, I mix five ounces of plain Greek Yogurt with a packet of Stevia, half a cup of raspberries and a tablespoon of carob chips. The mini-meal has a total of 150 calories, a whopping 15 grams of protein and at least 5 grams of fiber. It doesn’t get much better than that.” – Lisa Moskovitz, R.D., founder of Manhattan-based private practice, The NY Nutrition Group
When All You Want Is a Cookie
“I love Quest Bars because they are low in sugar and calories, but high in protein and fiber. With delicious flavors like Cookies and Cream and Chocolate Chip Cookie, they also satisfy my sweet tooth! The best part is, these bars don’t contain aspartame or acesulfame K like some similar products.” – Lauren Minchen MPH, RDN, CDN, a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist based in New York City
When You’re In Need of a Mini Meal
“When hunger strikes between meals, I like eating a protein-filled hard-boiled egg sprinkled with salt and pepper. I often munch on a half cup of carrot sticks as well to get in some satiating fiber. This satisfying 100-calorie combo helps tame my hunger.” – Michelle Loy, MPH, MS, CSSD, Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and owner of Go Wellness in Orange County, California
When You Need a Brain Booster
“When I'm looking to get a little leaner, I reach for raw flax crackers topped with avocado. I prefer raw flax crackers over the wheat variety because they don't contain gluten, which can make me a little puffy. They are also intensely rich in omega-3s, which helps produce radiant skin and a faster brain!” – Dana James, nutritionist and founder of Food Coach NYC
When You Need to Eat On The Run
“When hunger strikes on the go, I reach for a Daily Greens green juice. Not only do these drinks provide an opportunity to fit more veggies into my day, they are low in sugar and calories and provide a number of energy-boosting nutrients. They are also organic and cold-pressed, which is a juicing process that helps to preserve the vitamins and minerals in the produce.” – Lauren Minchen MPH, RDN, CDN, a Registered Dietitian and Nutritionist based in New York City