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25 Best High-Protein, Low-Carb Snacks for Weight Loss

Reach for one of these satiating, protein-dense snacks that's also low in carbs—and still lose weight!
FACT CHECKED BY Justine Goodman

Many of us have been there: You commit to a healthy weight loss plan, vowing to make nutritious food choices. But within days—or even hours—you find yourself snacking on sugary or sodium-packed ultra-processed munchies, which are high in empty calories and can sabotage your efforts. Instead of potato chips or cookies, why not opt for an equally tasty yet more satisfying high-protein, low-carb snack?

Benefits of High-Protein, Low-Carb Snacks for Weight Loss

Food cravings and hunger pangs can derail even the strongest willpower, undermining your weight loss goals. High-protein, low-carb snacks can help you stay on track without feeling deprived.

These snacks can be beneficial for weight loss for several reasons:

  • Satiety: Protein is an essential nutrient that helps you feel full, reducing the likelihood of overeating. Research shows that high-protein diets can be conducive to weight loss
  • Lean Muscle Development: Combined with exercise, protein supports the development of lean muscle.
  • Fat Conversion: Low-carb foods encourage your body to convert stored fats into energy, aiding weight loss.

What Are High-Protein, Low-Carb Snacks?

There isn't a precise ratio of carbohydrates to protein for an ideal high-protein, low-carb snack; however, Lauren Manaker, MS, RDN, a dietitian on our Medical Expert Board, tells us a good guideline is at least 3 grams of protein and fewer than 12 grams of carbs per snack.

Protein and carbohydrates aren't the only macronutrients to consider when looking for the best high-protein, low-carb snacks for weight loss. You also want to consider calories, fat, and fiber.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, FAND, an award-winning nutrition expert, recommends limiting weight loss snacks to 125-150 calories. They should also contain at least two of these nutrients—fiber, healthy fats, and protein—to help you stay satiated for longer, as "[these macronutrients] take longer to digest or get through the gut, helping keep you feeling full," says Amidor.

To help you get started, we've rounded up a variety of delicious, dietitian-approved high-protein, low-carb snacks. For more healthy eating tips to support your weight loss journey, be sure to check out The Best Healthy Snacks for Weight Loss.

Cottage Cheese

bowl of cottage cheese with strawberries and blueberries

Serving size: 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
Carbs: 4.7 grams
Protein: 12 grams

Cottage cheese is an excellent source of protein and calcium. It's also low in carbohydrates, making it a perfect snack for those looking to lose weight. Enjoyed cottage cheese alone or pair it with low-carb fruits like raspberries (7 grams carbs per 1/2 cup), strawberries (5 grams carbs per 1/2 cup), or cantaloupe (6 grams carbs per 1/2 cup) for added flavor and nutrients.

 The 8 Best Cottage Cheese Brands, According to Dietitians

Plain Greek Yogurt

greek yogurt

Serving size: 7-ounce container
8 grams
Protein: 20 grams

"Plain Greek yogurt provides 15–17 grams of high-quality protein per 6-ounce serving, depending on the brand," says Amy Goodson, MS, RD, CSSD, LD, author of The Sports Nutrition Playbook. "While the protein will help you stay fuller longer, the probiotics in yogurt (good bacteria) can also help with gut health. Greek yogurt also provides you with calcium. If you are looking to lose weight, consider using Greek yogurt as a base for dips, smoothies, and even in baked goods to amp up the protein for fewer calories."

The 6 Healthiest Greek Yogurts, According to Dietitians

Hard-Boiled Eggs

hard boiled eggs

Serving size: 1 large egg
0.5 gram
Protein: 6 grams

Hard-boiled eggs are the perfect high-protein snack to help keep you satiated throughout the day. "Eggs are beneficial for weight loss because eggs are high in choline, which helps support metabolism," says Ashley Harpst, RD, owner of Go for the Gold Nutrition.

Manaker notes that "the U.S. Dietary Guidelines hasn't restricted the cholesterol in the food you eat for many years and recommends eggs as part of a healthy diet, so you can feel confident choosing eggs for your family—and eating the yolks!"

Try sprinkling them with some Everything But The Bagel seasoning or simply salt and pepper.

 8 Highest-Quality Eggs on Grocery Store Shelves

Beef Jerky

organic beef jerky

Serving size: 1 ounce
3 grams
Protein: 9 grams

"Beef provides you with 10 essential nutrients, including high-quality protein," explains Goodson. "One ounce provides you with 10 grams of protein plus zinc, vitamin B-12, selenium, and other nutrients. Beef jerky is a fantastic on-the-go protein that will help keep you satisfied longer after eating. Not to mention, it does not have to be kept hot or cold, making it the perfect snack solution for road trips, gym bags, and desk drawers!"

 11 Best & Worst Beef Jerky Brands, According to Dietitians



Serving size: 1 ounce (49 kernels)
8 grams
Protein: 6 grams

"Pistachios are a nutrition powerhouse and one of the lowest-calorie nut options!" says Caroline Thomason, RD, CDCES. "One ounce of pistachios contains 160 calories, 3 grams of fiber, and 6 grams of protein. They are low in carbohydrates and offer a great energy source for folks who are blood sugar-conscious."

Turkey & Cheese Roll-Up

Turkey slices cheese

Serving size: 1 slice turkey + 1 slice cheddar cheese
Carbs: 2 grams
Protein: 13 grams

Cheese and turkey roll-ups are a delicious and satisfying snack that is low in carbs but high in protein. The combination of lean turkey and cheese provides essential amino acids and calcium. This snack is great for maintaining energy levels throughout the day and can be easily prepared in advance.

The 20 Best & Worst Deli Meats, According to Dietitians



Serving size: 1/2 cup
7 grams
Protein: 9 grams

Edamame are young soybeans that are a great option for a satisfying snack that can be enjoyed hot or cold. You can find shelled versions in the freezer aisle, which are easily thawed and prepared as a high-protein, low-carb snack.

Roasted Walnuts


Serving size: 1 ounce (14 halves)
4 grams
Protein: 4 grams

"Roasted walnuts are packed with ALA omega-3 fatty acids—aka the 'good' fats that support our overall health," says Manaker. "They are also a source of fiber and plant-based protein, providing a healthy balance of satiating macros. Walnuts can be added to many healthy snacks, like trail mix, fruit salad, or yogurt."

String Cheese

string cheese

Serving size: 1 stick
1 gram
Protein: 8 grams

Yes, it is possible to lose weight and still consider yourself to be a devoted cheesehead! While most hard cheeses tend to be lower in carbohydrates, the trick to finding a cheese that's also high in protein is to seek out ones with low moisture content, as these types tend to have more protein per serving. If you love mozzarella, Amidor suggests snacking on a grab-and-go stick of string cheese and consider pairing it with fresh pear slices for a well-balanced, filling, high-protein snack that's also easy on the carbs.

Here's What Happens to Your Body If You Eat Cheese Every Day

Celery & Almond Butter

celery sticks with nut butter

Serving size: 1 tbsp almond butter + 1 celery stalk
5 grams
Protein: 3 grams

For anyone who has ever aspired to lose weight, the expectation to limit your snacks to plain large celery stalks seems like a nightmare. Sure, celery is incredibly nutritious (and even hydrating), but it always seems to need something else to really hit the spot. One way to not only up the ante on the taste of your celery but also the ever-filling protein component of this snack is to top it with a little almond butter.

On its own, a tablespoon of almond butter contains 3.36 grams of protein, which is a little over 6% of your DV, and only has about 3 grams of carbohydrates.

Canned Tuna Lettuce Wrap

Canned Tuna Lettuce Wrap

Serving size: 3 ounces canned tuna + 1 tbsp mayo + lettuce
Carbs: 1 grams
Protein: 21 grams

Whip up a tuna salad with mayo, salt, pepper, and some low-carb veggies like cucumbers and tomatoes. Load it all into a lettuce wrap, and you'll get a nutrient-packed snack that offers a great balance of healthy fats and protein.

Pumpkin Seeds

pumpkin seeds in bowl with spoon

Serving size: 1 ounce (85 seeds)
15 grams
Protein: 5 grams

Don't underestimate the powerful, weight-loss-supporting benefits you can get from a spoonful or two of pumpkin seeds. In addition to providing a satisfying crunch that can compensate for any pesky potato chip cravings, this high-protein, low-carb snack also contains nearly 2 grams of fiber per ounce, promoting feelings of fullness that can reduce your desire to overindulge.

Veggies with Hummus

cucumber hummus

Serving size: 2 Tbsp hummus + 1 celery stalk + 0.5 cup cucumber
8 grams
Protein: 3 grams

Amidor recommends aiming for snack combinations that "provide both protein (plant or animal) and fiber." A fresh veggie platter (think cucumbers, cherry tomatoes, carrots) dipped in hummus is a slam-dunk high-protein, low-carb snack combo.


Almonds in bowl on green background

Serving size: 1 ounce (23 almonds)
Carbs: 6 grams
Protein: 6 grams

Almonds are a nutrient-dense snack, providing a good amount of protein and healthy fats in each serving. They are also rich in vitamin E, magnesium, and 3.5 grams of fiber, which can help keep you full and satisfied.

Chia Pudding

orange creamsicle chia pudding
Alison Lima

Serving size: 2 tbsp chia seeds, 1/2 cup unsweetened soy milk, stevia, orange zest
Carbs: 11 grams
Protein: 7 grams

Chia pudding is low in carbs, high in protein, and an excellent source of fiber, with almost 4 grams of fiber per tablespoon. Chia seeds absorb liquid and expand, creating a pudding-like texture that is super filling. Customize your chia pudding with your favorite spices and fruits, or check out this recipe for Orange Creamsicle Chia Pudding.

Roasted Edamame

Roasted Edamame

Serving size: 1/2 cup
10 grams
Protein: 7 grams

If you want a shelf-stable version of edamame, opt for dry-roasted! "One-half a cup of dried edamame provides [approximately] 9 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber," says Harpst. "The combination of protein and fiber will help [those] who are interested in staying full and satisfied."

Poached Eggs

Poached eggs

Serving size: 1 egg
0 gram
Protein: 6 grams

"As the highest-quality protein available, eggs are a great nutrition value!" says Goodson. "One large egg provides 6 grams of high-quality protein and other nutrients many Americans miss out on like choline, vitamin D, and iodine. Eggs also contain omega-3 fatty acids. The combination of protein and fat help you get full faster and stay full longer, which helps reduce the likelihood of eating more than you should. Eggs can be eaten at any meal or snack and can help you feel more satiated."

Eggs can be prepared in a variety of ways—fried, scrambled, deviled, you name it. However, the simplicity of the poaching process doesn't require the introduction of additional ingredients, like butter or oil, which will inevitably up the fat and calorie content of your meal.

5 Dangerous Side Effects of Eating Too Many Eggs, According to Science

Chicken Breast Slices

juicy chicken breast

Serving size: 2 slices
Carbs: 0 grams
Protein: 7 grams

Chicken is a lean protein that helps you build and maintain muscle mass while keeping you full. It's an excellent post-workout snack when paired with a low-calorie sauce like mustard or a couple slices of cheese.

Deli Turkey

man laying down a slice of deli turkey on a slice of bread for a sandwich

Serving size: 2 slices
2 grams
Protein: 12 grams

"One of my favorite snacks that reminds me of the nostalgia of being a kid is a turkey rollup with a fun dipping sauce," says Thomason. "I personally love Applegate turkey because it is made with better-for-you ingredients and is 100% natural."

Greek Yogurt Smoothies

holding strawberry smoothie

Serving size: 1 bottle
5 gram
Protein: 10 grams

If you're sick of eating yogurt the old-fashioned way, zhuzh up your high-protein, low-carb snacking routine by having a Greek yogurt smoothie instead.

"Lately, I have been loving Two Good's Greek Yogurt Smoothie," says Thomason. "With only 70 calories and 10 grams of protein, it's a delicious and filling snack with tons of staying power to keep me full. Two Good contains only 5 grams of total carbohydrates and 3 grams of sugars—you'll be hard-pressed to find a more balanced drinkable yogurt option at the grocery store."

 10 Healthiest Store-Bought Smoothies—and 4 To Avoid

Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese, and Cucumber

cucumber salmon cream cheese roll up

Serving size: 2 ounces smoked salmon + 1 tablespoon cream cheese + 1/2 cup cucumber slices
Carbs: 3 grams
Protein: 11 grams

Smoked salmon and cream cheese is a savory snack that combines the rich flavors of smoked fish with creamy cheese. This low-carb snack is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart and brain health.

Air-Fryer Tofu Cubes


Serving size: 1/2 cup tofu
Carbs: 4 grams
Protein: 22 grams

Tofu is a versatile plant-based protein that you can enjoy in many ways. Season and air-fry tofu cubes for a savory snack you can pair with a soy-seasoned peanut sauce.

Cheesy Keto Pizza Cups

keto pizza cups overhead
Carlene Thomas/Eat This, Not That!

Serving size: 1-ounce turkey pepperoni + 1 ounce mozzarella + raw tomatoes
Carbs: 5 gram
Protein: 15 grams

You don't have to give up pizza on a low-carb diet, you have to be strategic. Here we combine the most memorable pizza ingredients—pepperoni, cheese, and tomatoes—into low-carb, high-protein pizza cups.

Get our recipe for Cheesy Keto Pizza Cups.

Baked Buffalo Chicken Wings

Healthy fiery buffalo wings
Mitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

Serving size: 6 baked chicken wings
Carbs: 0 grams
Protein: 36 grams

Baked chicken wings are a delicious high-protein, low-carb snack. Baking them instead of frying reduces the fat content, making them a healthier option. Season them with your favorite spices for a tasty and filling snack that's perfect for any time of day.

Get our recipe for The Best-Ever Buffalo Wings.

Protein Shake

vanilla whey protein shake

Serving size: 1 scoop protein powder + 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
Carbs: 6 grams
Protein: 28 grams

A protein shake with unsweetened soy milk is a quick and convenient high-protein, low-carb snack. Mix your favorite flavored protein powder with soy milk for a creamy, satisfying shake that provides a substantial protein boost without the extra carbs. Perfect for a post-workout snack or a quick meal on the go.

This story has been updated to include additional entries, fact-checking, and copy-editing.

Olivia Tarantino
Olivia Tarantino is the Managing Editor of Eat This, Not That!, specializing in nutrition, health, and food product coverage. Read more about Olivia
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