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- Snacking & Weight Loss
- Health Snack Definition
- Vegetable Snacks
- Fruit Snacks
- Grains & Legume Snacks
- Nuts & Seeds Snacks
- Dairy & Eggs Snacks
Does Snacking Make It Harder To Lose Weight?
I know you’ve come to this article to find healthy snacks to lose weight and feel great.
The truth is that “healthy snacks” are usually not healthy!
Most snacking is mindless and leads to overeating. Even with healthy snacks.
Overeating can lead to obesity, which is strongly linked to preventable diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and certain cancers.1
According to an analysis at Harvard University, the significant increase in calorie consumption in the United States has come from eating between meals. It has not come from larger meals.2
Let that sink in for a second.
The U.S. obesity rate is projected to be 51% in 2030.3 While there are many reasons why this is happening, more snacking is likely a driving force.
That’s why we recommend our clients avoid snacking. We even created a BuiltLean@ 7-Day No-Snacks Challenge.
Reducing or eliminating snacks is one of the simplest ways to reduce calorie intake.
This is backed by research, experience, and common sense.
What Makes A “Healthy” Snack?
A “healthy snack” is mostly unprocessed, nutritious, filling, and ideally plant-based. An eating approach that emphasizes plant-based foods is associated with greater longevity.4
To compile this list, I asked our team of fitness & nutrition experts about their favorite low calorie healthy snacks.
All snacks on this list are under 200 calories, nutritious, and filling.
Branded snack products are not featured because most take something that’s healthy and make it less healthy.
Consider testing several snacks to find a few go-to snacks that are filling & satisfying.
Lastly, if you want to maximize feelings of fullness, drink a glass of water with your snack.
Without further ado, here’s the list.
Healthy Vegetable Snacks
A snack with mostly fibrous vegetables is a sure bet. You maximize nutrient density while minimizing calories.
- Baby Carrots – with 1 cup of carrots is just 40 calories while boasting plentiful vitamin A. It’s also easy to take with you and eat, which makes it an excellent snack
- Kale Chips – Satisfyingly salty and low calorie, kale chips are a much healthier alternative to potato chips.
- Veggies & Hummus – A great savory, crunchy snack that provides protein, healthy fats, and fiber. Use carrot, celery, cucumber, radishes and other raw vegetables and ¼ cup of hummus, which is around 100 calories.
- Seaweed Crisps – Use an air fryer to make seaweed crispy for a satisfying and healthful snack.
- Ants On A Log – Cut celery stalks in half, spread some peanut butter, then sprinkle with raisins. Done. Low calorie, tasty, and filling.
- Cucumber Boats – Cut cucumbers in half long-ways, then use a spoon to scoop out the center. Fill with a ¼ cup of baba ganoush, hummus, or guacamole.
- Green Juice – Blend 1 cup water, 1 medium apple, 2 cups baby spinach, 2 celery ribs, ½ cucumber peeled and chopped, 1 cup ice. Refreshing & nutrient dense.
- Veggie Soup – There are many varieties, but most are under 100 calories for a hefty 2 cups.
- Split Pea Soup – One cup has 8 grams of protein, 5 grams of fiber, and 158 calories.
Healthy Fruit Snacks
Any fruit can be a healthy snack, but the following fruits are tried & true. Fruit does not make you gain fat in case you were wondering.
- Apple – 100 calories, convenient, with phytonutrients that help regulate your blood sugar, this is nutritious and filling.
- Grapes – Refreshing and sweet. With only 3 calories in each, you can have 30 grapes without going overboard.
- Banana – Easy for on the go, rich in potassium, and only 100 calories. Add a tablespoon of nut butter to make it even more filling.
- Strawberries – All berries like strawberries, blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries are high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, while low in calories. A cup of strawberries only has 50 calories with 3 grams of fiber and 7 grams of sugar.
Healthy Grains & Legume Snacks
Most grain snacks are highly processed and legumes can take a while to cook. By buying minimally processed grains and pre-cooked legumes, these food groups are more accessible as healthy snacks.
- Popcorn – Filling and low calorie, this is a perfect snack for when you’re looking for something to crunch on but want to keep it healthy. 1 cup is around 50 calories.
- Edamame – Enjoyed either cold or steamed, edamame boasts 18 grams of protein per cup and 188 calories.
- Avocado Toast – Avocados are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids and other vitamins and minerals. Add 1/4 of an avocado or ¼ cup guacamole spread on whole grain toast makes for a filling snack.
- Nut Butter Toast – Add a tablespoon of nut butter to multigrain toast for a simple, quick, nutritious, and filling snack around 150 calories.
- Roasted Chickpeas – fiber filled, a ½ a cup of chickpeas is 135 calories and filling. Cook in an air fyer to make them crispy and add some seasoning like salt.
Healthy Nuts & Seeds Snacks
Nuts and seeds can make snacks more filling, but they can also lead to high calorie counts. Small portions on their own, or as part of another food work well.
- Roasted Almonds – rich in Vitamin E, calcium, phosphorous, iron, & magnesium, almonds’ calories also go 20% undigested, so they’re really the perfect handful
- Dark Chocolate – 80%+ dark chocolate with little to no added sugars can be a satisfying snack. Keep the serving to 1 ounce (~30 grams), or skip this snack idea.
- Banana & Nut Butter – Add a tablespoon of nut butter to a banana, which is a filling combination around 190 calories.
- Apple & Nut Butter – Add a tablespoon of nut butter with an apple for a filling snack under 200 calories.
Healthy Dairy & Egg Snacks
Here are a few staple snacks with animal products that are filling and easy to buy and eat.
- Cottage Cheese – contains ample protein, calcium, selenium, vitamin b-12, and fiber. A 5 ounce container of the 1% cheese is just 110 calories.
- Greek Yogurt – provides a healthy balance of carbs, protein, and probiotics, which can benefit your digestive system. 1 cup of full fat yogurt is 150 calories and nonfat is 100 calories.
- Hardboiled Eggs – With 6 grams and 70 calories per serving, eggs are an excellent source of protein with all 9 essential amino acids.
What’s your go-to healthy snack? Do you have a favorite on the list?
- De Lorenzo A, Gratteri S, Gualtieri P, Cammarano A, Bertucci P, Di Renzo L. Why primary obesity is a disease? J Transl Med. 2019;17:169. ↩
- Cutler DM, Glaeser EL, Shapiro JM. Why have Americans become more obese? Journal of Economic Perspectives. 2003;17(3):93-118) ↩
- Finkelstein EA, Khavjou OA, Thompson H, et al. Obesity and severe obesity forecasts through 2030 Am J Prev Med. 2012;42(6):563-570. ↩
- Herpich C, Müller-Werdan U, Norman K. Role of plant-based diets in promoting health and longevity. Maturitas. 2022;165:47-51. ↩