These Are The 20 Best Healthy Snacks For Weight Loss
If you’ve ever snacked your way through a jar of peanut butter in a day, you’re probably pretty damn convinced that snacking is your worst enemy when it comes to weight loss. But yeah, no. Snacks (you know, the healthy, well-portioned kind) can help ensure you don’t get so damn hungry you just say “screw it!” and give up on your whole diet. Still, whipping up your own perfectly portioned snack is way easier said than done. (Honestly, who knew a serving or peanut butter was only two measly tablespoons?!) Make things a whole lot easier on yourself and whip up these nutritionist-approved best healthy snacks for weight-loss snacks instead.
1. Trail mix
“My ideal healthy snack combines a little of each of the macronutrients—protein, carbohydrates and fats,” says dietician Kath Younger. “I love to rely on the combination of nuts and fruits, either fresh fruit or dried fruit for a longer shelf life. A small handful of trail mix is one of my favourite snacks that won’t spoil my appetite for my next meal.”
Make it: Combine equal parts unsweetened dried fruit and unsalted roasted nuts (sorry, no M&Ms this time). Reach for a quarter cup of the mixture when you need a boost.
Per serving: 682 kilojoules, 9 g fat (1 g saturated), 19 g carbs, 13 g sugar, 3 mg sodium, 2 g fibre, 5 g protein.
2. Yoghurt with nuts and berries
Younger adds a sprinkle of nuts to protein-rich fat-free yoghurt for some satiating healthy fats. A small handful of berries or another chopped fruit will add texture and sweetness, filling fibre. It might sound basic, but it’s a classic snack for a reason.
Make it: Combine 1/2 cup Greek yoghurt, 2 tablespoons chopped , and 1/2 cup berries in a bowl.
Per serving: 858 kilojoules, 11 g fat (0 g saturated), 13 g carbs, 7 g sugar, 43 mg sodium, 1 g fibre, 16 g protein.
3. Sliced tomato with a sprinkle of feta and olive oil
This savoury dish will make your taste buds happy. Tomatoes pack umami flavour, while feta adds tang and a little bit of salt.
Make it: Slice 1 medium tomato (or slice up 1/2 cup of cherry tomatoes), and top with 28g feta and 1 teaspoon olive oil.
Per serving:556 kilojoules, 11 g fat (5 g saturated), 5 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 265 mg sodium, 1 g fibre, 5 g protein.
4. Shrimp and cocktail sauce
Shrimp are a great source of lean protein, and it’s easy to find them pre-cooked in any supermarket. (Plus, it makes snack time feel way fancier!)
Make it: Combine eight cooked, peeled, deveined shrimp with 1/4 cup cocktail sauce for dipping.
Per serving: 527 kilojoules, 1 g fat (5 g saturated), 16 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 432 mg sodium, 1 g fibre, 14 g protein.
5. Baby carrots with hummus
Carrots and hummus are a great snack as is, but adding a sprinkle of seasoning will make your taste buds extra happy.
Make it: Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of seasoning on top of 1/4 cup of regular hummus. Eat with 1 cup of baby carrots.
Per serving: 987 kilojoules, 12 g fat (5 g saturated), 27 g carbs, 12 g sugar, 416 mg sodium, 10 g fibre, 6 g protein.
6. ‘Banana split’
Dietician Robin Plotkin suggests a healthy version of the classic dessert by halving a banana, then topping it with yoghurt and nuts. It’s a delicious combo of carbs, protein, and healthy fat—more importantly, it’s super-fun to eat.
Make it: Slice a small banana in half vertically. Top the open banana face with 1/4 cup non-fat Greek yoghurt and 2 tablespoons of chopped .
Per serving: 1013 kilojoules, 10 g fat (1 g saturated), 33 g carbs, 18 g sugar, 23 mg sodium, 4 g fibre, 10 g protein.
7. Egg on toast
This healthy snack is great for breakfast lovers—it’s as satisfying as a meal, but the slightly smaller portion size won’t weigh you down. Plotkin recommends using hard-boiled eggs for convenience, which you can make ahead or buy. If you have access to a stove, you can also opt for a scrambled or fried egg.
Make it: Toast a slice of whole-grain toast. Top with one egg, cooked to your preference.
Per serving: 761 kilojoules, 6 g fat (2 g saturated), 20 g carbs, 4 g sugar, 221 mg sodium, 3 g fibre, 11 g protein.
8. Chocolate milk
This might seem like just something for kids, but it legit is a pretty great snack—especially for replenishing post-workout thanks to the simple carbs from the chocolate and the milk’s lactose.
Make it: Stir 1 tablespoon chocolate syrup into 1 cup 2 percent milk.
Per serving: 728 kilojoules, 5 g fat (3 g saturated), 25 g carbs, 21 g sugar, 134 mg sodium, 1 g fibre, 8 g protein.
9. White beans and olive tapenade
“Lately, I’ve been obsessed with Kalamata olive tapenade,” says dietician . “It’s a great combo of fibre, fat, protein and resistant starch that’ll keep you full and satisfied.” Tolbert eats it by the spoonful, but you can also scoop it up with a few whole-grain pita chips or cucumber slices.
Per serving: 728 kilojoules, 4 g fat (0 g saturated), 20 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 121 mg sodium, 6 g fibre, 6 g protein.
10. Dates and pistachios
“It’s the usual fruit and nuts combo, but a little more sophisticated,” says Tolbert. Dates have a honey-like sweetness, which combines with the strong flavour of pistachios into a snack that feels like dessert.
Make it: Combine 2 pitted with 2 tablespoons .
Per serving: 891 kilojoules, 7 g fat (1 g saturated), 40 g carbs, 33 g sugar, 35 mg sodium, 5 g fibre, 4 g protein.
11. Edamame with sea salt
Plotkin loves sprinkling , in its shell or out, with a bit of sea salt. In addition to plant-based protein, you get fibre and a good dose of potassium.
Make it: Drizzle 1/2 cup shelled with 1 teaspoon olive oil and a pinch of sea salt.
Per serving: 586 kilojoules, 8 g fat (1 g saturated), 8 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 481 mg sodium, 1 g fibre, 8 g protein.
12. PB-chocolate apple ‘nachos’
This sounds crazy-indulgent, but it’s actually a well-balanced snack, says Plotkin. You’ll get protein and lots of fibre, which will help slow the digestion of the little bit of added sugar from dark chocolate (preventing a mid-afternoon crash).
Make it: Thinly slice a medium apple, then drizzle them with 1 tablespoon natural peanut butter and 15g melted .
Per serving: 1058 kilojoules, 13 g fat (4 g saturated), 35 g carbs, 25 g sugar, 74 mg sodium, 7 g fibre, 4 g protein.
13. Microwave egg taco
Get creative with your microwave and make a tasty snack with enough protein to carry you to your next meal.
Make it: “Crack one egg into a microwave-safe mug and cook for 90 seconds,” says Plotkin. Immediately stir in 15g shredded cheddar, then serve inside a small .
Per serving: 761 kilojoules, 10 g fat (5 g saturated), 11 g carbs, 1 g sugar, 360 mg sodium, 3 g fibre, 11 g protein.
14. Roasted chickpeas
Make it: Rinse and drain a can of , then toss them with 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, salt, pepper, and whatever spice you want. Roast at 400° F for 30 minutes. Let cool slightly, then eat. One batch makes three servings.
Per serving: 669 kilojoules, 8 g fat (1 g saturated), 17 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 292 mg sodium, 4 g fibre, 5 g protein.
15. Almond butter crackers
“Peanut butter crackers serve as a quick option for people on the run, but the pre-packaged snack can have many hidden ingredients and kilojoules,” says dietician Shamera Robinson. DIY it instead.
Make it: Spread 1 tablespoon almond butter (or any nut or seed butter) between 28g .
Per serving: 974 kilojoules, 12 g fat (2 g saturated), 23 g carbs, 2 g sugar, 227 mg sodium, 5 g fibre, 8 g protein.
16. Homemade popcorn
“Popcorn is a great snack to fill up on,” says Robinson, thanks to all the fibre. And you don’t have to stick with the plain stuff, either. “Try sprinkling garlic powder and dried rosemary (or Italian seasoning) for extra flavour,” suggests Robinson.
Make it: Pop 3 tablespoons of popcorn kernels in 1/2 Tbsp canola oil in a large saucepan on the stove. Top with your favourite herbs or spices.
Per serving: 674 kilojoules, 6 g fat (1 g saturated), 28 g carbs, 0 g sugar, 15 mg sodium, 5 g fibre, 4 g protein.
17. DIY tzatziki dip with veggies
Make it: Add grated cucumber, salt, pepper, crushed garlic and lemon juice to 1/2 cup low-fat Greek yoghurt. Use 1 cup carrot or cucumber sticks for dipping.
Per serving: 594 kilojoules, 3 g fat (1 g saturated), 18 g carbs, 9 g sugar, 395 mg sodium, 4 g fibre, 9 g protein.
18. Cottage cheese with almonds and honey
“This creamy-crunchy-sweet combo is second to none,” says Robinson. The cottage cheese is rich in protein, while almonds add crunch and healthy fats. And a hint of honey makes things sweet without going overboard on added sugar.
Per serving: 820 kilojoules, 10 g fat (2 g saturated), 12 g carbs, 10 g sugar, 363 mg sodium, 2 g fibre, 17 g protein.
19. Biltong with raisins
“The ideal snack is portable and packed with satisfying lean protein,” says dietician Nicole Rodriguez. Biltong fits the bill, and most brands pack a good amount of protein for less kilojoules. Look for lower salt varieties. Pair with raisins for some energising carbs and filling fibre.
Make it: Combine 28g biltong with 2 tablespoons raisins.
Per serving: 615 kilojoules, 1 g fat (1 g saturated), 19 g carbs, 3 g sugar, 390 mg sodium, 1 g fibre, 15 g protein.
20. Pear and stringy cheese
If you love fancy cheese plates for their combination of sweet, salty, and creamy flavours, you’ll love this less-fussy snack. Pears have natural sugar and lots of fibre, while stringy cheese (you can get it at Woolies) is an easy way to get some satiating fat and protein in on the go.
Make it: Slice one medium pear. Eat with one low-fat stringy cheese.
Per serving: 761 kilojoules, 6 g fat (4 g saturated), 27 g carbs, 17 g sugar, 172 mg sodium, 6 g fibre, 8 g protein.
This article was originally published on