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Healthy snacks for weight loss and how Evidation can help

July 5, 2024
5 minutes
Healthy Eating
Diets and meal planning

While healthy, reduced-calorie meals and exercise are the foundations for losing weight, adding low-calorie snacks for weight loss to your daily food intake can give you fuel to help tide you over between meals and help you feel fuller. In a healthy eating plan, one-third of our daily energy intake comes from healthy snacks.

When you visit a convenience store or supermarket, you'll probably find yourself bombarded and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of available snack products. However, many of these snacks are loaded with salt and sugar. The food and beverage industry spends nearly $14 billion every year to advertise snacks that are largely void of valuable nutrients, and over 80% of these products are sugary drinks, fast food, and candy. When perusing the snack-lined shelves, you'll find only a few healthy options.

To ensure you have healthy snacks available when you need them, planning in advance can help. Let's explore some of the reasons snacking can help with your weight loss goals.

Understanding the role of snacking in weight loss

Studies show snacks are an important part of a person's weight loss journey. High-protein snacks are particularly filling, and protein-rich snacks such as nuts or boiled eggs have been shown to help with energy balance.

High-fiber foods are useful for helping you feel fuller and more satisfied. In fact, an American Dietetic Association Journal publication showed that high-fiber snacks aid in weight control by curbing your appetite. In the same journal, a study found that people of average weight snack more frequently than people who are overweight or obese.

These studies demonstrate that snacking can play an important role in your path to weight loss, healthier living, and improved overall quality of life.

Characteristics of healthy snacks for weight loss

According to Harvard's School of Public Health, snacks are generally defined as any food eaten between primary meals. A satisfying snack should be enjoyable and alleviate hunger. The Harvard report suggests that snacking on whole foods containing whole grains, fiber, and protein gives you more satisfaction.

Best of all, you can choose healthy snacks based on whatever you're craving.

  • Creamy: Yogurt, cottage cheese, avocado, hummus
  • Crunchy: Seeds, nuts, raw veggies, apples, whole grain crackers
  • Salty/Savory: Cheese, nuts, roasted chickpeas, nut butter (in moderation), popcorn
  • Sweet: Dark chocolate with almonds, fresh fruit

When choosing snacks, think about quality rather than quantity. A small candy bar may seem like a good choice because it's small and often one bite, but it's likely loaded with calories and provides little to no nutrition. Worse, a snack like this won't make you feel full.

The snacks you choose should provide these benefits:

  • An energy boost if you need to go several hours between meals
  • Curb your appetite so you don't overeat when you have your regular meals
  • Add adequate nutrition if you can't eat a full meal because of an illness
  • Provide extra nutrients with foods such as nuts, veggies, or fruits

Snack portions should be just enough to satisfy you without filling you up so much that you won't be hungry at mealtime. For the ideal snack, aim for between 150 and 250 calories. For example, an apple with a tablespoon of nut butter or a slice of cheese with a few whole-grain crackers would fall into this category.

7 healthy snacks for weight loss

When compiling your grocery list, add these delicious foods for satiety, flavor, and nutrition.

1. Boiled eggs

Eggs are one of the best sources of pure protein. If you have some boiled eggs on hand, you can enjoy them as a healthy breakfast, sliced over a salad for a nutritious and filling lunch, or a delicious afternoon snack. Because of their high protein content, eggs are super filling. Another benefit is eggs are linked with lessened arterial stiffness, which is a heart disease risk factor.

2. Avocado hummus

You can buy pre-prepared hummus or make your own using iron-rich chickpeas, olive oil, tahini, and garlic. One tablespoon of hummus has a gram of fiber and just 36 calories, according to the USDA. Adding avocado to your hummus brings in the healthy fats you need, along with extra flavor and protein.

3. Fruits

If you're craving something sweet, one of the best fruit snacks for weight loss is grapes. Here's a nice twist: Freeze grapes for a crisp sweet treat. A cup of grapes has approximately 100 calories.

Other fruits are also excellent sources of vitamins and nutrients. For example, the USDA reports that a whole grapefruit has just 271 calories but provides 5 grams of fiber and 100% of your daily vitamin C needs.

4. Blueberries and yogurt

For a protein boost, you can't go wrong with yogurt. Specifically, Greek yogurt is high in protein, and adding some berries gives you beneficial antioxidants. Also, blueberries are sometimes called a superfood because they're loaded with nutrients.

These sweet little berries are low in calories, but they're some of the most nutrient-dense berries you can add to your diet. A cup of antioxidant-rich blueberries contains 3.6 grams of fiber, 16% of your daily value (DV) of vitamin C, 24 percent of the DV of vitamin K, and 22% of the DV recommended for manganese.

5. Nuts

Nuts aren't necessarily low-calorie snacks for weight loss because they're high in calories. However, numerous health studies show that nuts are filling.

Research also shows eating nuts in moderation—about 1/4 cup—doesn't lead to weight gain. In fact, nuts may actually help with weight loss. Also important, nuts provide an excellent balance of protein, healthy fats, and fiber.

6. Almonds

Most nuts are considered to be healthy snacks, and almonds are particularly popular. Best of all, almonds are on the list of healthy snacks to reduce belly fat, according to a review published in the journal Nutrients.

If you crave something sweet, consider having some antioxidant-rich dark chocolate with your almonds for a decadent treat.

7. Guacamole

This creamy Mexican-inspired dip isn't just tasty. Guacamole is also a great source of minerals and nutrients. When you eat guacamole, you get protein, healthy fat, fiber, vitamin C, beta carotene, vitamin K, and more.

It's OK to enjoy a few whole-grain tortilla chips or a whole-grain tortilla with your guacamole. But also keep veggies such as sweet red peppers in mind to add even more nutrients to your snacking. You can also spoon some guac over a bed of lettuce for a satisfying salad.

Conclusion: Snacking for Weight Loss

Now that you know the role snacking plays in weight loss, you can enjoy these nutritious and delicious foods without feeling like you're cheating on your diet. As a part of your healthy lifestyle and weight loss journey, nutrient-dense snacks add value to your quality of life.

With the Evidation app, you can track your healthy habits and learn more about living your best life. You can use the Evidation app as a valuable resource for making informed decisions about your diet and tracking healthy activities. Download the app today to start enjoying relevant content about nutrition choices.

Diets and meal planning
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