Try These 23 Healthy Snacks for Weight Loss

For anyone trying to lose weight, snacking can feel like a guilty pleasure. But it doesn’t have to be. Eating periodic, healthy snacks can be good for you.

“Including snacks in a healthy diet can offer several advantages,” Christina Barth, assistant teaching professor and registered dietician nutritionist (RDN) at Arizona State University, told Newsweek. “They have the potential to boost nutrient intake, maintain consistent energy levels, aid in post-exercise recovery and provide a variety of healthy choices.”

Newsweek asked Barth and other nutrition experts about their favorite snacks for weight loss. Here are their picks:

1. Apple Slices With Peanut Butter

Apples are a great source of fiber and Vitamin C. Combined with peanut butter, which has healthy fats and protein, this snack gives you immediate energy and plenty of healthy nutrients to keep going throughout your day.

To make this snack, just slice an apple and serve with a tablespoon of peanut butter on the side.

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2. Bell Peppers With Salsa

Salsa is full of nutrient-rich tomatoes, onions and cilantro. It gets less healthy when we eat it with processed tortilla chips, which are high in sodium and fried in unhealthy oils.

Stick to your weight-loss journey by dipping bell pepper strips instead. They offer a great crunch and, cut lengthwise, they’re a perfect salsa vehicle.

3. Carrot Sticks With Hummus

Hummus is a smooth dip made from pureed chickpeas, which are high in fiber, protein and polyunsaturated fats. Dipping carrots or other vegetables is a much healthier alternative to high-carb processed snacks like pita chips.

Store-bought hummus is fine for this snack, but it’s easy to make your own. Just combine cooked chickpeas, olive oil, tahini paste and a little lemon juice in a food processor.

carrot sticks hummus
Hummus is full of healthy nutrients. Eat it with carrot sticks to avoid processed foods.
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4. Chia Seed Energy Bites

Chia seeds are edible seeds from a mint-like plant native to Mexico. They’re high in fiber, protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which promote brain health and prevent heart attacks.

Mix chia seeds with oats, honey, nuts and dried fruit, then roll them into bite-sized balls for an energizing, healthy snack.

5. Cottage Cheese With Fruit

Cottage cheese is a protein-rich dairy product. Mix it with fresh fruit for a delicious snack packed with protein and vitamins.

Blueberries, pineapple and peaches go great with cottage cheese. Experiment with different fruits to find a combo you like.

6. Dark Chocolate

Dark chocolate is high in antioxidants and minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc, copper and phosphorus.

Make sure you get dark chocolate with 70 percent cocoa or higher. It’s more bitter than milk chocolate, but has less added sugar.

If you want to add some sweetness to your dark chocolate, you can enjoy it with sweet fruits like strawberries.

broken dark chocolate bar
Dark chocolate that’s low in sugar is a healthy snack choice.
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7. Edamame

Edamame are steamed or roasted soybeans. They’re an excellent source of protein with fiber, iron and calcium.

If you have a soy allergy, don’t eat edamame. Otherwise, it’s a healthy and satisfying snack.

8. Frozen Grapes

Grapes are the perfect bite-sized snack. They have fructose for short-term energy and other nutrients like antioxidants for long-term health benefits.

You can enjoy grapes however you like, but frozen grapes make a healthy alternative to cold snacks like popsicles and ice cream.

9. Greek Yogurt With Berries

Plain Greek yogurt is packed with protein and healthy fat. It also contributes to a healthy gut microbiome, which aids digestion. Combining it with berries gives you an immediate burst of energy and long-term health benefits.

Store-bought plain Greek yogurt is great for this, but it’s surprisingly easy to make your own in an Instant Pot with Greek yogurt starter and milk.

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Greek yogurt with berries provides a burst of energy and healthy probiotics.
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10. Half a Turkey Sandwich

Turkey is a lean white meat full of protein and low in fat. Add healthy toppings like avocado, lettuce and tomato sandwiched between whole-wheat bread for a well-rounded snack.

Limiting yourself to just half a sandwich for snacking will help you avoid overeating.

11. Hard-Boiled Eggs

In addition to healthy fats and protein, eggs contain choline, an essential nutrient for brain health.

Hard-boiled eggs are also portable—they come with their own natural container. You can make a batch of these beforehand and store them in the fridge for whenever you need a quick, healthy snack.

12. Jerky

Beef is the most common type of jerky and it’s very high in protein. There are also pork, bison and even ostrich jerkies.

Any type of meat is fine, but avoid jerky brands that add sugar for flavor.

13. Kale Smoothie

Kale is high in Vitamins C and K, plus it’s packed with antioxidants.

Blend it with protein powder, creamy fruits like bananas and your favorite nut milk for a nutritious and filling drink.

14. Miso Soup with Wakame

Miso soup is full of salty and umami flavors. It’s a healthy way to satisfy cravings for salty junk food.

It’s also low in calories and full of probiotics. Adding wakame (an edible seaweed) gives this dish a satisfying texture and adds nutrients like iodine, manganese and folic acid.

You can buy miso paste and wakame from your local Asian grocery store and use instant dashi for quick preparation. Like most soups, this snack is ripe for variation. Add tofu or freshly sliced green onion, depending on your taste.

15. Mango Avocado Salsa With Kale Chips

Mango avocado salsa combines energizing bursts of fruit with the healthy fats in avocados to keep you going through the day.

Eat your salsa with kale chips to get all the leafy green’s health benefits and avoid processed tortilla chips.

16. Mixed Nuts

Nuts are great sources of protein, fiber and healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Some nuts are also excellent sources of minerals like calcium and magnesium.

Good nuts to eat include almonds, walnuts and pistachios, but feel free to experiment and see what you prefer in your mix. Avoid nut mixes that include candy.

mixed nuts wood table
Mixed nuts make a filling and healthy snack.
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17. Nutty Apple ‘Nachos’

This healthy alternative to nachos trades in carbs and grease for healthy fruit and protein-packed nuts.

Slice apples thinly and arrange them like nachos. You can top them with almond butter for protein and nuts for an added crunch.

18. Popcorn

This might surprise you, but popcorn is a healthy whole-grain snack that’s low in calories and high in fiber.

Air-pop your popcorn to keep it healthy. This spares you from unhealthy oils that come with most popcorn. You’ll also want to skip the butter, but you can add herbs, spices or nutritional yeast for flavor.

19. Protein Shake

Protein shakes are great after a workout, but they’re also filling drinks that can keep you satiated on the go.

Find a flavor that you like at a local fitness store and mix with 8 to 10 ounces of water or milk.

20. Roasted Chickpeas

Chickpeas are high in protein and fiber. They’re filling without overloading you with calories.

You can roast chickpeas in the oven or air fryer. Toss them in a little olive oil and dust with your favorite spices for flavor.

21. Trail Mix With Nuts and Dried Fruit

To get the best trail mix, check ingredients lists or make your own. Nuts, seeds and dried fruit should be the main ingredients, to give you a blend of healthy fats and natural sweetness.

22. Vegetable Spears and Guacamole

Vegetables like cucumber, celery and bell peppers paired with guacamole are high in fiber, vitamins and healthy fats.

It’s better to skip the tortilla chips, as they’re high in sodium and fried in unhealthy oils. Stick to vegetable spears or slices so you can get the most out of your guac.

23. Whole-Grain Crackers With Cheese

Cheese and crackers is a classic snack, but the highly processed crackers most people enjoy are full of unhealthy fats and carbohydrates.

Pair your favorite cheese with whole-grain crackers instead for a satisfying fiber and protein combo.

Strategies for Healthy Snacking

Fitting healthy snacks into your diet isn’t only about picking the right foods. Barth recommends being mindful of these factors as you snack:

  • Portion control. Stick to smaller portion sizes to keep your calories low. Small portions of foods like chickpeas can still be filling.
  • Whole foods. Whole, nutrient-rich foods like fresh fruits, whole grains and nuts have more nutritional value than ultra-processed snacks.
  • Balance. Balance carbohydrates, proteins and healthy fats when you pick out snacks. This will give you the most sustained energy.
  • Hydration. Sometimes we can mistake feelings of dehydration with hunger. To find out how much water you need to stay healthy, divide your weight in half and drink that many ounces of water each day. So a 150-pound person should drink 75 ounces a day, plus two to three cups per hour of exercise.

Frequently Asked Questions About Weight-Loss Snacks

Need more tips for snacking while you lose weight? Read the answers to these common questions.

What’s a Good Snack for Losing Belly Fat?

Targeted weight loss—or losing fat in a specific area without dropping it elsewhere—isn’t possible. You can lose belly fat by eating snacks that help general weight loss, like Greek yogurt and berries, mixed nuts, vegetables and hummus and hard-boiled eggs.

What Are the Best Healthy Late-Night Snacks for Weight Loss?

It’s best to avoid eating late at night. A 2020 study found that young adults who ate within three hours of going to bed woke up more during the night.

If you do feel hungry before bed, healthy snacks that are low in sugar can help fill you up. Try mixed nuts, miso soup with wakame, hard-boiled eggs or whole-grain crackers and cheese.

Do Healthy Snacks Help You Lose Weight?

Yes. Eating healthy snacks curbs your hunger without giving you more calories than you need.

Salty and sweet snacks like nuts and fruit can also help satisfy cravings for junk food, like potato chips and candy.

Meet the Experts

Newsweek consulted these diet and nutrition experts to compile this list of healthy snacks:

  • Christina Barth, assistant teaching professor and registered dietician nutritionist (RDN) at Arizona State University.
  • Jabe Brown, founder of Melbourne Functional Medicine, has years of experience in the health and wellness field.
  • Dr. Menka Gupta, medical doctor turned functional medicine practitioner and founder of Nutra Nourish.
  • Krutika Nanavati, RDN, medical adviser for Clinicspots on diet and nutrition in New Zealand.
  • Joan Salge Blake, EdD, RDN, licensed dietician nutritionist (LDN), fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (FAND), nutrition professor at Boston University and host of the nutrition and health podcast, SpotOn!
  • Vanessa King, MS, RDN, clinical nutrition manager at the Queen’s Health System, Hawaii, and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.