You know that familiar feeling. You’re on a new weight loss plan, and your stomach is already rumbling before it’s even time for lunch. That mid-morning snack is calling your name, and you’re suddenly feeling the urge to fish out those TimTams you shoved at the back of your pantry. Whoops!
If you find you’re getting peckish soon after you eat, it could be a sign that you’re not eating enough during your main meals. But, that doesn’t mean that snacking is always a negative thing, necessarily. Some days are busier or more active than others, and you need some extra fuel to get you going (or to help you stay focused while writing that tedious work report!) So long as you snack the smart way, those little in-between meals nibbles can actually have an important place in your weight loss plan.
To help you stay on track with your goals, we’ve put together a list of 85 of the best weight loss snacks that are sure to satisfy your hunger.
Note: Always consult with your GP before making dietary changes.
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What are the best snack foods for weight loss?
First things first—the best snack foods for weight loss are the ones you actually like. A crazy idea, right!?
Not a fan of rice cakes? Don’t click with kale chips? That’s okay! Find something from our list that you actually enjoy munching on.
Snacking sometimes gets a bad rap, especially when for people who are trying to lose weight. But your body is a living, dynamic system with changing energy needs — and eating regularly is crucial for nourishing your body.
Snacks are a perfect solution when you need that extra boost between meals.
A good rule of thumb for weight-loss-friendly snacking is to look for whole foods with low calorie density. This means foods that have a lower amount of calories per weight when compared with other foods.
Think of a grape and a sultana, for example. One cup of grapes has around 62 calories, while one cup of sultanas contains about 429 calories. You can eat all foods in moderation, but in this example, grapes will fill you up with fewer calories.
How many calories should a snack be for weight loss?
According to the Harvard School of Public Health, snacks should be between 150 and 200 calories.
One study suggests foods high in whole grains, fibre, and protein can help boost feelings of fullness when eaten as snacks—so look for a combination of fibre, protein, and fat to curb hunger.
Noom’s handy macro calculator breaks down how many macronutrients and micronutrients (including calories and grams of fibre and protein) you need throughout the day to help plan your snacks better.
Low-calorie snack ideas for weight loss
Now that you know your target calorie range for snacks, let’s get into the fun part—low-cal snack ideas to help you reach your weight loss goals.
The best vegetables to snack on for weight loss
Don’t worry, we’re not going to suggest you live off celery sticks! But, if you’re open to snacking on veggies, the options are plentiful. Vegetables tend to be low in calories and are a good source of fibre, which means you can snack until you’re satisfied without worry.
Our favorites below are high in water content, which helps keep you hydrated and gives your food more volume without adding on extra calories.
Try these vegetables plain, cook them to your desired method, or incorporate them into the recipes
- Baby carrots
- Summer squash
- Capsicum (green or red)
- Leafy greens (like spinach)
- Cherry tomatoes
The best fruits to snack on for weight loss
Since it’s often low in calories and high in fibre, fruit is an excellent replacement for high-calorie-density sweet treats.
Swapping lollies for frozen grapes, for example, would help you get your sweet fix without adding a lot of empty calories to your day. Stick to fresh fruit over dried fruit when possible—most dried fruits tend to have a high calorie density.
Greek yoghurt snacks
Greek yoghurt is the perfect high-protein snack choice when you’re craving something creamy and delicious.
A recent meta-analysis found that participants who increased their daily protein intake reduced their overall body weight. One review suggests this may be due to the body’s need for more oxygen to help break down protein, which may boost feelings of fullness.
You can eat your Greek yoghurt plain or pair it with other energy-boosting ingredients to fuel your day.
20. Simple Yoghurt Snack: 100 g Greek yoghurt with ½ cup blueberries and sprinkle of cinnamon
21. Greek Yoghurt Deviled Eggs: Mix together 1/4 cup Greek yoghurt, 1 tablespoon mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, and a pinch of paprika. Fill boiled egg whites with the mixture and sprinkle with additional paprika before serving.
22. Greek Yoghurt and Cucumber Bites: Spread thin slices of cucumber with a mixture of 1/4 cup Greek yogurt, 1 tablespoon diced dill, and a pinch of salt. Top with a sprinkle of diced red onion and a slice of tomato.
23. Greek Yoghurt and Pesto Crostini: Spread a mixture of 1/4 cup Greek yogurt and 1 tablespoon pesto onto slices of toasted baguette. Top with cherry tomatoes and a sprinkle of feta cheese.
Post-workout snacks for weight loss
In addition to giving you energy from calories, research suggests that pre and post-workout snacks with protein may help you build muscle.
Building muscle is a perk when losing weight because it can help you boost your resting metabolic rate (RMR). When your RMR increases, so does the amount of calories you burn at rest.
Try these post-exercise protein snacks to help keep your energy levels up while nourishing your body after a fun workout.
24. A piece of fruit, such as an apple or a banana, which can provide a quick burst of energy and nutrients to help replenish glycogen stores and aid in muscle recovery.
25. Smoothie with protein powder, fruit, and leafy greens: A smoothie is a convenient and tasty way to get a dose of protein, carbs, and nutrients. Protein powder can help repair and rebuild muscles, while fruit and leafy greens provide vitamins and minerals.
26. Edamame with sea salt: Edamame (boiled soybeans) is a good source of protein and carbs. Sprinkling some sea salt on top adds flavour and helps replenish electrolytes.
27. Apple slices with almond butter: Apples are a good source of carbs and fibre, while almond butter provides healthy fats and a little protein. This snack is portable and easy to eat on the go.
28. Fruit and milk bowl: Low-fat milk, 1 cup frozen berries, 2 tbs Greek yoghurt, 1 tb flaxseed
29. A handful of nuts, such as almonds or walnuts, which are a good source of protein and healthy fats.
30. A protein bar, such as one made with oats, nuts, and dried fruit. Just be sure to choose a bar that is low in sugar and high in protein.
The best protein snacks for weight loss
Protein is a great pick-me-up when you need something to seriously curb your hunger.
Research suggests that increasing your protein intake may lead to reduced calorie consumption and weight loss because it makes you feel fuller longer.
Our favorite ideas below are rich in satisfying protein to help you tame your cravings in no time.
31. Hard-boiled eggs with avocado and whole grain crackers: Hard-boiled eggs are a good source of protein, while avocado provides healthy fats. Pairing them with whole grain crackers adds some complex carbs to help replenish glycogen stores.
32. Grilled chicken skewers: Grill some chicken breasts and thread them onto skewers with vegetables such as capsicum and onions. This snack is high in protein and low in fat, making it a great option for weight loss.
33. Protein balls: Combine nuts, seeds, and dried fruit in a food processor and roll the mixture into balls. These protein balls are a convenient snack that can be made in advance and taken on the go.
34. Jerky: This is a high-protein snack made from lean meats that have been thinly sliced and dried. It is a convenient option for people on the go and can be found in a variety of flavours. Just be sure to choose a brand that is low in sodium and added sugars.
35. Tuna and crackers: Tuna is another high-protein snack that’s easy to pack and take on the go. Pair it with some whole grain crackers for a snack that will keep you feeling full and satisfied. You can also add some vegetables, such as sliced cucumbers or cherry tomatoes, for some added nutrients.
The best nuts to snack on for weight loss
Nuts are one of our favorite weight-loss-friendly snacks because of their hunger-busting high protein content.
Try these protein-packed picks on their own for a crunchy snack (aim for a small handful), or spice them up by adding your favourite seasonings or a few dark chocolate chips.
- Peanuts (technically considered legumes)
Snacking when you’re on the run can feel like a balancing act, especially when you’re trying to lose weight.
Our list below will help you enjoy satisfying snacks that tide you over until your next meal, no matter where you are.
- Healthy grab-and-go snack jars from The Butter Half (449 calories—try saving half of your jar for later!)
- DIY healthy trail mix from Sweet as Honey (174 calories)
- Strawberry spinach smoothie from All Nutritious (118 calories)
- Nori chips from Allrecipes (22 calories)
- Rice cakes with peanut butter from Eating Well (227 calories)
If you’re prepping healthy snacks with picky eaters in tow, we hear you. These easy-prep snacks will satisfy your whole family (while still keeping you on track with your goals).
- Plantain chips with citrus guacamole from Recipe of Health (86 calories)
- Banana bread popcorn from Eat This, Not That! (98 calories)
- Baked apple slices from Healthy Recipes (109 calories)
- Pizza kabobs from Select Health (262 calories)
- Turkey cream cheese pinwheels from Simply Low Cal (146 calories)
- Banana popsicles from The Flavor Bells (42 calories)
- Keto-friendly chips and salsa from Carb Manager (188 calories)
- String-cheese mozzarella sticks from Allrecipes (58 calories)
Snacks for your sweet tooth
When you’re craving something sweet, you don’t have to default to overly processed, sugary snacks. Our picks will help you satisfy your sweet tooth with limited added sugar.
- No-bake cherry almond granola from Cookin’ Canuck (124 calories)
- Chocolate cherry slices from Recipe of Health (196 calories)
- No-bake chocolate chip cookie bites from Simply Bakings (146 calories)
- Banana chia pudding from Our Paleo Life (134 calories)
- Caramelized coconut chips flakes from Well Fed (¼ cup is about 110 calories)
- Vegan pumpkin oatmeal cookies from This Healthy Kitchen (36 calories)
Our roundup of snacks that are both savoury and low-cal helps you satisfy your cravings while helping you stay within your ideal calorie needs for weight loss.
- Paprika roasted chickpeas from EatingWell (104 calories)
- Foolproof stovetop popcorn from Healthy Seasonal Recipes (55 calories)
- Jalapeno cilantro hummus from Kim’s Cravings (152 calories)
- Sweet and spicy edamame from the American Heart Association (136 calories)
- Homemade pita chips from Food.com (73 calories)
- Dill pickle spears (6 calories)
Snacks for your afternoon energy dip
The dreaded mid-afternoon slump doesn’t have to slow you down. These energy-boosting complex carb snacks give you just the lift you need to finish your day strong.
- Energy smoothie from Yummly (55 calories)
- Black bean hummus from EatingWell (96 calories)
- Chickpea tuna salad from Dishing out Health (282 calories)
- Mini chicken fajitas from BBC Good Food (41 calories)
- Apricot and seed protein bar from BBC Good Food (78 calories)
Refreshing summer snacks
When the temperatures are hotter and the days are longer, you might be craving fresh snack options. These are a few of our favorite refreshing bites.
- Cucumber hummus bites from Noshing with the Nolands (20 calories)
- Cucumber, tomato, and avocado salad from Natasha’s Kitchen (261 calories)
- Frozen grapes from Vegan Heaven (156 calories)
- Watermelon cherry slushies from Yay for Food (220 calories)
- Rainbow raw-main taco boats from Minimalist Baker (314 calories)
Festive holiday snacks
Don’t let holiday snacking worry you on your weight loss journey. Try these snack ideas, which are perfect for the holidays and family gatherings. If you need a little extra support during the holiday season, check out our favorite healthy holiday habits.
- Orange cranberry muffins from Amy’s Healthy Baking (96 calories)
- Pumpkin hummus from Allrecipes (81 calories)
- Cream cheese penguins from Allrecipes (57 calories)
- Mediterranean basil pesto with olive oil and parmesan from Lose Weight by Eating (26 calories)
Healthy nighttime snacks for weight loss
Healthy night snacks for weight loss are a bit different from daytime snacks.
One study recommends limiting evening snacks to 150 calories or less, and including one primary macronutrient (like protein) rather than a mix of protein, carbohydrates, and fat.
The Sleep Foundation recommends a few easy foods that help you sleep and stick to one primary macronutrient:
Curious if your snack-time favorites will help you get closer to your weight loss goals? We have answers.
Dive into your favorite snacks and why they do or don’t work for weight loss.
Is popcorn a good snack for weight loss?
Yes. Popcorn is an easy, weight-loss-friendly snack that’s perfect when you’re entertaining or just watching a movie at home. At only 31 calories per cup, plain, air-popped popcorn is a winner.
Avoid varieties with added flavors and butter to keep this a low-cal snack. Instead, spice it up yourself with cinnamon, cocoa powder, or chili powder and lime.
Are nuts a good snack for weight loss?
Yes. Nuts, like almonds, peanuts (which are technically legumes), and pistachios, are perfect for adding healthy fats (and a little crunch) to your snacks.
Nut butters have a high calorie density, so aim for portions that are a small handful or less.
Is cheese a good snack for weight loss?
Although it can be high in sodium, research suggests that cheese is a good source of nutrients and can be part of a healthy diet. It’s also a good source of protein, which we’ve mentioned can help with weight loss by helping you feel full.
Keep in mind, cheese is high in calorie density—so aim to eat it in moderation.
Try pairing cheese with whole-grain carbohydrates, deli meat, or your favorite vegetables to boost your nutrient intake and help keep you feeling satisfied for longer.
Are vegetables a good snack for losing weight?
Vegetables are an ideal healthy snack for weight loss, especially when you’re on the go—think baby carrots or celery sticks.
Not only are they low in caloric density, but they’re also full of vitamins A and C and minerals like calcium, according to one review.
Is fruit a good snack for weight loss?
Yes. Fruits are a good source of dietary fiber, which one study points out is associated with a lower incidence of both cardiovascular disease and obesity.
Is trail mix a good snack for weight loss?
Yes and no. In one small study, a group of participants eating mixed nut snacks observed a feeling fuller after 24 weeks, in addition to weight loss and decreased heart rate.
But trail mix is often calorically dense, so the calories can easily sneak up on you.
We recommend eating trail mix if you love it, but pre-portion your mix into 150-calorie servings to avoid overindulging.
Is yoghurt a good snack for weight loss?
Plain Greek yoghurt typically contains about 16 grams of protein per serving, making it the perfect snack when hunger strikes.
Mix it with your favorite fruits, top it with a few chopped nuts, or enjoy it plain.
Are hard-boiled eggs a good snack for weight loss?
Yes. One large hard-boiled egg offers plenty of protein to keep you feeling full and helps you power through your day.
Is hummus a good snack for weight loss?
Plain hummus is a great snack for weight loss—in moderation.
According to research, legumes (like the chickpeas found in hummus) may be linked to weight loss and a boost in feelings of fullness.
Are pretzels a good snack for weight loss?
Pretzels are okay for an occasional snack, but they’re not ideal for weight loss because they’re calorically dense.
A ¼ cup) serving pretzels, for example, is over 200 calories.
If you want to include pretzels in your snack, try to keep your portion size less than a small handful.
Switch up your snacks to make sustainable weight loss changes
Snacks are the perfect opportunity to sneak in whole foods, like fruits and vegetables, and high-fibre, high-protein foods.
By switching up your snacks, you can implement healthy lifestyle changes slowly and sustainably as you make progress toward your weight loss goals.
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