Can you really lose weight by snacking? If you’re coming from a traditional diet background, the idea might sound a bit absurd. After all, food is calories. If you want to lose weight, eat less. It’s that simple… right?
Actually, sustainable weight loss is anything but simple. For most people, making lasting change means building new, healthy relationships with food. Instead of restrictions and rules, you need new habits that keep you feeling good while delivering true nourishment. Rather than denying your cravings, the goal is to nurture them in a holistic way. And that’s exactly why you need some heart healthy snacks in your arsenal!
How Snacks Help Shed Pounds
It’s absolutely healthy and normal to crave a snack now and then. Your body is a living, dynamic system, and sometimes it needs that extra energy bump. Maybe you walked a little more today and need the protein for muscle recovery. Or perhaps you’ve been solving a tough problem at work, and your brain needs glucose for all that thinking. Or maybe you just feel blue, and want a pick-me-up. (That’s a legitimate need, too!)
Again, it’s crucial not to simply deny these cravings. (Cravings have a way of resisting denial. That’s their whole game.) Instead, you need to find easy, healthy snacks that satisfy the craving and make sense as part of your larger diet and lifestyle. By easing your hunger with a moderate snack now, you can avoid gorging later on an unhealthy meal. In other words, healthy snacks can keep you in balance.
But what does that really look like, in practice? While different healthy snacks are right for different people, the winners tend to have a few things in common. The best healthy snacks are often plant foods that are high in fiber and protein, with a moderate amount of healthy fats. Plant foods are generally less calorically dense – meaning you can eat more with less impact. And fiber and fat are key to making you feel full, tiding you over until the next serious meal.
But enough preamble – let’s cut to the chase. Here are our 10 best healthy snacks to start working into your daily routine:
Easy, Healthy Snacks for Weight loss
Sweet potato chips with guacamole
Green and red bell pepper with hummus
Greek yogurt and berries with a drizzle of honey
Hard-boiled eggs with a sprinkle of salt
Apple slices and almond butter
Marinated artichokes, Greek olives, grape tomatoes, and feta
1. Sweet potato chips with guacamole
The best way to eat sweet potato chips is to dehydrate raw, peeled sweet potatoes yourself. But if you don’t have the time or energy for all that, there are store-bought brands available that serve as a good stand-in, like these. For guacamole, it’s best to mash your own at home. But when avocados aren’t particularly plentiful, choose ready-made guacamole brands that don’t add excessive sugar, oil, and salt.
2. Celery sticks with peanut butter
Remember ants on a log? This is that, minus the raisins (but we won’t judge if you want to take a trip down memory lane). Peanut butter is so versatile that it makes for one of the best healthy snacks around. If you get tired of celery, try it with apple, pear, or banana slices, or serve it with carrot or pretzel sticks.
3. Green and red bell pepper with hummus
Green and red bell peppers are some of our favorite veggies to eat with hummus. But you can also try carrots, cucumber, celery, sweet potato, or grape tomatoes – or have them all together! Hummus is loaded with healthy plant protein and fiber. And as far as flavor is concerned, the crisp crunch of a bright bell pepper will never let you down.
4. Greek yogurt and berries with a drizzle of honey
Plain Greek yogurt with any kind of fruit is a great snack, especially with a bit of honey to sweeten the experience. And berries are always a solid fave with Noom because of their antioxidants and other nutrients. When blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, or any other beloved berry is out of season, put a new spin on things with banana slices and a handful of granola.
5. Hard-boiled eggs with a sprinkle of salt
Hard-boiling a half dozen or so eggs in preparation for the week is a great way to add variety to your snack game. It also works for breakfast when time is limited. Some people prefer them salted for a bit of extra flavor, but hard-boiled eggs are good on their own, as well.
6. Dark chocolate
It sounds outrageous, but we’re not kidding. Dark chocolate is a ridiculously gratifying, heart healthy snack. The trick is to make sure it’s very dark (think 75% cocoa or above), and to snack in reasonable portions. Remember, chocolate comes from beans, giving it a fair amount of protein and fiber, along with its famous feel-good compounds like theobromine and caffeine. And the darker your chocolate bar gets, the less sugar it contains. (You can even find stevia-sweetened dark chocolate that’s virtually sugar-free.) A few chunks of this stuff will wash away your day’s stress without throwing off your daily meal plan.
7. Apple slices and almond butter
Who doesn’t love a crisp, red apple? With their satisfying crunch, rich fiber count, and tasty tartness, the humble apple is a time-honored snack for a good reason. But adding a few dollops of chunky almond butter can take your sliced apple to the next level. Almonds are a true powerhouse of protein and healthy fats, and they’ll round out the apple’s sweetness with a salty, savory crunch. Plus, the fiber of the fruit and nuts will slow your digestion, so you don’t have a sugar spike and crash.
8. Green smoothie
Green smoothies made with frozen bananas, fresh kale, water, and oat milk are amazing as a snack or for breakfast. They’re also effective as an occasional meal replacement if you pack them with the right ingredients. Play around with adding nut butters, hemp protein, greek yogurt, cacao nibs, and various fruits to find the right texture and balance for you.
There couldn’t be a simpler or more fun snack to steam up, boil, or blanch when you want to change up your snack game. Pick up a frozen bag of edamame (young soybeans still in their pods) at any supermarket, throw them in the steamer, salt, and enjoy popping the beans straight into your mouth any time of the day between regular meals.
10. Marinated artichokes, Greek olives, grape tomatoes, and feta
Pair a few marinated artichoke hearts with some Greek olives, grape tomatoes, and a teaspoon of feta cheese for a filling little afternoon snack that’ll leave you feeling satisfied until dinner. Artichoke hearts are packed with antioxidants, offer liver-cleansing benefits, and aid in digestion. When purchasing jars of marinated artichokes, look for varieties that use olive oil and other natural ingredients and drain your artichoke pieces of as much oil as possible before pairing with the other items.
Why Healthy Snacks Aren’t Enough
Like we said at the outset, sustainable weight loss isn’t simple. You can’t just jump into a new diet – or introduce some easy, healthy snacks – and expect to lose weight. In fact, the whole concept of “dieting” is flawed! (What happens when you stop the diet? You gain back the weight.)That’s why losing weight for good is about something much deeper than dieting. It’s about forming new, healthy relationships with the food you eat. And that’s exactly what Noom is here for. Our team of experts – from the psychologists who designed our app to the coaches who track your daily progress – will have your back, every step of the way. And with a rich community of other Noomers cheering you on, sharing recipes, and celebrating progress, you’ll have the evidence-based support you need to thrive. Learn more about what we do.