If you typically have small healthy snacks before going out to eat, that’s definitely a smart move. The right snacks can keep you from ordering everything (healthy or not) off the menu the second you arrive. But that doesn’t mean you should reach for a piece of candy or some unhealthy chips to quell your hunger. These types of snacks don’t provide any beneficial nutrients to your body and they won’t ward off hunger long enough to keep you from going overboard during mealtime. You need healthy filling snacks.
These healthy filling snacks should have fewer than 250 calories and be rich in hunger-squashing nutrients like water, fiber, and protein.
Ready to stock up your pantry with these weight-loss-friendly snack recommendations? Great! But before you whip up these snacks in the kitchen, you won’t want to miss these 21 Best Healthy Cooking Hacks of All Time.
Avocado toast isn’t just for breakfast. Thanks to its healthy fat, fiber, and protein content, the combo makes for a filling snack, too. To whip up a slice, toast a piece of Ezekiel or whole-grain bread and top with chunky, mashed avocado. Sprinkle chili pepper flakes and a light drizzle of olive oil. As a bonus, avocados are packed with something called monounsaturated fat, a type of fat that can prevent body fat from forming around the belly. That’s not the only thing the fatty fruit has going for it. There are also these 8 Amazing Side Effects Of Eating Avocados Every Day.
RELATED: Sign up for our newsletter to get daily recipes and food news in your inbox!
Veggies and hummus make for the perfect healthy snacks. Not only does the crunch help to keep you alert through the mid-afternoon slump, but the combination of fiber, protein, and water (snap peas are 90 percent H2O) is also sure to keep your stomach satisfied until suppertime. To ensure your snack remains diet-friendly, plan to stick to one of our go-to hummus choices.
Raspberries may be small, but they’re awful mighty—think of them as nature’s magical weight loss pill. Packing more fiber and liquid than most other fruits, they boost feelings of satiety without doing any damage to your waistline. Eat them solo or throw them in Greek yogurt for creamy, more protein-rich healthy snacks.
Sick of your post-workout protein shake? Check out this high-protein snack, which you can think of as a flavorful sandwich minus the bread. To make a protein-filled roll up, lay a slice of Swiss cheese (its fat content will slow the absorption of the nutrients your body needs to recover) on a cutting board. Top with a slice of turkey, a thick tomato slice, and a spoonful of hummus. Wrap like a jelly roll and enjoy.
Not only can the humble banana’s water and fiber content keep you away from the vending machine (75 percent of the fruit is pure water), each one comes with a free carrying case, so you can grab it and go! The ultimate in healthy snacks! Pair bananas’ energizing carbs with protein- and healthy fat-rich peanut butter, and you’re looking at a satiating snack that will keep you full until dinner.
To make this high-protein childhood favorite, slather celery with smooth or chunky peanut butter and then top it off with raisins. But before you whip up this tasty snack, you might want to find out where your favorite PB falls on our exclusive list of popular peanut butters—ranked to make sure it’s a good-for-you pick.
As one of the easiest fruits to eat on the run, apples are one of our go-to snacks. The best time to eat one? As pre-meal healthy snacks. According to Penn State University researchers, munching on an apple before a meal can reduce overall calorie consumption by 15 percent! If that doesn’t convince you to add them to your healthy snack time lineup, we’re not sure what will.
A potent source of fiber and filling whole grains, popcorn makes for satisfyingly delicious healthy snacks. But pop the wrong kennels and you could be doing your body more harm than good. Many major brands of microwave popcorn are drenched in saturated fat-laden vegetable oils and butter—which won’t do any favors to your waistline or heart health. Thankfully, pulling together a healthier snack is a simple task. Simply add 2 tablespoons (which yields about 2 ½ cups popped) of your favorite popping kernels to a small paper lunch bag and fold the top down a few times. Then, zap it in the microwave until you hear only a few pops every five seconds. While still hot, toss the popcorn with a half cup of grated Parmesan and rosemary.
It may be hard to believe, but this salty-sweet combo serves up as much protein as a cup of milk and as much fiber as an apple. Making it is super simple, too. Just split open the date, remove the seed and top each half with your favorite all-natural nut butter. For some added flavor and texture, you can even sprinkle on some unsweetened coconut flakes. Yum!
Short on time? Blend up a small, snack-sized smoothie. Registered dietitian Kristin Reisinger gave us one of her go-to recipes—which features fibrous berries and filling protein powder—for our New York Times bestselling book, Zero Belly Smoothies, and it makes for the perfect filling treat. To make it, toss ½ cup of mixed frozen berries, a handful of spinach, 8-ounces of almond milk, and vanilla protein powder into a blender, and combine until smooth. For more tasty blends, be sure to get your copy of the book today!
Related: The 25 Best-Ever Weight Loss Smoothies
Talk about bang for your buck. For under $2, you can get upwards of 15 grams of protein in one little 5.3-ounce container. We’re, of course, talking about Greek yogurt and Icelandic yogurt. Pair this digestion-slowing, muscle-building high protein treat with fiber-rich berries and whole-grain granola to round out this healthy filling snack.
Sick of Greek yogurt? Break open a container of low-sodium cottage cheese and top it with some sweet yellow pineapple. So long as you stick to a half-cup serving of each, you’ll craft protein-packed healthy snacks that contain less than 150 calories! If you want some added flavor, top your bowl with some low-sugar or no-sugar-added coconut chips. The combination of flavors is reminiscent of a piña colada! For more ideas, don’t miss The 5 Best Cottage Cheese Brands, According to Nutritionists.
A new, healthy take on chips and dip. Grab a tub of hummus—a good source of fiber and healthy fats when made with extra virgin olive oil—and a box of healthy crackers, and you’ll quell your hunger in no time. A high-fiber seeded cracker will help to keep your blood sugar levels even-keeled, preventing the highs and lows that cause energy crashes.
This naughty-sounding snack duo is actually super low-sugar and satiating. In their purest forms, both peanut butter and dark chocolate are superfoods overflowing with nutrients. We adore Green & Black’s Organic Dark Chocolate 85% Cacao Bar for its high fiber count and low sugar content. When selecting a nut butter, look for something that contains just two ingredients: nuts and salt. If you see anything else printed on the label, there’s a very good chance it’s not healthy food. See: The Unhealthiest Peanut Butters on the Planet.