Wellness Mind & Body 22 Healthy Snacks for Weight Loss These snacks can help boost your metabolism and keep your energy levels up. By Amanda MacMillan Amanda MacMillan Amanda MacMillan is a health and science writer and editor. Her work appears across brands like Health, Prevention, SELF, O Magazine, Travel + Leisure, Time Out New York, and National Geographic's The Green Guide. health's editorial guidelines Updated on December 23, 2022 Medically reviewed by Phoowanai Ektheerachaisakul, RDN, CDN, CNSC Medically reviewed by Phoowanai Ektheerachaisakul, RDN, CDN, CNSC Phoowanai Ektheerachaisakul, RDN, CDN, CNSC, is a clinical dietitian in the medical intensive care unit with NYC Health + Hospitals at Kings County Hospital in Brooklyn. learn more Share Tweet Pin Email Americans love to snack almost as much as they want to lose weight. A survey published in 2021 by the International Food Information Council found that about 26% of Americans snack multiple times a day. Our snacking habits add too many calories and too few nutrients to our diets. Still, it doesn't have to be that way, Susan Bowerman, RD, senior director of Worldwide Nutrition Education and Training at Herbalife Nutrition, told Health. "When done right, [snacking] keeps your energy levels up and gives you more opportunities to get in all your nutritional needs," explained Bowerman. Here's what you should know about snacks that are good for weight loss, including 22 ideas to help burn fat. What Kinds of Healthy Snacks Are Good for Weight Loss? Eating snacks with the proper ratio of nutrients and the right calories will help keep your body energized and help you lose weight. One approach to utilizing fat stores for energy is cutting down on excessive carbohydrate intake, especially during physical activity. Opting for complex carbohydrates, such as whole wheat or whole grain products, will provide more fiber and micronutrients than simple carbohydrates or refined grains. According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020–2025, the acceptable macronutrient distribution range (AMDR) for dietary fat is 20% to 35% of your total calories. Eating the right fats from nuts, seeds, and oils can help control your satiety, especially with mindful eating practices. Certain foods are better than others for fat burning, such as: AvocadosNutsFatty fishFish oilsVegetable oils Protein plays many roles in building antibodies for immunity, assisting with chemical reactions, transporting molecules, building and supporting muscle, and more. Also, plant-based proteins provide the building blocks for muscle growth. Those proteins are nutrient-dense with fibers if you pair them with the right foods. Protein-rich foods help you feel full longer than other macronutrients, which can help maintain a healthy weight and lean body mass. Fiber, meanwhile, helps improve digestion and keeps you from binging on fats and sugars. So, while no food will literally "burn fat" while you eat it, smart choices, including those nutrients, may help your body operate efficiently. Bowerman suggested snacks under 200 calories, with 10 grams of protein and close to 5 grams of fiber. Here are 22 ideas for healthy snacks to try out. An Apple and Skim Milk "Almost any fruit is going to make a great snack, but you usually want to pair it with a bit of protein to make it more satisfying," said Bowerman. "Unlike carbohydrates, which get used up relatively quickly, protein will help sustain your energy and hunger levels for a couple of hours." Our pick for a protein-fruit pairing is one large apple and one cup of skim milk. Nutrients provided in one serving include the following: Protein: 10 gramsFiber: Five grams Calories: 200 calories Cottage Cheese-Filled Avocado Here's another fruit and diary combination for craving something rich, creamy, and a bit savory. Remove the pit from one half of an avocado and fill the space with two ounces of 1% cottage cheese. Nutrients provided in one serving include the following: Protein: Nine gramsFiber: Seven grams Calories: 200 calories Canned Tuna on Whole-Wheat Crackers If you don't want to incorporate dairy into every snack, a can of tuna (packaged in water) is another excellent source of lean protein plus healthy omega-3s fatty acids. Three ounces of light tuna and six whole-wheat crackers will provide the following nutrients: Protein: 20 gramsFiber: Three grams Calories: 200 calories Shrimp Stack You may not think of shellfish as a grab-and-go healthy snack. But you can put this tasty treat together quickly if you keep pre-cooked shrimp. With Greek yogurt and avocado, it's a protein powerhouse. The ingredients include the following: Greek yogurtLime juiceJalapeño sauceAvocadoRye flatbreadShrimpParsleyCracked black pepper And the nutrients provided in one serving include the following: Protein: Nine gramsFiber: Four grams Calories: 129 calories Power Berry Smoothie This healthy snack recipe calls for soy protein powder and low-fat plain yogurt. Or swap in Greek yogurt to add even more protein. Frozen berries add fiber, and honey provides sweetness. The ingredients include the following: Frozen mixed berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, or blackberries)WaterPlain yogurtHoneyUnsweetened soy protein powder And the nutrients provided in one serving include the following: Protein: Nine gramsFiber: Four grams Calories: 139 calories Warm Pear With Cinnamon Ricotta Ricotta cheese is rich in protein, and pears are a good source of fiber. Together with a teaspoon of cinnamon, they make a delicious healthy snack for any time of day. The best part? You only need those three ingredients: A small pear, part-skim ricotta cheese, and ground cinnamon. And the nutrients provided in one serving include the following: Protein: Eight gramsFiber: Five grams Calories: 170 calories Miso-Glazed Tofu This recipe is touted as the main course, but it's so light on calories that it can also stand in as a mid-day healthy snack. It also packs plenty of protein, thanks to the tofu. In addition to extra-firm tofu, you'll need the following ingredients: Miso pasteRice-wine vinegarHoneyLow-sodium soy sauceBaby bok choyGrated gingerLow-sodium soy sauceRice-wine vinegarSesame oilCrushed red pepperSesame seeds And the nutrients provided in one serving include the following: Protein: 12 gramsFiber: Three grams Calories: 164 calories Chicken Pita Sandwich (Half) Bowerman said there's no reason you can't have smaller portions of "real" food as snacks. "Oftentimes, the healthiest and most balanced snacks are the ones that start as full meals—like a half a sandwich or a plate of leftovers put together from dinner the night before," noted Bowerman. Whip up this chicken and vegetable pita in the morning, and split it in half for two snacks throughout the day. You'll need the following ingredients: Baby spinachCooked skinless, boneless chickenSliced red bell pepperLow-fat Italian vinaigretteWhole-grain pita And the nutrients provided in one serving include the following: Protein: 20 gramsFiber: Three grams Calories: 200 calories Sourdough Toast With Walnut and Pear Breakfast Spread Split this breakfast recipe in half to make a healthy snack. Not only will it help prepare your body for fat burn, but it may also boost your energy levels. Walnuts are rich in melatonin, polyphenols, folate and vitamin E, all of which support your mental health. The ingredients you'll need to make this tasty treat include the following: Low-fat cottage cheeseA pearChopped walnutsToasted sourdough bread And the nutrients provided in one serving include the following: Protein: 11 gramsFiber: 2.5 grams Calories: 200 calories Lentil Salad With Tomatoes and Watercress Salads aren't just for mealtime. They make a great healthy snack in the afternoon, as well. This salad contains protein and fiber, thanks to superfood lentils and plenty of vegetables. Keep in mind: This recipe makes six servings, so wait to add the vinaigrette if you're not eating the whole thing. You'll need the following ingredients to whip up this salad: Balsamic vinegarCapersGarlic cloveExtra-virgin olive oilGreen or brown lentilsBay leavesCeleryRed onionFlat-leaf parsleySaltCherry tomatoesFresh chivesWatercress Nutrients provided in one serving include the following: Protein: 11 gramsFiber: Eight grams Calories: 200 calories Veggie Tostada You can't go wrong with black beans and vegetables. These tostadas cook up quickly and easily for a fast and healthy mini-meal between lunch and dinner. And the best part is that you only need three ingredients: Mushrooms, zucchini, and red bell pepper. Also, you can top it with tomato salsa for added flavor without fat. Nutrients provided in one serving include the following: Protein: 13 gramsFiber: 10.5 grams Calories: 200 calories Asparagus and Hard-Boiled Egg Fiber-rich asparagus balances out eggs' natural protein. No wonder this classic combination goes so well together. And all you need to do is pair 15 asparagus spears, cooked or raw, with one hard-boiled egg. Nutrients provided in one serving include the following: Protein: 11 gramsFiber: Five grams Calories: 126 calories Minty Iced Green Tea A calorie-free beverage doesn't qualify as a real snack. Still, if you find yourself scouting the kitchen just because you're bored rather than hungry, this tasty drink may hit the spot. According to Bowerman, research on green tea for weight loss has been inconclusive. But either way, green tea is a healthy, tasty way to stay hydrated throughout the day. "Drinking water and tea is a good way to keep all of your body's processes, including your metabolism, running smoothly and efficiently," added Bowerman. Spiced Green Tea Smoothie Another way to sip healthy green tea is in a smoothie. Pair this sweet and spicy drink with a few ounces of lean protein—some sliced turkey, for example—on the side for a complete afternoon snack. Plus, it contains cayenne pepper, which may help curb appetite and boost your metabolism. In addition to green tea and cayenne pepper, you'll need the following ingredients: LemonAgave nectarA pearFat-free plain yogurtIce cubes And the nutrients provided in one serving include the following: Protein: Seven gramsFiber: Three grams Calories: 82 calories Crunchy Zucchini Rounds Add some flavor to zucchini by topping the vegetable with tangy goat cheese and savory sun-dried tomatoes. This colorful creation makes for a festive appetizer or a delicious bite-sized snack. Thanks to the zucchini base, they're loaded with the following nutrients: Vitamin AMagnesiumZincCalciumProtein Plus, the sun-dried tomato adds a dose of vitamins, iron, and antioxidants. At the same time, the goat cheese adds a boost of protein to keep you feeling full and satisfied longer. Each mouthful of this savory, healthy snack promises a ton of flavor for very only 86 calories for three zucchini rounds. You'll need the following ingredients to create this snack: ZucchiniSaltGround black pepperSun-dried tomatoesGoat cheeseFresh chivesExtra-virgin olive oil Pumpernickel Toasts With Smoked Salmon This gourmet treat is an excellent balanced, satisfying snack. The pumpernickel toast lends fiber to help keep your belly full until your next meal. At the same time, the salmon boasts high levels of the following nutrients: Omega-3 fatty acidsProteinB vitaminsPotassiumSelenium Plus, these tasty toasts include a horseradish spread for just the right amount of flavor kick. The best part is: They take less than 10 minutes to make, and each serving is only 100 calories. You'll need the following ingredients to whip up this tasty snack: MayonnaiseFresh dillHorseradishPumpernickel breadCapersSmoked salmonDillLemon Carrot-Ginger Soup Make a big batch of this soup and have a cup each afternoon. It's packed with fiber and a gingery flavor. Plus, this carrot-ginger soup is packed with antioxidants. And since carrots are rich in vitamin A, this healthy snack may also reduce the risk of heart attacks, protect vision, and lower your risk of certain cancers. The ingredients you'll need to make this soup include the following: CarrotsRice-wine vinegarSesame seedsGarlic clovesGrated gingerSesame oil And the nutrients provided in one serving include the following: Fiber: Seven grams Calories: 100 calories Edamame One cup of edamame or boiled soybeans is a perfect snack. Serve hot or cold, season with salt, and enjoy. Or you can try this recipe for roasted edamame. It simply involves tossing the bean with a bit of salt, pepper, and olive oil, then baking it in the oven for about an hour. The final product is a tasty, crunchy way to enjoy the healthy food, perfect for when those potato chip cravings strike. Nutrients provided in one serving include the following: Protein: 17 gramsFiber: Eight grams Calories: 189 calories Edamame “Guacamole” Using edamame instead of avocados gives you 12 grams of protein, and olive oil pumps up the heart-healthy fats. Toss a dash of lime juice and jalapeño for a spicy, slimming snack. And if you want to be extra calorie-conscious, skip the pita chips and scoop up this dip with carrot or celery sticks instead. You'll need the following ingredients to make this guacamole alternative: Frozen edamameOlive oilRed onionRoasted red pepperYellow bell pepperLimesJalapeñoCilantroParsleyPita chips Chili powder Dips and Spreads Roast Garlic and Edamame Dip Edamame makes a great ingredient in this creamy dip for raw vegetables or whole-wheat pita bread. Here's what you'll need to whip it up: Garlic, water, frozen shelled edamame, ground cumin, salt, extra-virgin olive oil, lemon juice, reduced-fat sour cream, and fresh cilantro. And the nutrients provided in one serving include the following: Protein: Nine gramsFiber: Six grams Calories: 162 calories Sunflower Lentil Spread With Pita Bread Lentils are a good source of iron, an essential nutrient that some people lack. This savory lentil spread comprises lentils, lemon juice, salt, pepper, sunflower seeds, celery stalk, scallion, fresh parsley, and pitas. It's perfect for a hearty, healthy snack. Nutrients provided in one serving include the following: Protein: 10 gramsFiber: 10 grams Calories: 180 calories Cauliflower With White Bean Dip Make a batch of white bean and roasted garlic dip at the beginning of the week to spread on crackers and eat with vegetables when hunger strikes. Pair a quarter-cup serving with two cups of raw, chopped cauliflower. All you'll need is extra-virgin olive oil, whole garlic heads, cannellini beans or other white beans, lemon juice, salt, white pepper, and fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves for garnish. Nutrients provided in one serving include the following: Protein: 11 gramsFiber: Eight grams Calories: 199 calories A Quick Review These 22 fat-burning snacks are a healthy way to tackle weight loss while snacking. The wrong kinds of snacks may add too many calories and too few nutrients to your diet. However, choose snacks with fewer carbohydrates, more “good fats,” protein, and fiber. You will help keep your body energized and lose weight. Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! Tell us why! Other Submit Sources Health.com uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. International Food Information Council. Food trends to watch in 2021. Department of Agriculture. Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020–2025. El-Zayat SR, Sibaii H, El-Shamy KA. Physiological process of fat loss. 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