Healthy Snacks For Weight Loss – 9 Popular Healthy Snacks For People Who Are Losing Weight In 2024

Rebecca Brunelle, MSN, RN
Brittany Ferri, PhD
Healthy snacks for weight loss for 2024 include foods high in protein or fiber like oatmeal, whole fruit, nuts, popcorn, and greek yogurt.
healthy snacks for weight loss
Oatmeal with fresh fruit provides both fiber and protein. Photo: Ba Le Ho

Dieters often try cutting calories by skipping breakfast and avoiding snacks. Although eating less and reducing calories is important, both breakfast and snacks should be eaten. It is all about choosing the right foods. Eating a healthy breakfast to lose weight is supported by medical research.  A 2020 meta-analysis found that skipping breakfast[1] is associated with obesity. 

Eating nutrient-dense snacks is also recommended. While snacking on processed foods with a high glycemic index is associated with weight gain, the opposite is true for low-calorie, nutrient-rich foods. Studies have shown that snacks high in fiber and protein[2] help you lose weight. Choosing healthy snacks for weight loss can be difficult, but by planning ahead you can choose good snacks for weight loss.

9 Best Healthy Snacks For Weight Loss

The best healthy snacks for weight loss have a low glycemic index and are high in protein and fiber. Examples of nutrient-dense snacks include:

  • Kale chips.
  • Whole fruit.
  • Greek yogurt.
  • Oatmeal.
  • Popcorn.
  • Nuts.
  • Hummus.

Best Healthy Snacks For Weight Loss

Choosing healthy snacks for weight loss is easy once you know a few tips. First, focus on snacks that are high in fiber and protein. Second, avoid sugary, processed foods. Third, remember that it is all about moderation. Nothing is off limits; just try to eat healthy most of the time. 

In this blog post, we provide a list of healthy low-calorie snacks for weight loss and include recipes so that you can make snacks for weight loss at home. 

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Kale Chips

healthy snacks for weight loss
Kale chips are a healthy alternative to potato chips.

The next time you hit the mid-day slump and crave something salty, consider kale chips. Kale chips provide a satisfying salty crunch without the guilt. Replacing high-calorie snacks, like potato chips, with a healthier alternative is one of the best ways to lose weight. Potato chips and other processed foods are high in saturated fat, salt, and refined sugars. All of these ingredients contribute to weight gain. On the other hand, kale chips[3] pack a fantastic flavor and provide essential nutrients like fiber, antioxidants, and vitamins A, B, and C. 

Whole Fruit

Many dieters wonder if whole fruit is bad for weight loss because it tastes sweet. The truth is fruit contains sugar, but eating fruit does not spike your blood sugar the same way as sugary snacks. In addition to being sweet, fruit is rich in fiber.[4] Combining sugar with fiber, which takes longer to digest, slows down the absorption of sugar into the bloodstream. 

Eating whole fruit is a great way to fulfill a sugar craving without the guilt. Furthermore, some fruits are low in sugar and still provide the benefit of fiber and other nutrients, making fruits healthy sweet snacks for weight loss. Adding those fruits to your diet may help you lose weight.  Below is a list of top fruits to eat that are low in sugar.

Apples

Although apples taste sweet, they have a low glycemic index and are also high in fiber. An average-sized apple[5] has less than 120 calories and provides more than 5 grams of fiber. The combination of sweetness with fiber is satisfying and leaves you feeling full. 

Berries

The berry family, strawberries, blueberries, and blackberries,[6] are low in sugar and high in fiber. According to the FDA, one serving of berries contains less than 5 grams of sugar. 

Kiwis

Kiwis[7] are a small fruit that are a nutritional powerhouse. They pack vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber. Each serving contains less than 70 calories, making it a great low-calorie snack.

Pineapple

Pineapple offers many health benefits and is also low in sugar. In addition to the health benefits of other fruits, pineapple may aid in digestion.[8] It contains digestive enzymes that may ease the digestion of meat. 

Melons

Melons[9] taste sweet without overloading you with sugar. Each serving contains an average of 36 calories, making them a great option to satisfy your sweet tooth. Like other fruits, melons also offer other nutrients like potassium, copper, and vitamins C and B6.

Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt[10] is regular yogurt that has been strained to remove water, making it denser and creamier. Unsweetened Greek yogurt offers many health benefits over regular yogurt. It is higher in protein and fiber and has less sugar than regular yogurt. Eating protein and fiber throughout the day helps you feel full and eat less, thereby causing weight loss.

If the bitter taste of plain Greek yogurt turns you off, consider pairing it with dried fruit, or chocolate chips, or sweetening it with a touch of honey. Even if you add foods with natural sugar, greek yogurt will still have fewer calories than flavored yogurt. It is better to add a touch of sweetness at home versus buying processed, sugary yogurt at the store.

Oatmeals

healthy snacks for weight loss
Oatmeal helps you feel full by providing both fiber and protein.

Many dieters wonder if they should skip breakfast to lose weight. The answer is an emphatic no. A 2021 systematic review[11] found that eating breakfast has multiple health benefits. Individuals who eat breakfast have a lower risk of heart disease, obesity, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels.

Although eating breakfast is a good idea, not all breakfast options are equal. Sugary cereals or bread from refined carbohydrates leave you feeling hungry and craving additional sweets. On the other hand, oatmeal[12] is loaded with fiber and protein, which are intended to leave you satisfied and full. 

In addition to being a great breakfast option, you can snack on oatmeal throughout the day. Consider making overnight oats and then storing them in a reusable container. You can whip out the container and eat a satisfying snack. With the fiber and protein the oatmeal provides, you’ll feel full longer and eat less.

Popcorn

People wondering how many carbs a day to lose weight, would like to know that popcorn is a great low-calorie snack. To be clear, we are not talking about pre-packaged microwave popcorn that has added butter and salt. Three cups of air popcorn[13] cooked at home has less than 100 calories. You can also add a touch of flavor by sprinkling parmesan cheese on top or a little butter with salt. If you adjust the flavor at home using moderation it will taste better and have fewer calories than store-bought popcorn.

Nuts

Nuts are easily portable snacks that are also nutrient-dense, and full of fiber, antioxidants, and fat. Although high-fat foods are not normally recommended for people trying to lose weight, the fat in nuts stays trapped[14] in the nut’s fibrous wall during digestion. The fact that nuts have a hard outer shell adds to their health benefits. Nuts take longer to digest, which means you feel full longer and eat less when you add nuts to your diet.

Research is ongoing to determine the benefits of nuts as weight loss snacks. One nut in particular, almonds, has been studied and shown to have weight loss benefits. One study found that adding almonds[15] to a low-calorie diet resulted in nearly three times the weight loss versus the control group. 

Hummus

Hummus is a common Mediterranean dip made from garbanzo beans, tahini, lemon juice, and garlic. Not only is it delicious, it offers multiple health benefits and may facilitate weight loss.

Garbanzo beans are legume. A 2020 study indicated that legumes[16] help decrease body fat percentage and waist circumference. For people wondering how to lose belly fat, adding legumes to your diet is a great option. Replacing energy-dense foods with legumes, like hummus, can reduce belly fat and give you a slimmer waistline. 

In addition to helping with weight loss, hummus provides[17] valuable nutrients like dietary fiber, polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin C, folate, magnesium, potassium, and iron. Pairing hummus with raw vegetables or whole-grain crackers provides a nutritious snack that keeps you full and prevents you from snacking on high-calorie foods.

Hard Boiled Eggs

Eggs are a nutrient dense food packed with protein, healthy dietary fats, and vitamins and minerals. One large egg has about 75 calories,[18] yet will leave you feeling full if you eat it as a midday snack. 

Hard boiled eggs are easy to prepare ahead of time and take with you to the office or school. To spice up your hard boiled eggs, consider pairing them with non-starchy vegetables like bell peppers, cucumbers, or avocado. This will add additional fiber and make a more satisfying snack. Research has shown that eating eggs with a fiber source[19] promotes a feeling of fullness and results in decreased food intake later in the day. 

Fresh Vegetables With Guacamole 

Who doesn’t love guacamole with tortilla chips? Unfortunately, eating all those salty, processed chips can wreck your healthy weight loss plan. If you’re a fan of guacamole, consider eating it with fresh vegetables like bell peppers, carrot sticks, and broccoli florets. Avocados,[20] the primary ingredients in guacamole, are a nutrient dense food full of healthy dietary fats, antioxidants, and minerals. When you pair guacamole with fresh vegetables you add fiber to your diet plus all of the health benefits of avocados. Fiber[21] has been shown to facilitate weight loss by helping you feel full longer and improving digestion. 

Healthy Snacks Recipes For Weight Loss

Planning ahead makes it easier to stick to your nutrition goals and have the best snacks for weight loss on hand. Making healthy snacks at home helps you avoid those crisis moments when you need a quick boost of energy and the only thing available is a sugary snack. Making sure that there are healthy snacks available, along with remembering to drink enough water throughout the day, will put you on a path to weight loss success. 

High-Protein Overnight Oats

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole grain oats
  • 2 teaspoons chia seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 cup milk or non-dairy milk
  • ½ cup unsweetened Greek yogurt
  • Sweetener of choice (maple syrup, honey, or low-calorie sweetener like stevia)

Directions:

  1. Mix the oats, chia seeds, milk, yogurt, and sweetener. 
  2. Cover and refrigerate overnight, or a minimum of 6 hours. 
  3. Stir the oat mixture and top with your favorite topping like fresh fruit, chocolate chips, or peanut butter.

Kale Chips

Ingredients:

  • 1 bunch kale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. 
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 
  3. With a knife remove kale leaves from the stems and tear them into bite-size pieces. 
  4. Wash and thoroughly dry the kale. 
  5. Spread the kale pieces over the parchment paper and sprinkle with olive oil and salt. Avoid overlapping the leaves. 
  6. Bake until the edges are golden brown, but not burnt, approximately 20-30 minutes.

You can add additional seasoning to the kale chips to give them an extra zap of flavor. For example, try coating the kale with sriracha hot sauce mixed with lime juice prior to baking. Or, if you prefer a sweet crunchy snack, try tossing the kale leaves with maple syrup mixed with olive oil prior to baking.

Hummus

Ingredients:

  • 15-ounce can of chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans)
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Directions:

  1. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Set aside ⅓ cup of the liquid to dilute the hummus.
  2. Peel and chop the garlic.
  3. Combine the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, and tahini in a food processor or blender until smooth.
  4. Add the olive oil and blend again.
  5. If the hummus is thick, thin it out with liquid set aside from the can of garbanzo beans.

Fresh Guacamole

Ingredients:

  • 3 ripe avocados
  • 2 roma tomatoes
  • ½ small onion
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • 1 bunch of cilantro leaves
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 lime
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt

Directions:

  1. Peel the avocados and remove the pits.
  2. Place the avocados in a mixing bowl and mash.
  3. Dice the tomatoes, onion, and garlic.
  4. Remove the seeds and stems from the jalapeno and chop it.
  5. Chop the cilantro.
  6. Mix the tomatoes, onion, garlic, jalapeno, and cilantro with the mashed avocados.
  7. Stir in the juice from the lime.
  8. Season with ½ teaspoons of salt.

Non-starchy vegetables are a great food companion with fresh guacamole. Cucumbers, bell peppers, and carrot sticks can be used to scoop up the guacamole. Adding fiber from the vegetables to the guacamole makes for a more satisfying snack.

Grab And Go Energy Bars

Ingredients:

  • 5 dried dates
  • 4 dried figs
  • 6 tablespoons chopped nuts (you can use any combination of nuts)
  • 3 tablespoons whole-grain oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds
  • 3 tablespoons syrup (real maple syrup, agave syrup, or honey)

Directions:

  1. Remove the pits from the dates.
  2. Put all the ingredients in a food processor or blender and pulse until combined.
  3. Roll the mixture into bite-size balls and store in an airtight container. 

Dried Fruit And Oat Balls

Ingredients

  • 10 fresh dates
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup dried fruit of choice
  • ¼ cup seeds or chopped nuts
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter

Directions:

  1. Remove the pits from the dates and chop them.
  2. Place the pitted dates in a food processor until a smooth paste forms.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl along with the remaining ingredients.
  4. Stir the ingredients together until well combined.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. Wet your hands and then roll the mixture into bite-sized balls.
  7. Place the balls on the prepared baking sheet and for at least 1 hour to set.
  8. Store in a refrigerated, airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

Homemade Granola Bars

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup smooth nut butter of choice 
  • ⅔ cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 ½ cups whole rolled oats
  • ⅓ cup mini chocolate chips
  • 3 tablespoons crushed nuts

Directions:

  1. Line an 8×8 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine the nut butter, honey, vanilla extract, and salt.
  3. Add the oats, chocolate chips, and crushed nuts to the mixture and combine well.
  4. Flatten the mixed ingredients on the baking pan using a spatula and a second sheet of parchment paper.
  5. Set in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour and then cut into bars.

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Raspberry Oat Cookies

Ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • ½ cup oats
  • 2 tablespoons ground almonds
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ cup fresh or frozen raspberries

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  3. Mash the ripe bananas. 
  4. Mix the oats, ground almonds, and cinnamon with the mashed bananas.
  5. Once the ingredients are well combined, gently stir in the raspberries.
  6. Scoop the dough into bite-sized balls and place them on the baking sheet.
  7. Flatten the balls with the palm of your hand.
  8. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes or until golden brown and firm around the edges.
  9. Cool for 10 minutes before serving.
  10. Store in an airtight container.

Healthy Snacks To Buy For Weight Loss

Although prepping at home guarantees the quality of your weight-loss snacks, it is not always possible to make snacks from scratch. By reading food labels carefully, it is possible to buy snacks that will help you along your weight loss journey. Prepared snacks that are good for weight loss include whole fruit, nuts, and protein bars that are low in sugar. Eating healthy snacks, along with using a fat burner supplement, may jump-start your metabolism and help the extra pounds come off. 

Conclusion

Planning meals and snacks helps you stay focused. Having a list of healthy snack ideas for weight loss is a good first step. Once you have the list, go grocery shopping and prepare the snacks. Keeping healthy snacks with you helps prevent binge eating. Binge eating, or grabbing an energy dense snack, is a primary cause of weight gain. Energy dense foods do not provide long-lasting energy or a feeling of fullness. You ended up eating more because the snack you chose is not satisfying. 

In addition, many dieters wonder how long does it take to lose weight. The answer to this question is different for every person. There is no magic formula or weight loss trick that will help the pounds come off. However, keep in mind that sticking to a diet high in fiber[21] and protein is generally a big help for weight loss.[22] Having said that, persistence pays off.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does eating healthy snacks help you lose weight?

Eating healthy snacks may help you lose weight. Weight loss is about eating in moderation. If you eat an excessive amount of healthy snacks, you can still gain weight.

Should I skip snacks to lose weight?

You should skip high-calorie processed snacks to lose weight. Replacing high-calorie snacks with snacks high in fiber and protein should help you lose weight.

What meal is best to skip?

Try making lunch the largest meal of your day and eat a smaller meal, or a snack, in the evening. The best healthy snacks for weight loss at night are high in fiber and protein.

Is popcorn a junk food?

Air popcorn is not junk food. The butter and salt that are added to popcorn make it unhealthy. Try making popcorn at home with minimal additives. 

Are you hungry during a fat burn?

A fat burn means that your body is using fat as an energy source instead of carbohydrates. As you burn through carbohydrates you may feel hungry. 

Resources

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  2. Astbury, N.M., Taylor, M.A., French, S. and Macdonald, I.A. (2014). Snacks containing whey protein and polydextrose induce a sustained reduction in daily energy intake over 2 wk under free-living conditions. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, [online] 99(5), pp.1131–1140. doi:https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.113.075978.
  3. Érika Ortega‐Hernández, Marilena Antunes‐Ricardo and Jacobo‐Velázquez, D.A. (2021). Improving the Health-Benefits of Kales (Brassica oleracea L. var. acephala DC) through the Application of Controlled Abiotic Stresses: A Review. Plants, [online] 10(12), pp.2629–2629. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/plants10122629.
  4. Dreher, M.L. (2018). Whole Fruits and Fruit Fiber Emerging Health Effects. Nutrients, [online] 10(12), pp.1833–1833. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10121833.
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  8. Santos, D.I., Camila, Amaral, R.A., Brito, L., Saraiva, J.A., Vicente, A.A. and Margarida Moldão‐Martins (2021). Pineapple (Ananas comosus L.) By-Products Valorization: Novel Bio Ingredients for Functional Foods. Molecules, [online] 26(11), pp.3216–3216. doi:https://doi.org/10.3390/molecules26113216.
  9. Usda.gov. (2023). FoodData Central. [online] Available at: https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/746770/nutrients
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  11. Li, Z., Xu, L., Dai, R., Li, L. and Wang, H. (2021). Effects of regular breakfast habits on metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. Medicine, [online] 100(44), pp.e27629–e27629. doi:https://doi.org/10.1097/md.0000000000027629.
  12. Brauchla, M., Fleige, L., Chu, Y. and Fulgoni, V.L. (2019). Oatmeal-containing Breakfast Is Associated with Better Diet Quality and Higher Intake of Key Food Groups and Nutrients Compared to Other Breakfasts. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. [online] doi:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jand.2019.06.194.
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  14. Myriam M.-L. Grundy, Grassby, T., Mandalari, G., Waldron, K.W., Butterworth, P.J., Berry, S. and Ellis, P.R. (2015). Effect of mastication on lipid bioaccessibility of almonds in a randomized human study and its implications for digestion kinetics, metabolizable energy, and postprandial lipemia. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, [online] 101(1), pp.25–33. doi:https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.114.088328.
  15. Abazarfard Z;Salehi M;Keshavarzi S (2014). The effect of almonds on anthropometric measurements and lipid profile in overweight and obese females in a weight reduction program: A randomized controlled clinical trial. Journal of research in medical sciences : the official journal of Isfahan University of Medical Sciences, [online] 19(5). Available at: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25097630/
  16. Tucker, L.A. (2020). Bean Consumption Accounts for Differences in Body Fat and Waist Circumference: A Cross-Sectional Study of 246 Women. Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism, [online] 2020, pp.1–9. doi:https://doi.org/10.1155/2020/9140907.
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  19. Bonnema, A., Altschwager, D.K., Thomas, W. and Slavin, J.L. (2016). The effects of the combination of egg and fiber on appetite, glycemic response and food intake in normal weight adults – a randomized, controlled, crossover trial. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition, [online] 67(6), pp.723–731. doi:https://doi.org/10.1080/09637486.2016.1196654.
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