If you’re trying to lose weight, the urge to eat can make you miserable — and lead you to munch on unhealthy snacks that ultimately sabotage your diet in the long run. But instead of avoiding food altogether — and risking a 'hanger attack' that'll put you in a bad mood — why not reach for the good, quality foods that will boost your energy and give you some much-needed nutrients?
Next time hunger pangs strike, be prepared with this list, which features easy grab-and-go foods that are in line with a healthy lifestyle. These six satisfying snacks can keep you fuller longer and help you reach your weight loss goals, but the best part? They’re not only good for you, they’re delicious, too.
1. Nuts or Nut Butters
The list of health benefits of eating nuts is a long one. They’re loaded with healthy fats, protein, and fiber, and eating nuts regularly has been linked to lower rates of cardiovascular disease, stroke, and diabetes. Nuts have also been linked to reduced cholesterol, and even a lower risk of breast cancer. Those seeking to shed pounds should also take heart: Research shows that eating nuts is associated with a lower BMI (body mass index) and a reduced risk for obesity. Nuts, like other foods that are high in healthy fats and fiber, keep you feeling full for a longer period of time, so keep a small container on hand, either in your purse or your car, for a quick refueling in the middle of the day.
2. Frozen Grapes Dipped in Yogurt
If you’re craving a sweet treat, these babies will hit the spot. Just dip some grapes in lowfat Greek yogurt and pop them in the freezer and voila! You’ll have little bites of a perfect snack that’s high in antioxidants, fiber, and protein that’ll tide you over till mealtime.
Air-popped popcorn is a healthy and filling snack that’s high in fiber and only has about 90 calories in a single 3-cup serving. It’s low in fat and is an excellent source of fiber and complex carbohydrates. But be careful what you add: Drenching it with butter and salt will very quickly turn this great weight-loss food a not-so-healthy choice.
4. Lowfat Tortilla Chips and Refried Beans
Top some whole-grain lowfat tortilla chips with some refried beans (make sure the brand you buy is low in fat and salt since some can be significantly higher in fat and sodium than others). Sprinkle a bit of lowfat cheddar on top and zap it in the microwave for a high-protein energy booster that’s filling and nutritious. Beans are loaded with important nutrients like potassium, magnesium, iron, zinc, and folate, and are packed with soluble fiber. Research has shown that they can help fight cholesterol, can help lower the risk for diabetes, and are great for cardiovascular health. They’re also powerful antioxidants, which means they’re a great part of an anti-aging diet.
5. Boiled Eggs
A large hard-boiled egg only has about 78 calories and 1.6 calories per gram, but is packed with more than 6 grams of protein. It’s gonna keep you full, which means you’re less likely to hit the snack machine and make an unhealthy choice. And when you slice an egg and add it to a veggie-filled salad, it can be part of a nutritious, low-cal lunch.
You’ve probably heard that oatmeal is good for you. Studies have shown that it reduces cholesterol, is helpful for regulating blood sugar, and may even lower your risk of colon cancer. It’s also high in fiber, like other whole grains such as brown rice and popcorn, and is therefore more likely to keep you feeling full longer and less likely to overeat.
Not sure what to eat in the a.m.? Scroll down to see the very best breakfasts for weight loss!