5 Snacks You Should Always Have On Hand If Youre Trying To Lose Weight

Looking to lose some LBs but can’t keep your hands out of the cookie jar? Smart snacking is key to successfully losing weight, because you never want to find yourself so hungry you’re willing to say bye, bye, bye to those goals. “If you're eating three full meals, you want to have two snacks—around 150 to 200 calories—to keep you from getting too hungry between meals. As with meals, it's that mix of protein, fiber-containing carbs, and fat that offer the most satiety and quell hunger for longer for the calories you’re actually getting,” says Janis Jibrin, R.D., professor of nutrition at American University and author of The Life You Want! Get Motivated, Lose Weight and Be Happy. Choose from our list of healthy snacks to have on hand when hunger strikes or that cookie is calling your name.

Roasted Chickpeas

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Craving something with a satisfying crunch? "Skip the heavy stuff and grab a handful of chickpeas to eat at any time of day, [and] you can easily roast chickpeas to give them a seasonal twist,” says nutritionist Ilyse Schapiro, R.D., author of Should I Scoop Out My Bagel?. Chickpeas are high in fiber and one cup can provide you with half of your daily intake, not to mention all the minerals they pack, like phosphorus, calcium, iron, magnesium, and potassium (and they’re low in fat!). Roast them yourself using some olive oil, salt, and cayenne pepper (baked at 450 degrees until crunchy or crispy) or buy pre-packaged, like the Lebby Roasted Chickpeas Variety Pack.

Related: 7 Things You Can Do in the Morning to Promote Weight Loss

Protein Bar

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Protein bars are arguably one of the easiest healthy snacks to stash in your pocket or bag, though be careful you’re not munching on a glorified candy bar, warns Schapiro. When choosing a bar, she suggests looking for one that has 15 or more grams of protein and three or more grams of fiber, key nutrients to fill you up. The calories should range from 150 to 200 and your bar should contain no more than five grams of fat and eight grams of sugar. “When looking at the labels, also avoid bars with more than five grams of saturated fat and those that contain artificial sweeteners, palm oil (also may be listed as palm kernel oil), or soy protein isolate.” Schapiro says. Try Oatmega Chocolate Mint Bar or Quest Nutrition Protein Bar in Coconut Cashew.

Looking for easy snack options? Check out these 13 delicious ways to spice up a tub of hummus:

Greek yogurt

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Rich, creamy and a little bit of tart makes Greek yogurt the perfect dairy treat. A six-ounce serving of Greek yogurt has zero saturated fat and cholesterol—something most of the grab-n-go snacks you find at your convenient store could only dream of. And since most adults are no longer guzzling down a large glass of milk with their dinner, you get the bonus points for 20 percent of your daily recommended calcium, too. Most importantly, the nutrition powerhouse fills you up with protein—not with calories or sugar. Not all Greek yogurts are alike, however. "Look for the lowest-sugar version you can find without any artificial sweeteners," recommends Melina Jampolis, M.D., an internist and board-certified physician nutrition specialist, and the author of Spice Up, Slim Down. If you need a little more flavor to balance out the sour bite, Jampolis suggests adding a dash of cinnamon or ginger (both which help control blood sugar levels and appetite).

Related: ​This Is The Diet Jessica Alba Used To Lose 11 Inches In 4 Months

Banana with peanut butter

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Packing a banana in your bag is a piece of cake, but what you really need is to top this snack off with a little protein, explains Jibrin. Smearing some peanut butter on your banana is a lot easier these days thanks to portion-size packets that make it simple to stash the nutty stuff in your bag (try Justin's Nut Butter Squeeze Packet). A banana offers quick carbs and a tablespoon of peanut butter gives you the protein for satiety.

(Hit the reset button—and burn fat like crazy with The Body Clock Diet!)

Single serve cup of bean soup

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“If you have access to hot water or a microwave you have access to the most filling and nutritious snack, a hot bean soup. Beans are high in many B vitamins, contain iron, phytonutrients (beneficial plant compounds), and are loaded with fiber, and offer some protein,” Jibris says. Try the single-serve (2.1 oz) Dr. McDougall’s Lentil CousCous, which contains 210 calories and an impressive nine grams of fiber. You'll feel satisfied until dinner rolls around.

Related: The 8 Best Bedtime Snacks for Weight Loss


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