“Crackers do not stave off hunger well,” Culbertson says. Low in fiber and high in sodium, this snack does not provide the energy boost most people are looking for during the afternoon, and you’re not likely to feel satisfied. (However, some crackers are high in fiber and low in sodium; and topping them with low-fat cheese takes them from a bad snack to a healthy one.) And if they’re not single-serving packages, Culbertson says, it's easy to eat too many.
Eating snacks with the right ratio of nutrients, with the right calories, will help keep your body energized and help you lose weight. Protein (plus exercise) fuels the growth of lean muscle mass, which boosts metabolic rate and increases calorie burn. Fiber, meanwhile, helps improve digestion and keeps you from binging on fats and sugars. So while there's no food that will literally "burn fat" while you eat it, smart choices with these ingredients will help your body operate at maximum efficiency. Bowerman suggests snacks under 200 calories, with 10 grams of protein and close to 5 grams of fiber. Here are 22 of our favorite healthy snacks.
No, that isn't a typo. This skinny alternative really has just 35 calories per serving! It isn't too shocking when you consider that makers of the treat replaced the cream and milk typically found in ice cream with water and whey protein. While staffers who tried this stuff out thought the taste was on point, they did note that the texture was more icy than creamy. For more low-cal ice cream alternatives, check out these best ice creams for weight loss.
Can snacking be a part of a healthy diet? Of course! When you choose a snack, choose one with protein, fat and/or fiber. All of these nutrients take longer to digest, so they fill you up. Snacks are also a great way to add extra nutrition to your day. Think of snacks like carrots and hummus, an apple with almond butter or whole-grain crackers with cheese.
What about evening snacking? The biggest problem with nighttime snacks is most of us reach for ice cream and chips-not fruit and yogurt. That's not to say you can't have a treat after dinner. Some of your favorite evening snacks may even be on this list (chocolate! popcorn!). One thing to note, if you're always hungry after dinner, make sure your meal is made up of filling and healthy foods and you're getting enough food. If all you're nibbling on is a lackluster salad you may legitimately be hungry and need an evening snack(see our best dinner foods for weight loss). If you love an evening snack after dinner, serve yourself a healthy portion onto a plate or bowl so you're not scooping straight from the container.