If you're sacrificing snacks to cut calories, stop—to lose weight, you need snacks. "Snacking is an opportunity to fuel your body between meals," says nutritionist Rania Batayneh, author of The One One One Diet. Healthy snacks ensure you won't be ravenous come mealtime and keep your fat-burning metabolism revved up. Here are 21 nutritionist-approved choices for both store-bought and make-your-own snacks. Each nosh packs 150 to 200 calories, is filled with good-for-you nutrients, and will make you feel like your diet is about anything but deprivation.
Sure it's low-cal and low-carb, but a cup of this sweet orange melon also provides more than a hundred percent of the day's vitamin A. This fat-soluble nutrient helps maintain eye and skin health in addition to boosting immune function. Although cantaloupe tastes great on its own, it also pairs well with cottage cheese, another item that made this list!
Oh man, it’s already worth making baked pears just because of how great the kitchen smells when you shove them in the oven. They’re so easily prepared too: Slice a pear in half, scoop out the pit with a spoon. Now add a couple of walnuts, sprinkle cinnamon over them and drizzle maple syrup or honey (for non-vegans) on top. Off they go in the oven for about 25 minutes on 380°F/180°C.
We combine everything you love about Chinese takeout—the sweet, savory, spicy sauce; the super-crispy tofu; and the crisp-tender, perfectly caramelized vegetables—into one quick vegetarian main. Celery takes on a leading role rather than a base ingredient here: It maintains its crunch, adds a natural saltiness, and is a nice foil to the more robust flavors in the dish. Szechuan here refers to the stir-fry method rather than a tingling, chile-laden heat. If you want more spice, swap the crushed red pepper for one or two very thinly sliced Thai red chiles.
It's easy to see why pistachios ranked as one of the best nuts for weight loss, they've helped countless Biggest Loser contestants trim down. "We keep pistachios in ample supply at the ranch, says Biggest Loser dietitian Cheryl Forberg, RD. "Not only are they a satisfying, heart-healthy snack, they also aid weight loss. Studies suggest having to manually remove the shell helps people eat more mindfully and slows the rate at which they nosh, helping to reduce portion size and calorie intake, she explains"
Bust out your slow cooker and make some chili. A pot of chili will last you all week long and is perfect for any season and for any meal. Vegan chili is super easy; all you need are some spices, a couple cans of beans, and simple vegetables like corn, onion, and tomatoes. Chili is adaptable and tastes super with other ingredients like beer or sweet potatoes. This Three Bean and Sweet Potato Chili is a vegan wonder as you just need to add your ingredients and let them simmer. Same goes for this Sweet and Spicy Pumpkin Chili. Chili also makes for an extraordinary make-ahead meal. For the more adventurous, add some vegan sour cream or cheese for an extra indulgence. To use up those leftover pantry goods, this Frito Chili Pie is an American bar-food staple that definitely suits a lazy vegan lifestyle. For more slow cooker ideas beyond chili, try using protein-packed lentils in stews and soups.
Sweet, creamy, and filling, this trio feels completely indulgent. The combination of fiber, healthy fats, and protein are sure to get you over any 3pm slump. Plus, the vitamin C in raspberries increases your body's fat-burning ability, according to research in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Combine a single-serving container of Greek yogurt, a cup of raspberries, and a half-tablespoon of honey.
But it’s far from slim pickings when it comes to vegan snacks that are meat-, dairy-, and egg-free. We’re here to dig you out of your hummus-and-carrots rut with 19 sweet and savory vegan recipes that take less than 10 minutes to put together—because really, when that mid-morning crash, afternoon slump, or post-dinner pang hits, who wants to wait longer than that?
If you’re craving chips and dip but don’t want to compromise your healthy diet, reach of some buckwheat crackers with herby edamame dip instead. Both buckwheat groats and edamame are packed with protein, making them an ideal option to help ward off hunger. Buckwheat groats also filled with nutrients like zinc, copper, manganese, and magnesium. Plus this dip is so creamy and flavorful, you’ll likely forget that it’s actually healthy.
Quesadillas without cheese may seem like a contradiction in terms, but they are indeed a thing in Mexico—and, more to the point, they can be delicious. Here, we mix mashed leftover sweet potato with cilantro, scallions, and pickled jalapeños (though you can sub whatever other quesadilla fillings strike your fancy); spread it over half of a flour tortilla; fold it; and cook it in plenty of oil, just as we recommend in our basic quesadilla guide.
Making homemade potato chips is surprisingly easy—just slice the potatoes thin, boil them in vinegar-spiked water, and fry until crispy. The vinegar keeps the chips from getting too dark as they fry. All of our custom potato chip seasonings are vegan, and this one, despite the name, is no exception. Savory nutritional yeast helps mimic the taste of the roasted bird; we grind it up along with granulated garlic, lemon zest, dried thyme, and dried mushrooms to round out the flavors, then toss the spice blend with freshly fried chips to coat.
Popped like a corn kernel, amaranth offers a nutty flavor and a satisfying crunch with every bite. Even better: This unique ‘popcorn’ is packed with nutrients that make it more comparable to a leafy green than a grain (or a buttery, movie-theater treat). Just a quarter-cup of these seeds houses seven grams of protein and seven grams of fiber, making it the perfect snack for when you want to fill up fast. Photo and recipe: Perry Santanachote / Life by Daily Burn
A mini-meal snack is a good idea when dinner is a long way off. The combo of tomato soup and baby carrots is not just filling; it also gives you lots of body-healthy nutrients, like potassium, cancer-fighting lycopene, and beta-carotene. Try a microwavable soup cup that you can stash in your car's cup holder. (Concerned about sodium? Pour about a quarter of the soup down the drain and dilute the rest with water, says McLachlan.)