Don’t worry, we get it — there are some days when three square meals just don’t cut it. While your stomach growls, you may be tempted to stop at the nearest fast food place for fries and a shake. But before you go destroying your diet due to one bout of hunger, know you have plenty of options for snacking and staying on track for weight loss. Check out these guilt-free snacks that will fill you up without filling you out.
1. Mango with chili powder
Seems like a strange combination, doesn’t it? But actually, the sweetness of the mango and the spiciness of the chili makes the perfect delectable combination. Nutritionist Amy Gorin tells Redbook spicy foods can boost your metabolism slightly for a short amount of time, so why not spice up your fruit? And it goes perfectly with the flavor of the mango.
Next: There’s one singer who loves this classic combination on a sandwich.
2. Banana with peanut butter
This snack combo is one Elvis would be proud of. Bananas will keep you full with their high fiber content and are only about 100 calories each. Add a tablespoon of peanut butter on top, and you’ll be getting satiating healthy fats for just an additional 90 calories or so. Don’t go too overboard with the peanut butter, though — you can easily eat hundreds of calories without realizing it if you don’t measure it out.
Next: Skip the movie theater popcorn and make your own.
You certainly have had this snack before — but it was probably doused in butter and salt, offering you way too many calories and grams of fat. When you make popcorn yourself and skip the unhealthy toppings, though, it’s actually the perfect snack.
CNN says 3 cups is only a mere 93 calories and 1 gram of fat. You’re also getting several grams of fiber, which helps keep you fuller for longer. Try adding a drizzle of olive oil and herbs on top for a fun treat.
Next: The healthy fats in these foods will keep you full for hours.
The high fat and calorie content of nuts probably has you running the other direction. But there are many kinds of nuts that can actually aid in weight loss, particularly Brazil nuts, walnuts, and almonds, Eat This, Not That! tells us.
Brazil nuts contain a good amount of selenium, which aids in a healthy metabolism. And walnuts are rich in polyunsaturated fats, which help reduce belly fat, while almonds may aid in even more weight loss when combined with a calorie-restricted diet. You’ll want to watch your portion size when it comes to nuts, though, so pre-measure them out before you snack.
Next: This protein-packed food is perfect for on-the-go snacking.
5. Hardboiled egg
If you haven’t cooked yourself up a pot of hardboiled eggs yet, we highly recommend you start. This inexpensive, low-calorie snack is really the perfect food to keep you satisfied. Each egg contains about 70 calories and up to 6 grams of protein. And CookingLight reminds us hardboiled eggs last up to five days in the refrigerator, so you can make them ahead of time, too.
Next: Who doesn’t love this chickpea dip?
6. Hummus and carrot sticks
Most dips will help expand your waistline, but hummus isn’t one of them. This chickpea dip is part of the Mediterranean diet, which you’ve probably heard by now is super good for you. And because chickpeas are so rich in protein, your hummus snack will keep you full for just about 30 calories per tablespoon, Shape reports. And don’t forget the carrot sticks for dipping, which offer a satisfying crunch and plenty of fiber.
Next: This treat is perfect for your sweet tooth.
7. Greek yogurt with berries
Greek yogurt isn’t just for breakfast. This creamy treat feels decadent, but it’s actually rich in protein and low in calories, making it the perfect healthy snack. A 6-ounce container of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt is just 100 calories, and you’ll get 17 grams of satiating protein, Livestrong.com reports. For extra flavor, add a drizzle of honey or some berries for that fiber boost you need.
Next: This snack is one of the most filling on the list.
8. Cottage cheese with cinnamon
You’ve probably passed the cottage cheese in the grocery store a hundred times without buying it, but it’s time to jump on the bandwagon. This fresh cheese is creamy, satisfying, and absolutely delicious with some cinnamon added.
Healthline mentions you can eat an entire cup for only 163 calories, and you’ll get 28 grams of protein and a wealth of other nutrients. As for the cinnamon, Fitday says it can also combat fat storage.
Next: Meat products can aid in weight loss, too.
You can find dehydrated meat products in just about any gas station across America, which may be why they get such a bad rap. But in reality, beef and turkey jerky is a fantastic low-calorie, high-protein snack that can aid in weight loss.
Dietitian Keri Gans tells Women’s Health most jerkies have around 10 grams of protein per serving with just 1 gram of fat or less. And they’re pretty tasty, too, as they come in a variety of flavors.
Next: Try out this tasty soy snack — and it’s not tofu.
You’ve probably seen this food pop up at local restaurants, and it’s really worth a try. Edamame are just boiled soybeans that, with a little salt, are actually quite delicious. And Health reminds us they’re super nutritious — 1 cup has 17 grams of protein, 8 grams of fiber, and less than 200 calories. If you prefer your snacks with a little crunch, roast them in the oven with some olive oil and bring them with you wherever you go. You’ll never reach for potato chips again.
Next: Make these yourself for an amazing treat.
11. Homemade smoothies
Not all smoothies are created equal, which is why making your own is always the healthiest option. Prevention gives a few ideas on the best ingredients to add into your smoothie — think bananas, Greek yogurt, honey, and spices. And if you’re really going for a health kick, you can throw some veggies in there, too (carrots work especially well for added sweetness). You’ll never head back to Jamba Juice after tasting your own concoctions.
Next: This delicious fish makes for a great snack.
12. Smoked salmon on toast
Fish lovers, rejoice! Smoked salmon is one of the tastiest snacks out there for seafood fans, so feel free to throw some on toast with some tomato and capers for a truly satisfying snack. SFGate reports just 3 ounces of the fish offers over 15 grams of protein, and it’s rich in healthy fats that can also aid in weight loss. When choosing your toast, make sure you go for whole grain, too.
Next: Not all chips are bad.
13. Veggie chips
We’re not talking about the bagged varieties — we’re talking about the delicious, warm, homemade veggie chips you can easily make yourself. Try a few of these ideas from Prevention for crunchy chips made out of sweet potatoes, zucchini, carrots, beets, or kale. By just adding a small amount of olive oil and spices, you can get amazing flavor with all the nutrients.
Remember — you can eat an entire sweet potato for roughly 115 calories, and a medium zucchini is just about 30 calories. Talk about a snack that’s good for your waistline.
Next: This snack is more nutritious than you’d expect.
14. Pumpkin seeds
If you’re not saving the seeds after carving a pumpkin during the fall, then you should really start. These seeds are delicious when roasted and tossed with a seasoning of your choice. But you probably don’t realize just how good they are for your health and weight-loss goals. Healthline explains just 1 ounce of pumpkin seeds has 7 grams of protein and almost 2 grams of fiber when they’re de-shelled (even more when the shell’s on). You’ll want to watch your serving size, though — like nuts, you can end up eating a lot of calories if you’re mindlessly chewing.
Next: Here’s a classic combo with a twist.
15. Celery with almond butter
Who doesn’t remember having celery and peanut butter as a kid? Well, it turns out your parents were giving you a healthier snack than you thought. For something a little different than “ants on a log,” try dipping your celery in almond butter. ABC News explains studies show almond butter may aid in weight loss, as almonds help limit the amount of fat your body absorbs. And because of its protein content, 1 tablespoon is super satisfying.