Eating a snack between meals helps curb your hunger so that you don’t inhale your dinner when you finally sit down to eat a meal. Snacking can also help you get in all the nutrients you need. On the flipside, grazing all day—particularly on foods with little nutritional value—may result in eating too much and packing on extra pounds. These 6 snacks are smart choices that can help you lose weight.
Grapefruit’s “diet food” rep might be justified: one study found that when people simply ate grapefruit with each meal, they lost up to 3 1/2 pounds over three months. Grapefruit may help manage appetite by lowering insulin levels, say researchers.
Use snacks to fill nutritional gaps. Make your snacks count. Choose those that provide calcium and fiber—two nutrients that people often skimp on. Yogurt with fruit delivers calcium and fiber, plus protein and gut-healthy probiotics.
Skip the vending machine and satisfy the afternoon “munchies” with a healthy snack you packed at home. You’ll save money and get a bigger bang for your nutritional buck. Try cut up veggies and some hummus. Planning snacks that provide both carbohydrates and protein will help tide you over until dinner.
4. Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is a portable, healthy snack. Eating fruit helps with weight-loss because it’s packed with filling fiber (and important vitamins and minerals). Look for fruit with no sugar or sweeteners added and pair dried fruit with nuts for a snack with a balance of healthy carbs and protein.
Oatmeal is a complex carb, meaning it helps fill you up without spiking your blood sugar. Plus, it’s a good source of fiber and eating more fiber helps people lose weight and keep it off. While we think of it typically as breakfast, a small bowl of oats makes a hearty, filling and delicious snack. To make this snack more convenient—keep a packet or two of unsweetened instant oatmeal at your desk or make overnight oats in a mason jar.
One study found that people who chewed almonds thoroughly (up to 40 chews) felt full longer than those who chewed the same amount of nuts fewer times. Plus, almonds deliver filling fiber, protein and healthy fats.