It’s 3:00 p.m. and your stomach is screaming for a snack.
You could turn to the vending machine for a bag of stale chips, but as you already know there are better options out there. Better options that will help you actually feel full, supply your body with some nutrients, and even taste good going down. Do they require a bit more pre-planning than selecting “B6” on a vending machine? Sure. But once you’ve worked them into your daily routine, healthy snacking for weight loss or maintenance becomes a very easy thing.
But let’s back up. What makes a healthy snack for losing weight or staying at the weight you want? Ideally, you’ll want a snack that includes a mix of complex carbohydrates and protein to keep you full, says Dena Champion, registered dietician at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center. So, essentially, not a bag of stale chips.
Champion recommends thinking of snacks as mini meals. “Snacks can be a wonderful time to fill up on nutrients like whole grains, fruits and vegetables,” she says. Which is actually smart: If you’re looking for nutrient-dense foods at mealtime to fill you up, you’d do the same thing when selecting a snack, right?
And don’t overcomplicate things. There’s no need to obsess over counting macros or calories. Just choose something that tides you over until the next meal. Here are 40 picks that you can easily make, buy, or just take with you.