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The Top 5 Snacks for Weight Loss, According to Science

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We’ve all been there…eyeing the pantry or fridge again, taking a peek to see if anything new has magically arrived to feed that craving. Snacking is practically an American pastime now, especially as we’re all spending more time at home during the pandemic. But, is that really such a bad thing?

Compared to the late 1970s, the average number of snacks Americans eat per day has doubled. And, those between-meal noshes now contribute to about one-fourth of our daily calories. That being said, there is no correlation between the number of daily snacks you’re eating and weight

Choosing smart snacks that are high in fiber, protein, and healthy fats can actually be a smart part of a weight loss plan. This way, you’re not sitting down to your main meals feeling ravenous and devouring way more than you had originally planned (been there, regretted that)! Plus, it’s an easy way to add important vitamins and minerals to your diet.

For most adults, one to two snacks per day is a wise way to keep energy levels humming from morning to night. The foods below, in particular, have been shown to be smart snacks for weight loss. For more tips and tricks that may help move the needle on the scale, check out The Snack Factor Diet: The Secret to Losing Weight—by Eating MORE by our very own, Keri Glassman.

5 Snacks for Weight Loss

No need to stock up on trendy foods—these tried and true classic snacks will help you fill up without seeing the number rise on the scale.

Greek Yogurt

Compared to those who had no snack or ate a low-protein pick, an afternoon snack of Greek yogurt with 24 grams of protein, (about 9 ounces of Stonyfield Organic Plain Whole Milk Greek Yogurt) decreased hunger, boosted fullness, and led to eating a bit less at dinner, according to participants in a study published in the journal, Appetite

For an even bigger health boost, try topping the yogurt with fiber-rich fruit like raspberries or diced pears.

Almonds

In addition to improving cholesterol, a snack of almonds was correlated with less hunger and better blood sugar control in a European Journal of Clinical Nutrition study. Participants ate 43 grams—or about 29 almonds—for a 250-calorie snack that landed them at a lower daily calorie total than those who went sans-snack. The researchers believe the almonds were so satisfying as a weight-loss snack, the individuals had less appetite at subsequent meals and snacks.

An even better way to eat almonds is to cut the portion slightly, and add in some fresh fruit, such as a handful of berries or a half-sliced apple for an additional boost of nutrients. 

RELATED: Raw vs. Roasted vs. Sprouted-Which Nuts Are Healthiest?

Hummus

Compared to a granola bar snack of equal calories or no snack at all, a hummus snack was linked to less later-in-the-day snacking and fewer desserts. Those who eat hummus have a higher “Healthy Eating Index” score, which means that perhaps this nutrient-rich, low-calorie weight loss snack triggers a better choice later in the day as well.

Tack on more fiber, nutrition, and hydration by scooping up hummus with cucumber slices, carrot sticks, or bell pepper wedges.

Hard-Boiled Eggs

Compared to a higher-carb, equally-caloric item, obese individuals who ate eggs felt more satisfied, and ate fewer calories for the next several hours, per a study in the Journal of the American College of Nutriton.

Try two hard-boiled eggs (sprinkled with everything bagel seasoning, or your favorite chopped herb), if desired, for a filling, figure-friendly snack.

Cottage Cheese

This one goes out to all the bedtime snackers. Consuming 30 grams of the protein, cottage cheese, 30 to 60 minutes before bed boosted metabolism of nighttime noshers. (To put this into perspective…an 8-ounce portion of Good Culture 2% Cottage Cheese will get you right around that 30-gram mark). That muscle-building macronutrient can help repair cells while taming your appetite as you rest up. 

(photo credit: Shutterstock)

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