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6 Dietitian-Approved Snacks to Help Manage Your Weight

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Key Takeaways

  • Snacking can be an important part of your weight management plan.
  • Snacks should contain a balance of nutrients like protein, carbohydrates, fiber, and certain fats.
  • Some dietician-approved snacks include avocado toast, milk, and fruit and walnuts.

If you're working on managing your weight, you might have been advised against snacking. However, eating balanced meals and snacks can help you lose weight. According to research published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition, eating three meals and two snacks per day can help you achieve your weight goal and maintain it. 

Snacking for Weight Management

When you're choosing snacks to support your weight and health goals, make sure that you include foods that contain a balance of key nutrients.

As you plan your snacks, get creative by combining foods that pack a nutritional punch and complement one another in terms of taste. To help you get started, here are six dietitian-approved snack combos for weight management.

Walnuts

Loaded with plant-based protein, healthy fats, and fiber, a handful of these little nuts is a nutritional powerhouse. 

The fat in walnuts, in particular, can have a profound effect on weight. According to a 2019 study published in the journal BMC Nutrition, a diet rich in polyunsaturated fat can improve fat metabolism.

One small study that was published in 2017 found that eating walnuts for five days in a row actually changed how the brain responded to cravings. The researchers used an MRI machine to watch the brain activity of people who were looking at desirable foods like desserts.

In the people who had been eating walnuts, the researchers noticed that there was increased activity in the part of the brain connected to feeling less hungry. The increase was not noted in the people who had not been eating walnuts. The study's findings suggested that walnuts might have a positive effect on how the brain responds to hunger cues.

Snacking Tip: Pair a serving of protein-packed walnuts with a small piece of fruit to add carbohydrates.

2% Milk

When an afternoon slump strikes, try pouring a glass of 2% dairy milk instead of reaching for a sugary or caffeinated beverage. Milk is a natural source of calcium and vitamin D, two nutrients that may help some people support weight loss.

Snacking Tip: 2% milk has a natural combination of fats, carbohydrates, and protein that make it a balanced source of nutrition.

Dairy foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt contain high-quality protein. Research has shown that eating a higher-protein diet can help you manage your weight and feel fuller longer.

In addition, a higher-protein eating pattern can help maintain lean body mass while you’re losing weight. 

Strawberries 

Having some strawberries at snack time can satisfy your sweet tooth and give you a boost of carbohydrates and fiber.

A clinical research study published in Food and Function suggested that eating strawberries might help lower blood sugar levels and inflammation, especially when eaten with two hours of a meal.

Reducing inflammation might be able to help you with your health goals because chronic inflammation has been linked to weight loss challenges.

Snacking Tip: Combine one serving (8) of strawberries with a protein source like a piece of cheese or nuts for a satisfying and simple snack. You can also drizzle some balsamic vinegar on top of them for extra decadence.

Peanut Butter on Whole-Grain Crackers

Natural peanut butter (with no added sugar or salt) is one of the best foods to help you feel satisfied. Research has also shown that eating foods made with peanuts can help you burn more calories when you are in a resting state. 

In one study from 2002, people who ate peanuts for eight weeks instead of other fat sources experienced an 11% increase in their resting energy expenditure, meaning that they used up more energy when they were in a “resting state” compared to the people who did not eat peanuts.   

Snacking Tip: Pair some peanut butter with whole-grain crackers. The peanut butter fuels your body with calorie-burning peanuts along with natural fats and protein to help you stay satisfied. The whole-grains will give you the carbohydrates and fiber your body needs for energy and staying power. 

Avocado Toast

Avocado toast is more than just a trendy dish—it's an easy mid-day nosh that can keep you feeling satisfied for longer.

Snacking Tip: Top a slice of whole-grain toast with freshly-mashed avocado for an easy and tasty combination of fat, fiber, and carbohydrates. For an added kick, sprinkle some red pepper flakes on top.

Rather than containing saturated fats, avocados are a rich source of the healthier fats that research has shown can help prevent body fat distribution around the mid-section.

Hummus and Veggies

Chickpeas are both a protein source and a nutrient-packed vegetable. As a natural source of fiber, carbohydrates, protein, and a little fat, garbanzos can be the base for a tasty and versatile snack.

Whipping up some fresh hummus is a delicious way to give your body a slew of important nutrients to support your weight goals and overall health.

Snacking Tip: If you're looking for a crunchy snack, hummus and veggies are a great alternative to chips and dip. Try dipping fresh vegetables in chickpea-based hummus.

  

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Article Sources
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