Americans have a dual obsession with snacking and eating more protein. In fact, recent surveys have revealed that 91 percent of adults snack at least once a day and 71 percent actively aim to add more protein to their diet. Good news if you fall into both camps: science is in favor of consuming—and combining—the two. Adding low-sugar, protein-packed snacks to your daily diet can help fuel weight loss efforts by boosting metabolism and reducing hunger pangs. Sounds like a delicious way to drop a few extra pounds to us!
Luckily, you don’t have to keep bags of chicken breast or turkey in your bag in order to reap the benefits. There are plenty of portable, non-perishable ways sneak in some protein. Next time you go to the grocery store, don’t get overwhelmed and load up on your go-to snacks. With this list as your guide, shopping and snacking for weight loss have never been easier.
Be careful to avoid sodium- and sugar-filled brands, but low-sodium, natural, or lightly-flavored options are a great source of protein.
Mixed nuts provide an easy way to get a delicious dose of protein in a convenient, shelf-stable package. Try a mixed bunch for variety and a combo with dried fruit for some added sweetness.
Those orange gourds aren’t just for carving. Pumpkin insides, scooped out to make room for spooky faces, can actually make a healthy little snack full of fiber and immunity-protecting zinc once they’re washed, dried, and nicely roasted.
Greek Yogurt and Granola
Picture sitting on a Greek isle with this snack in hand. Along with a higher level of protein than regular yogurt, the Greek stuff provides plenty of calcium and probiotics to fight inflammation. Now soak in that (imaginary) view and enjoy!
No, we’re not going back to preschool. But chocolate milk is actually a great source of high-quality protein (especially post-workout). Try keeping a single-serving, shelf-stable box in your gym bag or backpack for snack attack emergencies—just try to find one that’s also low in sugar!
Tuna and Crackers
Along with protein, canned tuna adds some vitamin D and omega-3 fatty acids to your mid-afternoon munchies.
Hard-boiled Egg and Avocado Bowl
Just two hard-boiled eggs packs 12 grams of protein and they taste great chopped up and mixed with avocado, red bell peppers, and onion.
Honey Nut Energy Bites
Are you a fan of Honey Nut Cheerios? How about chocolate chips? Yes? Well when you combine them with some Greek yogurt and peanut butter, you’ve got a high-protein treat that most people would confuse with dessert! Greek yogurt is extremely good for you, especially if you buy the kind with zero percent fat, and one serving usually has about 17 grams of protein.
Bananas, protein powder and coconut milk? YES. For athletes, these frozen treats are a great alternative to drinking boring shakes day after day. And for everyone else, they’re a dessert with way more nutritional value than a cup of ice cream.
Low Fat Cheese Sticks
One stick of string cheese gives you about eight grams of protein, and if you buy a low-fat version, you’re looking at a high protein snack that comes in at under four grams of fat. Packing yourself two low-fat cheese sticks and an apple may make you feel like you’re back in elementary school, but hey, if it gave you energy to run around during recess back then, this snack will certainly power you though the second part of your day.
Egg White Oatmeal
Oats are a great source of dietary fiber, and when you combine them with egg whites, you get one of the healthiest breakfasts around. The fiber from the oats and the protein from the egg whites will keep you full all day, and if you think it’s odd to combine the two, just give this recipe a whirl. You probably won’t even know the egg whites are in there!
Cashew Coconut Fudge
When it comes to fat, cashews rank pretty low compared to other nuts, and when it comes to fudge, it’s always fantastic when you can have more than one piece – and feel good about it! The best thing about this recipe is that you can make it two ways, vegan or Paleo.