The secret to staying on a diet and still be in a good mood? Don’t starve yourself — just make healthier choices. When those cravings hit, reach for healthy snacks that fill you up with nutrients, fiber, and satisfying flavour.
Here are some snack options that you can quickly prepare and pack in the morning. When your stomach starts to rumble in the middle of the day, you’won’t be tempted to call for delivery or get chips from the vendo machine.
Do you know how your brain just shuts down in the afternoon, and even a simple email takes forever to write? Grab a banana. These contain vitamin B6, which help prevent cognitive decline. They can even fight PMS mood swings and belly bloat.
2. Nut butter
Peanut butter, almond butter, walnut butter — they all taste amazing. You can spread it on bread, or just dip a teaspoon straight into a jar. It’s packed with protein and can satisfy your craving for something sweet and creamy.
3. Greek yoghurt
If you can’t have ice cream, this is the next best thing. It’s creamy and indulgent, has less calories and sugar, and is heaven when it’s half-frozen! You also get protein, calcium, B vitamins, and good bacteria that helps your gut.
4. Hot coffee
Diet coach Sheila Yang says that a hot drink after lunch can help kill the temptation to order dessert. Coffee also helps suppress your appetite, because it increase a hormone that makes you feel full.
5. Cottage cheese and whole wheat crackers
One cup of cottage cheese is only 163 calories, but it’s 70% protein. Spread it on savory crackers as a healthier alternative to chips and dip. “It’s salty, crunchy, and creamy — the same textures and flavours but with a lot less fat!” says nutritionist Sam Winfield.
6. Roasted almonds
Almonds are full of antioxidants and healthy oils. Diet coach Sheila Yang says you should keep a jar by your computer to fight stress eating. “Sometimes you’re not hungry — you just have nervous energy and want to pick at something. Ideally, you should distract yourself with something that’s not food. But if you really want to eat something, slowly eat almonds one by one. You satisfy your craving and help yourself settle down.”
Unfortunately, microwave popcorn does contain transfat that can worsen belly fat, so this isn’t a snack you should be indulging in every day. But you can make it a treat, especially if you’re the type who loves chips! Just avoid flavoured varieties like cheese and butter, which hide a lot of calories.
Olives can satisfy your craving for something salty and savoury. They have very few calories but are full of plant compounds that can fight heart disease and cancer.
9. Edamame Beans
We love adding edamame beans to salads, but they’re also delicious healthy snacks! One cup of beans is just 190 calories (and you’ll feel full long before you finish it). It has vitamins, minerals, fiber and protein.
10. Veggie sticks and hummus dip
Seriously, you won’t miss your chips! Fresh, crunchy vegetables dipped into creamy, savoury hummus — mmmmmm! To save time, pre-cut your vegetables the night before and plunge them into an ice bath (basically, water with a lot of ice cubes). This will make them super crunchy! You can use carrots, cucumbers, jicama, and green beans. One of the easiest healthy snacks to prepare.
11. Avocado toast
Remember when everyone was posting avocado toast pics on Instagram? Well, it may not be as trendy now but it’s still tasty and healthy. Avocado has healthy fats, fiber, and phytochemicals that fight hunger pangs and disease.
12. Canned salmon or tuna
These healthy proteins are good for the heart and can be used to create many different healthy snacks. Eat them straight out of the can, mix with a little low-fat mayo for a dip or spread, or add to lettuce for a hearty salad.
13. Roasted chickpeas
So cheap, so easy to prepare, so healthy! Just toss chickpeas in spices and bake in the oven, and you have a huge batch to nibble on for the next few days. They’re full of micronutrients like folate, manganese, and iron.
14. Sweet potato fries
Miss french fries? Just make them with sweet potatoes. They’re healthier than regular potatoes, and are full of fiber that will make you feel full. You can bake them instead of frying them to lower fat content.
One of our favourite midnight snacks! Aside from the protein and vitamins, the magnesium can actually help you get better sleep.