It seems as if everyone loves snacking. I’ll be honest, I’m in the minority here because I am not a huge snacker. I typically prefer to follow intermittent fasting and eat bigger meals, less often. However, since getting pregnant, snacking definitely seems to be occurring more frequently since bigger meals don’t sit too well in my stomach anymore.
Many times I’ll see “weight loss” articles and such giving advice that if you’re trying to lose weight you should cut out the snacks. To be frank, this advice is trash. Weight loss comes down to the energy balance you have – eating fewer calories than your maintenance and increasing your energy output in the form of exercise and/or NEAT (non-exercise activity thermogenesis).
So, snack lovers.. you’re in luck. It doesn’t matter how many times a day you eat. You could eat one meal or 15 mini-meals. As long as you stay within your necessary caloric intake based on your goals, you’ll be good to go.
I prefer to get most of my calories from whole foods, and foods with lots of micronutrients! These are typically also more voluminous, meaning you get to eat more for fewer calories (i.e. fruits, veggies, etc).
Without further ado, here are my favorites “healthy” snack ideas for when you’re feeling snacky, needing something to hold you over until your next meal, and more.
- Hummus . High in protein, fiber, folate, iron, phosphorus, and B vitamins. Hummus is delicious and so versatile. I personally love to cut up fresh veggies to dip them in the hummus. Veggies such as cucumbers, celery, and carrots are my personal favorites. You can also make homemade pita chips to dip into the hummus or spread it on rice cakes!
- Fruit. Great source of potassium, fiber, folate, and vitamin C. One of my favorite things to do is to buy a ton of different fruits, cut them up, and make my own fruit salad for the week. Lately, it has been a mix of watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, grapes, and possibly pineapple.
- Peanut butter. Source of protein, fiber, potassium, healthy fats, and magnesium. My favorite is to pair it with a fresh apple (sweet tango has been my jam lately), but you could also slather onto toast, add some banana or jelly, or even a rice cake (caramel is bomb).
- Popcorn. Provides whole grains, fiber, and antioxidants. Who doesn’t like popcorn? I personally love the 100 calorie packs of butter popcorn or kettle corn for something sweet.
- Avocado Toast. Avocado is packed with vitamins (K, C, B5, B6, E), potassium, Folate, monounsaturated fatty acids, fiber, and other antioxidants. This has been my obsession recently, especially on sourdough toast. So good. I’ll either just mash-up fresh avocado and put salt/pepper and possibly sliced tomato, or even make my own guacamole and put that on top.
- Greek yogurt or cottage cheese with fruit. The yogurt contains probiotics, protein, B12, potassium, iodine, and calcium. The cottage cheese contains various minerals (calcium, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, zinc, selenium), and is also high in protein and B complex vitamins. If you eat dairy, both of these are the best bang for your buck in terms of macros. Both are extremely high in protein and lower in carbs (and fats if you get the lower fat options). I love sweetening plain greek yogurt with stevia and adding in fruit and/or cereal or mixing it with flavored greek yogurt as well. As for the cottage cheese, I like it savory or if I’m eating it sweet mixing it with canned pineapple is my favorite way to eat it.
- Protein smoothie. An awesome way to pack in a lot of nutrients into a delicious-tasting drink. My go-to smoothie looks something like this: ice, almond milk, frozen bananas & possibly other frozen fruit like berries, vegan protein powder, spinach, stevia. You can’t taste the spinach, I promise. Smoothies are so versatile, too, so if you’re craving chocolate? Make a chocolate peanut butter smoothie instead of fruit.
- Homemade protein treats. One of my favorite things to do is experiment in the kitchen and make big batches of homemade protein bars, muffins, breads, balls, or cookies and have them for the week. Muffins and bars are my go-to, but these protein treats are usually extremely easy to make and more nutritious than their packaged friends.
- Nuts/Trail Mix. Packed with protein and healthy fats & important omega-3 fatty acids. Everyone loves nuts. Seriously. While yes they are higher in calories and fats, they are healthier fats and are a great source of energy and will fill you up. Just be careful with your portion sizes. You can make your own mixed nut mix and even your own trail mix with multiple types of nuts, dried fruit, and chocolate.
- Edamame. Good source of plant-protein and rich in folate. Plus, it’s delicious! Heat it up, flavor it with salt, and enjoy.
I want to hear from you!
What are your favorite snacks?