It’s 3pm. Your stomach is growling and your focus is off in left field. You head to the fridge in hope of the one delicious snack that's going to be high in protein and healthy, only to find a bunch of junk sure to wreck your best intentions to stick to your weight loss plan. 

Welcome to the snack attack, a major diet saboteur for everyone at some point.

You may have tried in the past to keep good-for-you snacks around, things like fat free pretzels, 100-calorie packs, granola bars, and fruit yogurt. But so-called “healthy” snacks might not be as good for you (or for weight loss) as you think.

A truly healthy snack is more like a mini meal than a traditional “snack.” It is moderate in calories (around 200, as long as it fits in your daily calorie allotment), based on REAL food, and contain a good ratio of complex carbs, protein, and fat. Snacks like this keep you satisfied all day, stabilize your blood sugar level, and curtail food cravings.

Planning ahead for healthy snacks and meals is imperative for permanent, successful weight maintenance. You shouldn’t be faced with just 2 choices: junk food or go hungry! These 6 slimming snacks are sure to please. All make one serving, are quick and easy to prepare, contain between 200 and 220 calories and deliver a nice balance of protein, fat, complex carbs, and fiber.

 

Avocado Hummus Dip

This is the yum that happens when hummus meets up with buttery chunks of ripe avocado. This snack can be doubled, put on a pile of salad greens, and called lunch.

You will need:

  • 4 tbsp your favorite hummus
  • 1/3 cup diced up avocado
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 cup sliced raw veggies (peppers, jicama, celery, carrots, cucumber, etc.)

 

Stir the hummus and avocado together. Grab a veggie and go to town.

 

Per Serving:

211 calories
11.5 g fat
1 g saturated fat
0 mg cholesterol
25 g carbohydrates
9 g fiber
5.8 g sugar
6 g protein

  

Instant Almond Oat Cookie 

A cookie in the nuker? Yup. This cookie is gluten free, dairy free, egg free, and added sugar free. Plus it is so satisfying. Soft and slightly chewy, you can make more and store them in an airtight container for several days. Unlike a typical cookie, the fat and protein in the almond meal and low sugar content help with staying power and blood sugar control.

You will need:

  • 3 tbsp quick cooking oats
  • 2.5 tbsp almond meal
  • generous pinch each of baking powder, cinnamon, and salt
  • 2 tbsp applesauce
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp raisins

 

Mix all together and shape into 1 to 3 flattish cookies on a microwave safe plate. Microwave for a minute, check for doneness; if it needs more time, give it 10 seconds at a time more.

 

Per serving:

202 calories
10 g fat
0.5 g saturated fat
0 mg cholesterol
24 g carbohydrates
5 g fiber
9 g sugar
6 g protein

 

Quark Chia Parfait

Step aside, Greek yogurt, make room for quark. This soft cheese has a consistency like sour cream; it’s less tart than yogurt and has more more protein. Like yogurt, it’s a good source of probiotics, to help keep your digestive healthy and regular. Find it by the yogurt in the grocery store.

You will need:

  • 1 6-ounce container plain fat free quark
  • 1 tbsp raw chia seeds
  • ½ cup of berries (blueberries, raspberries, strawberries or blackberries)
  • 1 packet Stevia sweetener (optional)

 

Stir together all ingredients and enjoy!

 

Per serving:

200 calories
4.7 g fat
0.5 g saturated fat
22.7 g carbohydrates
7 g fiber
13 g sugar
21 g protein

  

Microwave Egg MugMuffin

For this healthier twist on a popular breakfast treat, all you need is a microwave and a mug. You can add any veggies you have on hand or our favorite topping… hot sauce!

You will need:

  • Cooking Spray
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ½ tbsp chopped onion
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Ezekiel English Muffin
  • 1 slice tomato
  • A few leaves of baby spinach

 

Toast the muffin and the inside of a mug with cooking spray. Add onion, egg whites, add salt and pepper and whisk together.

Microwave for 15 seconds, stir, and continue to microwave in 10-20 second intervals until cooked through.

Assemble sandwich on English Muffin with tomato and spinach.

 

Per serving:

200 calories
1 g fat
0 g saturated fat
0 mg cholesterol
32 g carbohydrates
6.6 g fiber
1 g sugar
16 g protein

 

Power Protein Trail Mix

Store-bought trail mixes are often packed with refined carbs and sugar, but this recipe shuffles up the macros with something a little different — chewy, savory Jerky! Plus it’s got healthy fats and minerals from the nuts and seeds. The dried fruit adds and just the right amount of sweetness.

You will need:

  • 1 ounce turkey or vegan jerky pieces
  • 1 tbsp raw sliced almonds
  • 1 tbsp pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • 1 tbsp dried tart cherries
  • 1 tbsp dried blueberries

 

Place all the ingredients in a container or baggie, and throw it into your gym bag for later, if you can wait that long.

 

Per serving:

217 calories
7.7 g fat
0.8 g saturated fat
32 mg cholesterol (0 if you use vegan jerky)
18 g carbohydrates
5 g fiber
10 g sugar
18 g protein

Machine-Free Chocolate Peanut Butter Nice Cream 

This is the best snack when you’re craving something sweet, creamy, and indulgent. This recipe has no added sugar and tastes amazing. Freeze the banana at least a day in advance; peel it first and wrap in plastic.

You will need:

  • 1 medium very ripe frozen banana
  • 8 grams (about 1/4 scoop) chocolate protein powder
  • 2 tsp smooth natural peanut butter
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch salt

 

Place all ingredients in a blender or food processor. Blend until creamy. If you like a firmer texture, pop it in the freezer for a little while.

(This recipe is best made in larger batches and frozen in single serve portions.)

 

Per serving:

202 calories
6.4 g fat
1.3 g saturated fat
0 mg cholesterol
30.9 g carbohydrates
5 g fiber
16 g sugar
9 g protein

by Dina Aronson and Alyssa Reyes

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