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How to snack your way to your happy weight

If you’re booked and busy but still trying to shed pounds, you can stay healthy while you’re on the go with these high-protein portable snacks.

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Sisters Staff (Getty Images, 3; Shutterstock, 1)
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If you love to snack, you may think this will keep you from achieving any health and fitness goals you set for the year. Think again. Healthy snacks that are high in protein could help you lose inches or shift the number on the scale.

There’s no magic wand for weight loss, but protein is a key ingredient in the recipe for success.

Andrea Mathis, the body-positive registered dietician behind the wildly popular @beautifuleatsandthings platform on Instagram, explains that protein can help you feel fuller.

“And if you’re eating it with your snack, it can also help to keep you satisfied so that you're not grabbing chips and cookies,” she says.

The Recommended Dietary Allowance for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. That’s about 0.36 grams per pound. So a 170-pound woman would need around 60 grams of protein a day, depending on her height, age and activity level.

After wrestling with her weight for most of her life, in 2020, Deidra Diaz found a way to drop – and keep off – 80 pounds. This time when Diaz tried to lose weight, she didn’t turn to starvation diets. She turned to protein.

“I learned trying to starve yourself wasn't going to work because eventually you’re going to overeat,” she says.

Instead, Diaz eats six times a day, every two to three hours. She plans all her meals and snacks and makes sure she adds protein to each.

“Incorporating protein made a difference, not only in how I felt, but it helped me to maintain the journey,” Diaz says.

So instead of depriving yourself of snacks, reach for healthy, high protein options that won’t wreck your weight loss goals.

Here are some protein-rich snacks that are easy to eat when you’re on-the-go.

Hard boiled eggs

Serving size: 1 egg
Protein: 6 grams

One egg offers 6 grams of protein but has only about 72 calories. Lean protein options that fill you up without packing in too many calories are key for healthy weight loss.

Cottage cheese

Serving size: half cup
Protein: 14 grams

Mathis shares that one of her grandmother’s favorite snacks was cottage cheese and fruit.1 Granny was on to something because a half-cup serving of low-fat cottage cheese has 14 grams of protein and is relatively low in calories.

Greek yogurt

Serving size: 6 oz.
Protein: 17 grams

Not only does Greek yogurt contain much more protein than regular yogurt, but it’s also lower in carbs. Layer on some granola and your favorite berries for the perfect parfait.


Serving size: 2 tbsp
Protein: 2 grams

If you’re looking for some plant-based protein options, be sure to add hummus to your shopping list. Mathis recommends scooping your hummus with veggie sticks. This will give you a satisfying crunch and an extra boost of nutrients.

Turkey Jerky

Serving size: 1 oz
Protein: 12 grams

Jerky has become come a popular high-protein snack but be cautious.

“Those can be a good choice, but you want to look at that nutrition label,” Mathis says.

“They do have a good source of protein, but you have to be careful about the sodium content.”

Search for low-sodium options if you’re adding jerky to your snack rotation.

Almond butter

Serving size: 1 tbsp
Protein: 3.4 grams

Sliced apples aren’t just a good snack for your grandkids. Smooth on some almond butter (with no salt or sugar added) and you have a guilt-free, protein-rich sweet treat to enjoy. Diaz likes to add a bit of cinnamon to her apple slices too.

Turkey slices

Serving size: 1 slice
Protein: 3.58 grams

Diaz often enjoys sliced turkey between meals. Instead of buying pre-packaged turkey, she picks out her slices at her local deli.

Cheese sticks

Serving size: 1 piece
Protein 7 grams

No, don’t go snacking on those fried mozzarella sticks served at your favorite sports bar and grill. But a stick of low-fat string cheese can give you as much protein as an egg.

Eat what you enjoy.

If you’re trying to lose weight, this doesn’t mean you have to feel hungry or miserable. Mathis and Diaz both say it’s important to choose healthy snacks you actually want to eat.

“When you choose things that you enjoy, you're more than likely to stick with that for longer term,” Mathis explains.

That said, portion control still matters.

“Just because a snack may be considered healthier, that doesn't give you the excuse to overeat,” Mathis says. “Too much of anything is not good.”

Follow Article Topics: Health