Need a Healthy Snack? Think Foods High in Protein

Need a Healthy Snack? Think Foods High in Protein

If just the thought of starting another diet leaves you hungrier than a teenager at soccer camp, we've got two words for you: protein snacks. Yes, plural when it comes to healthy snack ideas! Adding not one but two high-protein snacks a day to a weight loss program sets you up for three rewards:

  • More satisfaction and less hunger, so sticking with a diet is easier.
  • More weight loss -- up to double what you get with snacks that have the same calories but more carbs, such as granola bars or crackers.
  • A healthier muscle-to-fat ratio when you hit your goal, which increases coordination, too. (Salsa lessons, anyone?)

Keeping muscle is a priority for anyone who's trying to lose weight, especially if you're old enough to have seen the Beatles or I Love Lucy the first time around. That's because you naturally lose muscle as you get older. Muscle cells burn more calories than fat does, so building muscle helps keep that weight off. Here's where those healthy snacks come in: Your body needs protein to make muscle.

What belongs on your high-protein snack list?

  • A cup of plain, fat-free, no-sugar-added Greek yogurt sprinkled with walnuts.
  • A few slices of broiled or baked chicken breast (skip the skin).
  • A glass of skim milk and a hard-boiled egg.
  • Hummus smeared on red pepper strips.
  • Peanut butter stuffed into celery.
  • A yummy smoothie made from silken tofu mixed with berries, peaches, soy milk, oat bran, wheat germ, orange juice, flaxseed and carrot.

Eat this high-protein food for calories that don't count.

Medically reviewed in July 2018.

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