The Most Filling Weight-Loss Snacks, According To Science

In 2016, a study found that most people view healthy food as less filling. But that isn’t necessarily true. If you want a slimming snack, there are plenty of healthy options that fill you up with fewer calories. These options are perfect for people aiming to lose weight.

Slimming snacks keep you satisfied without excess carbs and sugar. You might already have some of these in your kitchen–milk, cheese, and dips are all on the list! Learn about the healthiest snack options for weight loss, according to science.

How Popcorn Can Become A Healthy Snack

Two women eat popcorn at a sports game.
Omar Vega/Getty Images
Omar Vega/Getty Images

If you remove all of the butter and salt, popcorn makes a healthy weight-loss snack. Registered dietitian Amber Pankonin says that popcorn has a high amount of fiber, which can help people feel full. Plus, they’re low in calories, meaning that you can eat quite a bit.

In 2010, researchers compared several 100-calorie snacks. When participants ate popcorn, 94% reported that they felt fuller afterward. Eighty-five percent said that eating popcorn kept them on track during their weight loss journey. If you need some flavor, add chili powder, curry powder, garlic powder, cocoa, or minced lemon.

Cottage Cheese Is The Perfect Late-Night Bite

Cottage cheese is in a blue pot with blue flowers on top.
Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Andia/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Cottage cheese can make a great low-calorie snack, especially before bed. Research in the British Journal of Nutrition analyzed people who ate cottage cheese at night. When participants ate cottage cheese half an hour before bed, they had a lower weight and improved metabolism.

According to researchers, cottage cheese contains a protein called casein, which releases slowly into the body. Overnight, the body breaks it down and improves its metabolic response. Although cottage cheese does not have any fiber, it supplies plenty of protein that can work for a weight loss diet.

Even Half A Glass Of Milk Can Help

Milk is contained in three different glasses.
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

If you need a quick high-protein snack, drink a glass of milk. A 2010 study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that milk-drinkers lose more weight. According to the study, people who drank half a glass of milk every day lost an extra seven pounds over two years.

Researcher Danit Shahar explained that milk’s weight-loss ability comes from its calcium content. Calcium increases vitamin D in the blood, which leads to “greater diet-induced weight loss.” If you’re worried about fat content, opt for low-fat milk with few added sugars.

How To Choose Which Yogurt To Buy

Yogurt containers are stacked on a grocery store shelf.
Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Yogurt is fermented milk that contains healthy probiotics. It is a nutritious snack that can help people lose weight. In the International Journal of Obesity, a study found that yogurt-eaters lost 22% more weight and 61% more body fat than non-yogurt eaters.

But which kind of yogurt should you eat? In an interview with Time, registered dietitian Alissa Rumsey recommended Greek and Icelandic yogurt because they have fewer sugar and additives. With the exception of soy milk, non-dairy yogurts have appetite-suppressing proteins, Rumsey said. Buy yogurts without added fruits and add them yourself.

Apricot’s Effect On The Brain

Dried apricots are stacked in a pile.
Wodicka/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Wodicka/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Believe it or not, apricots can make people feel fuller than other fruits. A study in Molecular Metabolism found that apricots have a unique effect on the brain. When apricots release their nutrients, brain cells called tanycytes react. These cells tell the brain to suppress appetite, making apricots an ideal weight-loss snack.

Dried apricots can also make a sweet snack. Scientists from Penn State University discovered that people who eat dried fruit have healthier diets overall. Just make sure to measure portion sizes. It’s easy to eat too many dried apricots!

Hummus, The Perfect Dip

A person dips a chip into a bowl of hummus.
Matthew Eisman/Getty Images for Food Network Magazine
Dixie D. Vereen/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Hummus has more protein and nutrients than other dips. Because of its fiber and healthy fats, hummus can help people lose weight. In 2014, a national survey found that people who eat hummus are 53% less likely to become obese.

Most hummus is made from chickpeas, although some are created from black beans, soybeans, or lentils. Registered dietitian Kelly Kennedy recommends choosing a hummus with few preservatives or added sugars. Also, get one with healthy oil, such as olive oil. All of these might help you slim down.

Looking For A Dipping Stick? Choose Celery

Slices of celery and baby carrots on a plate next to a bowl of ranch.
Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images
Julia Ewan/The The Washington Post via Getty Images

If you need an edible spoon for peanut butter or hummus, choose celery. This “zero-calorie” food is so low in calories that it’s basically water. Plus, studies have found that celery burns more calories than it contains.

In 2016, scientists studied how celery operates in the body. According to them, celery boosts the rate at which the body burns calories. Not only is it tasty, but celery is also far healthier than choosing chips. You can also add celery to soups, salads, and smoothies.

To Eat Fewer Calories, Have A Pear Before A Meal

On a black plate, a pear is sliced in half.
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Researchers have discovered that eating pears can help people lose weight. According to a study from Louisiana State University, people who eat pears are 35% less likely to become obese. Head researcher Carol O’Neil believes that a pear’s high fiber helps to shed pounds.

In 2003, a Brazilian study analyzed people who ate a pear before meals. After having the snack, participants consumed fewer calories overall. According to scientists, the pear increased peoples’ metabolism and helped them feel fuller. Although pears don’t have much protein, they can still make a filling snack.

How To Pick The Right Trail Mix

A close-up shows trail mix with cashews, almonds, and raisins.
Unkel/ullstein bild via Getty Images
Unkel/ullstein bild via Getty Images

Trail mix combines nuts, dried fruit, and a sweet like chocolate. If you find the right trail mix, you’ll have a great weight-loss snack that also curbs sugar and salt cravings. Registered dietitian Jonathan Valdez says that trail mix is the perfect snack for people with chocolate cravings.

Amy Keating, a Consumer Reports registered dietitian, recommends choosing a trail mix that’s mostly fruit and nuts. Avoid ones with M&Ms and yogurt-covered raisins, which can contribute to weight gain. Instead, pinpoint one with dark chocolate.

Oatmeal Isn’t Just For Breakfast

Dried oats surround a sign that says
Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images
Yuriko Nakao/Getty Images

Oatmeal isn’t only for breakfast. It can also make a great late-night snack because it has fiber that helps you feel full. According to a 2016 study in Nutrients, eating oatmeal consistently for over a month can help people lose weight, even with no other changes in diet.

For a better weight loss option, don’t choose flavored oatmeal. Instead, buy plain wholegrain oatmeal and add some flavor. In an interview with EatingWell, registered dietitian Lisa Valente recommends adding cinnamon, milk, and mashed banana to make delicious, healthy oatmeal.

Make Chia Seed Pudding

Cups of chia seed pudding have caramelized apple and crushed grain cookies.
Anjelika Gretskaia/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Anjelika Gretskaia/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Chia seeds are high in fiber with an impressive amount of nutrients. Two teaspoons of chia seeds offer 40% of your recommended daily fiber, and more fiber aids weight loss. In 2009, a study in Nutrition Research determined that chia seeds can shrink fat and blood pressure in overweight adults.

So how can you eat chia seeds as a snack? Create chia pudding. Since chia seeds rapidly absorb water, you only need to add a liquid and let them soak. Combine the seeds with milk, yogurt, water, or juice, and add healthy toppings such as fruit and nuts.

All You Need Is A Bit Of Peanut Butter

A slab of peanut butter is on a plate.
Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Peanut butter can suppress blood sugar and reduce a person’s appetite. That, combined with its high protein, makes it a perfect weight-loss snack. According to a scientific review in The Journal of Nutrition, eating peanuts before a meal can increase feelings of fullness. If you need a quick snack before dinner, choose peanut butter.

Another study from Harvard said that you don’t need to eat peanut butter every day. When participants ate peanut butter twice a week, they lost more weight over eight years than those who didn’t.

If You Have A Sweet Tooth, Eat Dried Unsweetened Coconut

Coconut halves lie out in the sun to dry.
Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images
Wolfgang Kaehler/LightRocket via Getty Images

Did you know that you can purchase dried coconut slices? These make excellent weight loss snacks for those with a sweet tooth. Coconut contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs). Research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition determined eating MCTs can help people lose weight.

Researchers believe that coconut can lower peoples’ appetite and encourage calorie-burning. MCTs seem to be incredibly efficient at shrinking belly fat. According to the journal PLoS ONE, MCTs are less likely to be stored as fat than other triglycerides, which can speed up your metabolism.

A Hardboiled Egg Can Burn More Calories

A person cooks hardboiled eggs over a campfire.
In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images
In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images

Eggs have gotten a negative reputation for their high cholesterol, but they also make brilliant weight loss snacks. Because eggs are nutrient and protein-dense, they are very filling. In 2009, London researchers had people eat eggs for breakfast over eight weeks. Participants lost 65% more weight than those who didn’t eat eggs.

According to some studies, eggs can also increase a person’s metabolism. Because they have high protein, they cause the “thermic effect” that burns calories. A high-protein diet can burn 80 to 100 more calories every day, and eating a hardboiled egg can help that.

The Right Amount Of Almonds Can Shed Weight

A large pile of almonds is seen.
Anton NovoderezhkinTASS via Getty Images
Anton NovoderezhkinTASS via Getty Images

Almonds not only make a high-protein snack, but they can also help people lose weight. In 2003, the International Association for the Study of Obesity analyzed almonds. When women went on a low-calorie diet with almonds, it increased weight loss by up to 62%.

Because almonds have high protein and fiber, they make you feel fuller. They are also low-calorie and can fit into almost any diet. However, try not to eat too many almonds. A single serving is 23 almonds, or about a handful.

A Single Apple Will Make You Feel Fuller

Water drips off of an apple that hangs from a tree.
Sebastian Gollnow/picture alliance via Getty Images
Sebastian Gollnow/picture alliance via Getty Images

Being 86% water, apples are low in calories and high in fiber. Scientists have found that eating apples helps people to lose weight. In 2003, a study in Nutrition tracked participants who ate three apples a day. They lost a significant amount of weight within 12 weeks.

But you don’t need to eat three whole apples a day. A single apple is filling, especially if you eat one whole. According to research in the journal Appetite, eating an apple makes people feel fuller than apple juice or applesauce. That’s especially helpful if you eat an apple before a meal.

Opt For Whole Wheat Crackers

A close-up shows the details of a whole wheat cracker.
Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images
Roberto Machado Noa/LightRocket via Getty Images

If you’re a fan of crackers, choose whole-grain crackers. Whole wheat can promote weight loss. According to research in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, whole grains burn more calories during digestion. Over time, this can speed up your metabolism.

On the other hand, white crackers can make you gain weight. Scientists at Tufts University said that refined grains have different carbs that cause weight gain. For a healthy snack, pick up whole-grain crackers with cheese or peanut butter. Just remember not to eat too many!

Edamame Will Keep You Full

A square wooden container contains salted edamame.
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Unlike other soy products, edamame is not sweetened and makes a healthy, natural snack. In 2009, research in the Journal of Nutrition found that edamame increases satiety. It supplies protein and fiber, which keeps people fuller for longer. Plus, a bit of salt is all you need for flavor.

“I can’t think of many foods that low in calories and also that high in protein and fiber,” says registered dietitian Torey Armul. Edamame has all nine amino acids along with healthy omega-3s. For a quick and easy snack, buy microwavable edamame with few preservatives.

How Avocado Lowers Appetite

Half of an avocado lies on a cutting board at a food festival.
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Avocado provides plenty of monounsaturated fats and fiber that can shrink your appetite. In 2013, a study in Nutrition Journal found that eating avocado before a meal can reduce appetite. Participants who ate avocado during lunch had a 40% lower desire to eat afterward.

Scientists have also discovered that avocado can help people eat healthier overall. In 2013, a survey discovered that avocado-eaters tend to have a better daily diet. Their risk of metabolic syndrome decreased by up to 50%. A piece of avocado toast can make a great weight-loss snack.

Want A Healthy Chip Replacement? Try Kale Chips

Kale chips sit on a white plate.
Melissa Renwick/Toronto Star via Getty Images
Melissa Renwick/Toronto Star via Getty Images

Kale chips are kale that has been dried in an oven to become crunchy. Not only do they satisfy cravings for crunchy, salty foods, but they also offer more nutrients than potato chips. Kale contains a lot of water and few calories, which can speed up weight loss, according to the journal Obesity Research.

Registered dietitian Jaclyn London says that eating kale alone cannot make people drop weight. However, kale can boost metabolism, and the chips are far healthier than the alternatives. Drizzle kale with salt and olive oil, and bake it in the oven.

Despite Having Low Protein, Bananas Are Filling

Bundles of bananas sit in rows on shelves.
Danny Gohlke/picture alliance via Getty Images
Danny Gohlke/picture alliance via Getty Images

A common health myth states that bananas make people gain weight, but that is untrue. Harvard Health claims that three cohort studies linked bananas to lower weight. Although bananas have higher calories than other fruits, they offer plenty of fiber and nutrients to aid weight loss.

According to Penn Medicine, bananas feel filling because they digest slowly, which helps people feel satisfied for longer. Bananas might not have a lot of protein, but they’re still filling. If you’re not too hungry but need a snack, grab a banana.

Cauliflower Is A Crunchy Treat

cauliflower lies on a bowl of porridge.
Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post via Getty Images
Bonnie S. Benwick/The Washington Post via Getty Images

Cauliflower is low in calories and high in fiber, making it an ideal weight-loss snack. It also has some quality fiber that makes it digest slowly. According to the scientific journal Nutrients, cauliflower’s slow digestion helps people feel fuller for longer.

Cauliflower is also 92% water, which also supports weight loss. In 2016, another Nutrients study determined that water-dense food can shed pounds. These foods are low-calorie and burn more than they add. Bake some cauliflower with curry powder for a tasty, crunchy snack.

Whey Protein Does More Than Build Muscle

Jars of whey protein are for sale.
EMPICS Sport – PA Images via Getty Images
EMPICS Sport – PA Images via Getty Images

Protein powders can promote weight loss, depending on the type you buy. Whey protein is a great contender. According to a 2008 study in Nutrition & Metabolism, whey protein shakes can help people lose more weight and build more muscle mass.

Having a high-protein snack can also cut cravings. In 2011, a study in the journal Obesity examined people who ate protein for 25% of their diet. These participants had 60% fewer cravings than people on a low-protein diet. Since a scoop of why powder offers two grams of protein, it could keep you satisfied until your next meal.

Why Brown Rice Can Work As A Snack

A small white bowl contains brown rice.
MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images
MediaNews Group/Bay Area News via Getty Images

Do you have some rice leftover from a meal? If it’s brown rice, it could make a decent snack. In 2018, researchers discovered that brown rice could aid weight loss far better than white rice. It contains fewer carbs and more fiber than other rices, making it ideal for weight loss.

According to The British Journal of Nutrition, brown rice can even improve cholesterol levels. It speeds up a person’s metabolism and encourages healthy bowel movements, which can help weight loss. If you’ve never thought of brown rice as a snack, you might want to try it.

Mozzarella Has Less Fat Than Other Cheeses

Two lumps of mozzarella are on a salad.
Eddy Buttarelli/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Eddy Buttarelli/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Compared to other cheeses, mozzarella is low in calories and fat. Shona Wilkinson, a nutritionist from Superfood UK, says that mozzarella can easily keep people full in between meals. It has high protein and low salt and carbohydrates.

A single slice of mozzarella offers 205 mg of calcium, and calcium can speed up weight loss. According to a study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, dieters who eat more calcium tend to lose more weight. Some tomato and mozzarella can make a delicious, low-calorie snack for weight loss.

Shrimp Cocktail Is The Ultimate Appetizer

Four pieces of shrimp stick out of a container of cocktail sauce.
Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images
Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Shrimp and cocktail sauce aren’t just reserved for parties. In general, eating more fish can help people lose weight. In the International Journal of Obesity, scientists discovered that eating five grams of fish per week can help people shed two extra pounds.

Shrimp has high protein but lower calories than meat. It also has fewer connective tissues than meat, which makes it easier to digest and burn more calories. For a low-sugar alternative to cocktail sauce, add lemon, garlic powder, cayenne, or Italian seasoning.

How To Choose The Right Weight-Loss Granola

Homemade granola pours from a bowl onto wax paper.
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
Natasha Breen/REDA&CO/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

Many dietitians debate over whether granola can be a healthy snack. During a New York Times survey, 80% of Americans said that granola was healthy, but only 47% of nutritionists agreed. Granola can aid weight loss, depending on the type you get.

Avoid granola bars. The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics found that 90% of granola bars contain caloric sweeteners. Instead, get bagged granola or make your own. Registered dietitian Dawn Orsaeo advises against granola with honey, chocolate, or peanut butter flavoring. Choose a granola with few preservatives and sugar.

A Slice Of Turkey Goes A Long Way

Turkey slices are stacked on an appetizer dish.
Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images
Mel Melcon/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

A single slice of turkey can go a long way. In 2010, scientists from the University of Copenhagen advised people to eat more turkey and less mashed potatoes. A diet with many lean meats and low in carbs is crucial to weight loss, they found. Turkey fulfills both of these requirements.

Turkey has less fat than other meat and just as much protein; a single ounce offers eight grams of protein. Roll up a turkey slice with a tortilla for a quick and tasty snack. If you’re counting calories, remember that white meat has fewer calories than dark meat.

If You’re Extra Hungry, Eat A Can Of Tuna

Four cans of tuna are stacked at a grocery store.
Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images
Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Canned tuna is an excellent snack for people who need more protein. A single can supplies 11 grams of protein and plenty of omega-3 fatty acids. Registered dietitian Liz Weiss told EatingWell that tuna provides lean protein and many nutrients that people don’t get enough of.

That said, we aren’t saying to go on the tuna diet. The tuna diet is a low-calorie crash diet that focuses on tuna, and it is not sustainable. However, an occasional can of tuna when you’re hungry can keep you feeling satisfied until your next meal.

The Best Berry For Weight Loss: Blueberries

Rectangular containers of blueberries are stacked on top of each other.
Yurii Rylchuk/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images
Yurii Rylchuk/ Ukrinform/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Blueberries are some of the best berries for weight loss. In 2009, scientists from the University of Michigan asserted that blueberries could burn belly fat. During an animal study, rats had lower fat on a blueberry diet, even while they were on a high-fat diet.

And it isn’t just animal studies. According to Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, blueberry’s phytochemicals can help both men and women with obesity. Blueberries lower blood sugar and enhance a person’s metabolism. If you don’t want to eat blueberries alone, add some to yogurt or cereal.