It's fairly well known that I'm not a fan of snacks, generally speaking. As a Nutritionist, I rarely find them useful for gut health or weight loss goals. However, there are times when a snack might be needed, such as if you accidentally underate and need something to help get you to your next meal without reaching for sugary, salty treats.
With this in mind, it's best to know which snacks will support your goals and which won't.
Unfortunately, most snack foods are designed to be overeaten due to the high starch/sugar and low fiber or protein content. Think of most snack items like goldfish, granola bars, pretzels and dried fruit ~ high sugar or high refined carbs.
These refined sugars and carbs spike our storing hormone insulin, make it very easy to overeat and don't provide any quality protein.
Protein is required to help maintain muscle mass during the weight loss process. Without enough quality protein, the body starts to lose muscle mass which lowers the metabolism and makes it harder to burn fat as fuel.
The best snacks to support a weight loss goal are those that are rich in high quality protein, while also being low in ultra processed carbohydrates (starches and sugars).
Below are my top high protein snacks to help support a weight loss goal.
Each snack has been optimized to contain at least 10 grams of complete protein to help reduce hunger and easily get you to your next meal.
1. Beef Sticks
Beef sticks are similar to beef jerky, but they tend to have a bit more satiating fat. Beef sticks have about 8-9 grams of protein per serving. To hit at least 10 grams of protein, you can snack on 2 beef (or turkey or bison!) sticks.
My favorite brands are Country Archer and PaleoValley.
2. Baked Cheeses
Baked cheeses are an excellent swap for potato or tortilla chips. Baked cheeses, such as Parm Crisps, are made entirely from baked parmesan cheese and nothing else. Each serving has around 9 grams of protein, so you can have about 13-15 crisps to hit 10 grams of protein.
Parm Crisps is my favorite brand, which can be found HERE. But you can also make baked parmesan at home.
3. Protein Hot Chocolate
This recipe has zero grams of added sugar and up to 18 grams of complete protein! This is my go-to treat when I want something a little sweet.
Grab the recipe HERE.
4. 1.3 oz. Sliced Hard Cheeses
Hard cheeses like parmesan and aged cheddar are fairly high in protein. Just 1.3 oz. of parmesan comes in at around 10 grams of complete protein.
5. .75 oz. Pork Rinds
These might not sound healthy, but pork rinds are actually high in both protein and an amino acid called glycine. Glycine is needed to help repair tissues within the body and helps to create the powerful antioxidant called glutathione. Pork rinds are a much better alternative if you're craving chips or crackers.
I like the brand 4505 (especially the jalapeño cheddar ones... YUM.)
6. Hard Boiled eggs
Forever a classic! 2 hard boiled eggs provides 12 grams of complete protein.
7. 1/2 Cup Cottage Cheese + 1/2 Cup Berries
You either love cottage cheese or you hate it. I'm totally team cottage cheese! Try pairing 1/2 cup cottage cheese with berries for 14 grams of complete protein.
8. 1/2 Cup Greek Yogurt or Skyr + 1/2 Cup Berries
Skyr is similar to greek yogurt, but it's even higher in protein. Just 1/2 cup skyr will provide 14 grams of complete protein.
I like the brand Siggi's.
9. Protein Mug Cake
My pumpkin spice protein mug cake is packed with 26 grams of complete protein and tastes AMAZING. Plus, it can be made in a matter of minutes. Simple AND delicious.
Grab the recipe HERE.
10. Savory Cottage Cheese Bowl
Try pairing 1/2 cup cottage cheese with a sprinkle of black pepper and some sliced cucumbers for a savory take on a cottage cheese bowl.
11. 1 Bag Tuna (or Salmon)
Each "bag" of tuna (or salmon) comes in at around 26 grams of complete protein. You can even find it in yummy flavors like garlic herb or rosemary dijon.
My favorite brand is called Safe Catch.
12. 1 Scoop Protein Powder + 8 oz. Milk of Choice
If you're really in a pinch for time, this is a lifesaver. Try pairing 1-2 scoops of my zero sugar protein powder (the Chocolate flavor would be perfect for this) with 8 oz. of your milk of choice. If you're not lactose intolerant, you can opt for whole milk. Otherwise, you can try unsweetened almond or coconut milk.
Grab my zero sugar protein powder HERE.
13. 2 Egg Bites
You can make these at home, but thankfully you can also find egg bites at a lot of coffee shops and grocery stores. Even Starbucks' egg bites come in at around 19 grams of complete protein per serving!
Try my homemade bacon and sundried tomato egg bites HERE.
14. 2 oz. Soft Cheese with Fruit
Soft cheese, like goat cheese, is a bit lower in protein than hard cheeses. So to hit at least 10 grams of complete protein from a soft cheese, you'll need to use 2 oz. Make sure to keep the sugar content low by choosing a low glycemic load fruit.
15. Protein Coffee
If it's before 12pm, try stirring 1-2 scoops of my zero sugar protein powder into your coffee to give it a vanilla or chocolate-y vibe! Or you can use decaf coffee if it's past 12pm so that it doesn't disrupt your sleep.
Hellooo zero sugar mocha!
16. 3/4 Cup Edamame + Tamari
If you're plant-based, 3/4 cup of edamame will give you around 14 grams of complete protein.
17. Cauliflower Avocado "Toast"
The key is to make sure you're using the right type of cauliflower "bread" to ensure you're getting enough protein. I like the brand Outer Aisle. One serving of their cauliflower toast comes in at 10 grams of complete protein. Pair this with 1/2 avocado for some high quality fats.
18. Cottage Cheese Protein Cookie Dough
Have a bit of a sweet tooth? Try my cottage cheese protein cookie dough! You can whip this up in a matter of minutes.
Get the recipe HERE.
19. 1 Greek Yogurt Popsicle
If you have a bit of extra time, you can make homemade high protein greek yogurt popsicles! Just mix 1 cup of greek yogurt with 1 scoop of my Vanilla Protein Powder, 1 cup mashed strawberries and 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract. Pour into popsicle molds and allow to freeze for a few hours before eating.
20. Quickie Protein Chia Pudding
Combine 2 tablespoons chia seeds, 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk and 1 scoop of my Vanilla Protein Powder in a bowl. Allow to sit for 30 minutes before eating. You can speed up the process by first heating up the almond milk before stirring together.
21. Cheese + Meat Roll-Up
Grab 1 slice of cheese and 1 slice of deli meat and roll it up for a very fast source of 10-12 grams of complete protein. You can even wrap the cheese around an ounce or two of rotisserie chicken.
22. Mini Charcuterie Board
Make a mini charcuterie board with 1 ounce of cheese (preferably hard cheese for higher protein), 2-3 slices of salami, 1/4 cup olives and a few slices of crunchy veggies (like cucumber, jicama or carrots).
23. Deviled Eggs
When making deviled eggs, I recommend using an avocado oil based mayonnaise, like Primal Kitchens mayo. Use 2 eggs to hit 12 grams of protein.
24. Beef Jerky + Nuts
Just 1 oz. of beef jerky comes in at nearly 10 grams of protein. Make sure to opt for a low or zero sugar brand, like Country Archer. Pair it with 1/4 cup of your choice of nuts to help boost satiety and prevent hunger even further.
25. String Cheese + 1/2 Apple (Or 1 Apple, If Not Carb Sensitive)
You can find string cheese at many coffee shops and grocery stores to grab when you're in a pinch. Opt for 2 string cheese to hit 12 grams complete protein. Apples are fairly low glycemic load, meaning it doesn't have a big impact on blood sugar level. However, if you're carb sensitive you'll want to stick to 1/2 apple.