Snacking between meals can be an effective tool for weight loss, which is why we’re here to share 10 of our best-recommended protein-packed 100-calorie snacks for weight loss. Snacking healthily can increase the amount of satiating fiber and protein you consume throughout the day and keeps you from becoming so ravenous it’s difficult to manage your food choices and portions. When choosing snacks with the goal of losing weight, there are a few key factors to keep in mind for success.
First, look for snacks that are packed with protein. This nutrient aids in satiety, which could lead to better portion control and a healthy overall calorie intake. You may also look for options that contain fiber, as this nutrient can also help you feel full. Lastly, choose snacks with minimal added sugar, as this nutrient does not positively contribute to weight loss, and it may lead you to you craving more sweetened foods.
Protein-packed snacks don’t have to be time-consuming to make and can easily be incorporated into your typical eating habits. Both plant and animal-based foods can contribute protein to your day and function as excellent snack options. While minimally processed options are best, some manufactured snacks can make it easier to incorporate protein-rich snacks into your day.
If you are trying to lose weight, here are the 10 best protein-packed 100-calorie snacks for weight loss. Read on to learn all about them, and when you’re finished, don’t miss these 10 Best 100-Calorie Snacks for Weight Loss.
With just over 70 calories, one large egg also provides six grams of protein. Eggs are a great snack option because they can be prepared so many different ways and can be easily paired with other foods to create a well-rounded snack option. Eggs pack a mean protein punch and are also a source of fat. When combined with fruit, you’ll create a fiber and protein-filled snack. If you are eating on the go, consider pairing your egg with a small portion of berries for a full 100-calorie snack.
A 5.5-ounce portion of plain, nonfat Greek yogurt comes in just under 100 calories. With 16 grams of protein, this snack is one of the more concentrated sources of protein on this list. Similar to eggs, Greek yogurt is incredibly versatile and can be paired with sweet or savory ingredients to make a well-balanced snack. To keep your snack at 100 calories, top your yogurt with halved cherry tomatoes for a fiber boost. For a few more calories, you can create a sweeter parfait with a dash of cinnamon and a portion of fruit.
Not only is tuna a protein-rich food, but it also packs essential fats, like omega-3. A 3.7-ounce portion of tuna contains 91 calories and a whopping 20 grams of protein. For a 100-calorie homemade tuna salad, mix your tuna with chopped vegetables, like bell pepper and cucumber, seasonings of choice, and mustard. Serve in large lettuce leaves for a nutritious and filling snack.
While you can find many different types of jerky meats, beef jerky is one of the most popular options. A one-ounce portion provides just over 100 calories and nearly 10 grams of protein. With countless flavor varieties, there is something for everyone. Load up on jerky for your next road trip or travel day for a no-prep protein-packed snack. When buying jerky, look for lower sodium options and those made without added sugar to maximize weight loss efforts.
One tablespoon of peanut butter packs just under 100 calories and close to four grams of protein. While not the highest protein food on this list, peanut butter is a source of plant-based protein that also provides healthy fats and fiber. And, if weight loss is your goal, research reveals that daily consumption of lightly salted peanuts twice a day before meals led to weight loss. To load more fiber into your snack, dip carrot sticks or celery with your peanut butter.
All cheese contains protein, but part-skim mozzarella may be your best option if you are looking to maximize protein within a 100-calorie portion. One-third of a cup of shredded part-skim mozzarella comes in at 85 calories and leaves room to pair your cheese with some fruit for a sweet and salty snack. With more than six grams of protein, this satiating option makes for a hearty snack between meals.
Another plant-based source of protein on our list, you’ll find around 11 grams of protein in a 100-calorie portion of edamame. This portion also provides nearly five grams of fiber, creating an especially filling snack. Enjoy steamed pods with a dash of sea salt, or look for roasted soybeans for an on-the-go snack option. Edamame is great for those looking for lower-carb, high-protein foods that also provide fiber.
You can find deli meat in several varieties, including ham, turkey, and chicken. Each of these has a similar nutrient profile with a 100-calorie portion providing about 16 grams of protein. This 3.5-ounce portion is an especially hearty snack and can be served in several ways. Wrap your meat in a large lettuce leaf with mustard for a flavorful option, or reduce your meat portion, and combine it with a light string cheese for another 100-calorie protein-packed snack.
Known for its naturally salty flavor, 3.5 ounces of low-fat cottage cheese comes in at 82 calories. Similar to yogurt, you can pair your cottage cheese with sweet or savory flavors. Add a small portion of avocado and tomato for a savory option, or opt for cantaloupe for a little sweetness. Cottage cheese does contain sodium, so if this is of concern for you, look for lower-sodium varieties.
Last but not least on this list of protein-packed 100-calorie snacks for weight loss, we have milk. One cup of nonfat milk makes for a low-prep snack that packs eight grams of protein for just over 80 calories. You can enjoy a glass of milk on its own, or blend it with a small portion of protein powder to boost protein for a few calories. Stick with unflavored milk as most flavored options are loaded with sugar. Milk is a great option for those who limit their animal foods to dairy and can be purchased in convenient 8-ounce containers that can easily be taken on the go for snacks.
Melissa Rifkin, MS, RDN, CDN