When it comes to fuelling your body for training, losing weight, or improving your health, proper snacks can help you stay on track and keep you feeling satisfied throughout the day.
Creating well-rounded snacks are often overlooked during the weekly meal prep. Enter the 3pm hunger storm featuring the cafe banana bread, cake in the office, or half a packet of chips. Sound familiar?
Snack prep doesn't have to be hard. In fact, it shouldn't be – we've got better things to do with our weekends! These are 10 of my favourite go to high protein snacks that require virtually zero meal prep. Most of the items are standard pantry items or I find are already on my standard grocery list each week, with the full list at the end of this post. No expensive wholefood shop required!
The great thing about this list is it also covers all the options – whether you're sweet, savoury, nut free, dairy free, gluten free, or low carb, there's something here for everyone 🥰
3 snack tips to keep you feeling fuller longer
1. Combine protein with carbs and a little fat
While protein will keep you feeling fuller for longer, adding some carbohydrate will help manage energy slumps while some fat will slow digestion – allowing you to maximise the time between your next full meal. Think complex carbs (wholegrains, fruit, vegetables, dairy) and healthy fats (nuts, seeds, oils and peanut butter of course).
2. Keep it real
The closer a food is to its original form the better. Highly processed foods are finely engineered with additives and other ingredients in order to have an addictive taste, and are often nutrient dense, meaning they have a greater potential for overconsumption. Think 5 pieces of dried apple compared to eating a whole apple. Which one are you more likely to overeat?
3. Don’t restrict the snack to under 100 calories
Trying to tick all the boxes (satiety, flavour and nutrients) all whilst restricting your options to the magical 100 calorie limit is like searching for the unicorn of snacks. Bulking out that snack a little further may actually result in less overeating at your next meal, and avoiding an after dinner binge later that evening.
High protein snacks for weight loss
1. Boiled eggs with avocado on toast
Dairy Free • Nut Free
This option is so easy with virtually no meal prep, so it makes sense that this is one of our staple go-to snacks for busy weeks. You can boil your eggs in advance, or buy a carton and keep them in the fridge at work if you have access to a stove top. Choose wholegrain bread for an extra hit of protein and fibre, and sprinkle some dukkah on top for that cafe feel.
2. 5-Ingredient Protein Balls
Vegan • Dairy Free • Gluten Free
I’m not a huge fan of rolling dozens of protein balls as meal prep on weekends. However, picking a handful of ingredients and blitzing them in a nutri bullet then rolling into a few balls is much more doable. You need one from each of these categories:
1. Dry: almond meal, rolled oats, coconut flour
2. Sticky: medjool dates, goji berries, banana, peanut butter, soaked cashews
3. Protein: protein powder, chia seeds, hemp seeds, pepitas
4. Liquid: Only add what you need for the mixture to form a dough ie. a tiny bit of water or milk
5. Add extras: lemon juice, cacao, extra nuts or shredded coconut for rolling
The above are just examples so get creative and mix it up. Obviously macros and calories will vary based on the ingredients and amount of each you use, however I just put all the ingredients into MyFitnessPal and divide by 5.
TIP: Use the small nutri bullet cup as it mixes a lot easier. Also, if you find you've overdone it on the liquid, chill in the freezer for 10-15 minutes before rolling.
3. Roasted Chick Peas and Pepitas
Vegan • Gluten Free
When it comes to nutritional value, chick peas and pepitas pack a punch. Chickpeas are a high in protein and a great source of complex carbohydrate, and superfood pepitas are an excellent source of magnesium, omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and antioxidants. Both have virtually no saturated fat and are high in soluble fibre them a great heart-healthy option for reducing cholesterol.
Simply spread out 1 cup of chick peas and ⅓ cup pepitas on a baking tray, and sprinkle with salt and seasoning of your choice (paprika is our fave!). Bake in a moderate oven for 10-15 minutes or until crispy.
4. Chia Pudding with Berries
Vegan • Gluten Free • Dairy Free
Chia seeds are another superfood that deliver a massive amount of nutrients with few calories, and are easy overnight meal prep option when made into a chia pudding. Just mix 2 tablespoons of chia seeds in half cup of milk of your choice (I usually use almond or oat milk) in a jar and refrigerate overnight. Top with fresh or frozen berries before serving.
For an extra quick option, Mindfuel have a great instant Chia Pudding that combines other superfoods for a creamy and nutty flavour, ready in just 2 minutes. These are such a handy snack to keep in your gym bag or office drawer.
5. Black bean dip with tortilla chips and veggie sticks
Vegan • Gluten Free • Dairy Free • Nut Free
A great way to get some extra fibre and veggies into your day. This dip is so easy and can be done in a food processor or a NutriBullet who have a great Black Bean dip recipe (pictured) on their website. I prefer this dip slightly warm and so microwave for 30-45 seconds before serving.
Dairy Free • Nut Free
Not to be confused with jerky, which is meat dried in preservatives, sauces and sugar and is extremely popular in America – Biltong, originated from Southern African countries and involves leaner meat dried over a longer period of time using simple spices and vinegar as flavour. The result is a high protein, tasty snack with a delicious texture and a fantastic option for those who are looking for a savoury snack that is nut and allergen free.
Image courtesy of Meal Makeover Moms
7. Cottage Cheese
Gluten Free • Nut Free
Possibly the most underrated cheese on the market, 100g of cottage cheese has 163 calories and a whopping 28 grams of protein – DOUBLE that of the high protein 160g yoghurts like Chobani Fit and YoPro. Enjoy this versatile snack with fresh fruit, veggie sticks, or mix in a tablespoon of Macro Mike PB Powder for a dessert-like treat.
8. Protein Bar with a Yoghurt Pot
Gluten Free • Dairy Free (if using dairy free yoghurt)
Chobani pots have become a bit of a household name – however I often find that a single pot on it’s own doesn’t always keep me satisfied, because #girlswhoeat. I’ll often add granola on top or an extra snack like a Googy’s protein bar to bump up the fullness until my next meal.
9. Turkey Roll Ups
Dairy Free • Nut Free
I love roll ups because they can be a snack, or doubled up to make a healthy lunch, and you can usually use the standard items in your fridge. Just layer 2 slices of turkey breast, 1 slice of swiss cheese, ½ cup baby spinach and a tablespoon of sun dried tomato paste, pesto, salsa (or whatever is in your fridge) on a tortilla wrap, pita bread, or lettuce leaf for a low carb option.
10. Banana and Peanut Butter Pizza
Vegan • Dairy Free
This one ticks all the boxes. Easy, versatile, healthy and comes in pizza form. I use Meb pita to keep the calories down, and spread peanut butter – alternatively use PB powder mixed with yoghurt or cottage cheese for extra protein – and top with sliced banana, strawberries or walnuts.
Make sure you download the Australian Shopping List here:
This list has what you need to make every snack in this article (excluding protein balls) and the whole lot comes to less than $30 at Woolworths or Coles. You can also keep some items in the pantry for snacks the following week, such as Chick Peas and Pepitas, Chia Pudding, Black Bean Dip, Protein Bars and Chobani. This way you have a high rotation of exciting and different snacks.
Save it in your phone for your next grocery shop!