The Store-Bought Weight-Loss Snack You Should Be Eating but Aren’t

For many years, beef jerky had a bad rap, but the tide has shifted in its favor. Ever since becoming a preferred snack of Paleo dieters and CrossFit enthusiasts, it’s been reintroduced into the healthy mainstream, and many clean, low-carb eaters looking to shed a few pounds are singing jerky’s praises.

Snacking on jerky in between meals is an ideal way to get protein in your diet, a must if you’re trying to lose weight. One study published in The FASEB Journal shows that in addition to a regular exercise routine, doubling your protein intake may be the key to losing fat pounds without dropping muscle mass. In addition to offering 6.6 grams of protein per piece, beef jerky doesn’t raise your level of insulin, one of the hormones that affects how your body stores fat.

Related: Are Egg Whites Healthier Than Egg Yolks?

With that said, not all jerky is created equally. The best option to ensure your jerky is free of artificial ingredients is to make your own. If you can’t dedicate the kitchen time, just be sure to opt for a brand with all-natural ingredients that’s free of preservatives and nitrates and isn’t too high in sodium. And if you steer clear of beef, turkey jerky is a great option to help you reap these high-protein benefits. Krave Jerky and Epic Bites are two brands we love!

Related: 21 High-Protein Dinners That Won’t Break the Bank

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Nicole Perry

Time For Dessert! Post-Workout Snacks That Satisfy a Sweet Tooth

Time For Dessert! Post-Workout Snacks That Satisfy a Sweet Tooth

You’ve spent 45 minutes working hard to define those muscles| so don’t undo all your work with a stop at the vending machine. Satisfy your sweet tooth with nutritious post-workout snacks that calm sugar cravings while helping you replenish energy and rebuild muscles. Read on for a few of our favorites!

| Peanut Butter Protein Balls

An outer layer of crispy rice cereal on these peanut butter protein balls make the sweet treats an irresistible snack for before or after your workout.

| Strawberry Banana Creams

The fact that an entire bowl of these yogurt-and-banana-stuffed strawberries is under 150 calories makes this sweet snack a healthy-yet-decadent-seeming treat after your workout.

| Black Forest Shake

This chocolate-cherry smoothie from Runner’s World fuels you up before a workout u2014 but has the carbs and protein you need to make a delicious recovery treat as well.

| Vanilla Banana Protein Smoothie

This simple| low-calorie vanilla banana protein smoothie can be enjoyed before or after a workout; protein powder and almond milk help fuel your workout| and adding half a banana to the mix helps keep your electrolytes balanced.

| Chickpea Cookie Dough

This dessert may look like your favorite guilty pleasure| but in reality it’s so much healthier. A serving of chickpea “”cookie dough”” will satisfy your sweet tooth while offering your tired muscles a much needed dose of carbs and protein.

| Recovery Vegan Ice Cream

Yes| you can eat ice cream after a workout. This protein-packed vegan ice cream will cool you off and help you recover after a sweaty workout.

| Coconut-Banana Smoothie

After a sweaty run| you need to refuel and rehydrate fast. Whip up this quick coconut-water recovery smoothie| which is packed with protein from Greek yogurt and almond butter.

| Gluten-Free Molten Lava Cake

Why indulge on empty calories when your dessert can do a little work for you? This high-protein molten lava cake is hiding a muscle-building secret u2014 over 20 grams of protein!

This Snack Hack Can Help You Lose Weight Faster

This Snack Hack Can Help You Lose Weight Faster

Just as you map out your week of lunches (we love mason jar salads!) and dinners (here are the dos and don’ts of meal planning), getting your week’s worth of snacks ready at the beginning of the week is just as important on your road to weight loss. Four- and eight-ounce mason jars make it easy to keep portions under control, and here are some great ideas for morning and afternoon nibbles to add to them.

| Hummus and Veggies

Pack your jar full of veggies to keep the hummus on the bottom.

| Fruit, Yogurt, and Granola Parfait

If you want less sugar, use plain yogurt and plain oats instead.

| Fruit Salad

Adding a little lemon juice will prevent your fruit from browning.

| Veggies With Dip

You can use store-bought dip or make this creamy white bean dill dip.

| Dried Fruit and Nuts

Keep these jars small as nuts and dried fruit are high in calories.

| Carrots and Almonds

A unique yet delicious and fiber-full combo.

| Layered Plain Veggies

The layers make it more fun and easier to pack a week’s worth at a time.

| Chia Seed Pudding

Here’s a simple three-ingredient chia seed pudding recipe you can doll up any way you choose.

| Apples With Nut Butter

If you’re nut free, go for this homemade sunflower seed butter.

| Pretzels With Cream Cheese

Mix chopped fruit and cinnamon or veggies and herbs into the cream cheese for a sweet or savory twist.

| Energy Balls

Here are some of our favorite energy ball recipes.

6 Ways to Make Your Popcorn Habit Healthier

Crunchy, salty, and satisfying, popcorn is a great snack ¡ª and it can be healthy too. Air-popped popcorn has only 31 calories per one-cup serving, and the whole grain is packed with antioxidants and fiber, helping you fight disease while keeping you fuller longer. But if you’ve been snacking on prepackaged, buttery, or salt-laden kernels, it’s time to take a look at your snacking habit. Instead of loading up on high-calorie toppings, make homemade popcorn, either by microwave or stove top, using one of these six healthy topping alternatives instead.

    Raw coconut oil: Like butter, it’s sweet and salty, but raw coconut oil also may have several important health benefits, including raising your good cholesterol levels. Try cooking one tablespoon of popcorn in two teaspoons coconut oil.Use sea or rock salt: Instead of topping popcorn with refined salt, use sea or rock salt, which don’t contain the additives that table salt usually does.Kettle corn: At 120 calories for a small serving, kettle corn is a great choice when sweet or salty cravings strike. Make your own batch using raw, organic sugar and sea salt; try this kettle corn recipe from healthy chef Bethenny Frankel.Indian-spiced: Popcorn tastes great with crushed coriander and a pinch of cayenne. Using spices eliminates the need for salt.Cheezy: Nutritional yeast tastes cheesy, is full of B-vitamins and essential amino acids, and is naturally salty. Try this nutritional yeast popcorn recipe for a butter-free bowl. To make a “Mexican” twist, add crushed cumin and a pinch of cayenne.Chock-full of chocolate: This 130-calorie chocolate popcorn recipe is delicious and easy: spread popped popcorn on a baking sheet, melt chocolate chips in the microwave, then drizzle over popcorn and let sit until hardened.

Image Source: Heather Christo

3 Ways the ‘Magical Fruit’ Can Help You Lose Weight

Beans may be known mostly for their unpleasant odiferous side effect when eaten| but beans are actually nutritious little gems. If you follow these tips| you can eat beans without the bloat| which means you can reap these weight-loss benefits. Here are three reasons to plate-up with beans.

Hello| Fiber!

While the fiber content of beans helps keep things moving| it also gives you that “I’m full” feeling. Satiating your hunger is the key to preventing overeating and consuming too many calories for the day. But you don’t just need to eat a plate of plain beans; in fact| you can add beans to smoothies ¡ª you won’t be able to taste them at all. Or throw them in your scrambled eggs| add them to soups| pasta dishes| or as a topping on homemade pizza.

Related: High-Protein Vanilla Milkshake Smoothie Made With Tofu

Protein Punch

Beans aren’t just for vegetarians. Omnivores can soak up bean protein as well. High-protein beans help keep energy and blood-sugar levels stable| which helps prevent cravings for sugary pick-me-ups that tend to be high in calories and void of nutrition. Since a couple hours between meals tends to be common crash times| including beans for breakfast and lunch will keep you peppy until your next meal. Whip up a sweet potato| chickpea| and quinoa veggie burger| a plate of polenta with beans| or a satisfying bowl of slow cooker chickpea coconut curry.

Related: Satisfy Chocolate Cravings With This Low-Calorie Chocolate Chickpea Snack

Smart Snacking

When trying to beat the scale| you need to make sure that you’re eating quality foods low in calories and high in nutrition. Beans make perfect snacks too| so look beyond the typical carrot sticks and hummus pick-me-up and try pairing your fruit with this chocolate hummus. You can snack on honey-roasted cinnamon chickpeas| veggies with creamy white-bean dip| or these delicious edamame pear crostinis. You can also enjoy a low-cal dessert with fortified with beans| like these peanut butter oatmeal raisin cookies or black bean brownies.

Related: Best Healthy Snack Recipes

Image Source: Jenny Sugar

3 Ways the ‘Magical Fruit’ Can Help You Lose Weight

Beans may be known mostly for their unpleasant odiferous side effect when eaten, but beans are actually nutritious little gems. If you follow these tips, you can eat beans without the bloat, which means you can reap these weight-loss benefits. Here are three reasons to plate-up with beans.

Hello, Fiber!

While the fiber content of beans helps keep things moving, it also gives you that “I’m full” feeling. Satiating your hunger is the key to preventing overeating and consuming too many calories for the day. But you don’t just need to eat a plate of plain beans; in fact, you can add beans to smoothies ¡ª you won’t be able to taste them at all. Or throw them in your scrambled eggs, add them to soups, pasta dishes, or as a topping on homemade pizza.

Related: High-Protein Vanilla Milkshake Smoothie Made With Tofu

Protein Punch

Beans aren’t just for vegetarians. Omnivores can soak up bean protein as well. High-protein beans help keep energy and blood-sugar levels stable, which helps prevent cravings for sugary pick-me-ups that tend to be high in calories and void of nutrition. Since a couple hours between meals tends to be common crash times, including beans for breakfast and lunch will keep you peppy until your next meal. Whip up a sweet potato, chickpea, and quinoa veggie burger, a plate of polenta with beans, or a satisfying bowl of slow cooker chickpea coconut curry.

Related: Satisfy Chocolate Cravings With This Low-Calorie Chocolate Chickpea Snack

Smart Snacking

When trying to beat the scale, you need to make sure that you’re eating quality foods low in calories and high in nutrition. Beans make perfect snacks too, so look beyond the typical carrot sticks and hummus pick-me-up and try pairing your fruit with this chocolate hummus. You can snack on honey-roasted cinnamon chickpeas, veggies with creamy white-bean dip, or these delicious edamame pear crostinis. You can also enjoy a low-cal dessert with fortified with beans, like these peanut butter oatmeal raisin cookies or black bean brownies.

Related: Best Healthy Snack Recipes

Image Source: Jenny Sugar

12 Low-Calorie, Late-Night Snacks For Delicious Midnight Dining

12 Low-Calorie| Late-Night Snacks For Delicious Midnight Dining

While late-night eating may not be as bad for your waistline as you think| that doesn’t mean that all snacks are created equal. The best late-night snacks are easy to digest u2014 carbs are good but not too much fiber| protein| or fat u2014 so you don’t lie awake from feeling too full. But if your late-night eating includes buttery grilled cheese| ice cream| or gobs of peanut butter| here are a few healthier options for you. Make these low-calorie options ahead of time for quick snacking when the mood strikes!

| Instead of: Brownies

Skip the brownies made with sugar and white flour and go for these no-bake brownies u2014 they’re under 60 calories a square.

| Instead of: Candy Bars

Snickers may be calling your name| but you won’t feel very good after inhaling an entire bar. Make these chocolate almond protein bars instead. They’re totally vegan and made with just five ingredients (plus salt and cinnamon for flavor)| and you can whip them up in less than 20 minutes.

| Instead of: Cookies

Blend up a dairy-free batch of chocolate chip cookie dough freezer fudge; it’s sweet and satisfying| packed with protein| and is made with a secret high-protein ingredient.

| Instead of: Chips

If you’re craving something salty and savory| don’t dig into a bag of fattening potato chips. Instead| bake a batch of these salted carrot chips. One serving is just 79 calories. Or give low-carb spinach chips a try. They’re delicate| light| and crispy| and they also come with a built-in handle| which makes them even more fun to nosh.

| Instead of: Ice Cream

Still craving something cold and creamy? Keep a sliced banana or two in your freezer so you can whip up this low-calorie| vegan cherry chocolate chip ice cream instead of diving into a late-night pint.

| Instead of: Ice Cream (Again)

Sometimes you need ice cream| but if you find yourself constantly reaching for the pint| try making a frozen treat that still satisfies you. Pop these frozen chia yogurt grapes in the freezer so you can enjoy when cravings strike.

| Instead of: Regular Peanut Butter

It may be full of healthy fats| but peanut butter still is full of all those calories. Instead| whip up a batch of this lower-calorie apple almond butter to keep in your fridge for when the mood strikes. Come bedtime| spread on a few whole-wheat crackers and enjoy.

| Instead of: Grilled Cheese

Grilled cheese may be comforting| but the calorie and fat counts can get really high| really quickly. Make your next sandwich healthier by using whole-wheat bread| lower-fat cheese| and lots of veggies.

| Instead of: Too Much Chocolate

Whip up this protein-rich| vegan chocolate mousse earlier in the evening (it just needs an hour in the fridge to set). Then| pair with five strawberries| as shown here| for an 87-calorie treat| or scoop out a small serving of mousse for a rich| chocolaty midnight dessert.

| Instead of: Too Much Candy

These strawberry banana yogurt creams are sweet enough to replace your Skittles habit without the calories. Eight cream-filled strawberries will only set you back 145 calories while still being substantial enough to satisfy. Make the prep even quicker by dipping the strawberries in the cream instead of filling them.

| Instead of: Pizza

Pizza is always a late-night (or anytime) favorite| but the grease and globs of cheese can not only undo a day of being healthy| but can also lead to a disruptive sleep. Ditch the heartburn and go for a few quinoa polenta pizza bites that hit the spot.

| Instead of: A Glass of OJ

Skip the sugar bomb and break out the juicer; this quick sleep-inducing green juice recipe is just as citrusy but also contains anxiety-relieving ingredients like watercress and celery to help you wind down.

A 2-Ingredient Snack to Help You Lose Weight

This avocado-based snack will help you lose weight for two awesome reasons: it’s full of healthy fats and fiber. Consuming healthy fats and fiber keeps that “I’m full” feeling going strong, so hunger and cravings will be brushed aside, and you’ll be full for hours. Add the protein, crunch, and saltiness of sunflower seeds, and this snack is a weight-loss superstar. It also helps that you can whip it up in two minutes.

    Cut an avocado in half. Use the side without the pit, and save the other half for later since the pit can help keep the green flesh from browning.Sprinkle one tablespoon of salted sunflower seeds in the middle.Use a spoon to scoop out bites right out of the avocado peel. You don’t even need to bother with dirtying a dish.

Source: Calorie Count

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar

A 2-Ingredient Snack to Help You Lose Weight

This avocado-based snack will help you lose weight for two awesome reasons: it’s full of healthy fats and fiber. Consuming healthy fats and fiber keeps that “I’m full” feeling going strong| so hunger and cravings will be brushed aside| and you’ll be full for hours. Add the protein| crunch| and saltiness of sunflower seeds| and this snack is a weight-loss superstar. It also helps that you can whip it up in two minutes.

    Cut an avocado in half. Use the side without the pit| and save the other half for later since the pit can help keep the green flesh from browning.Sprinkle one tablespoon of salted sunflower seeds in the middle.Use a spoon to scoop out bites right out of the avocado peel. You don’t even need to bother with dirtying a dish.

Source: Calorie Count

Image Source: POPSUGAR Photography / Jenny Sugar

From Smoothies to Salads to Soups: The Best Healthy Recipes of 2015

From Smoothies to Salads to Soups: The Best Healthy Recipes of 2015

Get your slow cooker| food processor| and oven ready| because we’ve curated our best healthy recipes from this year. From breakfast to snacks to supper ideas| these healthy| low-cal eats will keep you energized and help you lose weight.

| Flat-Belly Smoothie

Get the recipe here: blueberry| kale| and pineapple smoothie

| Low-Carb Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Get the recipe here: cauliflower crust

| Harley Pasternak’s Breakfast Smoothie

Get the recipe here: apple-cinnamon smoothie

| Baked Eggs in Avocado

Get the recipe here: baked eggs in avocado

| Chia Pudding

Get the recipe here: coconut chia pudding

| Metabolism-Boosting Smoothie

Get the recipe here: strawberry| broccoli| and almond smoothie

| Make-Ahead Oatmeal

Get the recipe here: make-ahead frozen oatmeal

| Vegan Vanilla Milkshake Smoothie

Get the recipe here: high-protein vanilla milkshake smoothie

| Cheddar Egg Muffins

Get the recipe here: turkey sausage| cheddar| and egg muffins

| Overnight Oats

Get the recipe here: overnight oats

| Crispy Cauliflower Buffalo “Wings””

Get the recipe here: crispy cauliflower buffalo “”wings””

| Banana Bread Smoothie

Get the recipe here: banana bread protein smoothie

| Chia Berry Smoothie

Get the recipe here: antioxidant chia berry smoothie

| Honey-Roasted Cinnamon Chickpeas

Get the recipe here: honey-roasted cinnamon chickpeas

| Jennifer Aniston’s Favorite Quinoa Salad

Get the recipe here: quinoa-cucumber salad

| Karlie Kloss’s Breakfast Smoothie

Get the recipe here: blackberry-chocolate protein smoothie

| Wheat-Free Pancakes

Get the recipe here: wheat-free almond pancakes

| Overnight Breakfast Casserole

Get the recipe here: overnight breakfast casserole

| Kimberly Snyder’s Glowing Green Smoothie

Get the recipe here: apple| pear| and spinach smoothie

| Apple Cider Vinegar Brew

Get the recipe here: apple cider vinegar brew

| Debloating Smoothie

Get the recipe here: debloating pineapple-papaya smoothie

| Greek-Yogurt Chicken Salad

Get the recipe here: Greek-yogurt chicken salad

| Quinoa Egg Bake

Get the recipe here: quinoa egg bake with thyme and garlic

| Cinnamon-Apple Smoothie

Get the recipe here: cinnamon-apple protein smoothie

| Fresh Burrito Bowl

Get the recipe here: grilled chicken burrito bowl

| Spaghetti Squash Mac and Cheese

Get the recipe here: spaghetti squash mac and cheese

| Vegan Banana-Oat Protein Balls

Get the recipe here: banana-oat protein balls

| Apple Cinnamon Quinoa Breakfast Bake

Get the recipe here: apple cinnamon quinoa breakfast bake

| Thin Mint Smoothie

Get the recipe here: mint chip smoothie

| Veggie and Hummus Sandwich

Get the recipe here: veggie and hummus sandwich

| Slow-Cooker Mexican Casserole

Get the recipe here: Mexican casserole

| Low-Sugar| High-Protein Lemon-Raspberry Muffins

Get the recipe here: lemon-raspberry muffins

| Sesame Ginger Quinoa Salad

Get the recipe here: sesame ginger quinoa salad

| Spicy Sweet Potato Salad

Get the recipe here: spicy sweet potato salad

| Trader Joe’s Thai Citrus Chicken Salad

Get the recipe here: Thai citrus chicken salad

| No-Bake Vegan Brownies

Get the recipe here: no-bake brownies

| Baked Eggs in Ham Cups

Get the recipe here: baked eggs in ham cups

| Strawberry Fruit Leather

Get the recipe here: homemade strawberry fruit leather

| Peanut Butter Protein Balls

Get the recipe here: peanut butter protein balls

| Spicy Sweet Potato Fries

Get the recipe here: spicy sweet potato fries

| Cucumber-Avocado Caprese Salad

Get the recipe here: cucumber-avocado caprese salad

| Slow-Cooker Chickpea Coconut Curry With Sweet Potatoes

Get the recipe here: chickpea coconut curry with sweet potatoes

| Chickpea Cookie Dough

Get the recipe here: chickpea chocolate chip cookie dough

| Black Bean| Corn| Cucumber| and Avocado Salad

Get the recipe here: black bean| corn| cucumber| and avocado salad

| Tortilla-Less Soup

Get the recipe here: tortilla-less soup

| Hungry Girl’s Broccoli Slaw

Get the recipe here: tomato broccoli slaw

| Gluten-Free Almond Oatmeal Protein Bars

Get the recipe here: almond oatmeal protein bars

| Carrot Chips

Get the recipe here: carrot chips

| Gluten-Free Cheesy Veggie Spaghetti Squash Bake

Get the recipe here: cheesy veggie “”pasta”” bake

| Sweet Potato| Chickpea| and Quinoa Veggie Burger

Get the recipe here: sweet potato| chickpea| and quinoa veggie burger