1. Hard-boiled eggs with sriracha sauce
This story originally appeared on RedbookMag.com. To improve thyroid function—the gland manages growth and metabolism—look no further than a low-calorie, low-fat hard-boiled egg, suggests registered dietitian Amy Shapiro. If you like spice, drizzle your snack with sriracha sauce. "It contains capsaicin, a compound found in chile peppers that helps burn calories and fat," says Karen Ansel M.S., coauthor of The Calendar Diet.
2. Turkey jerky with mustard
An ounce of turkey jerky has 10 grams of protein, but only about 60 calories, which makes the fat-free snack a good thing to stash in your desk or to eat on the go, says Ansel. Since protein is digested more slowly than fat or carbs, it keeps you feeling full longer. Mustard's a low-cal, high-flavor topper.
Whether you make it with an air popper or in the microwave, popcorn is full of fiber and has few calories. Registered dietitian Laura Cipullo suggests sprinkling it with nutritional yeast. The nutty, almost cheese-like flavored flakes are a great source of vitamin B12, a nutrient that helps boost metabolism and burns stored fat and calories.
4. Natural peanut butter on Ezekiel toast
Peanut butter is high in healthy fat and contains loads of filling protein, which your body can put toward building muscle tissue. Cipullo recommends toasting Ezekiel bread, which is made from sprouted grains and legumes that, when combined, create a complete protein.
5. Melon drizzled with balsamic vinegar
"Foods with a high-water content keep us feeling full so we eat less, and few natural foods have more water than melon," says Ansel, One cup is around 90-percent water and has only about 45 calories. The addition of balsamic vinegar helps activate pepsin, a digestive enzyme that breaks down proteins into amino acids.
6. Baked zucchini chips with paprika and sea salt
Registered dietitian Lauren Minchen recommends using paprika not only to flavor this healthy snack, but also to boost your metabolism, reduce your appetite, and lower your blood pressure. Cut a zucchini into thin slices and toss in one tablespoon of olive oil, sea salt, and pepper. Sprinkle with paprika and bake at 450°F for 25 to 30 minutes.
7. Edamame with sea salt
"Fiber is the magic ingredient when you're trying to lose weight—it slows digestion and helps you feel full," says Ansel. And edamame is chock-full of it. Sprinkle a little sea salt on one cup of the soybeans for a sinless snack with 8 grams of fiber and less than 200 calories.
8. Health Warrior Chia Bars
Not only are chia seeds rich in omega-3 fatty acids and iron, but they also help weight loss by absorbing sugar and stabilizing blood sugar levels. Shapiro recommends 100-calorie Health Warrior Chia Bars, each of which contain 4 grams each of protein and fiber, but only 5 grams of sugar.
9. Grain-free nutty cereal mix
Though nuts are caloric and easy to overeat, they're also energy-dense and high in protein and fiber, so munching on them can cause you to eat less later. For a crunchy, low-sugar, low-carb snack, Minchen likes to mix together 1/8 cup almonds, 1/8 cup walnuts, 1/8 cup pumpkin seeds, and 1/8 cup dried cranberries. You can eat it dry or over milk—Minchen recommends plain almond or hemp milk.
Shapiro swears by this sushi staple, which will help improve your thyroid function with its ample supply of iodine—a quarter-ounce serving has 4,500 micrograms, which is actually way more than your body needs in an entire day. Seaweed also contains alginate, a fiber found in sea kelp that can significantly help reduce your body's fat uptake.
11. No-bake oatmeal bites
Oatmeal is a low-fat, high-protein superfood that your body digests slowly—meaning you'll stay satisfied longer—because of all of its bulky soluble fiber. Minchen swears by this easy recipe: Combine 1 cup dry quick oats, 2/3 cup coconut flakes, 1/2 cup almond butter, 1/2 cup whole chia seeds, 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips, 1/3 cup raw honey and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Let the mixture cool in the refrigerator for one hour in an airtight container, then roll into 1-inch balls, which you can eat throughout the week.
12. Pomegranate seeds and pistachios
Shapiro recommends this high-fiber trail mix alternative as a tasty way to avoid overeating. Fiber-filled pomegranate seeds will keep you satisfied—with the added benefit of a major dose of vitamin C—while pistachios contain an amino acid known to help improve blood flow during exercise.
13. Greek yogurt-dipped berries
In addition to being an excellent source of protein, the calcium and amino acid combination found in Greek yogurt can help retain lean muscle mass and burn fat. For an antioxidant-rich afternoon treat, Minchen suggests dipping berries into plain nonfat Greek yogurt and freezing them for 2 to 3 hours before eating.
14. Avocado with lime juice and goji berries
With its healthy fat and fiber, half an avocado at snack time makes it less likely that you'll continue munching later. Shapiro likes adding goji berries to help control blood sugar and appetite. A squirt of lime juice adds flavor and helps maintain healthy digestion.