10 Best Weight-Loss Snacks to Buy at Costco, According to a Dietitian
Before you go on your next Costco run, read up on our favorite weight-loss snacks to buy at Costco.
If you've been to Costco, you know that walking through the aisles can be a fun yet challenging experience, especially if you're trying to lose weight. Giant tubs of peanut butter filled pretzels, huge bags of chips, cookies the size of your head… oh my. Everything is super-sized. But fear not, Costco carries lots of healthy foods and snacks too (You can check out our 10 Best Healthy Snacks to Buy at Costco). And if you know what to look for, you can definitely snack and still lose weight. We've rounded up 10 of our favorite weight-loss snacks from Costco to slash your shopping time (and stress levels) in half.
First, here's what to look for in general when shopping for packaged snacks. These guidelines will help you choose snacks that fill you up (that's the goal, right?) and avoid blood sugar spikes:
- High in fiber and protein (at least 3-4 grams of each per serving)
- Low in sugar, especially added sugar (under 10 grams ideally)
- Low in saturated and trans fat and high in poly- and monounsaturated fat
- Low in sodium (<20% daily value)
- Whole food ingredients as much as possible
- No or limited artificial sweeteners
1. Siggi's Yogurt
Plain yogurt is ideal for weight loss since it has no added sugar, but sometimes you want an easy grab-and-go, flavored option, and for that, Siggi's is my go-to. "I like the Siggi's brand because the product does not contain anything artificial and varieties tend to be lower in sugar than the leading alternatives," says Lauren Manaker M.S., RDN, LD, registered dietitian and author of Fueling Male Fertility. "Eating dairy foods (like yogurt) is linked to weight loss too," she says. If your Costco doesn't carry Siggi's, consider buying plain Greek yogurt and adding fresh or frozen fruit, or just a little bit of sweetener.
RXBARs are a great protein bar for weight loss because the ingredients are whole foods like egg whites, almonds, and dates. With flavors like peanut butter chocolate and chocolate sea salt, you'll satisfy your sweet tooth too. Each bar packs 12 grams of protein and 5 grams of fiber to hold you over until your next meal. And there are no artificial sweeteners. Note, they are pretty chewy so keep that in mind if you need something super quick & don't have time to check your teeth. Buying them at Costco helps make them more affordable. (See our top 5 favorite protein bar picks.)
Popcorn is packed with fiber, which slows digestion to help keep you full, and can help satisfy your salty, crunchy cravings. Three cups of popcorn has under 100 calories with 3 grams of protein and 3.5 grams of fiber. Contrast that with chips: there are over 300 calories in three cups. Costco carries several brands, including my favorite, Boom Chicka Pop. Watch out for too much salt, steer clear of buttered varieties and look for few to no added sugars (looking at you kettle corn).
4. Blue Diamond Almonds
I love these almonds and a bonus of buying them at Costco is that you can get 1.5 oz single-serve packs, which are perfect for an on-the-go option and portion control. Almonds are high in monounsaturated ("good") fats, protein and fiber—the perfect trifecta of nutrients for weight loss and blood sugar control. If one pack isn't enough to satisfy you at snack time, pair them with fruit for added fiber. Costco also sells giant bags of almonds, if you want to portion them out yourself.
5. Organic Chunky Guacamole
Homemade guac trumps store-bought when it comes to taste, but who has time to whip up guacamole every week? Thankfully, Kirkland, Costco's signature brand, has single-serve cups of chunky guacamole that are the perfect side-kick to your favorite vegetable (like celery, carrots, peppers or jicama). These snack packs are loaded with nutrients: 4 grams of fiber, only 6 grams of total carbohydrates and 6 grams of heart-healthy monounsaturated fat, all for just 90 calories a pop. You can also use dip tortilla chips or a high-fiber cracker, like Crunchmaster Multi-Grain Baked Crackers, also available at Costco. But veggies are your best bet to make these guacamole cups a perfect weight-loss snack.
What's better than a container of blueberries? How about a 1-pound container of blueberries? Costco's got you covered. Blueberries are a low-calorie, high-fiber, antioxidant-packed snack with just 85 calories in one cup. They're good for satisfying sweet cravings too. Pair with nuts or plain Greek yogurt for protein, which suppresses hunger hormones and keeps you full longer.
7. Organic Roasted Seaweed Snack
Seaweed has become a rising trend during the past few years and it's no surprise considering all its benefits (learn more about the health benefits of seaweed). Seaweed is an important source of iodine, which promotes adequate thyroid function, fiber, which helps control glucose levels and several other vitamins and minerals. And on top of that, snacking on seaweed is a great alternative to chips because it can satisfy your salty, crunchy craving for very few calories.
If you know, you know. Regular grocery stores sell the small bags of Hippeas chickpea puffs but at beloved Costco, you can find a giant bag. "When I need something crunchy, I love buying a bag of Hippeas organic nacho chickpea puffs," says Manaker. "These snacks remind me of old-school cheese puffs, but they are vegan-friendly and contain a boost of fiber and protein to help keep me satisfied. Using a chickpea base, these snacks satisfy my craving for the old-school snack food while continuing to help me maintain my weight." Real talk, they're so good, we recommend portioning them out and slowly enjoying every bite. One serving, which is one ounce, has 130 calories, 3 grams of fiber and 4 grams of protein.
9. Harvest Snaps Green Pea Snack Crisps
Similar to Hippeas, Costco also has these baked, lightly-salted crisps made from real peas. They're a great nutrient-dense snack to satisfy crunchy cravings and a better alternative to other veggie sticks and crisps that have good advertising but lack fiber and protein (and in some cases, actual vegetables). One serving of Harvest Snaps is 22 pieces and has 130 calories, 4 grams of fiber and 5 grams of protein. Again, probably best to portion out into a bowl and eat mindfully if watching your waistline.
10. Fresh Vegetables
I can't end this round-up without mentioning fresh vegetables of course. An easy way to ensure you actually eat the vegetables you buy—especially at Costco where containers are giant—is to stock your fridge with vegetables you don't have to cut. For example, baby carrots, snap peas, cherry tomatoes and mini peppers. These can be added alongside any meal. Vegetables are the lowest calorie snacks out there but keep you full because of their high-fiber content. Spinach, kale and mushrooms are also favorites because they can easily be cooked up in a skillet with some olive oil, salt and pepper and mixed into any pasta or stir fry (it's a good idea to get vegetables at meals and snacks). Aim to "eat the rainbow" as each color contains different vitamins and minerals and all are important for reducing inflammation and risk of chronic diseases. And remember, frozen is just as nutritious as fresh (and if you have space in your freezer, Costco sells giant bags of those too).