High protein snacks

8 High-Protein Snack Swaps For Losing Weight and Building Muscle

9 min read


18 Apr 2024

Grab your cheat sheet

  1. Smart snack snack swaps for increased protein intake
  2. High protein on-the-go snacks
  3. Plant-based protein snack alternatives
  4. Sweet protein-packed treats
  5. Savory high-protein snack ideas
  6. Protein snack recipes to make at home
  7. How much protein do you need?
  8. Final thoughts...

Looking for high-protein snack swaps? This no-nonsense guide lists easy and tasty alternatives to level up your snack game. 

From weight loss to muscle building, we’ve got the swaps you need for a protein-filled diet.

Let’s go.

Smart snack swaps for increased protein intake

Guess what? Small food swaps can help increase daily protein intake while allowing you to enjoy your favorite snacks.

The aim of the game is to significantly boost protein content without increasing fat or calorie intake. 

So, let’s get into some smart snack swaps.

Swap crisps and chips for nuts and seeds

different high protein nuts and seeds

Next time you reach for a snack, why not consider a handful of nuts or seeds instead? Here are some reasons why nuts and seeds are a healthier option…

  • They are rich in protein, healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals
  • They offer essential amino acids which are crucial for repairing and building muscles
  • Consuming nuts and seeds can provide a slow and sustained release of energy

So, next time you’re looking for a nutritious and satisfying snack, grab a handful of nuts or seeds instead of chips.

Replacing chips with nuts and seeds can help reduce your caloric intake while flooding your body with the nutrition it needs to succeed.

Let’s face it. Chips may be addictive, but they’re often high in sodium and unhealthy fats while seriously lacking protein and other key nutrients. So, it’s time to make the swap!

Swap regular yogurt for Greek yogurt 

greek yogurt

When it comes to yogurt, not all are created equal. Choosing Greek yogurt over regular yogurt can provide double the protein, with a whopping 10 grams per 100-gram serving.

So, next time you’re reaching for a tub of yogurt, opt for Greek over regular to get that extra protein punch.

Swap popcorn for edamame


If you’re a popcorn lover, this swap might surprise you. Consider switching your popcorn for edamame. 

Not only is edamame rich in protein, essential amino acids, vitamins, and minerals such as vitamin K, folate, and potassium—it also significantly outperforms popcorn in protein content. 

Edamame has a high protein content with 18 grams per cup, while popcorn has only three grams of protein per three-cup serving.

Plus, the protein and fiber in edamame may help with weight loss by keeping you full and reducing your overall calorie intake.

High protein on-the-go snacks

Busy schedules often mean meals on-the-go, which can make it a challenge to maintain protein intake. 

Fret not, there are plenty of high-protein snacks that are not only easy to carry but also delicious and satisfying. From protein bars to pumpkin seeds, there’s an array of choices that keep you fueled on your busiest days.

Swap milk chocolate bars for protein bars

protein bars

Protein bars have become a go-to snack for many health-conscious go-getters. Convenient and compact, these bars are beneficial for meeting daily protein requirements, with an average bar providing approximately 20 grams of protein.

Available in a variety of flavors and textures, protein bars can cater to different taste preferences. This fact alone makes them an easy addition to any diet. You can opt for fruit-infused protein bars or dark chocolate chip protein bars.

Swap granola bars for pumpkin seeds

pumpkin seeds

Instead of going for a store-bought granola bar, which can be high in sugar and carbs, why not opt for crunch-satisfying pumpkin seeds?

Pumpkin seeds are great for a quick delicious snack, which is healthy and portable. 

One ounce (28 g) of pumpkin seeds contains five grams of protein, and a good amount of fiber, magnesium, zinc, and polyunsaturated fatty acids. These seeds also contain vitamin E and carotenoids, which help fight against disease.

Plant-based protein snack alternatives

Plant-based diets are on the rise, and for good reason. They are not only environmentally friendly but also packed with nutrients. Consequently, there’s been a surge in plant-based protein snacks that deliver high protein content without sacrificing flavor, catering to those who are on a vegetarian or vegan diet.

Swap cheese sticks for hummus and veggie sticks


One such plant-based snack is hummus paired with veggie sticks. This combination provides a plant-based snack that’s rich in both protein and fiber without any animal products.

Plus, they’re delicious and satisfying.

Swap milk chocolate pudding for chia seed pudding

chia seeds

Chia seed pudding is another nutritious choice for a plant-based, protein-rich snack. Providing nine grams of plant-based protein per serving, chia seed pudding is a suitable vegan snack option. 

The protein content, along with the abundance of omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, contributes to its health benefits. Chia seeds are high in protein and fiber, both of which are linked to aiding weight loss (perfect for when you’re in the process of shredding!).

Swap cheesy crackers for lentil chips

lentil chips

If you’re looking for a crispy, savory snack, lentil chips are a great choice. Here’s why…

  • Packed with both protein and fiber, lentil chips serve as a nutritious snack that helps maintain dietary balance
  • They’re available in various flavors, so you can find one that suits your taste
  • Lentil chips have a low glycemic index, making them a suitable snack for a wide range of dietary preferences

Sweet protein-packed treats

protein pancakes

Who says protein snacks have to be boring? Numerous sweet protein-packed treats can satisfy your sweet tooth while providing the protein your body needs. 

Let’s investigate some of these tantalizing options.

Chocolate protein smoothie

If you’re a chocolate lover, a chocolate protein smoothie might be your new favorite snack. This delicious and protein-rich beverage usually includes a combination of protein powder, milk or a milk alternative, and cocoa powder. Plus, it’s easy to whip up and perfect for those on the go.

Cottage cheese with whole fruit

Cottage cheese is a high-protein food that pairs perfectly with fruit for a sweet and satisfying snack. Whether you prefer berries, bananas, or peaches, the combination of creamy cottage cheese and sweet fruit is a treat for your taste buds and good for your body.

Almond butter rice cakes

Another sweet and protein-packed snack is almond butter rice cakes. Spread a generous layer of almond butter on a crunchy rice cake, and you have a satisfying snack that’s not only delicious but also rich in protein and healthy fats.

For a little extra sweetness, top your almond butter rice cake with slices of banana or a drizzle of honey.

Savory high-protein snack ideas

tuna salad lettuce wraps

If sweet snacks aren’t your thing, don’t worry. There’s an abundance of savory high-protein snacks to choose from. 

From tuna salad lettuce wraps to turkey roll-ups and egg muffins, there is no end of lip-smacking options.

Tuna salad lettuce wraps

Tuna salad lettuce wraps are a rich source of lean protein, which aids in muscle repair and growth after workouts. Plus, they’re a fantastic low-carb alternative to traditional wraps.

With a hearty filling of tuna salad wrapped in crisp lettuce leaves, you get a protein-packed snack that’s both delicious and nutritious.

Turkey roll-ups

Turkey roll-ups offer another high-protein, low-carb snack option. Simply roll up a slice of turkey with your favorite cheese and veggies—and you’ve got a tasty snack that’s packed with protein. It’s a practical and easy way to keep your protein intake up, even on your busiest days.

Egg muffins

Egg muffins are a versatile, make-ahead option that can be easily frozen and reheated for a convenient high-protein snack. Here are some reasons why you should consider making egg muffins…

  • They are packed with protein
  • They are customizable with your favorite veggies and cheese
  • They are portable and can be taken on the go
  • They can be made with egg whites for those looking to cut down on fat

Not only are egg muffins nutritious, but they are also delicious. Give them a try and see for yourself!

Related: Can You Eat Too Much Protein?

Protein snack recipes to make at home

protein balls

Want to take your protein snacking to the next level? Why not try making your own protein snacks at home? Not only is this cost-effective, but it also allows you to customize your snacks with your favorite nutritious ingredients.

Here we’ll now discuss some recipes for protein-packed snacks that you can easily prepare at home.

No-bake protein balls

No-bake protein balls are an easy and customizable snack that you can whip up in no time. The base ingredients usually include old-fashioned rolled oats, nut butter, sweetener like honey or maple syrup, and protein powder. You can add in your favorite mix-ins like chocolate chips, dried fruit, or nuts for added flavor and nutrition.

Homemade protein bars

If you love protein bars but want to avoid the added sugars and artificial ingredients often found in store-bought versions, why not make your own? 

You can make homemade protein bars using a variety of nutritious ingredients for a convenient snack based on your personal tastes.

Protein pancakes

Finally, who can resist a stack of fluffy pancakes? Protein pancakes offer a high-protein version of this traditional breakfast dish, which is beneficial for those looking to increase their protein intake without sacrificing the enjoyment of familiar foods. For extra flavor, you can sprinkle drops of lemon juice on your pancakes.

With a little protein powder added to the batter, you can enjoy a delicious breakfast or snack with a protein boost.

Read: How Important Is Nutrition For Fitness Goals?

man working out

How much protein do you need?

With all this talk about protein, you may be wondering how much protein you actually need. Most adults need approximately 0.75 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight daily, which translates to about 45 grams for the average woman and 55 grams for the average man. But, these needs can vary depending on your level of physical activity, age, and health goals.

Final thoughts…

Protein plays a crucial role in our bodies, from aiding weight loss and promoting muscle growth to improving overall health. 

Whether you prefer sweet or savory, on-the-go or homemade, there are plenty of high-protein snacks to choose from. Incorporating more protein into your diet can be as simple as making smart snack swaps or including a protein boost in your meals. So, why not give it a try? Remember, the power of protein is in your hands!

Maximize your gains with the right amount of protein

Looking to build muscle and get an extra pump during your workout? An essential step to boosting your gains is to work out how much protein you need to get the amount of muscle growth you desire. 

We’re here to support you on your journey with this informative guide ‘How Much Protein Do I Need For Building Muscle?’. 

Not only will you discover how much protein is needed to sustain your goals, but you’ll learn what foods contain high amounts of protein, what impacts the amount of protein you need, and the risks of not eating enough protein. Here’s to your muscle-building journey.