When you’re trying to lose weight snacking can sometimes be looked down upon, but when you do it right, snacking can really help get you through those tough times! Snacking keeps your metabolism moving and those cravings at bay until your next meal.
However, eating the wrong snack foods could really do more harm than good. Sugars, fats and carbs love to hide in foods disguised or packaged as “healthy”, “Light” or “Diet”. Keep reading to discover what snacks you’re eating that you shouldn’t be!
#1. Trail Mix
A serving of pre-packaged trail mix from the store is a scant 1/4 cup, a serving size that no one would be able to stick to. Plus, the milk chocolate isn’t doing you any favors, either. Instead, go for some fruit-and-nut bars like KIND bars, or think about making your own. Fruit-and-nut bars will help ensure that you’re getting nutrients your body needs without the empty calories that won’t even fill you up.
A classic snack, but one that’s high in sodium. Almost 20 percent of your daily intake is in just 1-serving of pretzels. Too much sodium results in increased water retention, which leads to bloating and puffiness; and over an extended period of time, too much sodium can lead to heart disease. Reach for some salted and shelled pistachios instead. They have almost twice the protein and 3x the fiber of pretzels, which will keep you full much longer.
#3. Diet Soda
You should know this by now, but artificial sweeteners may make you feel full and keep cravings at bay, but they also have a negative effect on your metabolism. Eliminating diet soda (and caffeine!) can be difficult, but it’s completely worth it. Try imbibing on a sparkling flavored-water instead.
I’ve been at fault of reaching for this snack that’s high in simple carbs, which spikes your blood sugar and creates cravings; the exact opposite of what you’re trying to accomplish by snacking while trying to lose weight. So stay away from quick fixes like cheese crackers.
$5. 100-calorie packs of cookies
Several studies have shown that the 100-calorie packs of cookies, like Oreos and Chips Ahoy, are actually the cause of more problems than they solve regarding weight loss. People usually to eat more of them because they are perceived as healthy, even though they aren’t. It’s not the same as a cookie, but try to substitute those 100-calorie packs with roasted pumpkin seeds. A third of a cup contains only 94 calories, and they will fill you up much faster than cookies would.
#6. Baby Carrots
Baby carrots are a popular dieting snack, but they won’t keep you full very long. Try dipping them in a little hummus or another high-protein dip to get you and your empty stomach through to the next meal.
#7. Flavored Yogurts
All flavored yogurts are high in sugar from artificial flavoring. Instead of a cup of strawberry yogurt, reach for plain Greek yogurt at snack time; it’s low in sugar and contains healthy proteins to help fill you up.