Snacks are a hot topic when it comes to weight loss. Some sources say to only eat three meals per day and avoid snacking. Other sources say that you should have three small meals per day, plus two snacks. As a person on a weight loss journey, this could be very confusing to you – what do you believe? What will help you lose weight? I am no nutritionist, but I can tell you what worked for me – and I can tell you some of the top worst snacks for your waistline. Knowing that these are snacks you should avoid can help you make better snacking decisions. You may be shocked because you may have been given the impression by marketing companies that some of these snacks are healthy – buckle your seatbelts as we find out the truth about these snacks.
Not all yogurts are bad, but you have to know what you’re looking for. You might think that “fruit-on-the-bottom” yogurt would be healthy, right? Shockingly, these types of yogurt, in the tiny containers they come in, contain up to 26 grams of sugar and are one of the worst snacks for weight loss! To put that into perspective, 26 grams of sugar is about the equivalent of three Oreo cookies! Yes, fruit has natural sugars, but typically only about 10-12 grams of sugar come from the milk in these yogurts; the rest comes from the “fruit” flavoring.
BETTER ALTERNATIVE = plain Greek yogurt topped with fresh fruit or drizzled with some natural honey.
Most pretzels pack a ton of sodium because of the salt topping on them. Some snack packages of pretzels even have as much as 450mg of sodium, which is about 20% of what you should get in an entire day. Not only is too much sodium bad for your heart, it can also make you retain fluids which can make you temporarily gain weight and be very uncomfortable!
BETTER ALTERNATIVE = 1 ounce of salted, shelled pistachios. They have more fat per serving, but the fat in nuts is extremely heart healthy and good for us.
There is a huge misunderstanding about diet soda. Because it has no calories and no fat, a lot of people equate that to being healthy. I used to be a diet soda addict, having at least one per day. After learning more information about it, I steer clear except for the occasional can (yes, I am human and am not always perfect hehe). Even though I know I am going to feel terrible after drinking diet soda, for some reason I still do on occasion in a moment of weakness. Diet soda is packed with artificial sweeteners – have you ever noticed how diet soda is usually SWEETER than regular soda? These sweeteners have been linked to weight gain because they can negatively impact your metabolism and throw off your brain’s ability to ward off cravings. Giving your body something it deems as sweet may make you crave more sweet stuff!
BETTER ALTERNATIVE = unsweetened soda water with fresh fruit slices
Dried fruit is literally dried fruit – you would think it would be healthy. For this example I will specifically point out banana chips. Banana chips are typically fried – who knew? Banana chips typically have saturated fat and an ounce has almost 150 calories.
BETTER ALTERNATIVE = a banana
Chocolate Pudding Cup
Chocolate pudding cups are usually about 120 calories plus added sugar and fat. A chocolate pudding cup also won’t keep you satisfied for very long!
BETTER ALTERNATIVE = dark chocolate, with at least 70% cocoa
100-Calorie Pack of Cookies
You’ve likely seen, and tried, those tiny little pouches of snacks that are 100 calories. Not only are they super expensive for what you’re getting, they are typically devoid of nutritional value. Plus, 100 calories of cookies is like 6 mini-cookies – that won’t keep you satisfied for very long!
BETTER ALTERNATIVE = 1/3 cup roasted pumpkin seeds
Fruit is a healthy snack, but canned fruit is typically swimming in sugary syrup. Canned fruit is also peeled so they lack the fiber of a full piece of fresh fruit. You can find canned fruit with lower sugar content, but there is still a lack in fiber.
BETTER ALTERNATIVE = 2 plums
Raw veggies are super healthy for you, but how long will a handful of raw veggies keep you satisfied? You may end up reaching for an unhealthy snack because you’re not satisfied! For example, a handful of baby carrots does not have enough calories to keep you full for very long.
BETTER ALTERNATIVE = raw veggies dipped in hummus (protein!)