Most people think the key behind losing weight is cutting out snack all together. In fact snacking can actually be beneficial when losing weight whereby eating healthy snacks in between meals can provide extra energy and help to keep our metabolism working. So grab yourself a bag of chips right? Not so fast! Many so called “healthy foods” are actually high in sugar and fat and a no go if you’re trying to lose weight. Below are a just ten foods to avoid when dieting.
1. Bottled Smoothies
Eating more fruit is healthy right? So why not make it easy and enjoy a nice smoothie? They’re quick, tasty, simple, and oh – jam packed full of sugar. You may think bottled store bought smoothies and a low calorie healthy choice when it comes to snacking but these sneaky snack drinks are full of sugar and one bottle usually equates to the same amount of calories as a standard meal. If you want to enjoy a healthy smoothie then try making your own at home – that way you know exactly what’s been added and you can even pack in some delicious flavored whey protein.
2. Trail Mix
Trail mix is a delicious fruit, nut and chocolate mix that many people think makes a great healthy snack- after all nuts are good for you right? A small single serving of trail mix ranges from 1/8 to ¼ of a cup…. but really, who actually sticks to this? Often when a bag of trial mix is opened even a so called handful can equate to more than a recommended serving.
What’s more the milk chocolate within this delicious mix is highly processed and full of sugar and saturated fat. If you’re a sucker for trial mix why not try creating your own using dried fruit, mixed nuts and over 70% dark chocolate – that way it’s as natural as possible. But remember- don’t get carried away with the portion size!
3. Banana Chips
Bananas are full of potassium and a great source of energy – especially before a workout – so surely are a good quick snack idea? Not so fast! Do you know how banana chips are made? Usually they are fried in oil meaning they are high in saturated fat! So if I were you I’d stick to the original fresh banana with only around 100 calories!
4. Granola and Skim Milk
Granola is by far my favorite cereal and many people believe a bowl of granola with Greek yogurt or skimmed milk is the perfect healthy snack. Well actually, half a cup of granola is actually around a 350-400 calorie snack – not so healthy, huh? Many store bought granolas are full of added sugar and fat. Sure, a small handful of granola is okay to be topped on yogurt but if you’re looking for a mini meal to keep you going swap granola for regular rolled oats or something that will leave you fuller without the added sugar and fat.
Pretzels aren’t technically chips – but actually pretzels are full of salt and sodium! Fat + sodium are a weight loss nightmare. Consuming too much salt is disastrous in terms of weight loss whereby it can not only increase dehydration but also the amount of water retained in the body, meaning you’ll feel bloated and puffy. If you enjoy a salty snack, watch your salt intake and swap the pretzels for a handful of lightly salted nuts, that way you’ll be getting in a healthy serving of protein and fiber.
6. Fruit Juice and Diet Soda
Hopefully you already know that soda is a no go, but why diet soda too? After all it’s calorie-free! Well in order to be calorie free these sodas contain a ton of artificial sweeteners that are designed to keep you fuller for longer, however these sweeteners have a serious of side effects whereby they may actually slow down your metabolism. Fruit juices are another so called “healthy” addition to the diet, claimed to provide vitamins and minerals. But did you know fruit juices are full of added sugars than have been associated with obesity and weight gain. So cut out the store bought cartooned fruit juice and those cans of diet soda! Consume plenty of plain water and try adding lemon and lime for extra flavor!
Yogurt is a good source of diary and perfect for when you’re trying to lose weight… but not all yogurt! Low fat and flavored yogurts actually contain a lot of sugar which when trying to lose weight can act to inhibit your goals.
When choosing the best yogurts for weight loss and health try opting for low fat Greek yogurt, jam packed full of protein, with little sugar.
8. Snack Packs of Cookies
Often enough you can get a small snack pack size of cookies or chocolate candy bars that are only 100 calories. Makes an okay snack, I suppose… it’s only 100 calories. But think again. Actually snacks such as Oreos and small candy bars are full of sugar and saturated fat and even though these small portions are portrayed as healthy they are still going to prevent weight loss and you reaching your physique goals! Try snacking on some fresh veggies or fruit instead. It’s fewer calories and full of vitamins and minerals.
9. Chocolate Pudding
Chocolate pudding cups are a way to satisfy your sweet tooth without the added calories… or so you think!
Beware of the sugar! If you’re looking for a chocolately treat try consuming dark chocolate at least 70% in cocoa. Dark chocolate provides a series of antioxidants with less sugar than regular cocoa found in chocolate pudding!
10. Cheez-Its and Low Calorie Chips
Cheese crackers and chips like Cheez may be low in calories or seem like a good snack in small portions but actually these chips are high in sodium which can leave you feeling dehydrated and craving more of the same snacks!
What’s more the carb content and saturated fat content in these sneaky snacks won’t do your diet any favours!
Always be aware of what you are eating and what’s in the foods manufacturers and stores market! What may be described as “healthy” and “low fat” can in fact be full of hidden sugar, salt and fat – all of which won’t help you achieve weight loss goals.