Worst Snacks for Weight Loss

Worst Snacks for Weight Loss

Posted in the Weight Training Forum

Since: Oct 13

Los Angeles, CA

#1 Nov 20, 2013
Attacking the snacks
From the Cheerio-toting toddler to the vending machine-loving employee, we're a nation obsessed with snacks. How obsessed? Most of us eat nearly 600 calories a day--that's roughly a third of our food--in snacks rather than meals, according to a 2010 study from the University of North Carolina.
That's a lot of snacking, something that can make or break your weight loss efforts. "There is a right way and a wrong way to snack," says Katie Ferraro, MPH, a San Diego-based registered dietitian at Ingrain Health . Done right, snacking can keep your appetite in check, fuel your workout, and give you valuable nutrients. Done wrong, and you're downing gut-busting snacks loaded with sugar and fat, says Ferraro

And here's where it gets tricky--it's all too easy to be fooled into thinking seemingly healthy snacks are good for your waistline. Here are 15 weight loss-sabotaging snacks to avoid, and the tasty swaps to make instead.

Instead of: Strawberry yogurt
Reach for: Plain Greek yogurt with fresh strawberry slices
Some fruit-on-the-bottom varieties of yogurt contain 26 grams of sugar in a six-ounce container (that's the equivalent of three Oreo cookies). And while 12 grams of that comes from the milk itself, the rest is from the sugar-packed fruit flavoring. A recent study review published in the BMJ found that cutting back on sugar is associated with about a two-pound weight loss, while eating more results in a similar amount of weight gain. Stick to plain Greek yogurt for less sugar and a healthy dose of protein (just beware of these 6 gross Greek yogurt myths).

Instead of: cup of trail mix with chocolate pieces
Reach for: A fruit-and-nut bar
The standard serving size of trail mix is a quarter cup, a measly amount that most of never come close to sticking to--especially when eating straight out of the bag (just two handfuls put you at 350 calories!). A fruit-and-nut bar, like KIND Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt or a LaraBar is great way to meet your craving for something nutty and slightly sweet, but in a single-serve package that you can't overdo.

Instead of: A can of diet soda
Reach for: 12 oz of unsweetened sparkling water with fruit slices
Many people drink zero calorie sodas when trying to stave off hunger between meals. However, the artificial sweetener you're knocking back along with the bubbles has been linked to an increased risk of weight gain--the sweeteners may negatively impact your metabolism, as well as throw off your brain's ability to regulate your appetite, finds a 2013 study in Trends in Endocrinology and Metabolism. If you're really just thirsty instead of hungry, opting for sparkling H20 provides that filling carbonation, while adding fruit (orange, lemon, strawberries) adds a hint of sweetness with a boost of nutrition. Still not convinced you need to give up your diet soda habit? You will be when you read the 7 Scary Side Effects of Diet Soda.

Instead of: A 16-ounce bottled smoothie
Reach for: A homemade smoothie
At first glance, the bottled smoothie might look like a good pick at only 150 calories. But look closer and you'll see that that one bottle contains two servings (or 300 total calories), and, let's be real, most of us aren't just going to drink half the bottle. A better bet? Make your own and control the calories yourself. These 25 delectable detox smoothies are a good place to start!

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