If you are trying to watch what you eat, but find yourself battling the hunger pains, you don’t have to ignore your stomach’s request for food … you just have to be smart about your choices! Get over the hunger hump with smart snacks to keep your metabolism moving and cravings at bay until the next meal. I could list a bunch of smart snacks, but this time we are going to focus on the snacks that you THINK might be healthy and really, they are a wolf in sheep’s clothing. Choosing the wrong foods during snack time could hinder your weight loss. Sugars, fats and carbs love to hide in foods disguised or packaged as “healthy.”
Pretzels: Yes, better than potato chips, but not even a good choice on their own merit. This tasty snack is high in sodium — almost 20 percent of your daily intake is in one serving of pretzels. As you know, sodium = water retention, bloating, and too much sodium over time can lead to heart disease.
Baby Carrots: A popular dieting snack and actually they are okay to eat, but they will not keep the hunger at bay for very long unless you combine the carrots with a protein such as hummus or peanut butter.
Rice Cakes: Albeit low in calories and zero fat, rice cakes are high on the glycemic index. Pure sugar has a rating of 100 – rice cakes have a rating of 82 making them not a smart snack! If you are not up to speed on glycemic index, related foods, and its impact on your body as well as your weight control success – I suggest you learn. It’s one of the key items you should be watching if you are watching your weight!
Yogurt: Not all yogurts are the same and actually most yogurts are high in sugar from the artificial flavoring and contain little to no protein. While the bacteria in yogurt is good for your gut health, why not choose plain (not vanilla) Greek yogurt to maximize your gut health benefits as well as your overall health since Greek yogurt is low in sugar and contains healthy proteins.
Bottled Smoothies: Healthy? Usually, yes, if you drink only the recommended one (1) serving at a time. Eagle eye the total servings in each bottle – usually more than 1 – which means you should multiple that low calories per serving by 2 or 3 if you drink it all at once. Yep, no longer healthy!
Crackers: Cheese crackers and other crackers are high in simple carbs, which spike your blood sugar and create cravings, the exact opposite you’re trying to accomplish by snacking.
‘100-calorie’ Treats: Studies have shown that the 100-calorie packs of cookies like Oreos and Chips Ahoy actually cause more problems than they solve when it comes to weight loss. People tend to eat more of them because they are perceived as healthy, even though they are, in fact, still cookies.
Make smart snacking decisions and your watching your weight will no longer be an uphill battle. Good luck!