Most Common Snacking Mistakes That Lead to Weight Gain
Snacking between meals is a great way to keep hunger at bay and fuel your important calorie-burning workouts. If you often enjoy a midmorning or late-afternoon snack, read up on the common mistakes that people make when it comes to eating between meals that can cause the numbers on the scale to go up.
Your Snack Is a Mini Meal
You sit down with some chips and guacamole and think you're eating just a snack. If you stopped to count calories, you'd realize your plate is actually more like 300 calories, rather than the recommended 150. Stick to small bites when it comes to snacks to not only prevent weight gain, but to save your appetite for mealtimes. Here are some ideas for 150-calorie snacks.
You Drink Your Snack
Smoothies make excellent snacks, especially when adding veggies into the mix. The problem is, all those other healthy ingredients like fruit, protein powder, and nuts really start to add up, and it's easy to gulp down hundreds of calories in just a few minutes. When it comes to snacking on smoothies, pour yourself a small glass to ensure you stay around 150 calories. Or made this low-cal chocolate smoothie.
You Overdo It on Healthy Foods
Sure, the chocolate chip peanut butter protein balls you proudly whipped up are chock-full of healthy ingredients like peanuts and dates, but just because a food is good for you doesn't mean you can eat all you want — one of these balls is 91 calories. Keep portion sizes in mind even on nutritious foods, especially those that are high in calories like nuts, avocados, dried fruit, and healthy baked goods.
Your Snack Is Dry
Crackers, granola bars, toast, mini bran muffins — these are all healthy snacks, but they're dry. Foods rich in water tend to pack fewer calories into larger servings, meaning you can munch away on slices of bell peppers or apples, baby carrots, or diced melon, and feel full without consuming tons of calories. Another bonus is that these wet snacks keep you feeling full longer, and keep you hydrated, which is good for your skin, your sinuses, and your regularity.
You Wait Until You're Famished
Snacks are meant to satiate your hunger between meals or to give you a boost of energy before or after a workout. If you wait too long to enjoy your snack, you'll be so famished that you either grab the first and quickest (most likely unhealthy) food you see, or you eat so fast that you reach for more food after your snack is gone. Avoid this problem by scheduling regular snack times (yep, just like a preschooler).