The right snacks can reduce hunger and make your day more pleasant. However, when losing weight, there are also a few snacks you want to avoid.
This does not have to mean you should never eat these foods (although it would be better for your health). However, you do want to be careful in how often and in what portions you eat them.
1. Most cereals
Most store-bought cereals are either baked goods made from refined carbohydrates or whole grains processed in an unrecognizable way both visually and nutrient-wise.
On top of that, many brands add a lot of sugar.
The result of these mixes is a snack that is high in the types of calories that are typically considered unhealthy.
Additionally, cereals are generally not that filling. This is partly due to the lack of filling nutrients like fiber but the sugar and other sweeteners also motivate you to eat more.
If you are craving something similar but want something that is more helpful for losing weight you could consider whole grains like oatmeal with a few healthy ingredients.
2. Dried fruit
This next snack category may come as a surprise to many people but dried fruit is often not ideal when trying to lose weight.
As the name implies, by drying fruits you remove a lot of water from them. This makes dried fruits higher in calories per 100 grams, less filling, and less healthy.
For example, dried plums aka prunes contain around 240 calories per 100 grams which includes 7.1 grams of fiber (1).
There are definitely worse snacks out there but at the same time, there are many better options too. You generally want to replace dried fruit with healthier options like regular fruit.
3. Potato chips
Chips can be a somewhat confusing snack for some people. The main reason for this is that they are made from potatoes which tend to be helpful for weight loss.
However, by frying them and adding a lot of salt and spices, potato chips become higher in calories, less healthy, and easy to overeat.
Especially this last point makes chips a suboptimal snack compared to the original version. 100 grams of chips is a lot easier to eat than 100 grams of potatoes.
4. Some protein bars
In theory, protein bars can be a decent way to add some protein to your diet and offer a good taste.
In practice, many protein bar brands add a lot of sugar and cereal-like ingredients to their products.
It is true that hitting your daily protein goals is helpful for weight loss, health, building muscle, and preserving muscle.
However, other snack options like healthy beef jerky could be better sources of protein. Another option is finding one of the protein bar brands that keep their products weight loss friendly.
5. White bread
Bread used to be seen as the example of a healthy food option. However, more and more people are realizing that certain types of bread are not that great for things like health and more specifically, losing weight.
More specifically, snacking on something like white bread, even if you use healthy toppings.
While again not as bad as some of the other snacks on this list, white bread tends to be high in refined carbohydrates.
In turn, you can expect a snack that is not that filling, not that nutritious, and still above average in calories.
6. Certain yogurts
The right types of yogurts can be great snack choices (for people who can deal with lactose). They contain nice amounts of protein, micronutrients, and probiotics.
However, the thing to keep in mind is that many yogurt brands also add sugar and other sweeteners to their products.
These ingredients add calories and make it easier to overeat yogurt.
Additionally, even if you choose a healthy yogurt to snack on, you also want to make sure you use ingredients that don’t hinder your weight loss efforts.
Crackers are another snack you generally want to avoid when losing weight for similar reasons as white bread.
While they used to be seen as at least decently healthy, crackers are actually just little packages of refined carbohydrates and salt.
This makes them high in calories, not that filling, and easy to overeat.
Similar to other foods, you can have some crackers and still lose weight. However, since they are not that great and since there are many better alternatives, it is generally smart to avoid them.