Healthy Eating
  • Northeast Wisconsin
  • February 2015
Written by 

Snacking and weight loss

Many times we are told to eat three small meals a day and snacks in between. It keeps your metabolism going and controls cravings until your next meal. However, eating the wrong foods during snack time could significantly obstruct your goal to weight loss. Sugars, artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, fats and refined carbs love to hide in foods disguised or packaged as “healthy.”

Here is a list of snacks that will not help your waistline:

Trail mix/granola bars

A serving of store-bought trail mix is a measly ¼ cup, a serving size that roughly no one will stick to. Granola bars sound super healthy and from nature, but unfortunately even the health aisle products are just not good for you. Plus, the processed milk chocolate and random high glycemic fruits in them aren’t doing you any favors, either. Even varieties without chocolate still are loaded with hidden sweeteners and unnecessary oils. Instead, make your own energy mix with raw nuts and dehydrated fruits. Sticking to a ¼-cup serving size of this simple mix will ensure that you’re getting nutrients your body needs instead of empty calories that won’t even fill you up.


These classic snacks are high in sodium — almost 20 percent of your daily intake is in one serving of pretzels. Too much sodium leads to increased water retention, which can lead to bloating and puffiness, and too much sodium over time can lead to heart disease. Opt for some salted and shelled pistachios instead. They contain almost double the protein and three times the fiber of pretzels, which means they’ll keep you full much longer than pretzels will.

Diet soda

Removing the sugar from a soda does not turn it into a health food. Artificial sweeteners can make you feel full and keep cravings at bay, but they also have a negative effect on your metabolism. Not to mention the amount of chemicals that you are consuming which the body doesn’t even recognize. This leads to cravings later in the day for real calories and food. Eliminating diet soda (and caffeine) can be difficult at first, but in the end is completely worth it. Try drinking sparkling water flavored with a little added stevia or fruit.

Banana chips

Banana chips also may seem like a good idea because they are primarily bananas, right? Wrong. They are usually fried, which means they are high in saturated fat. And when you think about the number of banana chips you’d eat compared to a real banana, it’s pretty eye-opening how much natural sugar you’re taking in. Instead, go for the obvious substitution here: a fresh piece of fruit! Fresh fruit is nonprocessed, full of vitamins and phytonutrients, and has a healthy dosage of fiber!

Rice cakes

Rice cakes are commonly perceived as healthy foods because they are low in calories and contain no fat, but they are also incredibly high on the glycemic index. Pure sugar has a rating of 100, and rice cakes have a rating of 82. Again, these snacks are highly processed and full of empty calories that will not get you to your weight loss goals. Try popped amaranth or roasted chickpeas for a healthier crunchy snack.

Flavored yogurts

All flavored yogurts are typically going to be loaded with real sugar or packed with artificial sweeteners for flavoring. Instead of falling for the “low calorie,” or “low sugar” marketing these products advertise, opt for plain Greek yogurt and add your own fruit; it’s low in sugar and contains healthy proteins to fill you up.

Bottom line: Don’t be fooled by clever product marketing and advertising. You will never fail in health when you give your body real, whole food!

Kim Stoeger, MS, Clinical Nutritionist

Kimberly Stoeger, MS, is the clinical nutritionist and owner of Nutritional Healing, LLC. Her passion lies in supporting people’s health through evidence-based medicine (risks versus benefits of medications) and healing therapies through nutrition. Kimberly has her masters of science in human nutrition degree, and experience working with clients regarding weight and fatigue issues, sports nutrition, food sensitivities and allergies, and general health concerns such as high blood pressure, high glucose levels, high cholesterol/triglycerides, migraines, thyroid conditions and gut dysfunction. To learn more, call 920-358-5764 or email [email protected]

Website: [email protected]
Subscribe Today
Community Partners Directory
Find a Complimentary Copy
Community Calendar