7 Snacking Mistakes to Avoid

The road to dieting hell is paved with good intentions and although we try to stay on track we can sometimes make some mistakes, which take us away from our fitness goals.

Having a couple of snacks throughout the day to keep blood sugar levels stable and to ensure your body is satiated enough so not to over-eat at mealtimes, is great way to have balanced nutrition. Eating every 2 to 3 hours is recommended. But try not to make these eating errors.

1. Get in your 5-a-day. Snacking time is a great opportunity to fit in your fruit and vegetable quota for the day. But try mixing each fruit or veggie portions with a food high in omega-3 like smoked salmon, walnuts or flax seeds.

2. Be prepared. If you have your snacks with you and already portioned out, you’ll be less likely to grab something unhealthy from the vending machine. Keep healthy snacks in your bag or at your desk so you have a nutritious mini meal close to hand.

3. Eat clean. It’s always best to eat foods that have as little steps from source to table as possible. So staying away from food that is processed or has ingredients you can’t pronounce is always a safe bet.

4. Mindful eating. Be sure to portion out your snacks before you start eating so that you don’t just continually graze. One of the most common hazards is starting to snack and before you know it you’ve eaten 3 or 4 times what you had initially intended.

5. Keep up the good workout. If you’ve been working out and putting in your time at the gym, the last thing you should do is undo all your good work by ingesting too many excess calories by extra snacking. A good pre and post workout snack high in protein is great to maximize your burn.

6. Calories. Each of your snacks should be 100 to 200 calories and it’s recommended you shouldn’t have more than 400 calories a day in snacks. Nibbles that have a mix of carbs and protein is great. Great snacks include an apple with a handful of almonds or hummus and vegetables.

7. Read labels. Grabbing what you think is a healthy snack but which actually isn’t can be disappointing to your diet bottom line. Just because something is ‘low-fat’ or ‘gluten-free’ doesn’t mean it’s healthy. Some energy bars or granolas are also high in sugar. Be sure to read labels so you know exactly what you’re eating. Happy Snacking!