3 Healthy Snacks NEVER to Eat

Oh dear. From the NY Times comes this silly news.

“A skinny version of Oreos is now available in the United States. Three Oreo Thins contain 105 calories, compared with 160 calories for three regular Oreos.”

But we both know that is no excuse After all, who can just stop at 3 ‘thin’ Oreos? 🙂

As you can see, diet disasters are all around us. There are obvious obstacles like Oreos, but even worse, there are a lot of so-called ‘healthy snacks’ that are just as bad – or worse – for you than cookies.

#3) Protein Bars and Granola Bars

“I’m full,” said NO ONE ever after eating a granola bar. Let’s be honest, granola bars don’t fill your belly and are really only good as a snack to stuff in a kid’s backpack so they won’t buy a chocolate bar after school.

And yes, protein bars are often just as bad. Filled with fillers and low quality ingredients, like ‘brown-rice syrup’, soy protein, and gelatin, you’re better off with almonds and dark chocolate. At least that combo will satisfy your sweet tooth and your hunger hormones.

Protein and granola bars are processed foods. Avoid them and ignore the ‘health hype’ about them.

#2) Trail Mix

Good ol’ raisins and peanuts. And chocolate chips. And M&M’s. And marshmallows. At about 100 calories a handful, pretty soon that adds up to real calories! Trail mix might be okay for your kids if they are running around and burning 1000 calories in an afternoon, or if you’re going on a serious 10 mile hike, but otherwise, this is a dangerous, dangerous snack for your belly.

#1) “Healthy” Chips

The other weekend I treated myself to a bag of sweet potato and beet chips. I was soon reminded of why these are a ‘joke’ and not a healthy snack. Food scientists have engineered the potato chip to be the most addictive food in the world. At 200 calories in just 21 chips, I soon dug myself a 600-calorie potato chip hole. And that was before dinner and didn’t leave a dent in my appetite.

By the way, did you know that many types of potato chips, like Pringles, are made from “a slurry of rice, wheat, corn, and potato flakes that are pressed into shape?” Clearly that’s not healthy, so if you must have some chips, please read the ingredient list and make sure you’re just getting potatoes, cooking oil, and salt.

But the bottom line is that NONE of these foods fill you up…until it’s too late. What that means is that a single serving doesn’t go a long way. While the pleasure is over in seconds, we’re still going to be hungry, and these foods are addictive, so we eat more.

Once we start, we can’t stop. The next thing you know you’ve eaten 6-10 servings (i.e. the entire bag or box) and only then are you satisfied – but you’ve eaten a day’s worth of calories – or more!

We all know these foods aren’t really healthy, and so here’s what you need to do. This approach works for all of life’s obstacles.

Step #1 – Eliminate temptations.

There is nothing more effective for avoiding junk food binges than keeping the junk out of the house. It’s not always practical (i.e. sometimes your spouse or kids bring it in, I know, I know), but you MUST do the best you can. Just as a recovering alcoholic cannot go into a bar, you cannot support your weaknesses.

Before I cut out dairy last year, my biggest weakness was chocolate covered almonds. I could plow through 2,000 calories of those little suckers in about 30 minutes, even though I knew it would leave me tired and with inflammation running through my body.

So I stopped buying them. I asked my friends and a few TT Trainers to stop giving them to me as gifts. I eliminated the temptation. That helped a LOT. But not as much as the 3rd step I’ll reveal below.

Step #2 – Establish a Cut-Off Cure for Your Bad Habits

Listen, even if the junk is in your house, and even if you break down and start eating it, you can still walk away with a VICTORY. Here’s how.

Once you recognize the bad behavior, insert a trigger – a cut-off cure – that gets you out of trouble. It might be brushing your teeth, switching to an apple, getting out of the house and going for a walk, calling a friend for support, or having the courage to stand up, walk over to the trash, and throw the junk in the garbage (then make sure to throw some dirt over the junk food so that you don’t pull a George Costanza!).

You must do whatever you can to break the cycle. So even when you’ve eaten two-and-a-half cookies, you can throw that final half-cookie into the trash and walk away with a victory. Never give up on what is important to you.

Step #3 – Create Diet Rules

If you commit to a couple of simple, easy-to-follow rules, you will lead yourself out of Diet Disaster Temptation all the time. You’ll be guilt-free and you’ll keep losing weight – even after a social summer weekend.

Here are the rules you should make:

Rule #1 – I only eat treats once per week as a reward. (Even better if you list specifically the treats to enjoy.)

Rule #2 – I only eat 300 calories of this specific treat and I use my cut-off cure to stop me from eating more.

Rule #3 – I do not eat ___ or ___ (insert the name of two treats that you don’t absolutely love but often find yourself eating due to boredom or peer pressure).

Make your little rules. Write them down. And believe in yourself that you will stay committed.

These will help. I guarantee it.

Let me know how this goes for you.

Have an amazing week and enjoy the rest of your Sunday!


Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer

PS – Oh, and in answer to the questions running through your head right now…

YES, you can. Yes, you can eat better. Yes, you can get up earlier. Yes, you can lose the last 5-10 pounds. Yes, you can make exercise a consistent habit. Yes, you can get back in shape at any age. Yes, you can lose that post-baby weight. Yes, you can get rid of the chronic pain in your joints and body. Yes, you can have more all-day energy. Yes, you can change your attitude about life. Yes, you can improve your relationships at home and at work. Yes, you can mend fences by apologizing for past mistakes and get rid of that guilty conscience. Yes, you can let go and forgive yourself for the past errors of your way. Yes, you can raise your child to be loving, respectful, honest, and hard-working. Yes, you can achieve your big goals and dreams. Yes, you can take action on one, any, and all of these today. Yes, YOU can.

Do not have self-doubt. I believe in you. You can – and WILL – do it.