Monday, September 08, 2014

5 snacks NEVER to eat

Snacking can be good, but done wrong with these 5 snack food disasters, snacking can ruin your diet and make you fatter. Get these snack foods out of your daily diet and use the guilt-free alternatives I give you instead.

#1 - Avoid The Addictive Snack in a Bag: Trail Mix

Our first snack is delicious and so easily addicting. But did you know that a single cup of your favorite trail mix filled with salty peanuts, chocolate, dried fruit, and oats could deliver a super fattening wallop of over 700 calories? It would take you over an hour of hiking to burn that off, and that's IF you can limit your snacking to just a cup.

Worse, store-bought brands add in sneaky extra calories in the form of added sugar, increasing your insulin levels and shutting off your fat burning hormones. Use this homemade, high-protein version instead.

Mix one ounce of raw almonds or walnuts with three tablespoons of raw cacao nibs and three tablespoons of unsweetened coconut flakes.

The healthy fats, fiber, and protein from these three all-natural ingredients will keep you full and mentally alert for hours. Plus, your hands won't be sticky-icky or oily from the added sugar and trans-fats found in commercial bags of trail mix.

#2 - Avoid The Diet Fraud: Packaged Cereals

We grew up being told that packaged cereals are part of a complete breakfast and a great snack (that's what we get for listening to a cartoon tiger!).
However, most cereals are full of processed grains and added sugar, and these ingredients will not only make you feel sluggish, but they also increase your insulin levels, making you fatter and hungrier. Plus, cereals are often high in sodium and leave you puffy and bloated.

Swap out the grains and get rid of the cereal. Replace your traditional cereal with this new-school fat burning recipe.

Mix one cup of plain Greek Yogurt, one scoop of chocolate whey protein, one ounce of raw almonds or walnuts, and a tablespoon of natural almond butter (make sure the almond butter is not sweetened with "cane syrup" or "cane juice").

You'll be satisfied and mentally alert for hours. Plus, you can even have this snack BEFORE bed as the protein could help you sleep better.

#3 - Avoid the Calorie Bomb in a Wrapper: Energy Bars

"Mmmmm, that granola bar filled me up," said NO ONE ever.

Energy bars are dangerous, high-sugar calorie bombs that will wreck your diet while leaving you hungry for more at the same time. These little snacks are filled with sugar, processed grains, and at best, a cheap, ineffective protein source like soy protein or brown rice (also, watch out for "brown rice syrup", another sugar sweetener!).

Energy bars do NOT fill you up and because they are so sweet, they make you want to eat a second one, further destroying your diet. Do not eat energy bars, ever, not even the fancy new fruit'n'nut versions that are still too sweet and loaded with sugar.

Instead of energy bars, eat a protein bar instead. The best protein bars that use quality protein sources are available from or

#4 - Avoid the Starbucks Diet Disaster: Flavored Coffee!

There is a right way and a very, very wrong way to enjoy a mid-morning coffee break. In the diet disaster version, you can get over 400 calories of sugar & fat from your coffee.

A Starbucks Caramel Frappuccino Blended Beverage contains a whopping 410 calories, with 140 calories from fat and a gut-busting 64 grams of sugar. That's TWICE as much sugar as a can of Red Bull. Even a large Starbucks latte with whole milk will set you back 300 calories and 15 grams of fat.

Stop the Starbucks Sugar Rush and switch to black coffee (just 5 calories per cup). Better yet, replace some of your coffee (you don't have to replace all of it) with Green Tea.

#5 - Avoid the 2nd Sugar-Rush Diet Disaster: Bottled Smoothies

Like coffee, smoothies can be done right, or you can fall into the smoothie trap set by Jamba Juice and Odwalla and end up consuming more calories from a so-called "healthy smoothie" than you'd get from eating a Big Mac.

High-calorie smoothies are filled with sugar in the form of hidden syrups and added juice, guaranteed to put you into a sugar coma and leave you sluggish for hours. Avoid pre-made smoothies because they will always contain hidden ingredients. Try this recipe at home instead:

The Ballantyne Blender Drink
  • 8 oz water
  • 4 ice cubes
  • 1 scoop protein powder (BioTrust whey protein or Paleo Protein)
  • 2 handfuls baby spinach (you can't taste it, trust me!)
  • 1 teaspoon Athletic Greens or other greens powder
  • ¼ cup frozen blueberries or raspberries or cherries
  • ½ banana or ½ an avocado
That will keep you full for hours and mentally alert all morning long. 
Get healthy and sexy with a quick diet,
Craig Ballantyne, CTT
Certified Turbulence Trainer

No comments: