avoid bad snacking smallYou know the old jingle, “once you pop you can’t stop.” For so many of us, it’s a truth that’s endangering our waistlines and emptying our wallets. When a coffee beverage or bag of chips adds 500 calories to your day, it adds an extra 3,500 calories a week to your diet. Incidentally, 3,500 calories equals about a pound of body fat, according to the Mayo Clinic.

Free yourself from outrageously priced empty calories with these simple tips for healthy snacking habits:

1. Read the Ingredient Label…All of It

Educate yourself about what you’re about to put in your body, really process the information and you might find your munchies subsiding. Ask yourself, if you ate everything in the package (or a realistically indulgent portion) how much caloric impact would that have on your day? The FDA offers a great explanation of nutrition labels and how to read them.

2. Keep a Food Diary

If mindless snacking is a problem for you, a food diary is a great solution. By forcing yourself to record your food intake, you’ll see (and likely reconsider) the true scope of your snacking. It’s a practice that business owners have used forever: What is measured, is improved. Even more, it’s backed up with research. Check out WebMD’s explanation of the science behind food diaries.

3. Find Quality Snacks to Sub In

The act of snacking, itself, isn’t inherently evil. The problem lies in most snack foods being detrimental to your diet. Foods that add value to your daily nutrition, such as Isagenix Snacks!™ and FiberSnacks!™ can be included in your day, guilt-free. Fresh vegetables, small quantities of almonds and other healthy nuts, and high-protein savory snacks like Whey Thins are also safe snacking alternatives.

4. Drink More Water

How much water do you drink every day? Eight glasses? Half your body weight in ounces? Not nearly enough? Next time you feel hungry, try drinking a full glass of water instead. If you’re still hungry in 10 minutes, you can eat, but maybe you were really thirsty all along. It can’t hurt to develop a habit of reaching for water first and snacking second. It’ll give you valuable time to rethink the junk food you were about to buy from the vending machine or break out from your secret stash!

How do you avoid bad snacks? We’d love to hear from you in the comments!