Vending machines are located in the most convenient places. Offices, airports, bus terminals, school campuses, strip malls, and right on the street in some cities. Too bad they are mostly filled with junk foods that are not only bad for your health but terrible for your weight loss efforts.
Before I give you my list, understand that I was not always averse to vending machine foods. When I worked in a bank, the vending machines were located just a few short steps from my office. I visited them at least once a day and never picked any of the healthy options. I always went for the high fat, high sugar, high sodium snacks and I paid for it in terms of my weight.
Here are eight foods to never eat from a vending machine for your health and weight.
1. Orange Crackers
After candy, my favorite choice in the vending machine was those orange colored crackers with peanut butter. You may be lulled into thinking these are a good choice because of the peanut butter. Don’t be duped. These cracker packs have an average of 210 calories, 10 g of fat, and 260 mg of sodium.
Skip the soda completely when walking by the vending machine. Most sodas have about 250 calories per 20 ounces. Say “No,” to the diet sodas as well. Diet soda may cause you to crave sugary foods, contains unhealthy artificial sweeteners, and has no nutrients.
3. Pastries of All Kinds
Many vending machines sell pastries covered in frosting, sprinkled with sugar, and full of calories. Those pastries often have 200 calories per serving and give you no lasting energy or nutrients. And no, heating them in a toaster does not reduce the calories.
Candy was my favorite item to purchase at my office vending machine. Avoid chocolate bars, M&M’s, and every other type of candy. If you find yourself weakening, look up the calories in a Snickers bar and remind yourself that 270 calories on junk is unnecessary and a bad weight loss choice.
5. Diet Cookies
With the increasing awareness on the part of consumers concerning calories and healthier food options, some companies put diet cookies in their vending machines. These cookies, which usually have four in a pack, contain artificial ingredients, an average of 120 calories, and 18 g of sugar.
6. Granola Bars
There are some exceptions to this rule, but most of the granola bars in vending machines are highly processed, full of sugar, and lacking in real nutrition. Familiarize yourself with the brand of granola bar offered and make a knowledgeable choice.
No one needs chips, especially if you are trying to diet. Chips have an average of 160 calories per ounce, and many vending machine chip bags contain 1.75 or 2 ounces. Chips give you unhealthy fat, high amounts of sodium, and do not fill you up.
8. Cookie Packs
Skip the non-diet cookie packs as well. A single chocolate chip cookie has an average of 80 calories and a package of mini cookies averages about 250 calories, according to the USDA Nutrient Data Laboratory.
As you lose weight and seriously think about how the foods you eat impact your health, I know you will be able to walk past the unhealthy food in the vending machines and remember the days when you thought those foods were tasty and good.