18 Mar The top 5 surprise foods to avoid if you want to lose weight
As I always tell my clients, if you are looking to lose weight it comes down to 70% what you eat and 30% how much you exercise. So what you eat is going to play a much more important role than how much you train.
What makes this so challenging is that a lot of foods promoted as healthy or low fat are anything but! So here are my top 5 supposedly healthy foods which you should avoid at all costs if are looking to shed those unwanted kilos!
1. Protein Bars
Protein bars make you think they are a healthy and delicious way to meet your protein needs. But beware, with so much added sugar and an ingredient list that reads like a chemistry textbook, many are no better than a full size candy bar!
So make sure you check out the label and calorie count. Many bars contain 300 to 400 calories which is more like a meal replacement than a snack. So look out for those which are low in sugar made with whole foods and only a few ingredients listed. Or better yet, make your own so you know exactly what is going in it.
2. Trail Mix
A mixture of dried fruits and nuts are often enjoyed by walkers and campers as well as by a lot of people at their desk and are considered a relatively healthy snack.
The ones you find in the supermarket usually contain nuts and dried fruits but watch out – some also sneak in candies, chocolate, and lots of added sugar and salt.
So to keep this snack from turning into a dessert, make your own or select ones which only have nuts and dried fruit and go easy on the portion size – a small handful could contain several hundred of calories and a good deal of fat!
3. Almost all supermarket cereals
The way some breakfast cereals are marketed is just plain false advertising. Many of them, including those that are marketed towards children, have all sorts of health claims plastered on the box such as “whole grain” or “low fat.”
But when you take a closer look at the ingredients list, you see that it’s almost nothing but refined grains, sugar and artificial chemicals.
The truth is, if the packaging of a food says that it is healthy, then it probably isn’t.
The truly healthy foods are those that don’t need any health claims – real food doesn’t even need an ingredients list, because real food IS the ingredient.
4. Fruit juices
A lot of people believe fruit juices to be healthy. They must be because they come from fruit, right?
But a lot of the fruit juice you find in the supermarket isn’t really fruit juice. Sometimes there isn’t even any actual fruit in there, just chemicals that taste like fruit. What you’re drinking is basically just fruit-flavoured sugar water.
That being said, even if you’re drinking 100% quality fruit juice, it is still a bad idea. Fruit juice is like fruit, except with all the good stuff (like fibre) taken out – the main thing left of the actual fruit is the sugar.
If you didn’t know, fruit juice actually contains a similar amount of sugar as a sugar-sweetened beverage so instead reach for an actual piece of fruit to keep the calories down.
5. Low fat yoghurt
Yogurt has a long-standing reputation as a healthy food. Studies show that plain yogurt may help with weight loss and improve body composition.
However, low-fat, sugar-sweetened yogurt contains too much sugar to qualify as a nutritious choice. In fact, many types of low-fat and non-fat yogurt are as high in sugar as two Krispy Kreme donuts.
If you want to play it safe, do what I do, go for either plain or Greek Yoghurt and add your own sliced fruit.