Are you ready to lose weight? Many people seeking weight loss tend to focus on increasing their exercise but aren’t really sure what to eat. Chances are, you’re eating diet foods that aren’t really good for your weight — or your overall health. If this is you, you’re not alone. Figuring out your ideal diet is a tricky subject. Modern day marketing only makes matters worse by trying to convince us that unhealthy processed foods are good for us. If you really want to lose weight, you’ll want to avoid these 10 diet foods that can actually sabotage your weight-loss goals.
1. Store-bought protein shakes
The smoothies and protein shakes you blend up at home can be a good bet for weight loss, depending what you put in them. The ones you buy at the store are not. These pre-made versions are typically loaded with sugar. And sugar is one of the primary weight-loss saboteurs. The next time you’re at the store, take a look at the label on a protein shake or smoothie. The spoonfuls of added sugar should be a huge turn off.
2. Dried fruit
Dried fruits are yet another one of those so-called diet foods that in reality, can contribute to weight gain. Their sugar content is really high when compared to fresh fruit. This is one reason trail mix isn’t really a diet food. Most trail mixes contain dried fruits and sometimes even milk chocolate. Again, read labels to see for yourself. Sometimes, the numbers speak volumes.
3. Fruity yogurt
Yogurt has some really great health benefits and can be regarded as a diet food if it has no sugar. Plain Greek yogurt is good for you. The low-fat, fat-free fruity yogurts are not. Why? Because they’re absolutely loaded with sugar. Just check the label. You’ll be amazed at how much sugar is in a tiny cup of yogurt. Flavored yogurts contain unhealthy additives and sometimes artificial sweeteners. They have no business being labeled a health food. So, stick to the full-fat plain stuff and add your own fresh fruit or a drizzle of honey.
4. Gluten-free chips and crackers
Just because the label on a box of crackers, pita chips, or tortilla chips reads gluten-free, that doesn’t make it good for you. These diet foods are still processed. They’re still refined. And any man-made food is not going to support your weight loss goals. If you’re confused about what’s good for weight loss and what’s not, avoid any food that comes in a box or package. Some are healthier than others, but they’re still not a true health food.
5. Cereals and granola
Granola is a diet food, right? Wrong! Take a look at the ingredients in your box of granola. Chances are, sugar is at the top of the ingredient list. Even if you buy granola from the bulk section of your local health food store, read those labels. Again, you’re going to find added sugars and other ingredients that might raise an eyebrow. If you love granola and other cereals, be really good about checking ingredients. Not all are loaded with sugar and preservatives, but it’s up to you to find these healthier versions.
6. Artificial sweeteners
You probably never guessed that adding those little white packets to your teas and coffees is causing weight gain. These diet foods are really detrimental to your health. While we’re told they’re better for weight loss than sugar, this is a lie. Both sugar and artificial sweeteners cause weight gain. And if we’re talking about your overall well-being, these fake sweeteners are just as bad if not worse for your health than sugar. They may contain zero calories, but they also increase your appetite. Throw out these white powdery packets if you’re ready to lose weight and keep it off!
7. Pre-made veggie juice
Juicing is a wonderful way to consume a nutrient-dense drink. But to truly reap the amazing health benefits of juicing, you need to make your own. The pre-made veggie juices you find at your supermarket are pasteurized. They also contain additives — added sugars, added preservatives and so on. These preservatives do nothing for weight loss. In fact, they’ll often cause you to gain weight. So, if you’re serious about juicing, buy yourself a high-quality juicer and juice organic vegetables a few times a week. Because juicing is a time-consuming project, why not freeze individual servings of juice? Then, you can grab one and go at your convenience.
8. Lattes, macchiatos, and frappes
Who doesn’t love a sweet, comfy coffee drink? Starbucks is wildly successful for a reason. But those flavored grande lattes and venti frappes are loaded with sugar. And sugar is addictive. Coffee can be part of a healthy diet. But when you add milk, sugar, and who knows what else, you can throw out the idea that drinking these beverages will help you lose weight. Did you know there are 350 calories and 69 grams of sugar in a venti Frappuccino? That is well above the daily recommended threshold of 38 grams of added sugar for men and 25 grams of added sugar for women.
9. Pre-packaged salads
It’s totally natural to think that picking up a pre-made salad at the salad bar is a smart move for your midday meal. Unfortunately, it may not be. The type of dressing used can make or break a salad. Avoid any made from hydrogenated vegetable oils, which cause weight gain and are bad for you in other ways. Opt for extra-virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar when dressing your salad. This combo supports healthy weight loss and tastes really good. Try making your own infused olive oil with basil, rosemary, or garlic if you want a little extra flavor.
Sushi is healthy when it’s not covered in sauce. But how often do we stick to the unadulterated fish-and-veggie rolls? Most of the time our sushi is made with white rice. Other times we’re eating shrimp tempura that’s fried and drizzled with a chili sauce that’s loaded with sugar. If you’re going to eat sushi and regard it as a diet food, eat the simplest version. And request rolls made with brown rice instead of white rice.
At Elite Physique, we believe an equal balance of nutrition, activity, rest, and confidence is the foundation for achieving a healthier you. Our personalized weight-loss programs are custom-tailored to help you meet your goals and to address the underlying factors that can make weight-loss difficult. Contact us today to schedule your free consultation!