If You're Eating These 6 Things, Your "Diet" Is Doing Nothing
Dieting is hard. But guess what? Bad dieting can require the same amount of stress and effort, and no positive result. (See also: 14 Dumb Things Holding You Back From Losing Weight)
If you're trying to lose weight, it's hard to know what foods to avoid. Sometimes we fall into the traps set by food marketers, or fall prey to our own sweet tooths. We're especially susceptible to foods that superficially "feel" healthy, but are actually working against our regimens. If you're eating these six things, your diet is for nothing.
We know that chips, crackers and cookies are bad, but even those 100-calorie snack packs are unhealthy. Part of the problem is how they train you to think about calories. The wrong idea that "a calorie is a calorie" fuels the marketing of the seemingly innocuous packs, which cause an insulin spike that works against you by storing more fat.
What's more, research shows that consuming a package boasting low-calorie count actually makes us eat more. Thus, diet ruined.
Eat Instead: A small handful of unsalted nuts will give you the power to last between meals without the useless empty calories.
Meatless Frozen Foods
Veggie burgers, meatless chicken nuggets, and everything else marketed as healthy or eco-conscious alternatives to meat are still processed foods. Many frozen veggie foods are full of grains and genetically modified soy. Also, think of the carbs. Put a bun on that Boca Burger and now you have three times the carbohydrates!
Eat Instead: Make your own veggie patties with as few ingredients as possible. Skew to tasty but nutritious foods like beets and black beans.
If you're eating yogurt that is not "plain" or "unsweetened," you are hurting your diet with unnecessary sugar and calories. The average flavored yogurt contains around 16 grams of sugar. Some yogurts have more sugar content than a Twinkie.
Yogurts that read "fat-free" could be worse, because additives like cornstarch (known on labels as "maltodextrin") provide extra carbohydrates.
Eat Instead: Buy plain yogurt and add fresh (not preserved or dried) fruit for flavor to get more nutrition, decrease sugar, and fight the fitness plateau.
We've been lying to ourselves with our flour tortillas, wraps, flatbreads, and "gluten-free" pasta. It's all refined carbs, and sometimes those items are even more calorie and sugar dense than regular old Wonder bread.
The author of the book Wheat Belly, Dr. William Davis, goes so far as to suggest that grains are the root of problems such as gut flora imbalance and diabetes. Other doctors suggest to keep some of your favorite white flour items to a minimum and mostly eat more satisfying high-fiber carbs.
Eat Instead: Choose high-fiber carbohydrates that will make you fuller, longer, such as a plate of vegetables. If you're jonesing for a sandwich, go for a half- or open-faced sandwich using a high-fiber, sprouted grain bread.
Delicious smoothies. They can be great for you. But the ones we're drinking the most, the ones we order while on the go from places like Jamba Juice, are basically just sugar delivery systems. Let's be honest, we usually don't use them as full meal replacements as intended, and here's why: You experience a sugar spike, crash, and then two hours later you're starving again.What do you do? Reach for whatever is closest to you regardless of health value (which, let's face it, is probably pizza). (See also: You'll Be Surprised How Much Sugar These 10 Foods Have)
Eat Instead: Make smoothies for yourself at home without unhealthy ingredients like sugary fruit juices, excess dairy, or added sweeteners.
Dried fruit can be mor accessible than fresh fruit. However, it's also a lot easier to overeat, because it's addictively sweet. Dehydrating fruit makes it taste sweeter and makes each unit smaller than its fresh equivalent. This places dried fruit high on the glycemic index. For example, a cup of grapes is 60 calories, while a cup of raisins is 460.
Dried fruit is also harder to digest than fresh fruit, making your attempt to eat healthy for nothing.
Eat Instead: Default to fresh fruit because it's easier to reap the benefits of its nutrients. If you do eat dried fruit, measure out a small amount (⅛ cup) before eating and mix it with a handful of nuts such as raw almonds.
Can you think of anything else that's touted as healthy but is actually killing you diet?