You’ve purchased your ‘quitting sugar’ cookbook and have been making ‘healthy fudge’ for months, you always choose the banana bread instead of the choccie cake for morning tea and you’ve been drinking ‘super buff’ protein powder at the gym – surely you should be looking lean after months of this… No?
Let’s take a look at foods that may be hindering your weight loss efforts!
Drinks: Sports drinks, smoothies, juices and ‘diet’ soft drinks
Unless you are running a half marathon, put the sports drinks back in the gym refrigerator. As for smoothies and juice bars, take a good look at what is in those ‘super-sized’ juicy drinks. Often they contain at least four pieces of fruit and fancy juice bars often sneak in goodies like sorbets and sweet yoghurts before they hit the blitz button. If you think a ‘diet’ drink will get you super slim, more and more studies are linking ‘diet’ drinks with Metabolic Syndrome and abdominal adiposity.
Instead: Have water with a single serve of whole fruit or have a juice or smoothie that is made up of mostly vegetables, roots and one fruit.
Protein products: Powders, bars and balls
The idea of eating ‘clean’ and consuming protein powder leaves me baffled. Protein powder is a heavily processed food with ingredients that belong in your chemistry text book not in your mouth. Snacking on choc protein bars is not far off snacking on Cadbury chocolate bars in terms of calorie content and if you are home making your own version of protein balls, are you honestly able to stop at one?
Instead: Drink a glass of reduced fat milk or have a small tub of yoghurt.
The ‘quitting sugar’ desserts
The ‘quitting sugar’ phenomenon has been on my radar for a few years now. I am all for lowering the amount of refined sugar in your diet and getting rid of the teaspoons of sugar in your tea and coffee, but snacking on sweet treats that are supposedly ‘sugar free’ is not a smart way to lose weight. Not only are people eating more ‘treat foods’ under the guise of being ‘healthy’, most of these ‘treats’ are loaded with rice malt syrup which is, in fact, sugar.
Instead: Eat a piece of whole fruit with yoghurt or have some vegetable sticks with hummus; save those other ‘treats’ as a once-a-week indulgence.
‘Healthy’ café items: Banana bread, blueberry muffins and café yoghurts
If you rely on the local café for your morning or afternoon tea – banana bread, blueberry muffins and café yoghurts may seem like a good option… but let’s be real; you may as well be eating banana cake with cream! Most of these café options aren’t healthy at all. Sure they are delicious, but be aware that in terms of calories, sugar and fat, they are clearly on the indulgence spectrum.
Instead: Have some natural yoghurt and fresh berries or a slice of raisin toast with some low-fat ricotta.
Bottom line is, people are consuming some of these supposed ‘health’ foods in excessive quantities and making them part of their every day. Instead, choose minimally processed, whole foods and ‘clean up’ your diet by including more foods that are close to nature. Now that’s healthy!
Eat well, be well.
Lisa Donaldson APD
3/4 Kennedy Street, Kingston