Have you ever been trying to lose weight and couldn’t no matter what you tried? I know I have and it turns out that there are a lot of things that can trip you up if you don’t pay attention.
In fact there’s a bunch of things that people think are healthy that will actually help you GAIN weight fast.
When I started trying to lose weight I weighed in at 353 pounds. Not long after that my peak weight was just over 360 pounds. I now weigh 255 pounds. What follows is part of how I lost that 100 pounds.
This list is by no means complete but combined with paying close attention to the ingredients list and nutritional information on food packaging and yes, counting calories & carbs, it is a good place to start.
1. Falling for misleading labeling.
Food manufacturers like to splash big healthy sounding claims on the front of the product label but if you look at the nutritional information on the back you’ll see that it’s all smoke and mirrors. They generally reduce one thing only to increase others.
For example check out “reduced fat” products. While they have less fat than similar products they will all too often still have way more than you need. Also, this reduction in fats is often accompanied by an increase in sugars.
When you say “healthy food” to most people, one of the things they’ll automatically think of is Salad. Unfortunately just because it’s a salad doesn’t make it healthy. If you make it yourself with fresh ingredients and use little or no dressing then yeah, it’s probably pretty good for you.
However when eating out that salad you ordered because you’re trying to eat healthy is probably loaded down with high fat dressings and / or a sauce that’s high in sugar (or both).
A Caesar salad can easily have as much fat as two Big Macs. A Chef’s Salad can have even more. How healthy do they sound now?
3. Nuts and Seeds.
Yes, they’re healthy, IF you eat them in moderation. Bear in mind that most nuts are 50% fat or more. True it’s a healthier fat but still, too much is too much.
The best strategy is to weigh or count them. Eating freestyle will load you up on fat and extra protein really fast before you even realize it.
4. Somebody told you “It doesn’t have calories if . . .”
Stop right there.
All food has calories. If you eat it, it counts toward your daily total. Anything else is a bullshit lie that people tell themselves to justify what they’ve already decided to do in spite of their diet plans and stated desires to lose weight.
5. Dried Fruit.
It sounds really healthy but here’s what you get. All the sugar and calories that’s in fruit but without the water. Dried fruit should be used sparingly if at all.
6. Protein bars.
Read label before eating! Most of these things are loaded with preservatives, hard to pronounce chemicals (always a bad sign!) Most of them have as much calorie and fat content as a Mars bar of similar weight.
If you really need protein, Eggs are high in protein and they are actually good for you.
7. Granola bars.
Manufacturers want you to think that they’re healthy. They go out of their way to make them sound healthy. However the truth is that they are almost all high fat, high calorie, high sugar crap. Avoid them at all costs unless you’re desire is to bulk up.
8. High Fructose Corn Syrup.
This is a concentrated sweetener that’s cheaper to make than sugar and therefore is used in an amazing number of products.
This stuff is killing America.
I firmly believe that the use of HFCS in so many products is a major factor in “The fattening of America”.
Here’s a challenge.
Go to the store and read product ingredient labels. You will be surprised at how many things include High Fructose Corn Syrup. Almost none of these products are actual healthy foods.
9. Vegetarian meals.
A lot of people automatically assume that if something is vegetarian then it’s automatically good for you.
While there are plenty of great vegetarian meals out there, like all products there’s a lot more crap that’s loaded with high fat ingredients like oil and coconut milk. Coconut milk sounds healthy as all get out but in truth one cup of it has over fifty grams of fat. That’s more than most people should have in a whole day.
You don’t have to avoid vegetarian meals, just be smart and check the ingredients list and nutritional information. Reading labels saves a lot of grief.
Most cereals sold in supermarkets are loaded with 20 to 35 percent sugar (and that’s before people add three or four tablespoons of sugar at the breakfast table!).
Not to mention preservatives, artificial colors and flavors and who knows what else. Don’t believe me? Go to the store and read the ingredients list on several brands of cereal. Most of it is absolute crap.
Have some oatmeal (without the nine tons of sugar most people add to it!) or a couple of eggs for breakfast instead.
11. Fruit Smoothies.
Just because it says “Fruit” in the name does not make it healthy. These things can easily have upwards of 500 calories and 70 grams of sugar EACH. Granted that it *might* be mostly Fructose, a healthier form of sugar but still, when it comes to weight loss, sugar is sugar and too much is too much. Read label before eating! It may shock you into picking something else.
12. Flavored rice cakes.
I may never understand these things. I tried them once and it was like eating a very thick, very hard piece of cardboard. Also, they are typically high in salt and have approximately the same nutritional value as eating toenails. How’s that for appetizing?
13. Low fat ice cream.
Just like other products, when they reduce the fat in it you can bet that the sugar content will go up. A little bit once in a great while isn’t bad but it’s best to not make a habit of it.
14. Fruit Juices.
Not all juices are created equal. Most are actually “Fruit Drinks”. Mostly water with maybe 5% or 10% actual juice in them. They’re basically overpriced flavored water that have little to no actual value.
Actual fruit juice is something you want to be careful with. It has lots of sugars and calories, about the same as a similar amount of soda. It’s best to drink them only in moderation. A little bit of this stuff goes a LONG way.
15. Sports drinks.
This is almost always colored water with some form of sugar or sugars in it. Unless you’ve just finished a killer workout and need to replace depleted glycogen levels, Skip ‘em entirely.
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