Some of the well-known “diet” foods may surprise you because they are actually not healthy at all, and can sabotage your weight-losing efforts.
This being the case, you should keep a watchful eye on the following foods because they cause weight gain.
- Flavored Yogurt
This is supposedly one of the best diet snacks to reach for when you’re trying to lose weight. But what some people fail to realize is that flavored yogurts contain double the amount of sugar as plain yogurt does. This means you could be adding more fat to your diet without even realizing it! The yogurts that are labeled “light” aren’t safe either since they also contain a lot of sugar.
Instead of eating flavored yogurts, flavor the plain yogurts yourself by adding a teaspoon of 100% fruit juice, or add fresh fruit to boost the flavor. If this isn’t appealing, try eating Greek yogurt; it contains less sugar with twice the amount of protein, which helps keep you full between meals.
- Sugar-Free Desserts
Leaving the sugar out of your diet is smart; however, if you’re being tricked into eating chemicals or fat with labels that say “sugar-free” you could very well be causing more harm than good. A lot of sugar-free desserts and candy contain sorbitol as an ingredient, which can give you diarrhea and bloating, and this isn’t good for anyone!
Instead of eating cakes or cookies, trade them in for graham crackers because these contain much less sugar than cookies or cakes. You can also choose to eat fresh fruit instead of baked goods so you don’t overdose on carbs.
- Trail Mix
Pre-packaged trail mixes that have dried fruit like banana chips contain 10 grams of fat because they are often deep-fried in bad oils. If you pick up a package of trail mix that contains yogurt dipped raisins, keep in mind that these are coated with partially hydrogenated oils that have saturated and trans fats. These pre-packaged mixes also have a lot of salt, which causes your body to bloat.
Trail Mix Tip:
If you’re looking for a snack that is filled with protein and healthy fats, make your own trail mix at home; use unsalted almonds, peanuts, pistachios, walnuts, and craisins. This combination is filling and heart-healthy! Pair this combination with fresh apples or grapes, and you’ll have a healthy snack or side dish for your meals.
This seemingly harmless breakfast food appears to be nothing but good nutrition; however, just one cup without milk gives you 560 calories and almost 30 grams of fat! Granola bars, cookies, yogurt toppings, and breakfast cereals may taste like heaven, but for someone trying to lose weight, the result isn’t worth it.
There are other alternatives to granola toppings on yogurt, cereals, and granola bars. Look for chopped nuts with dark chocolate or all-natural nut butters because these hold significantly less sugar and fats than granola. So instead of granola cereals, reach for an all-bran cereal or oatmeal in the morning.
These fruit and ice mixtures seem to be the ideal go-to drink for dieters, but they are loaded with calories and fat. A lot of smoothies contain over 500 calories due to the sugars found inside.
A good alternative to frozen drinks is to eat frozen fruits. Grapes are ideal for this; all you need to do is pop a bowl of seedless grapes into the freezer, then suck on them when you feel a sweet tooth coming on. You can also make freeze cubes using 100% orange and grape juice, and then throw them into a blender to make a slush-like substance. Add some frozen strawberries and bananas into the blender and you’ll have a refreshing drink!
- Diet Beverages
The seemingly harmless diet soda you drink every day at lunch may be preventing you from losing weight. In fact, you’ll be more likely to gain weight while drinking zero calorie beverages because the artificial sugars found inside of these drinks trigger cravings for real sugars. And although diet sodas are sometimes a better choice than non-diet drinks, cutting these sodas out completely could help you lose more than 30 pounds in one year alone.
Nothing will quench your thirst for sodas, but the less you drink, the less you’ll want it. Trade your diet sodas for water, vegetable juices or milk.
Carbohydrates are largely responsible for people gaining weight. Breads are the most common source of carbohydrates in a person’s diet, so by eating less bread, you’ll limit the amount of carbs in your diet. You will also notice that salad dressings and other condiments have a high amount of carbs in them, so use these sparingly.
When you’re at restaurants or even going through a fast food joint, it’s okay to order a hamburger with lettuce, tomato, pickle and mustard; what gets you into trouble is the mayonnaise and the bread. You can remove the top of the bun, and order your burger without mayo to keep calories in check, as well as your carbohydrate intake in balance.
Going out with friends or having the nightly beer with dinner is tasteful and acceptable – assuming you’re of age to drink alcoholic of course. However, drinking on a regular basis can pack on the pounds. If you drink one can of beer every day, you can increase your weight by 1.2 pounds in a single month.
Drinking water along with the alcoholic beverages will fill you up, and help flush the alcohol out of your system faster. This is good so that you don’t become bloated from drinking.
Other foods that you should avoid while trying to lose weight are fried foods like fries, chicken, fried vegetables, butter, potato chips and ice cream. Keep your caloric intake between 1,400 and 2,000 calories a day by reading labels and keeping a food journal. You should see results within a month of exercising and watching what you eat!