Have you ever been on a diet and gained weight instead of losing it? You work really hard, depriving yourself of yummy treats and hitting the gym every day, but the scale defiantly tells you you’ve gained five pounds. Sigh. So, where did you go wrong? Are you just destined to be overweight?
Don’t despair; that’s definitely not the case. Most people who gain weight on diets do so because they’ve been deceived. That’s right; you may have been bamboozled by fraud foods that sound healthy, but really aren’t. Let’s take a closer look at some common imposters:
Loaded Salads – You can get a very healthy salad at the salad bar – or, you can get one that’s so bad for your health that you may as well have had an ice cream sundae for lunch. It all depends on how it’s loaded. Use fresh ingredients, such as cucumbers, tomatoes and sunflower seeds. Avoid adding high fat foods like cheese or bacon. Go easy on the creamy dressings and opt for a little olive oil and vinegar.
Multi-Grain Breads – This is a case where labels can be deceiving. Many breads that are labeled as “multi-grain” are often made with refined flour. Always read labels. The key is the fiber content. High fiber equals whole cracked wheat or true multi-grain.
Sports Drinks – After you hit the gym, you need to hydrate. But when you reach for a sports drink, you’re getting a whole lot of sugar and sodium along with that hydration. Water is your best bet. If you need more flavor, add a splash of lemon or lime juice.
Flavored Yogurt – Yogurt is good for you; there’s no doubt about that. But it’s important that you read the labels before choosing a specific type. Many flavored yogurts are packed with extra sugars that your body definitely doesn’t need. Instead, try buying plain Greek yogurt and adding fresh fruit and nuts.
Fruit Juice – “Made with real fruit” doesn’t mean that it’s 100% real fruit juice. Actually, if you read the label, you might find that the “fruit juice” contains more added fructose than fruit.
Anything Labeled “Fat-Free” – Just because it doesn’t contain fat doesn’t mean it isn’t loaded with sodium or high in calories. Always read the label. Actually, the same goes for most foods labeled “low calorie”.
Energy Bars – Sometimes, the boost of energy you get from these things comes from sugar. What’s worse is that many also contain large amounts of artery-clogging saturated fat. Instead of putting your diet on the line with an energy bar before the gym, try trail mix, some peanut butter on whole grain crackers or grab one of my favorite bars, Biogenesis Ultra Low Carb Chocolate Mint Bar.