If you’re not able to get over the hump on your diet, these items may be the sneaky culprit.
We’ve all been there.
You make the decision to eat healthier meals, exercise more and cut out the late-night craving for sweets.
You lose a few pounds initially, then it seems that you’re stuck. You can’t drop any more weight.
Many times, foods that are marketed as healthy choices might be what’s sabotaging your diet.
Let’s look at five popular culprits.
- Fruit Juice
You may think drinking a big glass of orange juice at breakfast and choosing apple juice over a soda at lunch are healthy ideas. But, one look at the calorie content and the amount of sugar in juice means they should be enjoyed in moderation. According to a doctor in this NBC News report, an eight-ounce glass of orange juice is 110 calories, while a 12-ounce can of Coca-Cola is 140 calories.
The nutritional value of fruit is also not fully taken advantage of by drinking juice. A weight-loss coach says that liquids are digested quicker, meaning people don’t get the fiber and other vitamins found in fruit when just drinking the juice. You’re better off eating the actual fruit.
Better beverage alternatives to soda are water or club soda with a lemon or lime wedge, unsweetened tea and black coffee.
- Diet Sodas
But, you may ask, what about a diet soda?
While it contains little to no calories, nutritionists and doctors alike warn against too much diet soda.
The article in the link details several reasons why you should steer clear of diet soda, but one of the main reasons is the chemicals used generally makes diet soda even sweeter than its sugary counterpart, which makes the body crave more sweets. There are also studies that show sugar substitutes confuse the body and can end up having the same negative effect of consuming too much sugar in the long run.
- Salad Dressing
Ordering a salad for dinner is commendable but be careful that the dressing doesn’t negate your healthy choice.
Many salad dressings contain 100 calories per tablespoon in fat alone! That even goes for lighter-sounding dressings like Italian or balsamic vinaigrette. The best course of action is to order salads with the dressing on the side, so you can control how much you use. Or just ask for a lemon wedge or vinegar for some extra flavor without the added calories.
- Flavored yogurt
Take a trip down the dairy aisle of your favorite supermarket and you’ll find yogurt in many shapes, sizes and flavors. If you’re serious about cutting weight, wade through all those varieties to find plain yogurt. Anything with flavoring is just added sugar that negates the benefit of having yogurt in the first place.
The taste of plain yogurt may not be for everyone, but you can add the flavor to the yogurt yourself by adding fresh or frozen fruit. Top on some unsweetened granola and you have a tasty parfait for breakfast.
It’s tough to find a healthy snack. Nuts are usually marketed as one, but like most anything else, need to be enjoyed in moderation. While high in protein to provide an energy boost, nuts are high in fat and calories. People can also easily graze with nuts. You might reach into the can a few times a day, and before you know it, you ate half a can and about 1,000 calories. The best advice is to pre-portion. Fill up plastic bags or small containers with an ounce or two, this way you’re getting the energy you need without sending your calorie count through the roof.
Moderation is key
A common theme through this list is moderation. Most anything can be enjoyed in a small amount without throwing your diet into a tailspin. It’s just important to keep in mind that not everything that you believe to be healthy at first glance truly is in the long run.