News flash: All of our fitness magazines; weight-loss reality television shows; GNC advertisements; and that girl, Becky, at our gym, who dropped like 60 pounds in six months and looks totally amazing, led us astray.
No offense intended toward Becky, her fantastic results or any of those other entities that provided us with seemingly helpful nutritional information, but it could all be what’s hindering our own progress. A healthy diet, whether starting or maintaining one, is tricky. There are a ton of obstacles too, one of which is misinformation about nutrition and healthy habits.
So what am I going to say that’s different from the experts on “The Biggest Loser” or Becky, whose thighs could squash a watermelon? Get out of your own way if you find yourself struggling to lose weight, maintain it or simply eat better. Several factors, and sometimes a combination of them, contribute to this arrested development when it comes to eating healthy and seeing results. Let’s take a look at the following eating habits that seem healthy but actually are hindering your progress.
In June, we wrote about the dangers of marketing certain foods as “healthy” when portion size, calories and sugar wipe away all nutritional benefits. They include frozen yogurt, granola, mixed nuts (especially if your trail mix includes salted cocktail nuts, chocolate and/or dried fruit), protein bars and turkey burgers, to name a few. Not only are there hidden calories in these foods, but many times we get out of control with serving sizes too.
Being cautions of “healthy” foods also means backing away from the low-fat and fat-free versions of certain foods, too. Last year we wrote about how taking away fat and replacing sugar with an alternative often means that those things are replaced with just-as-harmful additives. In many cases, you’re better off with the original product than the lower calorie, fat, sodium or sugar version.
We recommend several things if you’re looking for healthier foods — always review nutritional labels and consult your doctor or a dietitian. They will be able to provide you with facts about what foods actually are healthy, how much to consume and give you a recommended meal strategy (and maybe some good recipes!).