The prospect of losing weight and eating a healthy diet is mysterious to some and almost impossible for others. You spend hours squatting in the gym, avoid processed foods and eat fruit and vegetables.Sadly, the scale just won’t budge. You may think you’re doing everything right, but there are a few seemingly “healthy” foods that may be doing more harm than good.
Believe it or not, it is possible to eat too much fruit. Yes, fruit is the healthiest form of “sweet,” but overconsumption can be as disastrous to your diet as eating frosting out of the container. Fruit provide you with vitamins and minerals, however, it also provides a hefty dose of sugar. Consuming more sugar than your body can burn off may result in excess sugar being stored as fat cells.
Tip: One cup of cut fruit is about the size of a tennis ball. Steer clear of prepackaged fruit, which is well over the two-cup maximum amount a woman should have in one day.
2. Low-fat dressings
Low-dressings are known to contain high-fructose corn syrup and preservatives, both of which make losing weight difficult. Look for brands that are made with yogurt and don’t contain artificial flavors.
Tip: If you prefer homemade dressing, mix balsamic vinegar or lemon with a splash of olive oil.
It tastes delicious, but most brands are high in sugar, fat and are made with vegetable oil or butter. One cup of granola can contain more than 400 calories and up to 30 grams of sugar!
Tip: Look for granola that is just granola. Avoid brands that include artifically flavored pieces of fruit or chocolate. Granola mixed with freeze-dried fruit is the best way to go.
4. Bottled smoothies
That mango smoothie may sound healthy, but many bottled smoothies and juices with tons of sugar. Even if it’s labled fat-free, products high in sugar squlech all the hard work you’re putting in at the gym.
Tip: Indulging every once in a while is okay, but if you really want to kick the sugar habit, skip the bottle and make your smoothies at home. Non-fat yogurt, fat-free milk, frozen fruit and crushed ice is all it takes to make a healthy smoothie low in fat and sugar. Not only do you reduce your sugar intake, but you can also create a variety of smoothies that won’t break the bank.
5. Easy on the Oil
Fats are part of a healthy diet. Olive, coconut and sesame oil have amazing health benefits. They help your body absorb fat-soluble nutrients and when consumed correctly, can even assist in the weight loss process. With that being said, it’s still possible to go overboard, even with the healthiest of oils. Using it straight from the bottle makes it almost impossible to control portion size.
Tip: Be mindful when using oil. Making eggs for breakfast? Use an olive oil spray instead of liquid olive oil. If you love roasted veggies, try steaming them with fresh herbs at dinner and use an oil mister to keep the calorie count low.
Finding the right balance is key. Everything in moderation and knowing how much you are actually consuming or using is the best way to eat the foods you love, but still reap the rewards of following a healthy diet.