Food marketers are GENIUSES. I really mean it. They can convince us that we need to buy gluten-free, vegan cookies even if we’re not gluten-free or vegan. They can convince us that Cheerios are a good source of protein. They can even convince us that drinking soda is healthier because it contains real sugar as opposed to artificial, and if we don’t have the knowledge to look deeper, look past the deceptive marketing tactics and know what’s REAL, we can easily get tricked.
Below I’m giving you 6 “health foods” that aren’t so healthy- especially when it comes to losing body fat and changing your physique.
I get asked a lot about KIND bars or Lara Bars and if they’re a good choice for fat loss. My answer? Nope. While these bars might have natural ingredients that are easy to pronounce, it doesn’t mean they’re going to help us get to our fat loss goals.
Because they’re high calorie snacks (some over 200 calories) filled with fat and carbs and very little protein or fiber. Sure they’re OK to have every once in a while, but not for an everyday snack.
Healthier Swap: Build your snacks by starting with some protein, like cottage cheese or greek yogurt, and add veggies.
Sounds healthy, doesn’t it? Vitamins + water can’t be all that bad. But when we look at the label, one 20 oz bottle of Vitamin Water contains about 120 calories and 32 grams of sugar, which is just 7 grams less than a can of Coke. Since our bodies don’t compensate for liquid calories, we can end up overspending on our caloric bank easily by having a couple of these juices (which is what they really are) each day.
Healthier Swap: If you’re sick of plain water (the best choice), grab a Vitamin Water Zero to save on the sugar and calories.
Gluten-Free Cookies or Brownies
Just because a cookie is gluten-free, vegan, sugar-free, organic or Paleo, it’s still a cookie. Especially if you’re not intolerant to gluten and don’t have Celiac, going gluten-free probably isn’t necessary and their baked good aren’t necessarily a healthier choice. Gluten-free doesn’t mean butter-free, flour-free or sugar-free, and lots are loaded with additives to make the food palatable.
Healthier Swap: If you want a cookie, grab a cookie and make it worth the indulgence! Don’t allow a gluten-free label to make you think you’re making the healthier choice just because it’s gluten-free!
I know, I know. It tastes really good. But it’s also typically high in fat, really high in carbs and sugar and low in protein. Even the “high protein” granola will cost you when it comes to carbs and sugar, so just be sure you’re using granola as a sprinkle or garnish as opposed to being the base of your meal.
Healthier Swap: Skip the granola and save hundreds of calories. A healthier choice of fruit or vegetables are the obvious go-to and be sure to add some protein on the side!
I love Cobb Salads, but when it comes to fat loss, these bad boys back a whoooooole lot of fat and calories- I’m talking like….over 1,000 calories. FOR A SALAD! How? Cobb’s are topped with bacon and blue cheese and are typically served with ranch dressing. If your other meals are really light on the day you plan on having a Cobb, you’d probably be OK, but these salads should no be your go-to order.
Healthier Swap: If you want a Cobb Salad, but also want to save on calories, start with a garden salad and add chicken then choose either bacon or blue cheese to add. In term of the dressing, choose a lighter option to balance out the fat in the cheese or bacon.
Anything Labeled Low-Fat or Low-Carb
Generally speaking, Low-Fat = high in sugar and Low-Carb = high in fat. And it has to be, otherwise the food would taste like garbage so before you buy product labeled low-fat or low-carb, check the label to see what they’re replacing the carbs or fat with. You might find you’re better off going with the full fat or carb version.
Healthier Swap: I always encourage my clients to go for the full fat, full carb stuff because not only can they practice mindful eating and truly enjoy the food because it will taste good, but we can also work to break the mindset that low-fat, low-carb eating is be the way to lose fat (which we now know, is not true for most of us!).
This stuff can be tricky, I know. I mean a salad having over 1,000 calories?! That’s kind of insane, isn’t it? But listen, it’s my job to know this stuff and it’s my job to help my clients navigate food choices. If you’re feeling confused by what to eat or not eat, if you want to know if you’re eating right to reach your goals, or if you want a nutritional check-up just to make sure you’re on the right track, check out my book a totally free strategy call with me by clicking HERE. I look forward to chatting!