December 31st, 2015. Tonight is THE night. The moment you resolve (maybe make a resolution) for the New Year.
Your decision? To eat healthily and get your weight loss on track. Fresh off eating that last piece of absolutely delicious carrot cake, you are motivated and ready to get your body in shape.
You know this is the year you’ll finally hit your goals. You’re not going to get set back like last year, or two years before that. You finally “have the time” to eat healthy, maybe even start one of those South Beach or Paleo diets. The sky is the limit.
You fire up
Internet Explorer Google Chrome and start punching phrases in. “Best foods to eat to get healthy”, followed by “top foods to eat to lose weight”. You’re intimidated by an almost unbelievable amount of information…
The Golden Age of Misinformation
This is both the greatness and the curse that is the internet. You’ll find a wealth of information, all of it contradictory. You’re smart though. You’ve been down this road before. Your plan is to compile a list of foods that appear multiple times on your healthy foods and weight loss foods searches.
There is a big issue with this. Anyone can publish lists like these and most of the claims are half-truths mixed with lies.
Sure, a grapefruit may slightly boost your metabolism. But you would have to eat a ridiculous amount to see any noticeable difference.
From the Food Babe to Dr. Oz, claims of the magical properties of some of the so-called “healthy foods” below are grossly overstated. It’s so easy to get caught up in the hype that you may find yourself eating absolute junk.
That’s not to say these foods aren’t good for you, it’s just that they are not the best if you’re trying to lose fat.
The 7 “Not-So-Healthy” Foods List
Possibly the worst entry on this list. Cereal has long been touted as healthy. While the wool is slowly being pulled from our eyes, cereal manufacturers are evolving to become more creative with their branding and marketing schemes.
With the recent release of “high protein” cereal, these companies have revealed themselves as the villainous beings they are. 7g of protein per serving is not high protein. Ever. It’s no amount other than very small.
A quick glance at the nutrition label will also show how they get their extra protein in each serving. They double the serving size! And, boom! Just like that we have high protein cereal.
Disregarding the fact that they are blatantly lying, cereal is simply not a good food to eat. Especially if you are trying to lose weight. Despite being fortified with a bunch of vitamins, it is a sugar-laden mess akin to eating candy for breakfast. That goes for the “healthy” cereals such as Kashi brand as well.
There are so many better options for your first meal of the day. My favorite is an omelet with whole eggs mixed with some egg whites. Protein packed with some awesome fats to go with it. You can’t go wrong.
All types of nuts are a source of healthy fats that have a ton of benefits. But healthy doesn’t mean lean. Nuts are super calorie dense and very easy to overeat.
I am sure you know what I mean. Bring a bag of peanuts to a baseball game, have some nuts and beer at the bar… one minute you’re talking and the next your hand is grasping at air because you’ve just mindlessly devoured 700 calories worth of nuts. All in a span of 15 minutes.
Nuts are by no means bad for you. In fact, they are a very healthy food and a great source of healthy fats. They are just extremely easy to overeat and can completely derail your weight loss progress.
Right up there with cereal. Juice really is just colored sugar water. It’s pretty much soda.
The worst part, is you think it’s healthy because it’s fruit and that’s how they market it. But they strain out all the fiber and goodness associated with the fruit and you’re just left with the sugar water and a little vitamin C.
Completely worthless. Check out this video to get a better idea of what I mean. (Side note – that is an excellent YouTube video series by Mike Vacanti)
Much like nuts, avocado is a very calorie dense food. It’s very high in fat, with some carbs and nearly 0 protein. Also very easy to eat (it’s so tasty, you can put it in anything!).
An average avocado is around 240 calories. 240 is a lot if you’re trying to lose weight. You don’t have a lot of calories to play around with, and if you love guacamole, it’s easy to go way over your calories in just one sitting of chips and guac. A scoop here, a scoop there and bam you’re already 500 calories over on your goal for that day (and it’s only 3 pm).
If you are excellent at planning your meals, then having a little avocado isn’t going to hurt you, but sitting down in front of a TV with a bowl of guac is just a time bomb to your weight loss.
How can this be bad!? It’s fruit. Just portable and bite-sized like gushers! Gushers were awesome…
Maybe just stick with gushers then, because they have about the same sugar content. Think about it. Look at a handful of raspberries. How many fit there? 10? 12? 20 if you have hulk hands? Now pour a bunch of dried raspberries in your hand. You now easily have 3-4 times as many there. Same nutritional value per raspberry but it takes up a quarter of the space.
Wait, did I say same nutritional value? That would be before they added extra sugar to the dried fruits to make them even easier to eat. They’re no longer tart, much more delicious and even more calorie dense. The perfect concoction to totally derail your weight loss progress.
Amazing on salads and in trail mix, not so much on your waistline.
Ahh, the new age coffee. “It’s the new healthy coffee, Chris!” “Just because you were stuck in Japan for 10 years and have never heard of it doesn’t mean it’s bad!” Plus, gotta eat fat to burn fat right? Also, that grass fed butter has MCT (medium chain triglycerides) and they help burn fat no?
Well not quite. There is a very loose correlation between MCT oil and fat loss but it isn’t really definite. All you’re really doing is eating a stick of butter, which as you can image is not that great for you.
I know what you’re thinking – “Don’t you take my coffee away from me bro or I’ll cut you!”
I’m just as addicted to the caffeine as you. I just don’t put butter in it. Try it with a little Stevia and cinnamon. It’s pretty amazing and works very well with your fat loss.
Gluten, it’s the cause of all our problems from your waistline to global warming.
The truth is much more underwhelming. The wheat allergy that prevents you from eating gluten is known as Celiac disease and according to the University of Chicago, it affects about 3 million Americans. That’s about 1% of the population.
Much more are gluten sensitive, however, which has led to the rise of gluten-free diets.
Food makers have noticed this and now everything from pizza to muffins is somehow gluten-free. The trick the manufacturers use is to replace the wheat with cornstarch, brown rice flour or sugar. That drastically increases the caloric density of the food.
So while gluten-free sounds like the healthy food option, the reality is much different. The food companies prey on your quest to become healthy and in the end just set you back even further.
If you truly have an allergy to gluten, try naturally gluten-free foods such as quinoa.
Bonus – Organic Cane Sugar & Agave Nectar
It’s all just sugar. They are all monosaccharides and your body treats them exactly the same. The best option in terms of weight loss is using a 0 calorie sweetener such as Stevia.
Take heart! All is not lost on your quest for a fitter, sexier body. Do your research, eat mostly whole foods that you enjoy and work in a lot of protein. It is easier than you think and I know you can do it.