Have you ever wondered why, despite your hardest efforts and strict diets, you just can’t seem to drop that excess weight?
What many fail to realize is that just because a product says “low calorie” or “fat-free,” it doesn’t necessarily mean that it will aid you in your weight loss endeavors. Realizing that those healthy little treats may be in fact destroying your progress is a very important thing. Here is a list of 10 “healthy snacks” that can derail you on your track to healthier living.
Who in their right mind doesn’t have a favorite type of trail mix? From chocolate trail mix to spicy trail mix, there are so many to choose from, but there can be a lot of hidden calories in it.“White flavor,” for instance, is one of the main ingredients in pretzels, yet it has no actual nutritional substance and converts itself to sugar in your bloodstream quickly. Add that in with other things like sugar-laden dried fruit and chocolate and what happens? Cravings! Thus, trail mix, should be something you avoid altogether unless you're an expert label reader.
Fat free is one of the biggest fads of the past 30 years - and we use the word fad on purpose. Many items that carry that label today are created to sell you a healthy product while ignoring certain basic healthy rules - trading fat for some other ingredient you don't need. If it has the fat-free label on it, it generally means it’s time to take a closer look. Some fat-free yogurts have 15 grams of sugar. They may not sound like very much, but 15 grams of sugar in a tiny container makes absolutely no sense - especially if the goal is weight loss and general health. They say if you want something done right, do it yourself, and that is exactly the case here. Instead, buy some plain, fat-free Greek yogurt, then proceed to add in your own fresh fruit with either a pinch of sugar or some honey.
BLUE-CORN TORTILLA CHIPS
Yet again, in an attempt to make profit off of the lack of attention to detail by the general public, blue-corn tortilla chips have been marketed as the “healthy alternative” to tortilla chips. Next time you’re at the supermarket, compare a bag of blue-corn tortilla chips and a regular bag of tortilla chips. You’ll be surprised to find that although the blue-corn chips may be less in sodium, everything else is almost exactly the same.
The truth is, tortillas, either flour or corn, are high in both carbs and calories. So the next time you decide to order that chicken or steak wrap, remember that just because it’s in a wheat tortilla, it is not much better for you than a regular one. Take into account the sauce or dressings used in it, and you have yourself a delicious, calorie-laden snack.
You know what the best kind of smoothie is for you? The ones that you make at home. When you buy a smoothie from a stand, store, or even a gym, remember that most of the time the extra ingredients can bruise your diet more than you think. So what exactly goes into that delicious strawberry-banana smoothie? Sugars and an ice-cream based mix, and that’s not including the whipped cream or chocolate syrup that you might get on it. Instead, opt for eating some actual fruit several times a day.
POWER AND PROTEIN BARS
Common sense might tell you that something with chocolate and peanut butter might not be healthy, but when it comes inside of a fancy wrapper that says “protein” on it, your mind may think otherwise. This is not the case, not even in the least. That said, power bars do absolutely give you an energy boost, but how they do it is a different story. Most power and protein bars contain a lot of high fructose corn syrup and other artificial ingredients. If weight loss is your goal, then avoiding these glorified candy bars is a wise decision.
As touched on before, pretzels offer basically no nutritional value. But because of fad diets, pretzels became the weapon of choice for dieting potato-chip addicts. While pretzels are much better for your than actual potato chips, the fact still remains that you’re essentially eating empty calories, which in turn leaves you hungry and holding an empty bag of pretzels.
One important thing to remember, when changing your diet, is to follow the recommended serving size. Granola is no exception to the rule. Sadly, granola is actually one of the worst things to eat when losing weight. Although seemingly healthy on the outside, on the inside, granola can rack up some serious calories if not eaten by the serving size.
FLAVORED RICE CAKES
Unlike granola, rice cakes are one of the least diet-damaging entries on this list. They are low in calories, and they are filling. The problem is that, like pretzels, they have almost no nutritional value. This can create a serious problem if you’re not paying attention. Some flavored rice cakes are absolutely scrumptious - and with good reason. Most of these have added sugars and artificial flavoring. Not only are you not getting anything nutritious out of them, you’re now racking up the calories as well.
There really isn’t much to say about low-fat muffins because when it boils down to it, a muffin is a muffin. Although it may say “low-fat” or “fat-free” (like many yogurts do), it does still include many of the calories that can be found in regular muffins.
THE BOTTOM LINE
The main thing to keep in mind at all times when trying to lose weight is not to be fooled by fancy wording. Always check the nutrition facts and ingredients before buying it. But one thing that any dieter should know is this: one mistake can be rectified, but constant mistakes are going to set you back. Ignorance will not leave you in bliss, just an expanding waistline.
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