Wondering why your energy is low? Or why your weight loss is halted? Honestly, it could be the sneaky foods you are eating that you think aren’t THAT bad. It is time to add these 6 foods to the “naughty” list, and kick them out of your life forever.
1. White rice – swap for brown rice or quinoa
We all love a good sushi roll or bowl of rice with some veggies, but that white rice could be derailing you more than you think! When possible ask for brown rice, most sushi places or Asian food restaurants have this option. Quinoa is also an amazing grain to substitute for rice altogether. It packs a whole bunch of extra benefits as it is higher in fibre and protein! This extra protein and fibre could be just what you need to keep your weight loss moving.
2. Health bars with too much sugar – swap for a bar containing zero added sugar, or one with protein and very little sugar
Health bars have become such a popular fad, that now many companies use their marketing to trick you into thinking they are healthy! Just because something is 99% fat free does NOT mean it isn't full of sugar or other artificial ingredients, which can be just as bad. Make sure you always check the label for the amount of sugar in each bar. A healthy bar should be made from all natural ingredients and the only sugar should be from fruits. If you’re after a protein-based bar, then it should contain as few ingredients and as little sugar as possible.
3. Drinks with too much sugar – swap for unsweetened herbal tea or a natural amino acid drink
Drinking your calories can become a very bad habit. While they might be lower in calories, “diet” drinks may include a TONNE of chemicals which can lead to bloating. Swapping for unsweetened drinks such as herbal tea, fruit tea or a bottle of amino acids can make a big difference. One of my favourite soft drink alternatives is to infuse my water with fresh fruits, such as lemon, berries, or kiwi fruit. You can also add some mint for some extra freshness!
4. Dried Fruit - swap for fresh fruit
Dried fruit seems like a healthy option because it IS fruit, right? What you might not know is that some dried fruits have added sugar and added preservatives. YUCK! Dried fruits are sweet and energy-dense and can be easy to eat in large amounts at a time. I mean no one eats one or two dried apricots - it’s more like a handful which ends up being 5 or 6 whole apricots! How many times have you sat down and eaten 5 or 6 fresh apricots in one sitting? Probably not many! While dried fruits are okay on occasions, I recommend eating the fresh versions as much as possible. Some of my favourites are mangos, bananas and apples!
5. Pre-bottled salad dressings– swap for fresh squeezed lemon and pepper
The sneakiest ingredient to an almost healthy meal is the salad dressing, which can be either high in saturated fat or sugar. Most cream-based dressings contain a surprising amount of fat and calories, that could turn your nutritious salad into something not so healthy. Instead, opt for some freshly squeezed lemon and cracked pepper! If you need a little creaminess, add a drizzle of olive oil or some avocado! This can also pack in some healthy fats and antioxidants. It could be so upsetting to be thinking you're eating such a nutritious meal only to know that the salad dressing might be letting you down.
6. Fruit juices made from concentrate – swap for a juice with mostly veggies and some fruit or a homemade one!
Juices are one of the newest fads to enter the health scene. While they can absolutely provide a TONNE of benefits, it is important to remember that fruit juices that are made from concentrate generally have the skin and pulp (and therefore, fibre) removed, which essentially just leaves the fruit sugar. While natural yes, a large amount of fruit is still a large amount of sugar, and can affect overall calorie intake for the day. Similar to the dried fruit situation, you’ll generally drink more fruit in juice form than if you were to eat it the fruit whole.Try to find juices that have a higher content of veggies and less of the sugary fruits. You may find a little bit of fruit adds more than enough flavour! Better yet, you could make your own from home so that you know exactly what’s in it.
It can be difficult to keep exercising or dieting, if you don't see results right away. Don't give up! Getting fit is a journey of body transformation, but also education. It will take time, but having patience to let your body change and adapt is the only way to make progress. Respect your body, and it will give you what you want, when you are ready for it.
Love, Kayla xx