It never ceases to amaze me, all of the “hype marketing,” that food companies put out there and all of the misinformation that you get on TV and in magazines and articles etc.
They really just want you to buy their food, they don’t care if it’s going to make you gain weight or lose weight they just want your money.
Now whether this is a good thing or bad thing that’s completely up to you to decide, but I thought that you might want to know what to look out for and what to avoid if you’re trying to lose weight. So I’ve compiled a list of the 10 top foods that are labeled healthy but really you want to avoid or at least only eat in limited quantities.
The foods listed below could be the difference between you losing weight or gaining weight at a rapid pace.
Okay so on to the list.
Offender #1: Peanut butter
Many people think that peanut butter is a “wonder food” and that it’s very healthy, especially if you get the organic or natural peanut butter. I won’t argue with the health benefits of peanut butter, it is a good fat and it does have some protein, but people don’t realize that peanut butter has huge amount of calories and the calories are completely disproportionate to the amount of protein that peanut butter actually has.
For example, only one cup of smooth peanut butter has 1,571 calories in it, that’s about half a pound of pure body fat! And for those 1,571 calories you’ll only be getting 65 g of protein. Compare that with the same amount of protein from a chicken breast, which would be around 300 calories.
So you might want to rethink how much peanut butter you’re eating in a day and if you’re mysteriously gaining weight you might want to cut it out completely.
Offender #2: Salads
How many times have you heard that salads are great for you when trying to lose weight? Well, when done right this can be true, however if you’re getting a salad at a restaurant, or at the store, you might want to check and see the nutritional information on that salad because most likely it has a ton of fat in it from the dressing, cheese and other random tidbits they put in there.
I’ve seen salads that are in excess of 1,000 calories per serving, and that can do some serious damage to your weight loss program.
Offender #3: Extra virgin olive oil
This offender has gotten a lot of publicity lately, many people think that extra virgin olive oil is the “holy grail” of good fats, and that you should use it in cooking almost in any opportunity that you get. Would it surprise you to know that 1 cup of extra virgin olive oil has an average of 1,910 calories? And one tablespoon has about 120 calories.
That means for about two tablespoons of olive oil you can do just about as much damage as eating a serving of some brands of ice cream.
Also extra virgin olive oil oxidizes much quicker under high heat when cooking than normal olive oil. Most cooks would tell you to use olive oil rather than extra virgin olive oil when cooking under high heat. But even olive oil won’t save you from the calories, because olive oil is just about the same as extra virgin olive oil in regard to calories.
Offender #4: Juice
Most people think that juice is really good for them, especially juices like orange juice, grapefruit juice, and apple juice.
From a weight loss perspective drinking 12 ounces of raw orange juice can actually be worse than drinking a soda. Why? because for 12 ounces of raw orange juice you’re looking at around 155 calories and an average soda is around 120 to 130 calories.
Also orange juice, grapefruit juice, apple juice, basically any juice is pure sugar and it’s going to react just about the same way as any sugar will react in your body. So drinking a Coke or a glass of orange juice is going to do about the same damage to your weight loss results.
Also take a look at a lot of the juice that you see on the shelf. Most of them are actually blends of other juices, and most have apple juice as the primary ingredient, even if it’s labeled as something like “cranberry juice.” Also note that lot of juices include a ton of refined sugar as well.
Be very careful with juices, my personal recommendation is, if you’re going to drink juice, try adding just a few ounces of juice in your cup and then fill up the rest with water or sparkling water to make it more interesting. That will keep the calories way down, and still retain a lot of the flavor.
Offender #5: Whole wheat
It seems like there’s a big push in the marketing world right now to sell products by labeling them as whole wheat. On the grocery shelfs we see whole wheat flour, whole wheat bread, whole wheat cereal, etc.
I agree that whole wheat is better for you than refined wheat from a nutritional standpoint, when it comes to vitamins and minerals, and it can digest a bit slower in your system which makes your body have less of an insulin spike, and that can be good for keeping your blood sugar levels even.
But when it comes to weight loss, whole wheat and refined wheat, are pretty much the same. Often whole wheat actually has more calories than the refined wheat. So ultimately, at the end of the day, pay attention to the calories on the back of the box or the package. Because even if it’s whole wheat it’s not going to specifically help you with your weight loss if you are going over your calorie limit for the day.
One thing to especially look out for are whole wheat bagels. Whole wheat bagels (or bagels and general) can pack from 600-800 calories per bagel so be very careful and wary of those.
Offender #6.) Low glycemic foods
Just because something says low glycemic does not necessarily mean that it’s going to help you lose weight. Low glycemic has become kind of a “buzzword” in the weight loss industry right now.
What does low glycemic really mean? Basically it means that it takes longer to digest in your system and it releases energy slower into your body. This makes it so your blood sugar levels stay more level and that your insulin levels and don’t spike like they can if you eat refined sugars like candy, juice, soda, white bread, etc.
Many people speculate that by keeping your insulin levels stable then you’ll be able to burn off fat easier. They believe that while your insulin levels are “spiked” that your body holds on to fat, and can’t burn it off of you.
Regardless of if this is true or not, even if you only eat low glycemic foods all day long, if you go over your calorie limit you will still gain weight. Many bodybuilders purposefully gain weight while using low glycemic foods, so it is a well-known fact that low glycemic foods do not cause you to lose weight. Still, some people feel that it might help you gain a slight edge while trying to lose weight, provided you stay within your calorie limits.
So the bottom line is make sure that you still are checking the calories on anything this is low glycemic. Just because it’s low glycemic doesn’t mean automatic weight loss.
Offender #7.) “All natural” sodas
I see these around all the time. People buying them and drinking them, they’ll often think that they’re doing something good for themselves and they say, “Oh, it’s all natural; it’s got to be good.”
Most of the time these people are trying to lose weight but they don’t realize even though their soda is “all natural” it’s usually the soda company’s way of hiding the fact that there’s still a ton of sugar in the drink. They just used “natural sugar” not “refined sugar.”
Usually the “natural sugar” they use is use “cane sugar” but if you really think about it… most sugar is cane sugar, even refined sugar.
Think about it, where do you get sugar from? “Sugar cane” right?
So think twice about the marketing trick of “all natural cane sugar.”
Plus most “natural sodas” have the same amount of calories as “average” sodas so if you really want to drink something, from a calorie perspective they’re both about the same.
Offender #8.) Organic packaged foods
Personally, I try and get as much food as I can organically. I’d like to avoid all the pesticides and unnecessary chemicals I can in the foods I eat, plus sustainable farming is a good thing. But those are the only reasons why I eat organically.
Organic does not mean “lose weight” or “gain weight.” Organic is simply better farming practices, on average, and better quality of food. You can gain or lose as much weight with organic food as you can with any other food.
At the end of the day it comes down to calories, and you’d be surprised a lot of times organic foods have higher calories then this same foods that are not organic.
For example, just because it’s an organic pizza doesn’t mean that it’s better for losing weight then a “not organic” pizza.
Just make sure you do your research and actually look on the back of the package and compare and contrast, don’t just jump in blindly to a food because is organic and think that it’s OK for your weight loss program.
Offender #9.) Nuts in general
Short and sweet, nuts have a ton of calories.
You’ve probably heard that almonds can help you lose weight, or that they’re a great source of fat for weight loss programs. This can be true in moderation, but you have to be very careful of the amount of almonds, or any nuts you eat. One handful of almonds can run you around 150 calories.
Nuts can be dangerous because there’s so “snackable” and before you know it you can finish off an entire can of nuts to yourself. If you’re a snacker, you might want to keep your jar, or tin of nuts, far away from the couch when you’re watching TV at night.
Offender #10.) Avocados
Just because they’re in the fruit and vegetable isle at the grocery store, doesn’t mean that they’re in the same calorie category. In fact, avocados are mainly fat, and they have a calorie count to match.
They aren’t nearly as bad as some of the others we’ve discussed, and that’s why avocados weigh in at #10, but an average avocado will run you around 225 calories.
So although they are “good” fats, the calories can add up. Especially if you’re adding this to a salad that already contains olive oil, cheese, etc.
Alright well that’s it for the top 10 “healthy” foods that can create fat on your body instead of burn it off.
At the end of the day, you can eat any of these foods and be just fine, but you’ll just have to watch your calories and make sure you’re not going over your daily requirements. Because ultimately, eating excessive calories is really what causes you to gain weight.
And I find that many people confuse “healthy” with low calorie. And some information floating around there on the TV, newspapers, radios, etc. lead you to believe that if you just eat “good food” that you’ll magically lose weight. But that’s just not always true, you do have to watch your calories. And if you do watch them, then you’ll also begin to watch the scale go down, and your pant size too.
Here’s to your success, and remember to have fun!
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