We all remember snack suggestions for low-fat foods that supposedly support weight loss – like rice cakes. There are even more foods that sound healthy, and that we might mistake for a good choice – think granola, trail mix, fruit juice and even brown bread. Even low-calorie foods are not necessarily the healthiest choice.
Weight loss experts have highlighted a few foods that seem to confuse those trying to lose weight and eat well. Did you know that brown bread isn’t healthier than white bread? Try whole grain bread instead.
Granola contains a lot of fat. Trail Mix can give you too much sugar (from dried fruit) and calories when consumed in large quantities, and fruit juice including orange juice offers too much sugar without the beneficial fibre. Really you are best to restrict your consumption of fruit juice (water it down if you do want to have some). Try mixed nuts and seeds rather than trail mix, and limit your intake to a small palmful.
So what foods can you eat in abundance? And how are you best to eat for weight loss?
– Think about filling your plate with vegetables – raw or steamed. Try to reach for 10 servings of fruit and vegetables each day. Not sure how? Try our 10 A Day Healthy Eating Challenge.
– As a general rule, steer clear of processed food. Canned foods can expose you to BPA and often contain too much salt. Cookies, crackers and pre-mixed meals and side dishes contain too much sugar, salt and preservatives (and more). Foods in their healthiest state are those “closest to the earth.”
– Reach for whole grain and wheat-alternatives when choosing bread, pasta or side dishes. There are some delicious alternative grains: buckwheat (not actually wheat!), quinoa, and amaranth to name a few. Try bread made with spelt flour, or a mix of whole grains.
– Don’t shy away from fat. It helps transport nutrients to your bloodstream and cells, keeps you full for longer and provides vital energy. Coconut oil is especially effective for energy.
– Try to eat protein at each meal and snack. Protein will fill you up so you are less likely to reach for food soon after eating. It’s great fuel, and necessary for your body’s functioning, including muscle repair after a hard workout.
– Drink plenty of water. Staying hydrated is a great way to not only ensure continued health, but avoid thirst that may be mistaken for cravings.
– Avoid the temptations that come when you don’t know what to eat! Always plan your meals (and even snacks) ahead of time and bring healthy foods to snack on when you hit the road. Preparation is the key. Try one of our meal plans for inspiration. Our Family Meals ebook is a top-seller, and contains suppers you can make in 30 minutes or less.
Be wary of “diet” foods and product lines that promise you results. Try our strategies for eating well instead, and making lasting lifestyle changes that don’t rely on fads or gimmicks.