5 “Healthy” Foods Not to Eat When Losing Weight
Companies are notorious for tricking consumers into thinking that their products are healthy. I’ll admit that I’ve been deceived by a few of these marketing ploys, too. If I saw the word “organic” or “healthy” on a package, I’d throw it in the cart without a second thought. I thought I was making great choices that would help me on my weight loss journey, but in reality those products actually should be on a list of foods not to eat when losing weight. It wasn’t until I did some research that I discovered these so-called “health” foods weren’t actually healthy. Once I stopped buying and eating them, I actually started to make progress with my weight loss plan.
Many companies use social media marketing, print advertisement, and TV commercials to lure consumers into their health trap. They declare that their products are healthy when they’re actually full of unhealthy fats, salt, and added sugars. Not to mention all those unnatural, harmful ingredients that are more likely to make you gain weight than lose it. To stay away from the trap, we want to educate you on these 5 “healthy” foods not to eat when losing weight. If you can stay away from them (like I did), you’ll be able to lose those extra pounds!
“Healthy” Foods Not to Eat When Losing Weight
These “healthy” foods are actually incredibly unhealthy, and I don’t want you to learn about them the hard way. It made me miserable when I gained weight even after sticking to my workout plan and eating all the “right” foods (you know, the ones I thought were healthy but really were not). I was so confused – why wasn’t I feeling energized after eating? As it turns out, these foods were high on the list of “healthy” foods not to eat when losing weight. I don’t want you to feel that way, so let’s say “no” to these foods and start feeling great for a happier, healthier, and thinner you.
1. Store-Bought Trail Mix
Trail mix is often seen as a good snack option while dieting, but many store-bought mixes are actually filled with excess sugars and salts. When I began my fitness journey, I was under the impression that eating the trail mix would be good for my waistline. Little did I know that it was actually one of the foods preventing me from losing weight – especially the bags with all those M&M’s candies along with sugar-filled dried fruit pieces. That’s a lot of unnatural, unnecessary sugar for something that is supposed to be healthy.
Now that I know that trail mix options from the grocery store are not healthy (despite the label on the bag), I make my own trail mix. It’s great to know exactly what you’re putting into your body, and it’s also fun to choose your own flavors. You can make a small batch or a larger batch so there are lots of leftovers. Sometimes, I’ll throw together two small batches of trail mix so that I have two different flavors in one bag.
I am (and always have been) a huge fan of cereal. In my opinion, Saturday mornings are still for eating cereal and watching cartoons even though I’m an adult. Sadly, most cereals – especially the most popular ones that you loved growing up as a kid – are more likely to add to your waistline than take away from it. Just like trail mix, many cereals contain more sugar than you want to consume and a ton of sodium, too.
Don’t despair, though, because there are plenty of cereal brands that are healthy for you and can help to promote weight loss. In order to find these cereals, you have to go to the healthy section of the grocery store. Then, you’ll need to search for a few key descriptors on the box and in the ingredients list. These things include, but are not limited to:
- Whole grains
- No artificial flavors
- USDA certified organic
- No added sugar
If you’re not sure where to start, check out these 13 ways to make your own breakfast cereal.
3. Energy Drinks
Energy drinks might be popular, but they’re also one of the foods not to eat when losing weight. I was pretty athletic as a kid and always played at least one sport. Lacrosse was a big part of my childhood and my high school life. It’s also where I consumed an incredible amount of Gatorade (the yellow ones were my favorite). The lacrosse Team Moms would always bring us coolers full of energy drinks that we would drink down with incredible speed.
Then, when I went to college, other energy drinks surrounded me. If my friends and I weren’t drinking Red Bulls, we were drinking Monster Energy or 5-Hour Energy. I really just couldn’t get away from them. Luckily, I realized how bad these caffeine-loaded drinks were for my health. After hearing about multiple cases of hospitalization due to caffeine abuse from energy drinks, I became terrified of them. To this day, I stick to a small amount of caffeine through coffee or natural teas.
On top of the dangerous effects of the caffeine-filled kind, the main ingredient in energy drinks is sugar. Even the non-caffeinated kinds are loaded with sugar and sugar-substitutes. If you’re really trying to lose weight, cut out the energy drinks and use these six ways to boost your energy (naturally) instead.