You’ve purchased your ‘quitting sugar’ cookbook and have been making ‘healthy fudge’ for months, you always choose the banana bread instead of the choccie cake for morning tea and you’ve have been drinking ‘Super Buff’ Protein Powder at the gym – surely you should be looking lean after months of this… No?
Let’s take a look at foods that may be hindering your weightloss efforts!
Drinks: Sports drinks, smoothies, juice and ‘diet’ soft drinks
Unless you are running a half marathon, put the sports drinks back in the gym refrigerator. As for smoothies and juice bars, take a good look at what is in those ‘super-sized’ juicy drinks. Often they contain at LEAST 4 pieces of fruit and fancy juice bars often sneak in goodies like sorbets and sweet yoghurts before they hit the blitz button. If you think a ‘diet’ drink will get you super slim, more and more studies are linking ‘diet’ drinks with Metabolic Syndrome and abdominal adiposity.
Instead: Have WATER with a single serve of whole fruit or have a juice or smoothie that is made up of mostly vege, roots and 1 fruit.
Protein Products: Powders, bars and balls!
The idea of eating ‘clean’ and consuming protein powder leaves me baffled. Protein powder is a heavily processed food with ingredients that belong in your chemistry text book not in your mouth. Snacking on Choc Protein Bars is not far off snacking on Cadbury chocolate bars in terms of calorie content and if you are home making your own version of protein balls, are you honestly able to stop at one?
Instead: Drink a glass of reduced fat milk or have a small tub of yoghurt
The ‘quitting sugar’ desserts
The ‘quitting sugar ‘phenomenon has been on my radar for a few years now. I am all for lowering the amount of refined sugar in your diet and getting rid of the teaspoons of sugar in your tea and coffee - but snacking on sweet treats that are supposedly ‘sugar free’ is not a smart way to lose weight. Not only are people eating more ‘treat foods’ under the guise of being ‘healthy’, most of these ‘treats’ are loaded with rice malt syrup which is, in fact, SUGAR.
Instead: Eat a piece of whole fruit or have some vege sticks and hummus; save those ‘treats’ as a once a week indulgence.
‘Healthy’ Café Items: Banana Bread, Blueberry Muffins and Café Yoghurts
If you rely on the local café for your morning or afternoon tea – banana bread, blueberry muffins and café yoghurts may seem like a good option… but let’s be real; you may as well be eating banana cake with cream! Most of these café options aren’t healthy at all. Sure they are delicious, but be aware that in terms of calories, sugar and fat, they are clearly on the indulgence spectrum.
Instead: Have some natural yoghurt and fresh berries or a slice of raisin toast with some low fat ricotta.
Bottom line is, people are consuming some of these supposed ‘health’ foods in excessive quantities and making them part of their every day. Instead, choose minimally processed, whole foods and ‘clean up’ your diet by including more foods that are close to nature. Now that’s healthy!
Eat well, be well,
Lisa Donaldson APD
Every week I meet people with all sorts of nutrition needs… and this week I had an unusual request for a set of Food Rules. What if there was a set of ‘food rules’ that you could follow and they would keep you healthy and lean? Would you follow them? Well, as requested, here is a set of Food Rules that I think can help you stay well into old age and also keep our planet ship-shape!
1) Eat REAL food - the kind of foods that you find in nature. Whole fruit, brown rice, wholegrains, eggs and milk. I’m not talking about adopting a Paleo lifestyle or never eating a Tim Tam again, I simply mean eat more home cooked meals regularly and less prepackaged foods. Start making meals from scratch.
2) Don’t eat ingredients your Grandma wouldn’t recognise. If you are going to eat a potato chip, than make sure the ingredients are no more than potato, oil and salt. If you start to see strange emulsifiers, flavours or colours with numbers or a word that belongs in a chemistry textbook – leave the product on the self.
3) Shop local or grow your own. Go to the local markets, use the butcher down the road, grow some herbs in a pot or swap your lemons for the neighbour’s chook eggs. If that’s all a bit hippy-la-la for you, than try and buy Australian made goods and seasonal produce. Aussies make and grow fabulous olive oils, wine, fruits, nuts…
4) Eat loads of plants. I’m not talking hydrangeas or roses, I am talking fruit and vegetables. Our ancestors ate far more fruit and vegetables than we currently do and obesity was not as it is today. There are a broad range of phytochemicals and micronutrients in plant foods, plus they are a rich source of fibre. So ditch the Multi-V and Metamucil you’ve been taking and instead load your body up with plant foods.
5) Eat from the ocean. Oily fish like salmon and sardines are a fabulous source of Omega 3 fatty acids, which will not only keep your heart healthy but also reduce inflammation. 2 – 3 serves of oily fish each week will be amazing nourishment for your body. Choose sustainable sources, found in the Sustainable Seafood Guide.
6) Eat lean meat. Lean meat unfortunately means no crispy duck skin, pork crackling or fatty bacon rinds! Instead go for game meat like Kangaroo if you dare, as it’s low in saturated fat and incredibly lean. Otherwise, aim to buy pasture fed and free range where possible. Most importantly, just keep it lean!
It’s time to stop cutting foods from your diet and start adding in ones that will improve your health and keep you in peak condition.
Until next time,
Lisa Donaldson APD
Fitness, Energy, Education & Diet