During my years of consulting, I’ve coached hundreds of patients on clean and healthy eating.
Through this process we have identified a few common mistakes that our patients regularly make, thinking that they’re making a concerted effort to be more healthy. Instead, they are harming their health and weight-loss endeavours.
Based on these insights, here are a few diet breakers to avoid:
You might think that because you’re eating a salad that your diet is doing fine. However, just a small bowl can have 300-400 calories and 30 grams of fat when you’re too liberal with the dressing.
Food fix: Try mixing 1 tablespoon of olive oil with vinegar and herbs and spices for an interesting variation on you conventional dressing. You can use this dressing over hot or cold vegetables as well.
“Try mixing 1 tablespoon of olive oil with vinegar and herbs and spices for an interesting variation on you conventional dressing.”
Enhanced or flavoured water
Vitamins are now commonly added to bottled water and advertised on the label as a unique selling point. However, some brands also add sugar, taking water from zero calories to as many as 125 per serving.
Food fix: Refrigerating tap water may make it more appealing, or try packets of crystallised lemon or natural herbs such as mint or basil that will enhance flavour without calories.
Yoghurt is a nutrition superstar as it is rich in protein and calcium. However, many yoghurts contain added sugar, with some brands adding 30 or more grams of fructose, sucrose or other sweeteners. Compare the labels of plain and fruit-filled and/or flavoured low-fat yoghurts to see the difference between the sugars that are naturally in milk and added sugar listed on the nutrition facts panel.
Food fix: A 180g serving should be 90-130 calories and under 20g of sugar. Avoid sugary “fruit on the bottom” yoghurts or blend sweetened yoghurt with plain yoghurt.
“Avoid sugary “fruit on the bottom” yoghurts or blend sweetened yoghurt with plain yoghurt.”
The antioxidants in iced tea don’t make it a health food. In fact, too much added sugar can turn a tall glass into a health blow. A 500ml bottle can have more than 200 calories and 59g of sugar.
Food fix: Skip “sweet tea” in favour of unsweetened iced tea. Lemon or artificial sweeteners add zing without calories. Herbal and berry teas taste mildly sweet without sugar.
Cabbage is fine, but coleslaw can be a diet disaster. At one popular restaurant, a small cup has 260 calories and 21g of fat thanks to the mayonnaise.
Food fix: Some places offer a healthier variant, so ask for nutrition information and preferably skip the carrots. At home, try yoghurt for dressing.
“…ask for nutrition information and preferably skip the carrots.”
So, what’s standing between you and your goal weight? Is it the creamy dressing on your Caesar salad, or the high sugar-content in your yoghurt? Whatever the culprit my be, you can overcome these barriers to continued weight loss with some healthy fresh veggies, Greek yoghurt, lean meat or a cup of coffee. With these swaps, the rewards will soon become evident.
By Paula Galvao – Eden Life Weight Loss Clinic (www.edenlifeclinic.com)