It’s frustrating when your body won’t change. When the pounds won’t drop. When those extra inches won’t go away. When the muscular pain lingers.
If you’re exercising regularly and still not seeing results then it’s time that you look closely at your diet.
One of the biggest obstacles that prevents you from losing fat and getting into awesome shape is all that processed food that you’re still eating.
And I can’t blame you, with the way more and more processed foods are being marketed as healthy, even the health savvy are being fooled.
Take a walk through the local natural foods market and you’ll see nearly every form of junk food that you’d find at the supermarket – only with things like ‘gluten free’, ‘organic’ and ‘zero trans fats’ on the packages.
Those are all great – being gluten free, organic and trans fats free. Fresh, organic veggies, fruits and meats could all boast the same. But when those words are stamped on a package of cookies, chips or the like, then eating them is going to seriously slow your fitness results. Gluten free or not.
Here are the top 5 ‘healthy’ processed foods that you’re eating that are killing your results and keeping you from attaining your goals:
1) Healthy Cereal
Have you seen the cereal aisle at the natural foods market? Its shelves are lined with dozens of cereal boxes, all with bold health claims. There are gluten free cereals, cereals with no corn syrup, cereals with heart healthy grains, cereals with whole grains and even cereals with added vitamins.
Those all sound healthy, right? Well, sure those cereals are technically not as harmful as the brightly colored cereals from the supermarket, but as far as your fat loss results are concerned, the two are really about the same.
Cereal is a dense source of calories, which means it’s almost impossible not to overdo it when enjoying a bowl. If your goal is to lose fat, have long-lasting energy then cereal, even organic, gluten free cereal, should stay off your daily menu.
2) Healthy Packaged Snacks
There is a brand of ‘healthy’ popcorn that literally has fit in its name. With branding like that it’s no wonder people are getting confused and eating food that destroys their fitness results.
Popcorn, and other crunchy, packaged ‘health’ food snacks are filled with carbohydrates and calories. Two things that you should be cutting back on when working towards a fitness goal. These snack items are habit forming, so you may tell yourself that it’s just a once-in-awhile treat, but soon it becomes a daily occurrence.
Here’s the simple, unchanging fact about packaged snack foods: No matter what benefits are broadcasted on the package, it’s always going to promote fat storage. Yes, even if it has fit right in its name.
3) Healthy Energy Bars
The energy bar aisle at the health food store is a colorful, wonderland of beautifully packaged, seemingly healthful snacks. The bars contain nuts, fruits, protein and even goji berries. What’s not to love?
All that sugar, for starters. Manufacturers are clever enough to call sugar ‘evaporated can juice’ or ‘natural cane sugar’ or even ‘rice syrup’ but that sugar reacts in your body just the same as any other sugar. It encourages fat storage.
The next time that you reach for an energy bar, consider all of the calories and sugars. Look for bars that are low in sugars and high in protein, and if you’re eating it in between meals consider eating just half the bar.
4) Healthy Bread
Have you ever spent time in the bread aisle, reading labels and trying to figure out which is the healthiest? It can be pretty confusing. There’s wheat, whole wheat, gluten free, and sprouted grain. How can you tell what’s the healthiest?
The unfortunate news, for all you bread lovers, is that when it comes to losing inches, all excess of bread is a problem. You see, gluten free bread is filled with just as many calories and carbohydrates as wheat bread or sprouted grain bread.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you have a free pass to indulge in bread when it’s the ‘healthy’ kind. Your body will convert that healthy bread into fat quicker than you can say burpee.
5) Healthy Trail Mix
Trail mix is a tricky one for healthy food shoppers. It’s made with nuts and seeds, which we know to be healthy. It’s also often dotted with chocolate, sweetened dried fruits or other treats.
Nuts can belong in a fat loss diet, within certain parameters. For example, a small handful of raw almonds makes a wonderful in-between-meals snack. It’s filled with fiber, protein, good fat, vitamins and minerals.
A half a cup of trail mix, on the other hand, is packed with two or three times the calories in addition to having added sweeteners and extra salt. Not to mention, trail mix is hard to stop eating once you’ve started. When working towards a fat loss goal, it’s best to stay away from even the healthiest of trail mixes.
Never take a packaged food item based on the claims and benefits printed on the labels. When you’re looking to transform your body, you must guard what goes into your mouth. Packaged foods, even those from the health store, are going to derail your results ever single time.