What is the first thing you do when you start a fat loss plan? You toss out all the “unhealthy food” and make sure your choices are healthier. The plan seems so simple, and it should have your rippling 6 pack ready to be displayed in no time.
There is a flaw in this plan that you might not see coming. “Health” food can be sneaking in sabotaging your fat loss, and you won’t even know it. How could food that is healthy cause your fat loss to stall?
These foods are like a the runner class in Call of Duty. They sprint around the defenses without being seen. They move so fast that you cannot react until they have already destroyed your team.
But, with this article, you will be able to identify the enemy and take them out before they even know what hit them.
What? How could a protein bar possibly be something that kills fat loss? Protein bars could be one of the sneakiest health foods. As Bros, we associate protein with something we should be cramming in our face all the time.
Our muscles need protein. We need our muscles to be stuffed full of protein. The problem with many protein bars is they pack a macronutrient breakdown that is similar to a candy bar, other than some added protein.
The Switch: a low-fat string cheese stick. You will get some protein a little bit of fat and barely any carbs. Plus they are fun to eat or smack your co-worker in the face with it. You can find great protein packed recipes here.
Yogurt is supposed to be a really healthy item to add to any diet. It has protein and it is filling. The problem with flavored yogurt is the sugar bomb that went off in them. They have the same amount of sugar per serving as ice cream. Also, take note if you are eating a full-fat version you are consuming the same fat content of a tablespoon of butter with each serving. It can be very easy to rack up a calorie high score with these.
The Switch: unflavored yogurt 0% fat (Greek is best) and add some Splenda, or sugar-free jelly, or sugar-free syrup and your own fresh fruit to flavor it.
I don’t know how many times I have seen this touted as a healthy alternative to cereal in the morning or as a yogurt topper. It only takes one look at the nutrition facts to see that these are yet again a sugar disaster and some can contain massive amounts of fat as well. Those to facts turn granola into a calorie dense item that can put a screeching halt to fat loss.
The Switch: If you want to crunch on a yogurt try some chia seeds. If you wish to snack on it by itself search carefully and read the labels or find a puffed cereal like Puffins HERE.(Amazon has everything)
Now it would seem I have gone too far. First I attack protein bars, and now I am attacking nut butters. Now these are healthy, and they have some great fatty acid profiles. But, they can be adding large amounts of hidden calories. If you weigh out a serving of peanut butter, you will be very disappointed to see how much it is. The first I did it, I found my standard serving was at least twice what is on the label.
The Switch: If you are mixing nut butters into something use the flour version like peanut flour instead. Or weigh out your portions of nut butters to make sure you are not going way over your calorie goals.
Fruit is good, right? Wrong at least when it comes in the dehydrated form. All this has done is remove the water from the fruit and concentrated the sugar and flavor. Dehydration can create two problems rolled into one. The fruit now has less volume, and the concentrated flavor makes them very easy to overeat.
The Switch: Eat whole fruit instead. You will get more volume and be more satiated.
Red meat is taking a lot of heat these days. So, many people turn to what is supposed to be a leaner and healthier option. Too bad this is a common misconception. Most of the ground turkey found in the grocery stores have just as much fat as fatty ground beef. Many are 80/20 or 85/15; both have a lot of extra fat that will pack in extra calories.
The Switch: Grab lean ground beef 93/7 or leaner or ground turkey that is 93/7 or leaner. Find new ways to make some tasty meals here.
Healthy smoothies are all over the media. They have been given magical fat loss and health benefits. Smoothies can be healthy, but you need to be careful with these. Many of them are large and also filled with a lot of added sugar.
The Switch: Make a homemade one, so you control the ingredients. Pick some fruit you like and toss in some ice and blend it up. It is that simple. Add some yogurt or protein powder. Bros need protein plus it thickens it making it more satiating
A quick recap of the foods to keep on eye on:
- Protein bars- look carefully at these if you choose to eat them. Eat string cheese instead
- Flavored yogurt- Buy plain yogurt instead and sweeten it yourself with sugar free options
- Granola- Use chia seeds or puffed cereal instead
- Nut butters- Measure out servings carefully
- Dried fruit- Eat whole fruit instead
- Ground turkey- Eat 93/7 lean ground turkey or beef
- Smoothies- Make your own so you can control the ingredients and add some protein as well
Now you can detect these sneaky destroyers and keep your fat loss on track. Just making a few of these switches each week will cut out 100s of calories, accelerating your fat loss progress. If you are lost about the fundamentals of fat loss you can check out a quick article here.