If you’re trying to attain your ideal beach body, it may feel like you’re stuck in quicksand if you don’t truly know how to “eat clean to be lean.” Even some of the most dedicated fitness fanatics can often be sabotaged by foods that fool ‘ya into thinking they’re diet friendly – when they may actually be the culprits preventing you from winning the battle of the bulge.
Think Before You Drink: New York’s Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to ban the sale of sugary beverages larger than 16 ounces could really help reverse the “supersizing of America.”
Even though you may think your drink is safe – beware! Some bottles of Vitamin Water have as much as 8 grams of sugar; one 24-oz. fruit smoothie can have about 450 calories (the same amount in 10-12 doughnut holes); and at Starbucks, all those grande “skinny” Vanilla Lattes with 28 g. sugar/30 g. carbs could be why you’re not losing those last 10 pounds!
Snacks that Pack on Pounds: Here’s some important “imposter” information to know about some snacks that only appear to be healthy…Did you know just a handful of yogurt raisins has about as much saturated fat as two BK burgers? And if you have two cups of granola – that’s a whopping 660 calories and 51 grams of sugar (12 teaspoons).
Energy bars can also prove to be the demise of your diet. Some marketed as high protein bars actually have very low amounts of protein and high amounts of carbohydrates in the form of sugar. For example, one leading brand has only 10 grams of protein and as much as 18 grams of sugar. The Medical Science Monitor has published a study showing a rise in insulin levels associated with eating bars that have a high carbohydrate content make it more difficult to lose body fat.
Uh Oh…I Didn’t Know! Some of the many foods often thought to be diet friendly when they can really be a dieter’s worst enemy include:
Flavored oatmeal– choose the plain flavor to eliminate all the sugar and benefit from the soluble fiber that can prevent abdominal fat buildup, reduce total body fat and waist circumference. And instead of adding a banana, opt for berries instead. Raspberries, blueberries and strawberries are loaded with antioxidants and fiber. For every gram of fiber consumed, approximately seven calories can be eliminated, according to research conducted at Germany’s University of Kiel, Department of Human Nutrition and Food Science.
Fruit Flavored Yogurt – choose Greek or light yogurts to remove all the “cons” associated with added sugars and appreciate all the “pros” of probiotics—similar to good bacteria found naturally in the intestine that can help prevent colds and improve immune response when you’re sick.
Anything White – To truly diet right, eliminate everything white like white rice, white bread and white potatoes. Optimal lower glycemic choices include brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes and Ezekiel bread available in a variety of flavors at Whole Foods Market.
Clean Sweep Success: Once you’ve cleaned up your diet act by getting rid of hidden sugars, fat and calories, you’ll love being able to wear your favorite swimsuit this summer and reveal you really know how to eat clean to be lean!