Today’s blog subject is dedicated to one of my friends in Pilates class. She brought up a subject that is important to discuss in my blog because it comes up all of the time when people ask me how I keep the weight off.
Eating healthy doesn’t mean eating large amounts of sugar and carbs! I do eat very well. Salads twice a day. Four servings of veggies a day (small ones), 2 small fruits a day, 6 protein-based foods per day, water, etc. But, keep in mind that I want to keep my carbs between 50g to 100g per day. Also keep in mind that it takes about 4g of sugar/carbs per 1 sugar cube.
We get conned into eating and drinking things based on their nutritional qualities, but in fact, they are LOADED in “unhealthy” amounts of sugar and carbs. Trust me, I know. I gained over 40 pounds at one time just eating “healthy foods”, without knowing the secrets behind their fat-causing carbs!
If you want to lose weight, you want to eat six protein-based “small” meals per day. Here are 10 items to stay away from, but I mention how to do it with low-carb or replacements for them. I am letting you in on my found-out secrets!
10 FOODS AND DRINKS TO AVOID IF YOU ARE ON A DIET, DESPITE THEIR SO-CALLED HEALTHINESS
1. SMOOTHIES or JUICE:
If you have a smoothie, it has to be more vegetables than fruits (fruits have a lot of sugar and carbs) and the size you drink has to be small. Depending on what you put in your smoothie, perhaps about 4-6 ounces is enough. Are your smoothies bigger than that and has a combination of high carb/sugar fruits in them? A few berries, citrus–that is ok….but loaded in apple, banana–you are looking at a lot of carbs. Some of the smoothies at a regular juice place, like Jamba Juice, have 67g of carbs (This is over 20 sugar cubes–would you eat 20 sugar cubes?) in a basic 16 ounce smoothie. If you are only supposed to have between 50-100g of carbs per day to stay thin, that is a lot for one drink. There goes the rest of the carbs for the day! Instead, I personally recommend eating real veggies and two small fruits a day. Smoothies are really for people who can’t stand eating veggies and it is the only way to get it into your diet. Don’t drink orange juice–eat an orange.
2. ACAI BOWLS/ MUFFINS/CEREAL:
Loaded up with granola (NOT A HEALTH FOOD–way too much sugar. Use plain nuts instead). I never eat granola. A lot of people see it as a health food. NOT! It has 38g of carbs in just half of a cup! An Acai Bowl has about 125g of carbs between the granola and the banana, etc. These are not diet foods. WATCH OUT FOR NUTS: 20g or so in carbs per cup. Limit them or measure and bag them in advance when used for a snack. My snacks usually consist of a few nuts and cheese (little to no carbs in cheese). Western Bagel has a low carb bagel called the Perfect Ten, that is usually a special breakfast item for me out of my usual eggs.
Stay away from cereal. Mostly carbs, sugar and chemicals. Try oatmeal instead, but keep it to a small serving because it is high in carbs. Read the labels.
Also, muffins have grains. Grains are higher in carbs. I don’t care if it is a bran muffin or a blueberry muffin–it is still a muffin. It wiIll add to a muffin top, if you know what I mean.
3. DRIED FRUIT:
Has a lot of sugar and carbs. Instead, eat fruit. 2 small amounts of fruit per day. If you eat a banana, one serving is HALF of a large banana.
High carb, little nutritional quality–even the brown stuff. Quinoa is better, but it is also high carb, so limit it to a few spoons worth in a serving. A cup of Quinoa is over 100g of carbs. As high as rice. Also, rice has arsenic in it. Yuck! ALSO RICE CAKES ARE HIGH IN CARBS TOO!
Bread products of all kinds are high in carbs. I don’t eat sandwiches either. A slice of bread can be around 30g of carbs. Some of the lower carb breads like Ezekiel, is about 10g EACH slice. But, a medium sized wrap is about 22g of carbs. I eat salads with meat and other proteins on them or a sandwich or burger that is wrapped in lettuce and not a bun or wrap. Watch out for tortillas too, unless they are the specific low-carb ones, which you can see at any store, even Trader Joes. A regular tortilla can be over 30g of carbs, but a low carb one can be about 5g net carbs, once you factor in the fiber.
Watch out for JUICE. It is just liquid sugar.
6. PROTEIN DRINKS/SPORTS DRINKS?PROTEIN BARS
All laden with high carbs. Only get ones that are low carb. Less than 20g of carbs is best. Or you can factor in fiber. Look at the total carbs and subtract the fiber and you have net carbs.
7. VEGGIE BURGERS/FROZEN FOODS:
Very high in carbs if you pick the wrong one. Buyer beware. Some of them are only 10g of carbs. So choose wisely and look at the nutritional labels.
Most of the low-cal frozen foods are high carb and will put weight on you. Just look at the labels. They are also loaded in sodium (as is canned soup) and are not good for your heart.
8. YOGURT/FROZEN YOGURT:
Some of them are so high in sugar and carbs, it should be illegal. You could be looking at 20-30g of carbs per cup. Greek yogurt has better options and if you choose the ones that are unflavored, there are hardly any carbs. There are a few products like Danon Lite and Fit Greek Yogurt flavored, with only about 10g or less of carbs per cup.
Frozen yogurt is laden in sugar, carbs and a lot of really nasty chemicals. There is nothing “yogurty” about it. You are better off having a no-sugar added scoop of Dreyers or Breyers ice cream. Breyers Carbsmart ice cream bars are delish and low in carbs. I get them at Ralphs, Smart and Final, and Wal-Mart.
Yes, they are good for you–in small amounts. A tablespoon is about 8g of carbs. A cup of them is about 120g of carbs. So, your burrito with the high carb shell, high carb beans and high carb rice will easily top you over 100g of carbs for your one very healthy organic Chipotle burrito. I always do a salad version, limit the beans, no rice.
One of the more popular “natural” sweeteners is Agave nectar, also called agave syrup.You will find this sweetener in all sorts of “health foods,” often with attractive claims on the packaging.
The problem with Agave is that it is no better than sugar. In fact, it is much, much worse…
One of the main problems with sugar is that it has excessive amounts of fructose, which can cause severe metabolic problems when consumed in excess.
Whereas sugar is about 50% fructose and High Fructose Corn Syrup about 55%, Agave contains even more… up to 70-90%.
Try Stevia or just use natural sugar, in moderation, because sugar is not good for losing weight. And if you are putting fruit in your smoothie (and I don’t recommend smoothies and I don’t do them anymore), then you have enough fructose sugar from the fruit, so why add more? Stop being a sugar junkie!