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Healthy Eating: Fattening Foods in Disguise

One of the most common goals for both men and women alike is to lose weight. It’s a good goal to have, but one that is too broad to really hold value. The problem with this goal is it’s not specific enough; you haven’t affirmed to yourself what kind of weight you’re going to be losing. For many, it’s not weight that’s the problem, it’s body fat. Yes, in many cases the two can relate to one another, but in some instances it’s not as cut and dry.

Body fat should be your primary concern. When your body fat is in control, your weight will be in control as well. To reach this goal of a healthy body fat, there are many important things to incorporate such as regular physical exercise, both resistance and cardiovascular, as well as a sound diet which is the downfall of many people. It takes all three, resistance training, cardiovascular training and a sound diet to meet your goal properly and most efficiently. Many people fail to reach their goal simply by falling prey to fattening foods in disguise; don’t be this person!

Below is a list of 10 foods that should be avoided when trying to lose body fat. Some of them will be obvious; some may surprise you.

1. Fruit Juice is often packed full of vitamins and minerals essential for good health, but there is nothing in fruit juice that can’t be obtained elsewhere. Fruit juice is very calorie dense and packed full of sugar in the form of fructose; fructose carries strong properties that cause it to be stored most often as body fat. A single serving of your favorite fruit juice can contain as much as 200 calories of pure sugar, or pure body fat depending on how you look at it.

2. Salad Dressings Salads can be a good choice when trying to lose body fat, but pour on loads of dressing riddled with fat and sugar and they become a nutritional nightmare. Most salad dressings contain 75 calories per teaspoon, and it’s safe to say most people pile on 4 to 5 times that amount on their salad. To make matters worse, most low-fat dressings carry with them the same amount of sugar as regular dressings. The best bet for salad dressing is going to be oil-based dressings such as oil and vinegar, or olive oil types. Dressings such as sugar-free Italian, Balsamic or Greek are all good choices. For a calorie- free dressing, make your own using mustard, soy sauce, balsamic vinegar and Splenda.

3. Rice Cakes This comes as a shocker to many. For years rice cakes have been labeled as a staple in many weight loss diets. The problem with this food is that it is very high on the glycemic index. Foods that fall into this category will almost always cause a rapid spike in your blood sugar levels which can lead to excess body fat.

4. Flavored Oatmeal is a great choice for your body fat reduction goals and has a place in almost any diet plan. But when we opt for flavored oatmeal it will contain very high amounts of simple sugars. Stick with unflavored oatmeal and sweeten it with Splenda or a teaspoon of sugar free jelly.

5. Alcohol is an absolute abomination to a healthy diet. It carries an abundant amount of calories. Add in the items many mix their drinks with and the calories pile up very quickly. If that wasn’t enough, alcohol itself is a detriment to a quality physique?be it liquor, beer or any other form. Alcohol is alcohol, pure and simple. It interferes with essential nutrients, especially protein, and tears down muscle tissue, which slows down metabolism; the slower your metabolism, the slower your body will burn fat.

6. Muffins are considered by many to be a healthy choice, especially for breakfast. Muffins are extremely calorie dense, carrying as much as 400 to 500 calories per muffin. Add butter and the total goes even higher. If you’re stuck and can find anything else to eat, choose a low-fat muffin, but be aware that many low-fat muffins carry twice the amount of sugar to make up for the lack of fat and to improve taste.

7. Breaded Chicken or Fish Chicken (especially white meat) and fish are two of the best choices when it comes to your daily protein requirements. Add breading and you’ve taken a perfect source of protein and completely ruined it. A simple meal of 6-piece chicken nuggets can contain more then 20 grams of unhealthy fats; with dipping sauces that are loaded with sugar, these meals become a complete waste. Stick with grilled or baked chicken and fish for best results.

8. Deli Meat if you’re in a pinch, a low-fat deli meat can be acceptable, but make sure it does not contain added sugar. Most deli meats are covered in sugar to improve taste, and it is sugar that is the main reason that people struggle with their body fat.

9. Frozen Yogurt A fat-free food, considered by many to be a healthy alternative, frozen yogurt almost always contains the same amount of sugar as its counterpart, if not more! If you are a yogurt fan, stick with your basic soft refrigerated yogurt, but make sure it is sugar free.

10. Regular Soda is very high in calories, almost all of which come from simple sugars. Consume soda on a regular basis and you can kiss your fat loss goals goodbye. Water is always your best choice, but sugar-free diet soda, diet tea and drinks such as Crystal Lite are fine. The key is NO SUGAR!

Stay away from these 10 foods as much as possible and you will have taken the first step towards a healthier body fat level. Is it enough? No, not hardly, but it will get you moving in the right direction. Incorporate a disciplined plan of resistance training, cardiovascular training and balanced diet plan to reach your goals. Without all three, even by staying away from the ten foods above, you will be cutting yourself short.

To develop a custom plan that fits your needs, contact Justin Edwards at (615) 642-5688 or justin@jbefitness.com. He is a personal trainer and owner of JBE Fitness, the managing developer of probodybuilding.com and certified S.M.A.R.T by Dowling College, NY.

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