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10 So-Called Health Foods You Should Stop Eating

10 So-Called Health Foods You Should Stop Eating

Eat because food is on the table and your last meal might just be that quick granola bar at lunch. You may eat it even though it tastes awful because you can’t hurt grandma’s feelings. You might eat because you’re bored sometimes, or because you’re sad. Sometimes you might feel like you eat because you earned it.

Whatever your reason for eating, a relatively agreed upon reason is that you’re eating to be healthy, or at least doing your best to become healthier. You gave up that super scrumptious looking ice cream with hot fudge and sprinkles for some low-fat or fat-free froyo because you’re trying to have the best health possible. I get it. You know what really isn’t fun? Eating the wrong foods that you deemed to be the health foods, and find out that it’s actually worse for you than before.

We’ve compiled a list of 10 different health foods we’ve sacrificed our other food for. These foods really aren’t doing us any favors, so we’ve provided some yummy and healthier alternatives for you to use instead.

1. Low-fat or Fat-free Yogurt

yogurt is not icecream

    Doesn’t this one just grind your gears? When you see fat-free or low-fat you instantly think, “This has to be better for me because fat is bad.” Wrong-o! For years, we have been trying to end this war on fat; when in reality, it is important to our health! Fat is what you burn when you’re not doing anything, fat gives us energy, and fat is a key part of our diet. When fat is supplemented with harmful chemicals and preservatives and SO MUCH MORE SUGAR, it actually hurts us more than it helps us.

    Healthy Alternatives:

    • Regular, original yogurt.
    • Try just plain yogurt, spicing it up with fruit yourself.
    • Everybody likes parfaits. Am I right?

    2. Fruit Smoothies

    Fresh milk, strawberry, blueberry and banana drinks on wodeen table, assorted protein cocktails with fresh fruits. ; Shutterstock ID 182683421; PO: Brandon for Food
      Fresh milk, strawberry, blueberry and banana drinks on wodeen table, assorted protein cocktails with fresh fruits; Shutterstock ID 182683421; PO: Brandon for Food.

      Jamba Juice, how could you? Fruit smoothies are more fruit juice and super sugared-up yogurt/sherbert than fruit these days. Although they taste heavenly, they really aren’t all that good for you! However, if you want to snag a Jamba on your way to work, make sure to get the smallest size, as this will keep the calories and sugar as low as it can go.

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      Healthy Alternatives:

      • Freshly squeezed juices.
      • Channel your inner chef and make your own smoothie!
      • Use some plain yogurt, milk, and your favorite fruits.
      • You’ll be so much more filled by the time lunch rolls around, cutting your snack time and adding more energy.

      3. Naked Juice

      naked juice

        In case you thought that you could get out of making your own smoothie and turn to the juice above all juices, think again. I’ve definitely snagged a Naked after a workout, thinking the fruit and veggies in my Green Machine were gonna give me power for the whole day! However, Naked packs a whopping 60 grams of sugar per bottle. While this isn’t added sugar, and the fructose within it comes from the fruit, it is still way more than your body should have at one sitting. Juicing your fruits also takes away the fiber within them, leaving you practically starving and itching for that cannoli you saw at Starbucks.

        Healthy Alternatives:

        • Eat the fruit itself, rather than the juice form.
        • Fruit will fill you up, while adding the necessary fiber to your diet.
        • Seriously – just squeeze your own juice or make your own smoothie.

        4. Flavored Milk (Soy, Almond, Coconut)

        flavored milk

          I understand that lactose intolerant people have it hard when morning comes around. All you want is cereal, but all that’s in the fridge is regular milk. However, these alternative milk companies pack in the sugar and preservatives like nobody’s business, otherwise almond milk would have a much shorter shelf life.

          Healthy Alternatives:

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          • You don’t have to cut out soy, almond, or coconut milk completely.
          • Just make sure you buy the “unsweetened” boxes, with 0 grams of sugar!

          5. Sports Drinks

          gatorade

            Are you serious Gatorade? Yes, you’re giving us all the electrolytes and potassium we want (so shoutout to you for that), but did you really need to load on that extra 21 grams of sugar as well? Look’s like I need to hit the treadmill again after that.

            Healthy Alternatives:

            • Try coconut water.
            • Or post workout powders.

            6. Energy Bars

            Granola Bars

              More like Reese’s 2.0, especially if we’re talking about the nutritional value. Energy bars sound like the greatest idea, but these otherwise healthy snacks are riddled with sweeteners, white flour, and high-fructose corn syrup.

              Healthy Alternatives:

              • Just look for bars that have LESS THAN 15 grams of sugar.
              • Also look for as little saturated fat as possible (less than 2 grams).
              • Sprinkle with tons of fiber and protein, and then you’re ready to go!

              7. Reduced- Fat Peanut Butter

              peanut butter

                Peanut butter is absolutely fabulous. Nut butter is filled with healthy fats and proteins that provide enough energy and fullness to help you go about your day until your next meal without feeling famished. However, whenever fat is reduced it just adds oils with the worst types of fats and even more sugar to keep it yummy.

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                Healthy Alternatives:

                • Reduce your protein size of a regular peanut butter.
                • Slather that on some celery and you’re good to go!
                • Snag some natural peanut butter next time, where peanuts are the only ingredient.

                8. Prepared Salads

                salad haterz

                  I’m not going anti-leafy-green-veggies here, but rather anti-everything-else-in-the-salad. The bacon, the deep-fried meats, the cheese, croutons, and creamy dressings are a lot of carbs and calories you really don’t need. The lettuce isn’t enough to make that salad healthy, my friends.

                  Healthy Alternatives:

                  • Just saying “No” is a wonderful principle, especially when it applies to croutons or any of the other no-no’s listed above.
                  • You can do a dressing, but ask for it on the side, so you are in control of how much you’re using.
                  • Tip: Dip your fork into the dressing first and use what’s on it to cover your salad with each super healthy bite.

                  9. Margarine and Butter

                  butter and margarine

                    It’s got trans-fat. It’s completely artificial. It’s got loads of vegetable oil. Ladies and gentlemen, let’s give a big welcome to margarine! Margarine came into play when butter was accused of having too much saturated fat. Margarine is supposed to be better for your heart health, but is also loaded with trans-fat out the wazoo. Actually, butter (as unsalted as you can make it) is totally fine. The fight between the two honestly comes down to trans-fat versus saturated fat, Meanwhile, neither option is very good for your body. Honestly, your best shot to eat healthier would be to avoid both margarine and butter if you can.

                    Healthy Alteratives:

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                    • Unsalted butter, whipped.
                    • Whipped, trans-fat free margarine.
                    • Olive oil.
                    • Avacado.
                    • Nut butters.
                    • No matter what, try and limit your intake and monitor your portion sizes.

                    10. Fake Healthy Chips

                    chipsiez

                      Veggie chips are the absolute worst. You gave up your Cheeto Puff’s for some fake health food that is literally just the color of whatever veggies are listed. Sadly, dye is the only difference between both types of chips. It’s still just potato starch, corn flour, and deep-fried lies being serving to us. Pita chips are baked rather than fried, so props to them for that, but the healthiness ends there. Pita chips are made from refined grains and enriched wheat flour, giving them next to none of the nutrients they are trying to peddle at you.

                      Healthy Alternatives:

                      • Pita chips with whole grain flour.
                      • Make your own (like in the picture above).
                      • If your craving that satisfying crunch, try and eat the actual veggies rather than the fried/baked kind, as they retain all their nutrients this way.

                      Conclusion

                      Watch for sneaky sugars and unhealthy fats, and you’ll be on your way to spotting unhealthy health food in no time!

                      Did any of these foods fool you and sneak their way into your pantry? Sound off in the comments below. Also, let us know your own healthy alternatives!

                      Information courtesy of Shakeology.

                      Featured Photo Credit: Yogurt gif, Fruit smoothies, Naked, Flavored milks, Gatorade on reporter gif, Unhealthy granola bars, Peanut butter toast, Parks and Rec salad gif, Butter/Margarine, Homemade healthy chips

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                      Last Updated on September 18, 2020

                      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                      7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

                      Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

                      Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

                      1. Exercise Daily

                      It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

                      If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

                      Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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                      If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

                      2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

                      Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

                      One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

                      This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

                      3. Acknowledge Your Limits

                      Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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                      Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

                      Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

                      4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

                      Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

                      The basic nutritional advice includes:

                      • Eat unprocessed foods
                      • Eat more veggies
                      • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
                      • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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                      Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

                        5. Watch Out for Travel

                        Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

                        This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

                        If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

                        6. Start Slow

                        Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

                        If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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                        7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

                        Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

                        My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

                        If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

                        I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

                        Final Thoughts

                        Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

                        Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

                        More Tips on Getting in Shape

                        Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

                        Reference

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