We request salad dressing to be on the side, we take the parking spot farthest from our building, and we say no to the fresh doughnuts and choose celery sticks, instead. So why aren’t the pounds coming off? It’s never too late to adopt healthy habits, but our food choices can either support or hinder our weight loss success.
Avoiding junk food is an obvious choice, but what about healthy food choices? The truth is, some healthy foods can actually ruin your weight loss goals.
Some fruits can interfere with weight loss. “Tropical fruits have a higher glycemic index thus spiking your blood sugar at a quicker rate than eating berries, for instance,” said Emily Woll, M.S., a nutrition expert with 39forlife.com. Combining fiber and fruits can stabilize blood sugar. “Mango and oatmeal is a great combination,” Woll says, adding that cherries, grapefruit, pears, apples, oranges, plums are low glycemic, and they are great options to sweetness without sugar overload.
It’s the perfect combination, right? Except trail mix is often laced with honey, sugar, or chocolate. To keep your blood sugar level, Tiffany DeWitt, RD, a registered dietician with Abbott, makes sure she has cut-up veggies, hummus, or cheese available for hungry eaters. “I’ll rinse and drain a can of beans and put them in a bowl for all of us to snack on,” DeWitt says. Beans are an excellent source of protein and fiber.
Quinoa or oatmeal
Quinoa and oatmeal are great sources of fiber, and they are a healthy option for breakfast. But that’s not the problem; It’s the toppings. When you add nuts, fruit, honey, cream, coconut, or other fixings, the calories add up. Before you know it, your low-calorie bowl of oatmeal is packing 700 calories! Woll suggests experimenting with farro, barley, or wheat berries as a healthy meal. But, watch the toppings.
A fruit smoothie is a great option for a quick breakfast or a satisfying afternoon pick-me-up. But, guilt-free? Not always. “When they’re made with ingredients like chocolate, peanut butter, frozen yogurt, or flavored syrups and served in huge cups, they quickly become a sneaky source of added calories,” say health writers Min-Ja Lee and Christine Mattheis.
Whole wheat wraps
Whole wheat is a great source of fiber. But consider the surface area of your wrap. A typical wrap is the size of a frisbee — twice the size of two slices of bread. When you add condiments, cheese and meats, you are creating one mongo-sized sandwich, much larger than a standard-sized sandwich made with bread. In this case, too much of a good thing can ruin your diet.
If you have made the decision to take control of your health — good for you! Losing a mere 10 pounds can lower the risk of disease and joint pain. By knowing what you are eating and weighing the true benefits of foods, you will be on your way to smart eating and good health.
Amy Osmond Cook is the Executive Director of the Association of Skilled Nursing Providers, a nonprofit organization dedicated to educating the public about best practices in senior care. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.