Experts say it takes 21 days to kick a bad habit. That’s why Beyonce and Jay Z recently embarked on a 22-day vegan challenge. Jay Z posted on his blog that this was a “spiritual and physical cleanse.”
With February upon us, and that certain chocolate lovers’ holiday recently passed, some of us may have already been tempted to ditch our New Year’s resolutions. But don’t quit now! It’s time to re-set those goals to get the results you want. Even Beyonce is having a second go by starting another 22-day vegan challenge. We can help you get back on track by finding out which “healthy” foods were fooling you and may not be so healthy after all.
10 No. 10 – Yogurt
When it comes to this delectable dish, it’s all about reading the labels. There’s tons of choices out there, so grabbing without reading could lead to bad results. For example, you could pick up vanilla-flavored Mediterranean Greek yogurt which has 9% fat and double the sugar and carbs of other Greek yogurt varieties.
So where do you start? Start by picking up a plain, low-fat Greek yogurt. This creamier option can have a third more protein than the same serving of regular yogurt. That means you’ll feel fuller longer.
Next, check for fat content – anything that is low-fat with less than 2% is ideal. You want to pick one that is plain or lightly sweetened with honey to avoid the extra sugar. If you have organic honey at home, you may want to add it yourself. Dr. Oz confirms: “I get the low-fat Greek kind that contains no added sugar.”
9 No. 9 – Muffins
A McDonald’s muffin has 410 calories and 15 grams of fat. Tons of people reach for this for breakfast daily. But did you know that that a McDonald’s cheeseburger has only 300 calories and 12 grams of fat. That’s right, the muffin is worse than the cheeseburger.
8 No. 8 – Microwave Popcorn
7 No. 7 – Trail Mix
6 No. 6 – Canned or Dried Fruit
When it comes to eating fruit, fresh is best. In February and you may be longing for peaches that aren’t in season, but instead of reaching for a can version, you’re better off sticking with a different fresh fruit. And in fact, American's spend $6.4 billion on the canned stuff every year. Canned fruit can come in syrup that can be loaded with empty calories.
Weight Watchers advises that you should “choose canned fruit packed in its own juice or in water instead” if you have to eat it. Also, the brand (that has celeb spokespersons Jessica Simpson and Jennifer Hudson) points out that vitamin C can be lost in the heat of canning while most canned fruits also have reduced fiber content because the fruit has been pealed.
5 No. 5 – Granola Bars
Have you recently made granola bars your afternoon snack but not quite sure why you’re not seeing changes? Your snack just may be the culprit. Granola bars can be loaded with artificial sweeteners and sugars to keep it tasting good. That's probably why Americans spend $880 million on the stuff yearly.
4 No. 4 – Vitamin-Enhanced Water
3 No. 3 – Rice Cakes
2 No. 2 – Diet Soda
While we doubt anyone would call diet soda healthy, there are many people out there who consider it a good option since its sugar free. In fact, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, kids drink diet soda at double the rate of last decade and adult consumption has jumped nearly 25%. Americans blow $70 billion on soda in one year alone.
1 No. 1 – Juicing
You can’t go anywhere nowadays without hearing someone talk about juicing. It’s the latest in weight loss trends to emerge, with juicers (not blenders) that can cost upwards of $600. Juicers extract the juice from fruits and vegetables, leaving you with a raw drinkable liquid. It’s supposed to cleanse and detox your system – even Jillian Michaels, a Biggest Loser trainer, has a recipe for juicing.
There are some major drawbacks though. Most juicers leave behind skin – which is full of nutrients – and pulp – which is full of fiber. The Dr. Oz website reminds us: “your digestive system is designed to handle fiber and extract nutrients from a variety of foods.” Juicing shouldn’t be a substitute for eating fruits and veggies especially if you’re leaving out the best parts! Plus remember that although they taste good, don’t go overboard on fruits. You may end up exceeding your daily recommend allowance.
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