Think you’re making healthy diet choices? If you’re new to healthy eating, it’s easy to pick foods that you think are healthier, but which can be just as unhealthy or calorie-rich as your usual selections.
If you’ve been dieting for awhile but aren’t seeing results, you might be making one of these 4 common dieting mistakes:
1. Using High Fat Salad Dressing
So instead of your usual trashy side dishes, you’ve decided to go with a nice, leafy green salad. Great choice, but what about that salad dressing?
Salad dressings contain a deceptively high amount of calories. A creamy salad dressing like ranch or caesar can contain a whopping 60-80 calories and 6-7 grams of fat per tablespoon. If you squirt on just enough to coat your salad, that’s the functional equivalent of a large order of McDonald’s French Fries.
Even seemingly healthier “no-fat” salad dressing options may contain a significant number of calories from sugar. Instead of slopping on those store brought dressings, try using a little balsamic vinegar if you’re looking for a dressing that won’t pack on the pounds.
2. What’s In Your Coffee?
Coffee itself is not a problem for weight loss. In fact, numerous studies have shown that moderate amounts of coffee can have health benefits, including lower your risk of type 2 diabetes and heart disease.
The problem comes with what we put in our coffee – whipped cream, whole milk, sugar, honey, chocolate – if you’re regularly buying $5 drinks at Starbucks you’re probably sabotaging your diet. A Venti White Chocolate Mocha for instance contains 510 calories – that’s more calories than 2 slices of Pizza Hut’s hand-tossed pepperoni pizza.
Whether you’re buying your coffee at your favorite coffee shop or brewing it at home, what you’re putting in your coffee can have a huge impact on your weight loss goals. If you don’t like your coffee black, you can still enjoy your caffeine laden treats without the overindulgence. Choose flavored coffee beans rather than sugary, syrupy mix-ins, choose skim-milk instead of cream or whole milk, and choose Splenda or cinnamon as a sweetener rather than sugar or honey.
3. Cooking With High Calorie Sauces and Marinades
If you’re coating your skinless, grilled chicken breasts with barbeque sauce or other sugar/fat laden sauces, don’t be surprised when you don’t see those inches drop off your waist. A single cup of barbecue sauce can contain nearly 400 calories in itself – mostly in sugar.
Instead of choosing store-bought sauces and marinades for flavor, learn to season with natural spices, or make sauces from fat-free yogurt and fresh herbs.
4. Snacking on “Imposter” Health Foods
With so many of us concerned about our waistlines, companies are having a field day marketing “healthy”, “sugar-free”, “low-fat” or “reduced-calorie” snacks. But how many of these snacks are actually healthy for you? How many of these snacks are actually low in calories?
How many of us overindulge in these snacks, allowing a label on the package to free us from any sense of discipline or responsibility? Some common culprits are:
- 100-Calorie Snack Packs
- Baked Potato Chips
- Light Ice Cream
- Low-fat cookies
- Vitamin water
- Non-fat salad dressing
- Fruit juice
While all of these foods are marketed as “healthy” or “low in fat/calories”, they all pack massive amounts of sugar, fat, and calories. Consume these snacks in moderation, on a cheat day, or better yet, don’t consume them at all. Whatever you do, don’t munch on these deceptive snacks thinking you’re doing your body a favor.
Keep Learning – You’ll Get There!
If you’ve been making any of these mistakes, don’t beat yourself up too much. The important part is that you’re now aware, and you can start to make some healthier choices.
In order to avoid falling into dieting myths and making poor food choices based on “healthy” marketing, continue to educate yourself about healthy food selections, macronutrients, and basic weight loss principles, and there’s no reason why you can’t make your weight loss dreams a reality.