So you’ve decided you want to clean up your diet. CONGRATS!! That is the first step to changing your body and your life. You are feeling excited, inspired, and determined. You plan a trip to the grocery store, feeling like you can take over the world.. and then…
You walk into a world of overwhelming proportions. There are so many choices. So many brands flaunting the terms “low-fat”,”sugar-free”, “gluten-free”, “reduced calorie”…this list goes on and on. How are you supposed to make a smart choice, informed choice, when there are so many products to choose from.
Tip 1: Go Strait to the Produce section:
Pretty much everything here is free game! There are millions of ways to prepare and enjoy fruits and vegetables. Buy an assortment of colors and types. If you can afford to, treat yourself to organic produce (free of pesticides and chemicals). If not, no prob! This is the safest place to shop. GO WILD!
Tip 2: Low fat doesn’t give you a free pass!!!
Just because a product says it is “Low in fat” doesn’t mean that it is necessarily a good option. Buying the “Low-fat hot pocket” as opposed to the regular version may be the lesser of two evils, but it is still evil. How
do you think they made that low-fat version taste good? THEY ADDED A TON OF SUGAR! This form of sugar, processed sugar, is not easily broken down in the body. When you throw a ton of it in there at one time, the body can’t use it quick enough. Blood sugars spike, blood sugars drop, and BAM! It is stored as fat. Sorry guys.. but stay away from that processed junk if you can.
Better Option: Make it yourself! Take a Gluten free wrap, with low-fat cheese, 1 slice turkey bacon, and low sugar tomato sauce! Roll up wrap (keep it together with a tooth pick or turn it upside down. Throw it in the microwave until the insides are melted, or heat in your oven until warm!
Tip 3: If it sounds healthy…it is?
Lots of things sound healthy. The words “Brown rice” “Bran” “Fiber” sounds great, but are they good options?
So you love cereal. That’s FINE! Lot’s of people love it. The real challenge is finding the right one. Sorry folks, those fruity pebbles you loved as a youth are a no go. Well, you knew that. Any brainiac can tell that something died bright blue is not exactly healthy. So what are your options?
1) If a cereal boasts low-fat…they’re not lying. The majority of cereals are naturally low in fat! There isn’t anything all that special about that guy… stay away.
2) You see a “healthy key word”. Bran sounds healthy… I’ll go with Raisin bran! Ok great..flip over the box and look at the side. Calories: Look pretty good.
(image taken from the internet)
Fiber: HIGH YAY!
AND THAT IS IN ONE SERVING!!! That is if you took out a measuring cup, filled it with cereal, and leveled it off. ONE CUP. ONE SERVING…
What does 16g even mean. 16g of sugar=4 teaspoons of sugar. (divide grams by 4 to get teaspoons)
So What exactly does 4 teaspoons of sugar look like?
WOULD YOU DUMP THAT ON YOUR CEREAL? Doubt it.
Tip 4: Just because it’s healthy, doesn’t meant you can eat as much as you want.
“Everything in moderation”. You’ve heard that before, right? With the exception of fruits and vegetables (excluding potatoes, and avocado), all other foods need to be eaten with limitations.
You bought the gluten-free, low sugar, low fat, high fiber cookies! HORRAY! VICTORY! Opted for the whole wheat, or gluten-free pasta? FABULOUS!! I’m here to tell you that you can only have ONE SERVING. Just because a food product boasts these key “healthy” words, doesn’t mean that it is calorie free.
Another option: Feeling snacky? If you need to eat without any limitations, reach for a bag of baby carrots, lots of celery stalks, an entire bell pepper, and half of a cucumber! Dip them in salsa and eat until you feel like you’re done!!
I understand that this sounds like a lot of information…it is! When you go to the grocery store, try not to get overwhelmed and use your best judgment. You know more than you give yourself credit for.
If you ever have any questions, feel free to email me at [email protected]