[By Brian Smith]
Eat right and lose weight? That will depend on whether you manager to avoid the pitfalls facing the modern eater today. Navigate these food traps that up your calorie quotient and attain a slimmer physique without starving yourself.
FAT FOOD TRAP: Bread
Bread-lovers in the study discovered that it was easy to eat too much of that food in a single sitting. If you can’t live without sandwiches, then you should have them, but try to splurge on only those couple of slices of bread a day. Bread isn’t evil; it just tends to be hard to control for people who love it.
WHAT TO EAT INSTEAD: Grains
Slice your protein or veggies over grains including whole-wheat pasta, wild rice, couscous, or quinoa.
FAT FOOD TRAP: Fruit-flavored yogurt
I am sure many of us have committed this deadly mistake when we embark on our “new healthy diet plan”. When Weight Watchers asked 10,000 dieters to eat wholesome foods, they found that people often ate up to four containers of low-fat yogurt a day if the fruit was mixed in. On the other hand, if the subjects had to stir in the fruit themselves, they stopped at only one cup. Beware also that Fruit flavored yoghurt often contains added preservatives and hidden sugars that will wreak havoc on your weight.
WHAT TO EAT INSTEAD: Plain, nonfat yogurt — you add fresh fruit
Mixing in fruit yourself is enough to prevent you from mindless overeating. You also know for sure you are getting wholesome fresh fruit and not essence of peach or other artificial flavors.
FAT FOOD TRAP: Breakfast cereal — even the healthy kind
The same Weight Watchers study also showed that people who ate cereal right out of the box as a snack tended to munch on way too much of it in a day. Even healthy, high-fiber cereals can up the day’s calorie count and halt people’s weight loss.
WHAT TO EAT INSTEAD: Eat cereal only with milk
This combination also decreases the meal’s “calorie density” — an ounce of cereal with milk (skim, of course) has fewer calories than an ounce of cereal alone, so you’ll take in fewer calories but still feel just as satisfied. Go for low fat, skimmed milk as your cereal companion.
FAT FOOD TRAP: White rice
Did you know that it takes more white rice than brown to make you feel just as satisfied. That’s because white rice contains no fiber — a food component that helps you feel full. White pasta also tends to be fiber-free and less filling than whole wheat.
WHAT TO EAT INSTEAD: Brown rice
You might eat only 50 or 60 fewer calories when you make the switch to brown rice or pasta, but that can be enough to make a difference in weight loss.
FAT FOOD TRAP: 1 percent cottage cheese
Many people think of cheese as healthy but cottage cheese is one culprit weight loss participants seem to eat more of in studies than other cheeses. And since every little bit counts and fat do add up, it is important to watch the cheese.
WHAT TO EAT INSTEAD: Non-fat cottage cheese
Eating only the fat-free version allowed people in the study to continue losing extra weight.
FAT FOOD TRAP: Sugar-free hot chocolate
People who tried to satisfy their sweet cravings with sugar-free hot chocolate ended up drinking as many as five cups a day. In fact, study shows that some people would keep a mug on their desk and sip all day long, because they didn’t think of the cocoa as a ‘bad’ food. But, of course, the calories add up.
WHAT TO EAT INSTEAD: Diet chocolate pudding
People who ate this instead of drinking cocoa stopped after a single serving. Interestingly, people see pudding as a treat. They use it to satisfy the occasional sweet tooth, not to snack on all day and so stop at one.