Written by Jamie Bantleman / Personal Trainer
Often we make the wrong choices with food selection on our own accord, often needed as a part of a ‘cheat meal’ or simply because you just don’t want to cook or prepare anything. If you are one of those people, you are making the conscious decision to not eat a healthy diet.
However, if you are one of those people that do make the conscious decision to eat a clean diet, without, to your knowledge, any sugars, trans-fats or any other poor food choice, and still are struggling to lose weight or body fat, read on.
You have swapped:
- Cake with Low Calorie Breakfast Bars
- Ice Cream with Low Fat Yoghurt
- Pancakes with Toast and Cereal
- White pasta with wholemeal pasta
- Coca-cola with flavoured waters
All of these things are probably better than the first choice that was made. However, the alternatives are still very unhealthy and full of hidden sugars.
Unfortunately, we have weight loss companies in today’s society that are controlled and taught by, (usually) those who are not qualified in nutrition or have never found any scientific backing that proves their theory is correct. These people are creating a thought process that is totally false.
It has created,
‘The Age of Low Calories and Low Fat Problems’.
These issues have built great barriers in the way in which we approach food choices.
Alongside food, beverages are also mistaken to be healthy when they are again, full of sugars and additives. Diet coke, flavoured water, lucozades and red bulls are all examples of drinks that are either used for alternatives to sugary drinks as perceived healthy drinks. However, all these drinks are filled with sugars and/or sweeteners with a numbers and other additives.
These hidden sugars in supposed ‘health foods’, are going to create huge issues with fat loss in the general public. Therefore, I have created a list of truly healthy food and beverage alternatives.
Bad vs Good
Bad: Low Fat Yogurts
Low fat yogurts are often found with a lot of sugars and additives that will turn to cause fat gain.
Good: Whole Greek Yoghurt
Remember fat doesn’t make you fat, sugar does. Whole greek yogurt has a healthy profile of fats and protein.
Bad: Snack Bars
Breakfast bars are filled with sugars. the ‘low calorie’ tag line should not fool us. Sugars in such bars are in abundance.
Good: Savannah’s Brownie
Myprotein blogger Savannah has a great recipe for a healthy brownie. With maca, cacao powder, butter & liquor, coconut oil, coconut chips, chia seeds and almonds.
Bad: Cereal and Toast
Cereals and breads are common in people’s breakfast, carbohydrates in the morning causes insulin spikes and troughs. This in turn will cause fat gain.
Good: Meat and Nut Breakfast
Protein and healthy fats in the morning help regulate blood sugars and helps with fat loss and muscle gain.
Bad: Wholemeal Pasta
Pasta is a high GI carb and in most cases is unnecessary in cases related to fat loss. Even if carbs are present in your diet, others are more effective.
Good: Sweet Potato/Quinoa etc.
Carb sources such as sweet potato are filled with other nutrients such as fibre that will help with body composition.
Sugars and the effect on the body
Sugars are not always the biggest issue when it comes to health and body composition. In fact, the biggest issue, is when calorie output is lower that its input. Eating more than you expend will increase weight/body fat.
Sugars however, is a major part in your health and fitness. Sugar creates an insulin response in the body which varies in effect in different people. Some people are insulin sensitive, which is when the body uses the sugar effectively. However, insulin resistance in some people means they will not utilise sugars in a productive manner; instead your insulin levels will not be consistent, and this causes initial fat gain and eventually may lead to Type II diabetes.
A way in which to combat sugars is by reducing them and replacing them with essential fatty acids. Foods such as avocado, cacao, coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, almonds, macadamias, fish, omega 3 supplementation and flaxseeds.
Essential fatty acids will help regulate blood sugars and improve insulin sensitivity. Finding alternatives to high sugar products such as breakfast bars, ‘low fat or low calories’ food and cereals with organic whole food with healthy fats and protein sources are really the best way to move forward.