x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Diet sabotage: the five foods to watch out for

Do you feel like you are following all the diet rules, yet still have trouble squeezing into your jeans? You might need to examine what you are eating. We list the five foods that may seem innocent but actually add to your waistline.

Drinks are the No 1 culprit responsible for weight gain.
Drinks are the No 1 culprit responsible for weight gain.

You hear me say all the time that making decisions on what to eat based on calorie count is like choosing what to wear with your eyes closed. This list of diet sabotaging foods will shine a light on where the “heavies” are hiding in your kitchen.

1 Diet treats

These foods should come with a waistline warning. “Low fat”, “low sugar” or even “fat-free” and “sugar free” does not automatically mean they are fewer in calories – it certainly does not mean that they are healthy. In some cases, there is less than a 15 per cent reduction in calories in the diet-friendly version when compared with the original food.

Not that this is the real reason why they are sabotaging your diet: diet foods are usually pumped full of artificial sweeteners and processed lean fats, which your body has no idea how to process. Research shows that people who are overweight take in twice as many calories when they eat low-fat snacks rather than the regular versions. There is also evidence that these foods induce more cravings.

2 Drinks

Drinks appear innocent but so many of the drinks we enjoy today, often more than once a day, are full of sugar – the No 1 culprit responsible for weight gain.

Sugar is your body’s fuel and if you don’t use this energy, your body will store it as fat. Switching to drinks with artificial sweeteners is no better because your pancreas responds in much the same way. Fizzy drinks also cause bloating and acidity.

3 Snacks

To snack or not to snack? This is the question when it comes to weight control. The truth is, snacking is excellent for some people while for others it can lead to chronic indigestion.

Whether you snack or not, try not to be eating more frequently than every two hours. If you are constantly grazing, nothing can get digested completely, leading to bloating. Listen to your body and assess your appetite before reaching out for a snack.

4 Rich proteins

Thanks to Atkins, we have become protein-obsessed, favouring saturated fat-heavy proteins such as red meat and cheese. If your diet is full of these protein-rich foods, it won’t be that long before your waistline expands.

Red meat is difficult for your body to break down and is correlated to bowel cancer. Cheese, being dairy, causes bloating, so eating these foods as mainstays in your diet is doing harm not just to the scales but also to your health. Choose lean proteins – add helpings of fish, chicken, turkey, eggs, tofu, nuts, seeds and beans to your diet.

5 Fat-free salad dressings

Make your own – the best advice when it comes to salad dressings. Take a look at the ingredients on the bottle – dressings that claim to be reduced-fat or fat-free are just as bad, and usually filled with sugars to replace the fat – and we all know what sugar means to your dress size.

artslife@thenational.ae

 


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