Better Food Choices

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If you think you have to give up pizza and burgers in favor of celery sticks and rice cakes to lose weight, it’s time to rethink your plan. To do so you’ll have to learn the sneaky tricks the food industry uses to sabotage your weight-loss goals. The biggest hurdle to your weight-loss efforts isn’t the high calorie foods you already know exist in supermarkets and restaurants but rather packaged and prepared foods that masquerade themselves as healthy alternatives. The food industry spends $30 billion a year to promote their products, so it’s no wonder we’re confused and tricked into thinking some of the most calorie-riddled, fat-laden products are truly nutritious and good for us. Check out the following examples to help you make better choices to eat less calories and fat and come up with a better plan to help you become the best you can be.

  Bran muffin

  • 420 calories
  • 20 g fat

Eat this instead: Ham, egg and cheese on an English muffin

  • 300 calories
  • 12 g fat

Bran muffins have two things your body doesn’t want in the morning: sugar and refined flour. Both will spike your blood sugar, which signals your body to start storing fat and sets you up for a mid-morning crash. And with only trace amounts of fiber, there’s nothing healthy about this muffin. The breakfast sandwich, on the other hand, is a great way to start your day. Besides having fewer calories, fat, and carbs, it offers you about 20 grams of protein, which you really need in the morning to jumpstart your metabolism.

  Chicken Caesar salad (dinner-size portion)

  • 900 calories
  • 60 g fat

Eat this instead: Grilled chicken on mixed greens

  • 400 calories
  • 20 g fat

Caesar salads contain fatty dressing, Parmesan cheese and croutons. Even a Caesar side salad before a meal can cost you up to 500 calories. A better choice would be a simple grilled chicken breast tossed in a bed of mixed greens with a balsamic vinaigrette. The vinaigrette is a vast improvement over the Caesar dressing, and the absence of Parmesan cheese means that you’ll save nearly an entire meal’s worth of calories by making this swap.

  Tuna melt

  • 900 calories
  • 50 g fat

Eat this instead: Roast beef or ham sandwich

  • 500 calories
  • 15 g fat

Tuna out of the can is healthy; tuna doused in mayo, covered in melted cheese, and slicked with another layer of dressing is not. Ham and roast beef are packed with protein and are satisfying and   lean, which means you can eat the same size sandwich and save 400 calories and 35 grams of fat.

  Chicken wrap

  • 700 calories
  • 35 g fat

Eat this instead: Grilled chicken sandwich

  • 375 calories
  • 15 g fat

The wrap itself is the real offender here, it’s a tortilla shell pumped with a bunch of modified starch, fat and fast-burning carbs. The huge surface area means there is more room to slather dressing and pack in more cheese and meat than your typical sandwich. Not a healthy food choice. A grilled chicken sandwich on a bun offers a great balance of fat, carbs, and protein, plus having a bun instead of a huge tortilla provides some portion control. Cut out the mayo and use barbecue sauce or salsa, which is the ultimate fat-free, low-cal condiment.

  Turkey burger

  • 850 calories
  • 50 g fat

Eat this instead: 7 oz sirloin steak

  • 350 calories
  • 20 g fat

When you hear turkey, you automatically think lean and healthy, but depending on the type of ground turkey and toppings used, one of these turkey patties can be every bit as fatty and high in calories as a beef burger. Sirloin, on the other hand, is one of the leanest cuts of meat available, which makes for an incredibly satisfying, protein-enriched meal that will keep you feeling fuller, longer.

  Fruit smoothies

  • 600 calories
  • 120 g sugars

Drink this instead: 100 percent fruit smoothie

  • 350 calories
  • 75 g sugars

Many fruit smoothies contain added sugars and high-fructose corn syrup, which means they’re more of a milkshake than a smoothie. A 100 percent fruit smoothie made with plain yogurt instead of ice cream or sherbet will contain nearly half the calories and significantly less sugar, plus it will provide all of the vitamin and antioxidant capacity that a smoothie is supposed to have.

  Granola bar

  • 200 calories
  • 15 g sugars

Eat this instead: 1 oz cheddar cheese with Triscuits

  • 150 calories
  • 5 g sugars

Ever wonder what keeps a granola bar together? They use mostly high-fructose corn syrup as their glue, which in turn quickly raises your blood sugar and cancels out any of the potential benefits you might otherwise get from the oats. By switching over to cheese and crackers, you swap out sugar and calories for protein and fiber.

  Pasta salad

  • 300 calories
  • 20 g fat

Eat this instead: Egg salad

  • 200 calories
  • 14 g fat

When the main ingredient for your snack or a side order is pasta, you’re asking for trouble, because pasta is made from highly-refined flour, which means quick-burning carbs and a huge spike in your blood sugar. Switching to egg salad saves you a hundred calories, and replaces the carbs with healthy protein, which helps fill your belly faster and keeps your metabolic fires burning.

  Yogurt with fruit on the bottom

  • 190 calories
  • 30 g sugars

Eat this instead: Plain yogurt with fresh fruit mixed in

  • 110 calories
  • 15 g sugars

You wouldn’t start your morning with a can of Coke, would you? Then you should pass on these troublesome yogurt cups since they contain as much sugar as a soft drink. Almost all of what comes directly from the “fruit” is high-fructose corn syrup. Yogurt and real fresh fruit can be a great way to start your day, but do it yourself by mixing a cup of nonfat plain yogurt with a half cup of mixed berries.

  Bagel with cream cheese

  • 700 calories
  • 40 g fat
  • 13g saturated

Eat this instead: Cheese omelet

  • 425 calories
  • 18 g fat
  • 6 g saturated

Bagels are bogus. The bread contains 300 calories and 60 grams of carbohydrates, but at to that the almost 4 ounces of cream cheese and your “harmless” breakfast snack just got worse than a Whopper. A cheese omelet will save you nearly 300 calories, plus provide metabolism boosting protein. And a recent study suggests that eggs can help raise HDL (good) cholesterol.

  Pasta primavera

  • 800 calories
  • 40 grams of fat (12 g saturated)

Eat this instead: 2 slices veggie pizza

  • 400 calories
  • 20 g fat
  • 6 g saturated

There may be a few vegetables in this popular pasta dish, but there is also a ton of butter, cream, and quick-burning carbs from the noodles. If you want pasta, look for red sauce-based dishes. A few slices of cheese or vegetable pizza turn out to be a smarter choice.  Pasta in most restaurants is served up in an almost bottomless bowl, pizza comes in a naturally portion-controlled form, two slices and you’re done. Just be sure you choose regular or thin crust.  Pan and deep dish pizza have nearly twice the calories.

  Dried fruit

  • 175 calories
  • 45 g sugars

Eat this instead: Fresh fruit, like an apple or a peach

  • 70 calories
  • 15 g sugars

Dried fruit won’t totally derail a day of good eating but it’s far from being a harmless snack. The dehydrating process sucks most of the volume from the fruit, so you can eat cups of the stuff, and 600 calories later, still not feel full. Companies also add a ton of sugar to the fruit, making Raisins closer to candy than what Mother Nature had original intended. Stick to the real stuff. You’ll get more fiber and less sugar.

Fish sandwich

  • 600 calories
  • 30 g fat
  • 11 g saturated

Eat this instead: Chicken sandwich

  • 300 calories
  • 13 g fat
  • 4 g saturated

Fish is healthy. Fish battered, fried, and bathed in tartar sauce is not. Too many chicken- and fish-based dishes are ruined by high calorie additives. Make sure your chicken sandwich is grilled (avoid the word “crispy,” which is just another word for fried) and is dressed with fresh produce, and topped with a low-cal sauce like barbecue, or even ketchup and mustard.

I know you want to get in shape and look great.  Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !