Apparently 46% of all students on college campuses are trying to lose weight, according to The American Health Association, so you’re not in this fight alone. But what’s the problem and why is this battle so hard? Well, many think they’re eating foods that do their bodies good, but in fact they’re doing your body bad. And here’s a list of some of the top culprits. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but someone’s gotta tell you…
1. Nut Butters
Nut butters are making their way into the photos of famous fitness instagrammers worldwide. Almond butter this, cashew butter that, and honestly, who can deny that addictive salty and sweet peanut butter flavor?
Well, if portioned right at just 2 tablespoons, nut butters can be the perfect protein addition to your meal. But when you’re drunk on a Friday night, we know there’s no stopping you from getting to the bottom of that jar and taking in tons of extra calories, amirite?
PB2 or any powdered nut butters extract out the fat, taking the calories with it, leaving you with just the peanut butter flavor and protein. Sounds like a scam? Just wait til you try it. You simply mix the powder with water until it reaches your desired consistency, and the only one noticing a positive difference is your waist line.
2. Naked Smoothie Juice
We were raised to believe that smoothies are the healthiest foods on the planet. And they can be, when made at home, portioned, and controlling for additives.
But the processed ones on the shelves don’t do any of that. They’re loaded with sugar and calories and should not be used as meal replacements. They also don’t provide any protein, leaving you hungry pretty quickly.
More often than not, we confuse thirst for hunger. And when you’re looking for something to quench that thirst, try a bottle of Bai5. At just 10 calories a bottle, it comes to the rescue providing a delicious fruity taste without all the excess sugar.
Or, just grab some water and a piece of fruit like an apple or banana. You’ll be surprised how the action of chewing can be much more satisfying than gulping down all those calories.
3. Trail Mix
In college, I always heard almonds were good for you, and never really questioned what “good for me” meant. So I took down handful after handful until I had the worst stomach pain imaginable.
It was only until I started studying nutrition that I understood that, yes, almonds are healthy (heart healthy, containing no saturated fat), but are still extremely high in calories. I was basically eating an additional day’s worth of food, mindlessly.
Popcorn. Air-popped popcorn (without butter) is literally the best snack out there. Just a small handful of almonds is the same amount of calories as 6 cups of popcorn. Whoa.
4. Whole Wheat Bagels
Whole wheat has allowed carb lovers to do some serious damage at the bagel store. The popularity of whole grains has blinded people from realizing that a whole wheat bagel has just as many calories and carbs as a regular bagel.
The bonus of the whole wheat option is the fiber and nutrients that you wouldn’t get out of a white flour bagel, but it’s by no means a waistline saver.
English muffins. They come in the perfect portion and they average at about 120 calories each, whereas bagels can range anywhere from 200-400 calories with 4 times the amount of carbohydrates and sugars than English muffins. Easy swap if you ask me.
Yeah, I know all the moms out there basically forced dairy down our throats, trying to make sure we got that Vitamin D. And those vanilla yogurts with cookies and sprinkles conveniently placed on top were what worked.
We thought these things were healthy, but the truth is, sweetened yogurt (added with sugar) will not be labeled as “sweetened.” So now it’s up to you to be the detective and look for “unsweetened” or “plain.” Otherwise you may be taking in excessive sugar you definitely don’t want.
Unsweetened plain Greek yogurt. You can add fruit, a bit of granola, honey, or some stevia to sweeten it up.
#SpoonTip: Look for 10 grams of sugar or less per serving. This way you avoid the butt-load of sugar and pack in protein at the same time. Score.