Weight loss is all about consistency – in food choices, gym trips, and hours of sleep. Consistent good habits can keep your weight loss steady. Your focus should be on building those healthy habits that will also help maintain your weight in the long run.
However, taking those healthy habits to the extreme can sometimes backfire for weight loss. Some glorified habits that are often promoted by the fitness community may actually be sabotaging your goals.
Here are some habits to steer away from, although they’re made out to be “healthy”:
Overworking yourself at the gym
Too much of a good thing is actually a bad thing – including exercise. Lifting and running every day without rest days can have adverse effects on your weight loss. Overtraining can increase your cortisol level, which can actually cause weight gain. Along with messing up your hormone levels, exercising too much also works up quite an appetite. The more energy you burn, the more energy need to consume. But by rewarding yourself with huge meals after your constant workouts, you may be underestimating your net calorie intake. It’s important to incorporate rest days into your routine for your weight loss, muscles, and mental health. You don’t need to feel exhausted all the time to lose weight.
Skipping meals for weight loss
No, you don’t need to miss out on your morning cereal to lose weight. Researchers found that people who skipped breakfast ended up eating the same number of calories they would have eaten if they had breakfast. They also found people who didn’t eat until midday were less active. So really, it’s a matter of your goals. However, one registered dietician noticed that “breakfast skippers tend to fall short of their recommended servings of important foods like veggies, fruit, lean protein, and healthy fat.” Some people who skip meals – and not just the “most important meal of the day” – end up overcompensating for it and consume more calories during the day, hindering their weight loss.
Weight loss supplements
Some supplements and detoxes are undoubtedly effective for short-term weight loss. However, they may not be the best option if you’re looking for long-term results. For a short time, supplements and other products can decrease blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and cholesterol. But like we said, weight loss is about consistency. The best way to follow healthy diets that will last a lifetime is to base them off real, filling food. With a diet full of fruits, vegetables, and protein, you’re sure to fulfill your optimal calorie intake for weight loss – all while getting the nutrients you need to be healthy in all aspects of your life.
Eating too much healthy food
You heard that right – eating too much healthy food can cause weight gain. Some people end up splurging on processed food because it’s branded as ‘healthy’ – like protein shakes, rice cakes, and more. In reality, any food is healthy in moderation – even your sweet cravings. Contrary to popular belief, having a piece of chocolate or a donut once in a while won’t kill you. Nutritionists suggest adhering to the “90/10 rule”: 90% healthy, 10% fun. Squeezing in three or four cheat meals a week can make your diet more psychologically sustainable without sacrificing any results. In an attempt to shun even the smallest dose of sugar, people often turn to ‘healthy’ alternatives like nuts and granola. In reality, those can end up having just as much sugar and be even more-calorie dense than that piece of chocolate. Moral of the story: just eat the chocolate. Just like one salad won’t make you skinny, one cheat meal won’t make you fat.
Navigating through weight loss can be tricky – but the trainers at Thrive Fitness Atlanta are here to guide you through it. With personal training and nutritionist services, our staff of experts offers the knowledge you need to build healthy habits and avoid unhealthy ones. Email firstname.lastname@example.org today.
11 Foods That Are Stealing Your Youth
Before resorting to plastic surgery or searching for that miracle face cream, read our list of foods that age you and try to cut them out from your diet.
- Dehydrates the body
- Raises blood pressure
- Disrupts bone metabolism
- Removes intercellular water
- Makes the skin less elastic
- Causes arthritis
- Causes swelling
- Causes liver disease
- Reduces vitamin A levels
- Risk of rapid obesity
- Makes the skin lose its healthy color
- Block ups blood vessels
- They contain fewer than 70% vitamins and minerals
- May cause aggravated chronic illness
- Disrupt metabolism
- Contain cancer-causing carcinogens
- Poison the body
- Blocks blood vessels
- Can contain sulphuric and hydrochloric acids and alkali
- Causes kidney stones and hypertension
- Can cause thrush in women
- Disrupts intestinal microflora
- Leads to acidification of the body
Aspartame (sugar substitute)
- Causes migraines and pain in the joints
- Only increases desire for sweet things
When it comes to a healthy diet, Thrive Fitness offers onsite diet and wellness counseling with our certified nutritionist as well as Thrive Healthy Meals to ensure you’re getting the proper nutrition and macros your body needs to reach it’s goals. Whether you’re seeking to improve your overall health, lose weight, learn to eat for sports excellence or counter the signs of aging, email us at email@example.com.
Healthy Choice Hacks
Cook instead of eating out.
Even if you try to eat healthy at a restaurant, that pesky bread bowl or sneaky salad may pack more calories than you planned for. Trust your inner Top Chef skills, and turn on the (skillet) heat. Cooking at home will more likely result in a healthier meal, not to mention a happier wallet.
Eat whole fruit instead of drinking fruit juice.
A glass of O.J. contains very little of the pulp or skin from an orange—and none of the fiber content. Skip the glass, and go with the whole piece of fruit to reap the full nutritional benefits of this sweet, healthy snack (and save some calories while you’re at it).
Pan-fry food instead of deep-frying it.
Obvious news flash: Deep-fried food is unhealthy. Keep things crispy by pan-frying lean protein or veggies in the skillet with coconut oil. We promise it’ll be just as tasty!
Buy local produce instead of supermarket veggies.
Take a trip to the farmer’s market instead of the mass market produce aisle. According to the USDA, locally produced fruits and veggies that are in-season may be more nutritious. And it supports local farmers, too!
Use oil and balsamic instead of processed dressings.
Ever flip that dressing bottle around and see a million ingredients listed? Think “less is more,” and lightly dress a salad with some olive oil and balsamic vinegar—no additives included!
Eat raw spinach instead of iceberg lettuce.
Let’s be real, iceberg lettuce is boring and lacks nutrients. Spinach is a flavorful alternative – it’s full of vitamin K, vitamin A, calcium, and iron. Plus, Popeye loves it, so you can’t go wrong!
Use Greek yogurt instead of sour cream.
Crave sour cream in your burrito? To get that same creamy coolness, add a dollop of plain Greek yogurt. You’ll amp up the protein and slash the fat.
Sprinkle cinnamon instead of sugar.
Here’s a spicy suggestion: Use cinnamon instead of sugar packets to heighten the flavor of coffee without adding extra calories. Try it in oatmeal, too!
Choose salsa instead of cream-based dips.
Dip chips into this fiery, flavorful alternative to cheesy spreads to get extra nutrients for fewer calories.
Eat frozen grapes instead of a Popsicle.
It’s like eating bite-sized Popsicles with no artificial added sugars!
Drink sparkling water instead of soda.
Try a fun flavor like lemon-lime or even vanilla if you don’t like straight soda water. Need some sweetness? Keep it natural by dropping in a half or whole packet of Stevia.
Top pancakes with fresh fruit instead of syrup.
There’s nothing like a good stack of pancakes every now and then. Cut calories by skipping the maple syrup, (especially since many syrups on the market today aren’t made of maple at all!).
Snack on air-popped popcorn instead of chips.
Craving something to munch? Air-pop some popcorn, and add a dash of sea salt—three whole cups is only about 100 calories. That’s way more satisfying than six greasy chips.
Order red wine or beer instead of a margarita.
You’ll drink about half as many calories. Your body will benefit from the antioxidants in red wine plus its believed to help improve cholesterol, fight free radical damage, fight obesity and cognitive decline, and help manage diabetes.
Choose brown rice over white.
White rice is stripped of many essential nutrients (like fiber… which is great for healthy digestion).
Choose whole-wheat pasta.
Unlike regular pasta, whole-wheat pasta has a nutty flavor that’s filled with antioxidants and fiber.
Eat oatmeal instead of sugary cereal.
Options like Cap’n Crunch and Frosted Flakes are filled with sugar and artificial ingredients, while oatmeal boasts heart-healthy benefits. Choose the right oatmeal: reach for steel cut or rolled oats, never processed, to keep your diet lean, clean and nutrition-rich!.
Pack a lunch instead of eating out.
Bonus: That vending machine will look far less appetizing after you eat the meal you pack.
Eat at least three times a day instead of skipping meals.
When you don’t make the time to squeeze in a midday meal, you end up feeling tired and grouchy—and you set yourself up for overeating later.
Use mustard instead of mayo.
For tomorrow’s turkey sandwich, skip the fat-filled mayo and spread some tasty (and naturally fat-free) mustard on the bread.
Spread avocado on bread instead of butter. Add a dash of sea salt and some sliced tomato for a great midday snack.
Choose lean meats and seafood instead of fatty ones.
For a boost of protein without the fat, choose lean meats like turkey, bison, fish and chicken over pork and beef.
Opt for marinara sauce instead of white sauce.
We doubt penne a la vodka is made with Grey Goose, so the extra calories in white sauce aren’t worth it.
Get a doggy bag instead of overeating.
To avoid eating more than planned, ask the waiter to wrap half of it up before it even gets to your table.
Chew slowly instead of quickly.
What’s the rush? Studies show people who eat faster consume more calories. Enjoy your food and all it’s flavor, and chew thoroughly to aid digestion. It takes your brain 20 minutes to recognize the status of your appetite so give it time to catch up!
Eat at the table instead of in front of the TV.
Dining in front of the television can lead to serious overeating.
Eat breakfast instead of sleeping in.
It may be tempting to hit the snooze button more than once in the morning, but allow some time for breakfast—it will help jump start your metabolism and helps wakes your brain and body before you head to work.
Order black coffee instead of a latte.
If that caffeine fix is calling, order a simple black coffee. A soy-mocha-extra-shot-Frappuccino extravaganza isn’t worth the calories (or cash).
Choose toast instead of a bagel.
A single bagel can be the caloric equivalent of five slices of toast, so fight that craving and enjoy a slice or two of whole-wheat bread instead.
Use a medium plate instead of a large one.
Smaller plates (about eight to 10 inches in diameter) can save you more than 20 percent of the calories you’d eat in a larger-plate-sized serving. Same goes for utensils and beverages by the way! Smaller quantities equal less over-consumption.
Eat cereal from a bowl instead of a box.
A few mindless handfuls of cereal can turn into more than a bowl-sized serving.
Eat hard-boiled eggs instead of fried eggs.
Who needs extra grease in the morning? Drop some eggs in boiling water, and cook them up for a protein-packed breakfast. Still want to scramble? Try new microwave-inspired poaching pans to cook them up simply and perfectly without oil.
Eat with chopsticks instead of a fork.
It may be a challenge, but it’ll stop you from speed-slurping those noodles.
Go grocery shopping when you’re full instead of when you’re hungry.
People spend more when they shop hungry—and choose less healthy foods.
Stop when you’re full instead of when you clean the plate.
A plate half-full means more leftovers and fewer calories!
Eat raw nuts instead of nut butter.
Nut kinds of butter contain more fat and sugar than raw nuts. Plus, it’s easy to overeat peanut butter.
Nap instead of sipping on an energy drink.
Energy drinks can pack as much sugar as six doughnuts, while catnaps are always calorie-free.
At Thrive Fitness we offer on-staff diet and wellness counseling with our certified nutritionist, as well as Thrive Healthy Meals (nutritionally balanced and made fresh, personal to order, with clean local ingredients). Email us today to learn about your BMI and nutritional needs at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Junk Food Swaps
Swap these 14 common junk foods for our recommended healthier (great tasting) alternatives.
These substitute options can help you achieve your desired body weight, and maintain your health for a more positive lifestyle choice.
White potatoes and sweet potatoes have similar nutrition profiles except for sweet potatoes have more vitamins A & C. Sweet potatoes also have a lower glycemic load and glycemic index than regular potatoes (meaning, your blood sugar won’t rise as high when you eat a sweet potato compared to a white potato).
Chips > > Veggies & Dip
Chips are typically high in fat, calories, and salt, which can raise the risk of weight gain and obesity. Eating healthy snacks like veggies and dip will offer you full nutritional benefits in between meal times.
Sports Drinks > > Coconut Water
Because coconut water is high in potassium, and such a great electrolyte replacement, it has even been used for IV hydration in certain emergency situations. Some of the electrolytes found in coconut water, specifically calcium and magnesium, may help with stress and muscle tension. Many of us are missing these critical minerals in our diets, making stress management even more challenging.
Cacao is chocolate’s natural superfood source. Unlike the processed milk chocolate in the aisle, raw and organic cacao is rich in antioxidants and fiber and has zero sugar. Carob is also another chocolate substitute, originating from the carob tree pods and has a creamy taste. Or if you must eat chocolate- eat dark chocolate for those health benefits!
Forget about gelatins and corn fructose syrups – dried fruit is the way to go! Mix it up with a trail mix, or simply enjoy the natural sugar from fresh fruit. Try them all, mix your favorites, and create your own ziplock bags to take with you on the go! Read the label to ensure your dried fruit is free of added sweeteners and artificial ingredients.
Fried Chicken > > Grilled Chicken
Fried foods are unhealthy because they tend to be very high in fat and calories. But, deep frying also robs food of nutrients. Swap your fried chicken choice for grilled chicken instead. Sprinkle with your favorite herbs or a dry rub for mouthwatering flavor!
Soda > > Sparkling Water
Swapping those notoriously sugary carbonated drinks for bubbly aqua means you don’t have to give up the fizz and flavor, especially when the alternatives have fewer artificial ingredients, zero calories, and just as many bubbles.
Treat yourself to some guilt-free ice cream substitutes that taste just as good and are such a healthier alternative. Sorbet is made from water and fruit puree or juice. It contains no milk, cream or eggs- making this a winner in our book. Alternatively, you can’t go wrong with a frozen yogurt as long as you don’t go overboard with toppings!
Bagels > > Crackers
If you are looking for calories and carbs, then a bagel is the snack you need. For something just as satisfying, try substituting your bagel for a multi-grain cracker, saltine cracker, or wheat thins. You can still top it with your favorites, and you’ve just saved yourself up to 350 calories.
Sour Cream, or Cream Cheese > > Greek Yoghurt
Greek yogurt is a protein and probiotic-packed alternative, that makes an equally tasty ingredient in dressings, dips, and sauces. Or dollop this thick and tangy swap onto baked potatoes, tacos, and chili for a healthy dose of vitamin D12, calcium, and potassium.
Pizza is a convenient food weakness for many! But it is quicker to make your own homemade tortilla pizzas, or stuffed Portobello mushrooms. Swap that doughy pizza base for a tortilla or mushroom instead, and top it with your favorite toppings (and try to be moderate with the cheese)!
If you’re craving carbs and tempted to whip up mashed potatoes, reach for this equally hearty (and more vitamin-packed) substitute, which can be quickly steamed and mashed. Add almond milk, grass-fed butter, and sea salt to complete the dish.
Spaghetti > > Squash or Zucchini Noodles
If Italian comfort food is your culinary weakness, try substituting spaghetti pasta for squash or spiralized zucchini. The benefits- you’ll create a tasty low-carb, veg-heavy “pasta” dish that’s full of vitamins, minerals and filling fiber.
Ketchup > > Salsa
Ketchup may sound healthy with the primary ingredient being tomatoes, but the sugar content is ridiculously high! Homemade ketchup is easy enough to make, but if you are out and about, then substitute that ketchup for salsa instead.
Looking for sound diet and nutritional advice? Contact Thrive Fitness for BMI testing or to meet with our onsite nutritionist to learn about your body’s needs for optimal wellness. Email us at email@example.com.
Have any other suggestions you would recommend? We’d love to hear them!
Comment below and let us know your favorite junk food swaps!