IT’S summertime and we’re once again in a rush to get in shape to look good at the beach. As we strive to avoid certain food items that will obviously derail our fitness goals, some items on the menu may not seem to be as harmful, but may nonetheless derail our quest for ripped summer bodies.
Here’s a rundown of some food items that we should avoid in the season of beaches, suntan lotion and rising temperatures.
• Blended coffee drinks. It is quite the norm this summer to lug around an iced coffee drink topped with whipped cream and chocolate syrup. While some may argue that the caffeine boost and the protein from milk in a blended coffee drink is an ideal pre-workout booster, these things are loaded with loads of sugar from the whipped cream, chocolate or vanilla syrup. Opt for plain black coffee with a bit of natural sweetener for that caffeine kick.
• Ice tea and so-called fruit juices. It’s quite surprising how manufacturers of certain brands of ready to drink ice teas and pseudo fruit juices market their products as health drinks. Glitzy advertising using models with near perfect bodies clearly sends this message across. But a quick check with nutrition labels (if there are any) will show that you are drinking copious amounts of sugar, artificial food coloring and nothing more. Trace amounts of fruits or green tea are certainly not enough to make an impact health wise. While it is tempting to quench our thirst with these cold sugary drinks, let us be realistic enough to know that these do not do much for our bodies apart from increasing our sugar intake with empty calories that in all likelihood will lead to unwanted weight gain.
• Salads with creamy dressing. A salad is always a good choice for dieters. Fiber and nutrients from the veggies do our bodies good. However, watch out for the creamy full fat dressings that give flavor to your salad. Some are laden with calories from fat and even preservatives. Opt for an olive oil or vinaigrette-based salad dressing. A bit of lemon juice and light soy sauce can also make for tasty filling salads sans the fat.
• Crackers loaded with trans-fats. Soda crackers have always been a diet food of choice for those wanting to lose weight in a snap. The crackers and tuna diet is a popular one among Filipinos. Most varieties of crackers are loaded with saturated and trans-fat. The saturated fat from the oils that are used to process them, and the trans-fat to prolong shelf life. As always, be vigilant in reading the labels. Sometimes it may be better to just eat whole food such as brown or white rice along with your tuna instead of processed soda crackers that hide more fat and harmful stuff than meets the eye.
You are, and will be what you eat. Read labels as you strive to make healthy sensible choices at all times.