“Healthy” Imposters

"Healthy" ImpostersWe’ve all been there: you’re on a diet and making what you assume are super healthy choices and yet the scale doesn’t budge. Nothing is more frustrating than making sacrifices (like not eating that King size Snicker’s in the freezer) only to see no results.

While many factors can contribute to the derailment of your diet, there are a few “healthy” culprits that aren’t so healthy after all. If some of your favorites are below on the list, have no fear. They’re my fave’s too and I’ve researched alternatives that are just as yummy (okay, not exactly as amazingly yummy but pretty darn close) and will help you get your bod beach-ready, too.

Falafel: This Mediterranean favorite is full of great stuff – garbanzo beans, spices, what could be so wrong with these yummy bundles of joy? Well, they’re usually fried. And the minute you take something healthy and douse it in hot oil, it’s no bueno. Solution? Make your own falafel at home, skip the restaurant varieties, and bake them. These are super filling in a whole wheat pita with greek yogurt on top.

Tuna/Chicken/Egg Salad: These delish sandwich fillings or salad toppers are full of protein, they MUST be good for us, right? Think again. No matter how much I try to tell myself that the mayo isn’t that big of a deal, it is that big of a deal. Not to mention that one can of tuna typically has 210 calories just by itself, no mayo added. Turn this caloric nightmare into a dream by using half the protein, adding in a half cup of chopped celery to increase the bulk, and mix with just one tablespoon of mayo. If it’s too dry for your taste, Dijon mustard is a fabulous (and nearly calorie-free) addition.

Sorbet: I can’t tell you how many times I’ve ordered up sorbet while my friends are getting ice cream and felt like a dieting rockstar. Um, too bad I didn’t know that sorbet can have even MORE sugar than ice cream and pretty much no fiber. Bum-mer. Instead of sorbet, try freezing the fruit you crave and blend it up in your blender with a splash of juice or almond milk. You’ll get a creamy, sorbet-like dessert that satisfies that sweet craving.

Almond Butter: Don’t have a nervous breakdown. I’m not asking you to eliminate almond butter completely – it’s a better option than peanut butter and is full of good fat. But that’s just the thing… almond butter is highly caloric. Just two tablespoonds has 190 calories. Have you ever actually measured out 2 tablespoons? After taking inventory of my daily almond butter consumption, I was horrified to realize I was eating nearly 600 calories of this stuff per day. It’s easy to rack up – almond butter is delicious on bread, apples and let’s be honest here – right out of the jar. But the only way to work around this conundrum is to practice good ole’ portion control. Darnit.

Photo credit: Ove Topfer

 

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