Eating healthy seems easy, but are there times you just can’t shift those last few kilos? Caitlyn Davey investigated some surprisingly high-calorie products to discover where you might be going wrong.
When you are trying to shift weight you’re faced with a minefield of diets and fads mixed in with good information and facts. It’s hard to know what’s good and what’s bad all the time. We spoke to holistic health coach and nutritionist, Kaya Peters to root out some of the foods people just don’t know are bad for them.
Is any snack safe? Well apparently not nuts. They are a great source of healthy fats and protein but go easy on them (everything in moderation remember), because a cup of dry roasted, unsalted cashews is a whopping 786 calories. Opt for the lower calorie raw nuts and stick with a small portion – not more than half a cup.
Kaya says: ‘Another great option if you’re craving a mid afternoon salty bite is having a handful or toasted pumpkin seeds with soy sauce or sea salt. Full of zinc and anti-oxidants and super satisfying, but less calories.’
Need your morning pick-me-up? Be mindful, café bought coffees can carry huge calorie implications, with additions like syrups, milk and sugar. A Gloria Jeans’ regular vanilla latte is about 221 calories. Instead grab an Americano or long black with a dash of low fat or skimmed milk.
Kaya says: ‘Excessive caffeine intake can drain the kidneys and adrenals and cause hormonal imbalances, which add to weight gain, so having more than two cups of coffee a day is not recommended. Green tea is a great alternative, with zero calories and much lower caffeine content.’
A glass of fruit juice is often a daily part of breakfast, but with around 112 calories in one glass of orange juice, and none of the fibre of the fruit itself, you could be racking up the calories without knowing it.
Kaya says: ‘Fruit juices really are a big no-no due to their high sugar content, and pre-packed ones often have all sorts of syrups and artificial ingredients added. Instead opt for veggie juice with green apple or berries. Juices work great for some, but are definitely not suitable for all body-types, so be mindful of how you feel when consuming raw juice and don’t just take health hypes as the ultimate truth.’
Not the act of getting dressed, but the salad toppers. Some are good and some are bad – very bad. It’s always best to opt for basic ingredients. Take French dressing for example; 80 calories for just a teaspoon of the stuff! Try balsamic vinegar instead.
Kaya says: ‘Make your own dressing by mixing some organic yoghurt, Italian herbs, apple cider vinegar and olive oil. Another great option is ginger juice, stevia drops, apple cider vinegar and lime. Experiment with flavours and stay away from store bought dressings all together.’
A common misconception is that muffins are a healthy alternative. Store-bought muffins are full of sugar, fats and preservatives. A Starbucks muffin is around 415 calories.
Kaya says: ‘Muffins, cakes, cookies and other flour based products are guaranteed to make you puffy and fluffy. Instead, bake your own cakes from almond flour and fruits, or have some figs and nuts if you crave something sweet.’
Dates and dried fruit
At a whopping 282 calories per 100g, these little morsels can be a hidden calorie bomb.
Kaya says: ‘In small amounts they can be very healthy, especially before workouts, but eating too much dried fruit can affect stable blood sugar levels, so is not recommended. Dried cranberries and Goji berries are a safer option due to their sour properties.’
It’s like cake, with no sugar. Really. One measley 100g piece of bread takes up around 350 calories of your daily intake. Add to that, white bread has no real nutrients.
Kaya says: ‘If you’re really serious about fitness, try to cut out bread as much as possible, except for the occasional gluten free or wheat free slice. However, be careful with gluten free products and read labels, as they’re often full of sugar and additives again. Whole rye bread is slightly sour and great for heart and artery health. Wheat is an allergen for many people nowadays and cutting it out might have amazing benefits for your digestive health and energy levels.’
Kaya Peters is also one of the UAE’s leading yoga teachers. Visit www.kayapeters.com.