Summer is here! This means bikini season is also here, and you are either ready to face it head on or still working on it….Maybe your summer body has been ready for months, or maybe you have been trying really hard but those last few kilograms just won’t move. You almost always choose the salad over the sandwich at lunch, almonds over a cookie when that 3 pm hunger hits, but you’re still not losing weight, or –even worse- you’ve seen the scale creeping up. Don’t get discouraged, because it might not entirely be your fault. There are some foods out there that are advertised as healthy but are really secretly making you gain weight. Here’s a rundown of everything you should avoid if you want to get your body beach proof and keep it that way all summer!
Drinking Green Juices
Grabbing a green juice is a quick way to feel like you’re on the right track to a healthier lifestyle, but it can have hidden downsides.
A lot of those green juices are really just fruit juices spiked with something like spirulina ( a green plant based food coloring) to make them look healthy. That makes them into incredibly dense sugar bombs that can pack hundreds of calories in a single serving. When you consume fruit in juice form, the fiber is gone, and you’re just ingesting tons of sugar in your body. Instead of buying a prepackaged or pre-made juice, DIY! Load up on tons of veggies, and add an apple, carrots or beets for a sweet taste that won’t pack on the calories.
It’s no secret that Japan has one of the lowest obesity rates in the world, but our Western version of sushi is not always as healthy as the real deal. The veggies and seaweed wraps are low-cal, but skip the creamy dipping sauce. Plus, a lot of the popular rolls are slathered with cream cheese or mayo, and the fish may be tempura-battered. Thanks to those ingredients, a standard roll can contains as much as 500 to 600 calories. Also, soy sauce is loaded with sodium. It won’t make you gain weight, but it’ll cause you to retain water, so your bathing suit will feel (and look) tighter.
Cup for cup, dried fruit has five to eight times more calories than the fresh kind because it has been dehydrated and is much denser. Fresh grapes, for example, have 60 calories per cup, while raisins have 460. And many brands add sugar, amping up the calorie count even more. So stick to the fresh stuff. It’s cheaper and better for you!
Make no mistake: Although they have the word “diet” in the name, diet sodas are just as bad for you as the regular stuff. Apparently our tongue has something called “sweet taste receptors”. When they detect something sweet (even if it’s a sugar substitute) your body will start to produce insulin, which is a fat-storage hormone. Sadly enough it’s not as simple as calories in, calories out. It’s about the hormonal response diet soda triggers. Diet soda also actually changes how your body responds to sugar. Fake sweeteners range from 300 to 600 times stronger than the real deal. So they dull your taste buds.
If you eat a bowl of granola for breakfast you might be starting your bad habits early in the day. While it’s loaded with good-for-you nuts and oats, it’s too bad that they add oil to make it crisp and tons of sugar for more yumminess. One bowl racks up around 500 calories. Other cereals with the same nutrients but less oil and sugar pack half that. So make sure to check the packaging before you buy your favorite kind.
We’ve all read some kind of study that says dark chocolate is healthy. It’s good for your heart! So you happily clear out your cabinets of everything lighter that 70% cacao. Because it’s healthy! Right? Wrong… Along with a lot of cocoa comes saturated fat and sugar. Eating a little bit can be good for your heart, but if you go overboard you’ll get a lot of calories that can pile on weight, which isn’t heart healthy at all! So enjoy that chocolate, but in moderation!
Overdoing it With Alcohol
Alcohol is a total weight-gain trap! Your liver recognizes the by-products of alcohol as toxins, so your body stops processing nutrients from food you’ve eaten while it takes care of the “bad guys” first. As a result, your body burns empty alcohol calories for energy while digestion of nutrient-rich food is put on the back burner. So all those extra calories get stored as fat.
If you still want to enjoy a glass of wine now and then, you might want to choose St. Regis dealcoholized wines. Our non-alcoholic wines have all the great flavor of your favorite drink but hardly any alcohol, and a fraction of the calories. A much better option in line with your body goals!
Cheers to your health and to your bikini body!