Are there healthy foods that are bad for you? You bet.
Losing weight can be hard and confusing enough as it is. And If you’re not losing weight and you feel like you’re doing everything right. You’re eating healthy. There could be some sneaky and seemingly healthy foods that are bad for you that you’re eating every day. Think wolf in sheep’s clothing here.
In this video, I’m going to break down 5 of these “healthy” foods that are bad for you. They’re actually holding you back from losing weight. Make sure you watch until the very end because some of the foods I’m about to mention might surprise you.
5 “Healthy” Foods That Are Bad For You
1. Diet soda or anything branded as “zero” calories
Let’s start with a big one and this one’s come up a lot with some of my students and it’s more of a food category. I’m talking specifically about any type of “Diet” version of any drink. Or basically any artificially sweetened drink that’s branded as “zero” calroies. I’m talking about diet coke, Powerade zero, or water enhancers like Mio.
And it sounds promising. You can have something that’s really tasty. Something that’s really sweet. And you can have it guilt free because it’s zero calories.
It’s brilliant marketing if you ask me. There’s only one problem. Your body doesn’t count calories.
Your body does however have a physiological response and a hormonal response every time you drink this stuff.
Just think about it from a practical stand point. Nothing that sweet could possibly get a free pass once it enters your system. There’s no free lunch. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
All you need to know is that artificial sweeteners, which is what’s used to make this stuff “zero calories”, is directly linked to obesity because it destroys your gut microbiome.
Let’s look at some numbers:
There’s an 8 year study that shows that instead of reducing obesity, diet soda substantially increased the risk of it by 47%.
The Women’s Health Initiative observational study, one of the biggest studies ever done on nutrition, found a 30% increased risk of heart attacks and stroke in those drinking two or more diet sodas daily. And people drink this stuff like it’s water.
Drinking diet soda also increases hunger hormones by altering your sweet taste receptors and triggers a dopamine response in the brain. When you’re doing intermittent fasting for example, and you drink a can of diet soda, your brain gets confused. I think we’ve all been there before. You drink diet soda and your brain lights up like a Christmas tree. Which then triggers an insulin spike and now you have even stronger hunger pangs.
The problem with drinking diet soda is people tend to justify eating something bad because they’re drinking something that’s zero calories. These are the same people you see at fast-food restaurants for example, order the worst stuff on the menu, and ask for a diet coke to drink.
And one last point here. Think about people who drink diet soda. Do you know anybody at all that achieved their weight loss goals by drinking this stuff? I think not.
Replacements? Water or soda water.
Quick disclaimer: Some people can handle a small amount of grains and still lose weight. About 1 in 4 people can do that.
But for the majority of people, grains is something that needs to be severely limited from your diet. Especially if you have a lot of weight to lose. And yes, that includes the whole wheat variety.
Yes, whole grains does contain fibre compared to white bread for example. Same thing with brown rice over white rice. But you can get fibre from way better sources like I don’t know, basically vegetable on the planet?
And your body still has to produce the same amount of insulin when you eat whole grains. Insulin is your fat storage hormone by the way. It’s important that you do your best to moderate your insulin response from food if you want any chance of losing weight.
The other thing about whole grains that a lot of “experts” never talk about is it contains a high amount of anti nutrients. Including lectins, Phytic acid, and Wheat Germ Agglutinin (WGA).
If you’ve never heard of anti nutrients, it slows down the absorption of nutrient in body. It’s also the root cause of digestive problems, including GERD, IBS, IBD, thyroid problems, and auto immune disease like Hashimoto.
Also, feed lot animals are fed grains like corn and wheat to fatten them up. What makes you any different? To sum things up, the idea of “whole grain goodness” should be deleted from your diet. Wheat and its derivatives are one of the top “healthy” that are bad for you. It’s actually making you fat.
What should you eat instead? How about cauliflower rice. It’s become the grain of vegetables with the biggest caveat being that it has 800% fewer carbs compared to rice.
One more thing that I want to add is that for 99.99% of human history, human beings did not eat grains. That statement alone should debunk the myth that humans need to eat grains to be healthy.
Modern agriculture only started 10,000 years ago. Human beings have been around for over 2.5 millions. The math is simple. We did not evolve to eat grains. Our stomachs specifically haven’t had enough time to evolve to process this stuff. That’s why it causes so many digestive problems. I’ll make you a deal. Stop eating grains for 21 days after reading this. Then I want you to come back and leave a comment and tell me how much weight you’ve lost.
You’re welcome. 🙂
3. Healthy foods that are bad for you: Snacks
You’re eating too much snacks like crackers and chips. This includes even the “healthier” low carb options.
The problem with crackers is it’s made out of highly refined flour. Which will then trigger a high blood glucose spike with a subsequent high insulin spike because it’s highly processed. Remember, high insulin blocks fat burning which then puts you in fat storage mode.
But maybe you already know that. So you’ve now opted for low carb options like flax seed crackers, also called “Flackers.”
Yes, it’s better.
The problem is, again, it promotes the idea of snacking. One of your main goals, if you’re trying to lose weight, is moderating your insulin levels. And you get an insulin spike every time you eat. So if you eat these healthier snacks, you’re still triggering an insulin response and you’re blocking your body from accessing your fat stores for energy.
That’s why the first step that I get all my students to do is to just eat three square meals. And then start introducing intermittent fasting to give your body a chance to burn your almost unlimited fat stores for energy.
Replacement? Nothing. Don’t snack. Use your own body fat as a snack.
4.”Healthy” smoothies and cold pressed juice
This is a perfect example of right intention, wrong execution type of move.
People drink cold pressed juice because they think fruit is healthy. And I would even question that statement in itself.
The problem is, if you consume fruit it in its juice form, one key thing gets taken out. Fibre. Fibre slows down the absorption of the sugar in fruit when you eat it. And if you drink it in its juice form, that gets taken away.
So you’re basically just drinking liquid sugar with nothing to slow down the rate of absorption once it enters your body. It’s literally no different than drinking a can of coke. At least people know that you shouldn’t be drinking coke.
But juice somehow gets a free pass because it has “natural sugar.” It doesn’t matter. Sugar is sugar. It ain’t good for you if you consume it regularly.
And the other thing about juice is the serving size. It usually will say on the bottle that it contains “X” amount of oranges. Let’s use five as an example. My question is, who the hell eats five oranges in one sitting???
Let’s talk about smoothies.
A lot of smoothie places ,and this includes those pretty looking açai bowls that are really popular, have to use bananas to achieve that creamy texture.
Now I want to address fruit real quick and this type of “natural sugar” that’s in it called fructose. Your liver can only process it and it’s extremely lipogenic.
Lipogenic means it’s fattening. Remember, our Paleolithic ancestors ate fruit back then to fatten up for winter. Which also meant that they only had access to fruit seasonally. Now, you can get it in it’s most concentrated fattening form in the form of juice.
It gets better. You then add the “natural” sweeteners that they add to these monstrosities like honey, maple syrup, and dates. Which increases the sugar content of these smoothies and açai bowls even more. I’ve seen juices and smoothies from some of these fancy places where the sugar content is anywhere between 50-100 grams. That’s 50-100 grams too many.
5. Granola and instant oatmeal
Granola and instant oatmeal both get a health halo as a great breakfast food or a snack.
But in reality, there’s nothing really great about it. The base of granola is typically oats and same with instant oatmeal. Duh.
Oats is a type of grain and you already know how I feel about grains. But in order to make granola either as a breakfast cereal of a granola bar, it’s typically drowned in maple sugar, honey, or plain old sugar.
It’s the same thing with instant oatmeal which are ground up sweetened oats. Which again, gets quickly absorbed by your body because it’s highly processed. Which causes a high blood sugar spike resulting in a high insulin response.
And again, that’s something that you don’t want if you’re trying to lose weight.
Okay, I’m going to give you a bonus one that nobody really questions. But it’s a big healthy foods that are bad for you.
BONUS healthy foods that are bad for you: Pre and post workout supplements
I’m talking about pre workout, BCAA, gatorade, and protein powders. I’m going to get a lot of hate from the bro science community here, but I don’t care.
Let’s talk about pre workout, BCAA, and gatorade. They’re literally just sugar bombs. People take their pre workout because they want the caffeine. How about just drinking iced coffee or green tea instead?
BCAA are usually zero calories but that just means it’s sweetened with artificial sweeteners. See point number one about artificial sweeteners. With Gatorade, you don’t ever need to drink that stuff even if you’re an athlete.
You know what replaces your electrolytes? Salt.
Let’s talk about protein powders quickly. Because everyone including their dog is told to take this stuff. Again this falls in the right intention, wrong execution category.
Because you take this stuff to meet your daily protein target for the day. Which most likely means you’re working out. So that’s awesome.
But here’s the thing. You actually need way less protein than what’s being advertised out there. Even the conventional wisdom of eating your bodyweight is too much.
You only need 0.7g per pound of lean body mass.
So you don’t really need to take these workout supplements.
The other problem with excess protein is it also spikes your insulin levels. But that gets extremely magnified when you take protein powders because casein and whey, the type of protein in protein powders are extremely Insulinogenic.
One last thing about protein. Your body can’t store protein once you meet your daily requirement. So your body has to convert it to glucose through a process called Gluconeogenesis. And if you have excess glucose in your system, it gets stored as body fat.
My general rule about protein is don’t drink your protein. Eat it. What do you think is more satiating? A scoop of protein powder or a piece of steak?
You probably noticed that a lot of the foods I just mentioned are highly processed. A piece of steak for example is as unprocessed as it gets. And it’s delicious. Protein powders on the other hand are processed to the nth degree and is sweetened to make it taste good.
Remember, our Paleolithic ancestors didn’t drink protein shakes and they were all naturally lean and strong. They got their protein from wild animals. They also didn’t suffer from modern western diseases like obesity, Diabetes, cancer, or cardiovascular disease.
Remember, there are no bad foods. Only processed ones.
That’s the point that I want you to take home. If you avoid all these healthy foods that are bad for you. Instead, if you just eat whole, single ingredient nutrient dense, mostly unprocessed foods, you’re going be healthy.
It’s not going to be a matter of if you’re going to lose weight, it’s only a matter of when.
As always, if this was helpful, share it with a friend who could benefit from it as well!
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