Four “Healthy” Foods that Make You Hungry

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When you’re trying to lose weight, making healthier food choices is a must. But did you know that there are some “healthy” foods out there that could be working against you and causing you to gain weight? Here are four types of “healthy” food you should be avoiding and why.

Diet Soda/FRUIT JUICE

Yes, diet soda has zero calories. Great, right? Nope. The artificial sweeteners such as aspartame (Nutrasweet), sucralose (Splenda), saccharine, and acesulfame potassium all trick your brain into thinking it’s getting sugar. It sends out all of the signals to your body that tell it “hey, you’re about to get something sweet!” 

But then, there’s nothing sweet to be found. Your body is let down, hard, and what starts is a vicious cycle of craving even more sweets throughout the day to compensate for the letdown. And the more you drink, the more confused the hunger controls in your brain become.

Even worse, some studies have linked artificial sweeteners to spikes in insulin, which in turn can lead to insulin resistance…the front door to developing diabetes.

And Fruit Juice is SUGAR!  Without the fiber, the fructose in juice raises your insulin level quickly, you might as well be having a soda! Yikes! SO stick with eating the whole fruit.

Whole Grain Bread

Yep, it’s not as good for you as you might think. Why? It really isn’t made out of “whole” grains. Think about it. The whole wheat in wheat bread has been pulverized into a very fine flour, and the body digests it rapidly. In fact, a slice of whole wheat bread can cause as big of a spike in blood sugar as a slice of white bread. And when blood sugar spikes quickly, it goes down just as fast, causing you to be hungry again in a very short amount of time.

Snack and Energy Bars

It’s easy to reach for that granola bar when you need a quick snack, or even a meal replacement bar when you’re on the go. But, you should think twice before eating one, because they are likely packed with sugar!

Even some “energy” snack bars can be bad for you, because some of them are sweetened with the same artificial sweeteners found in diet soda. Try preparing healthier snacks ahead of time and packing them in a to-go bag so that you always have something close at hand.

Cereal

Unless you’re eating plain, unadulterated oatmeal, chances are your cereal is packed with sugar. Did you know that 4.2 grams of sugar equals one teaspoon? If you read the side of your cereal box, and it says 12 grams of sugar, that’s the equivalent of sprinkling 3 teaspoons of sugar on your cereal. 

Also, most cereals contain processed grains, which as previously discussed are not much better than white flour when it comes to blood sugar spikes.

See a pattern here? All of these “healthy” foods cause your blood sugar to rise and fall like a roller coaster, setting you up for more hunger and cravings that can lead to weight gain. My advice is to avoid them as much as possible, and substitute real, non-processed foods like fruits, veggies, nuts, and of course lean protein.  

Need some ideas to replace your “healthy” foods? Check out my Recipes!

Image credit: Image courtesy of Tom Sieprath/Flickr