We all would like to be healthy, slim, and attractive. But for most of us, the effort it takes is more than we’re ready to put in. Diets and workout regimens fail, and we end up feeling hopeless that we’ll ever be able to put a healthy weight upon our internet dating profiles.
Food companies, of course, know all about this. And they’re counting on it. With so many consumers out there looking for ways to cut calories and shed pounds, the number of companies looking to take advantage of them does nothing but grow. But while there are some companies that produce healthy, effective products that aid in weight loss, there are even more that try to sell you expensive products that won’t do a thing to reduce your waistline.
That “Special Diet” cereal. We all know the ads. A slim and beautiful woman in a red dress sits down at counter with her bowl of cereal. One bowl for breakfast, one bowl for lunch, and a healthy dinner is all you need to look like her. But the truth is, this expensive cereal (and others like it) has about the same amount of fat and calories as most cereals. So while cereal is a good way to begin your day, you don’t need expensive “slimming” cereals to start the day right and end it a bit slimmer.
Vaguely worded “diet” foods. Some phrases boasted by diet food products, such as low-fat, have to evaluated and approved by the government in order to be placed on a package. But most things that you’ll find on your average “diet” product do not. Watch out for packaging that claims to be diet, light, lean, etc. Always read the nutrition information, and don’t count on the company to tell you the truth about their product. All they want, after all, is to sell it. Just because it has a picture of a scale or a slim model on the package doesn’t mean it’s low calorie, and generally means that it’s more expensive.
Breakfast bars. They cover the packaging with pictures of fruits, grains, and slim-looking models. And they make you think that eating one of their simple bars is just as good a real breakfast. But some of these breakfast bars are just as bad for you as a candy bar. Full of sugar, additives, and empty calories, most of these snacks do nothing to improve your figure. In a rush? Grab a piece of fruit and a handful of almonds, instead.
Diet Shakes. “One for breakfast, one for lunch, and then a sensible dinner.” Sound familiar? I think everybody has tried this diet a time or two in their lives. But while the marketing is great, these diet shakes are a waste of money and effort. Because they’re liquid, they’re terribly unsatisfying, and your average one has the same calories as a Snickers bar– about 220. Get a lean microwave meal instead, or better yet, count up the calories and make your own.
Fitness waters and fruit drinks. We’ve all had it programmed into our brains our whole lives: fruit and water is healthy. And that’s very true! But while these items are healthy –and inexpensive– in their original form, they’re often neither of those things in the packaged products you can buy in the store. Items like fitness waters can cost a fortune, but you’re paying more for pretty packaging than for a quality, healthful product. And many fruit drinks are even worse. With a bare minimum of actual juice, they’re packed with sugars and empty calories. While you may think you’re being healthier by choosing a bottle printed with brightly-colored mixed fruits instead of a can of soda, you may not be. Instead, drink plain water and eat a piece of fruit. Your body and your bank account will thank you for it.