Halloween is close, my dear ghosts and ghoulies! There’s still time to prepare your frightful or witty costume ideas in order to have a rollicking, memorable night out! But unlike you and other Halloween revelers, choosing a terrifying or funny mask to hide your real self, there are great enemies of weight loss hiding in plain sight, or worse yet, using a helpful mask to hide their insidious harm.
The Sweet Shackles of Sugar Substitutes
‘Sugar free’ products generated over $27 billion dollars in 2016, and they are expected to grow. And for good reason; studies show that too much sugar in our diets increases our risks of dying from heart disease!
By tricking the body and brain with their reduced calorie content, artificial sweeteners seem like a no-brainer replacement for sugar in drinks, pastries, and other food products. However, the full extent of the effects artificial sweeteners have on the human body are still unknown. Studies continue to show mixed results regarding the pros and cons of these products.
Pro-Tip: As in all things, moderation and balance are key. Opt for food with a lower sugar content, and replace some of the sugar you normally would use with artificial sweeteners, but try to cut down on both. Remember to always keep yourself hydrated, but do so with water or tea instead of soda or energy drink.
Beware the Lies of the Low-Fat Food Monster!
‘Low-fat’ is one of those weight loss buzzwords that has become wildly successful and popular, to the point that the average person just looks at it and automatically assumes ‘oh, this means healthier’. But, of course, there’s always a catch: many, if not most, of products labeled low-fat, reduced fat or fat-free actually contain either the same or more calories and sugar than their ‘regular’ counterparts.
Although it is true that diets and foods high in fat pose a very real risk to our arteries and heart, and we should definitely be wary of high cholesterol levels, it’s also true that certain fats provide essential fatty acids (like the omega-3 variety), which are, well, ‘essential’ to the proper functioning of our body. Fats in our diet also help us absorb vitamins (like A, D, E and K). We all need fats in our diets: they also make food tastier and more palatable. ‘Low-fat’ versions of food have added sugar and salt to make them taste better, and here’s where the false notion that they are ‘healthier’ makes us eat more ‘low-fat’ product servings than recommended, which leads to weight gain, obesity and higher blood sugar levels.
Pro-Tip: Avoid ‘low fat’ snack products, which we tend to over-eat, and look for more balanced meals and diet plans involving lower consumption of regular fats and carbs.
Crash Dieting (Or the Curious Case of the Re-Appearing Weight!)
‘Lose XX pounds QUICKLY!’ tout some of these crash diet fads. What they don’t tell you is that they’re hardly healthy (or sustainable) so all that weight that suddenly vanished? It’s coming back from the grave to haunt you again. Worse, you might end up gaining more than you originally lost! Also, the health aspect cannot be ignored: completely denying your body carbs, fats and sugars for a few weeks will mess up your body on the long run!
Pro-Tip: It’s easy to fall prey of this insidious monster, but trust us, you’re better off with gradual, permanent changes than going all-out for a few weeks to lose a couple of pounds you’re most likely gaining back anyways. Lifestyle changes in nutrition and exercise are the staple of effective, long-term weight loss, so stick these tips for new phentermine users, which cover all the basics.
The Gluttonous Gluten-Free Ghoul
If you’re following a healthy, balanced diet, you’re surely keeping track of calories, carbs, sugars and…gluten?
By now, you’ve probably seen products labeled as ‘gluten-free’, one of the newest buzzwords of the ‘healthy food’ biz. But the problem is, unless you suffer from celiac disease, there is nothing to gain from gluten-free food. Far from it: you might actually harm yourself by not having enough gluten in your diet, according to some studies.
Pro-Tip: As with every other wolf-in-sheep’s clothing on this list, the key is balance, and not getting fooled by industry buzzwords. If you’re not suffering from celiac disease, ignore ‘Gluten-free’ labels because those products will not do you any good.
Have we missed any other fiendish threats disguised as friends? Share your thoughts on the comment section below! And if you’re looking for more information on estimating calories while on phentermine, or wondering about other prescription weight loss drugs that aren’t phentermine, visit our blog for more information! Have a safe and fun Halloween, Trick-or-Treaters!