Diet Treats Foil Weight Loss

The diet food industry in the United States rakes in billions of dollars in profits each and every year. Some of these products, when used in conjunction with dieting and exercise can really help weight loss, but many end up foiling our efforts. Getting around these damaging diet treats is a matter of using common sense, reading labels, and trusting your instincts. Here are just a few ways in which diet treats foil weight loss and trick vulnerable dieters like you and me.

Many common diet treats, such as granola bars and diet pop, may actually do more harm than good to your diet.

Dishonest Labeling

The big problem with many diet treats comes from dishonest and/or misleading nutritional labels. This problem can be divided into two categories. Some products put the word diet right on the label, but since we don’t really know what “regular” means, it is impossible to really understand their use of the word diet. A candy bar or energy bar may have less fat, less calories and fewer carbohydrates than the original version, but that doesn’t mean it is good for you or truly “diet.”

The other problem comes from food labels that uses words like “reduced fat,” “reduced sodium,” or “reduced calorie.” These products avoid using the D-word outright but they lead the consumer into thinking they are good for you and fit into your diet. Again, just because the original version of a product has 50mg of sodium in its original form doesn’t mean that a “low sodium” version that has 25mg of sodium per serving is good for you. It isn’t. The only way to avoid these traps is to read labels and understand exactly how much fat, carbs, sodium, and calories you are supposed to have in one day. (To learn more about unhealthy health foods, read the post “Are Healthy Foods Really That Healthy?“)

Diet Pop Can Make Your Diet Pop

The one product that many of us can’t live without when we’re on a diet is pop. Diet sodas provide a sweet distraction to our day without any sugar and any calories. Perfect, right? Not so much. The artificial sweeteners in pop can dramatically affect the way we process food. It slows down our nutrient absorption and the caffeine can act as a diuretic that flushes our system clean and further reduces the number of nutrients we absorb. All in all, you want to avoid diet pop when you are dieting. Drink water with lemon in it. It only has trace amounts of calories and tastes wonderful.

Good Diet Treats

There are a whole host of healthy treats available that can help you along in your diet and you don’t need to buy special foods to enjoy a treat now and then. Some of the best diet treats are ones you can easily prepare at home. Here is a short list of 10 excellent diet treats that you may enjoy:

  • Small handful of almonds
  • Handful of dried fruit
  • Fresh fruit, such as an apple, pear or banana
  • A small bowl of popcorn (hold the butter and salt)
  • Beef jerky
  • Rice crackers
  • Yogurt cup
  • Cup of applesauce
  • A few pieces of light cheese
  • A fruit juice popsicle

Just because you are dieting doesn’t mean you have to go without a little indulgence once in a while. Feel free to eat some diet treats from time to time, just be sure to do your research first and, as with all foods when dieting, keep portion size under control.

Other Related Posts and Articles you May Find Interesting: “Weight Loss Foods to Have On Hand”, “Zero Calorie Food Flavorings”, “Ways to Fight Sugar Cravings” and “Tips for Making Healthier Food Choices”.

6 comments to Diet Treats Foil Weight Loss

  • Vincell

    Thank you for posting an article which is right on the money. Finding a healthy treat while dieting can be tricky, especially when the treat can act as a trigger food sending someone into a downward dietary spiral.

    My trigger foods are icecream and pizza and even if I get the healthiest icecream or pizza it sets me off to want more and more and more. So I stay away from those treats. I like the fruit suggestions that you’ve made. Apples and pears in particular provide natural sugar but have a relatively low impact on your daily calorie budget. Moreover, you can’t just shove an apple or pear into your mouth and make it disappear in one bite… same goes for the jerky and popcorn. Healthy snacks that make you take your time to consume them are awesome!

    I find that a huge part of the problem is that people really don’t pay close enough attention to the serving sizes on labels. And even if they do they laugh at the label recommendations for a serving portion. Who wants to eat just one oatmeal raisin or chocolate chip cookie? Surely if it’s gone in less than two bites then it can’t really be a serving… That’s how some people think. Those high carb, high saturated fat snack foods are designed for you to devour the whole pack, especially if you’re driving or with friends.

    Thank you, and check out my website if you have a chance!

    • LisaRae

      That’s a great list of healthy snack ideas! However, The only snack I wonder about on this list is the beef jerky. Beef jerky is cured using salt (sodium chloride), which causes hardening of the arteries and high blood pressure, especially if eaten regularly. I think it’s fine if you are a healthy person who eats it in very moderated quantities, but I wouldn’t use beef jerky as your regular “go to” healthy snack. The high salt content also makes you retain water, which if you are trying to loose weight, is a bad thing. You should drink a lot of water if you are going to eat beef jerky.

  • Rajib

    After reading your post, I become confused about some food like Diet Pepsi, Diet Coca-cola etc. Are these products really good for health? I think government should take steps to stop this type of activity. Some companies use the word “Diet” to increase their profit. I think Government should control and specify the uses of word “Diet”

    • LisaRae

      Pop of any kind will rot your bones! Stay away from all pop diet or otherwise. They just replace the sugar with chemicals so you are damaging your body either way. I wish the government would just eliminate all junk food. They should just do away with the entire junk food isle in the supermarkets and get rid of all the junk in corner stores and replace it with fresh produce and fresh baked goods. That’s how it is in Europe and they are a lot skinnier then North Americans. I realize it’s a pipe dream there is so much money in those kinds of foods, but hey, if we can’t buy it, we can’t eat it, and we won’t be as fat.

    • Anne

      Just make sure you choose low calorie beverages if you are going to stay away from diet pop (which I agree is not the best thing for you even if it is “diet.”) For a quick, easy, and inexpensive drink ideas, carry a water bottle around with you and refill it as needed throughout the day. (I drink 3 litres of water per day) Don’t buy sugary drinks period. Instead, keep a pitcher or bottles of cold water in your fridge. Serve water with meals instead of juice, pop or punch. You can make water more exciting by adding slices of lemon, lime, cucumber, or watermelon. You can also add a touch of real juice (not from concentrate) to regular sparkling water for a nice low calorie drink. If you are going to choose a sugary drink, get the small size i.e. 100 ml. No need to get the 1000 ml ridiculous super sized drink. That is 500 calories or more I am sure!

  • WesternPremis

    There are certain foods you must completely avoid if you are trying to loose weight and both pop and diet pop are one of them. So, you really need to stop drinking regular & diet pop. This is a fact- if you replaced a 20oz bottle of pop with a 20 oz bottle of water every day you could easily lose up to 35 pounds in one year. Staggering isn’t it?

    In order to stop drinking pop, I suggest doing it gradually instead of going cold turkey. If you go cold turkey, it’s going to be very hard to do so and you’ll probably suffer caffeine withdrawal headaches and cutting back little by little every week will be a lot easier. So, each week you want to drink less & less pop until you stop completely. So, start off the week one drinking 1/4 or a quarter less pop than you do normally. For example: If you’re drinking 10 pops a week right now, drink only 7 pops the first week, then 5 pops the 2nd week and so on until you’re not drinking any sodas at all. Also FYI 1 pop = 1 can. So if you are drinking 2 or 3 liters of pop per week, about 3 cans of pop equal 1 liter. It adds up fast.

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