Summer is in full swing in Australia and when the beach starts calling, it’s time for a little kitchen clean-out!
Here are nine foods trainers avoid when they need to slim down, shape up and boost energy in time for an epic summer season.
1. Deep Fried Foods
For example: hot chips, battered fish, donuts, hash browns
Because: let’s be straight up about this, deep fried foods are just about the most destructive foods you can eat. For the most part, they are full of trans fats your body can’t break down and are inflammatory to your body, promoting disease and draining you of energy. They are also really hard for your body to metabolise, meaning they’re pretty much always stored just where you don’t want them to be before you slip on your skimpy beach outfit!
Swap it for: oven baked sweet potato chips with a little coconut oil, grilled fish, baked potatoes.
2. Refined sugar
For example: lollies, crappy chocolate, most ice-creams, toffee, caramels, jelly, cake, biscuits.
Because: your body naturally craves sugar as it was a rare treat that fuelled energy back in Paleolithic days, but your body really can’t process much of the sweet stuff in one sitting and refined sugar can mess with your appetite and fat storage hormones.
Swap it for: naturally sweet wholefoods like berries and citrus fruits, coconut water, raw cacao and unsweetened carob treats, Greek yoghurt, shaved coconut meat.
3. Nightly alcoholic drinks
For example: wine, beer, spirits, champagne, and the rest!
Because: drinking a few glasses of wine or beer most nights is an easy habit to slip into. You need it to relax when you get home, right? We promise, you don’t! Boozing every day is the quickest way to pile on the KGs and drain your energy stores too. Why? Because it puts strain on your organs and is a fast-burning fuel, so your body will no be able to burn any other calories from the food you eat when alcohol is in your system. It’s also full of sugar.
Swap it for: a warm herbal tea when you get home, or a glass of bubbly mineral water, or coconut water with fresh lime slices for extra yum. As soon as you have a nice drink of anything, it relaxes you and you’ll find you’re no longer craving wine.
4. Overly processed foods
For example: refined carbs like crackers, white bread, rice cakes, potato chips, as well as anything with ingredients that don’t sound like actual food, or which have an ingredient list that’s super long!
Because: as soon as these foods are in your system, they just convert to sugar or create inflammation, depending on their ingredients and how processed they are. Not so bad to have every now and then, but make them a sometimes food.
Swap it for: real, whole foods. If you’re confused, just try to eat things that have as close to one ingredient as possible, or look like something that once had eyes, or you could have plucked out of the ground, or baked/made yourself at home.
5. Soft drinks and cordials
For example: anything flavoured and bubbly, or syrupy, even the ‘diet’ versions, energy drinks and ‘sports’ drinks too.
Because: there’s just nothing good about them. At all. We promise! They’re either full of sugar, or full of chemicals and not only will they stack on the weight, if you suffer from skin issues they’ll make them a lot worse too.
Swap it for: just drink filtered water, herbal and green teas, coconut water and the occasional caffeinated drink like coffee/black tea, did I mention water?
6. Fruit yoghurts
For example: literally any brand and any flavour.
Because: They’re all so full of sugar, you’d be better off eating dark chocolate! Literally, most small tubs of fruit flavoured yoghurt (even the luxe organic ones) have almost double the amount of sugar in an entire block of Lindt 85% cocoa chocolate!!!
Swap it for: plain Greek yoghurt with no sugar added. Then add your own nuts/seeds and berries, or a scoop of protein powder for sweetness.
For example: yep, any brand.
Because: it’s super processed and loaded with chemicals and trans fats that will make weight hard to shift and effect your overall health and energy levels.
Swap it for: avocado or real, organic butter. Yes, butter is actually good for you in moderation! An olive oil spread can be good too.
8. Too many high gluten foods
For example: pancakes, muffins, most breads, pasta, most cereals.
Because: too much gluten can make you bloated, stack on weight and the processed kind can be really inflammatory to your system, even creating feelings of depression in some people.
Swap it for: when it comes to bread, reach for a good quality, bakery sourdough or spelt bread, which are often a lot lower in gluten and much more friendly to your system. Don’t overdo the pasta and definitely do your own baking. Choose plain, wheat-free oats or swap your cereals for eggs and veggies! It’s not that gluten is all-out horrible for you, but it’s definitely best eaten in moderation.
9. Sauces, chutneys and dressings
For example: tomato and barbecue sauce, fruit chutney, pickled jams, mayonnaise, tartare sauce, French salad dressing, balsamic vinegar, dips – you name it!
Because: these can really pack a sugar, chemical, fatty, or salty punch and removing them can make a huge difference to your health and waistline.
Swap it for: plain mustard, olive or avocado oil and lemon/lime juice, unsweetened chilli sauce, hummus, or plain old herbs.