The Golden Jubilee Independence celebrations are here.
These celebrations mean lots of fun, fetes and music. Of course there will also be food and drinks and for those of you who are trying to achieve and/or maintain that ‘summer’ body, the abundance of treats may be a recipe for disaster.
Dieting can be a pain, but it’s a necessarily evil when trying to achieve and/or maintain your ideal physique and to promote longevity. Depending on what you eat, dieting can prove to be relatively harmless and even easy to do.
Even though it’s recommended that you consume the bulk of your calories in the form of whole foods, it’s normal to crave a slice of pizza every now and then. However, when choosing treats, it would do you well to remember that not all foods are created equal, meaning some are more calorie-dense than others.
There are some foods that you should think long and hard about or just avoid consuming during these celebrations if you don’t want to waste all the hard work you have been putting into to your diet and your workouts.
While there are healthy options around, more often than not, pizza is best reserved for higher-calorie days such as refeeds or diet breaks. One slice of pizza from Mario’s or Pizza Hut can contain anywhere between 200 calories to 600 calories. This depends on the thickness and type of the crust, the amount of toppings, the type of toppings and the sauces. And that’s only if you can stop at one slice; most people (myself included) can’t, so try to make your own low-calorie pizza at home or choose something else when eating out on a diet.
Potato chips are a popular side for us Guyanese with burgers, sandwiches, fried fish and barbecue chicken. It’s especially popular amongst children and some adults as well as a snack, and you’d think that it’s a healthy option since it’s made of potatoes. However, the preparation and cooking method can make it go from low-calorie to calorie bomb in just a few steps. Anything deep-fried will add anywhere from 100-300 calories of fat to your fries.
Even baked options are still tossed in fat. Instead of the fries, you might want to order steamed vegetables or air-fried options.
Aside from water and diet soda, it’s best to skip the liquid calories such as milkshakes, fruit shakes, juices, smoothies and ‘sweet drinks’. Drinks are not nearly as satiating as whole foods, not to mention the added refined sugar that can cause uncontrollable cravings. Instead of a fruit smoothie that may have additives such as cream or syrup, opt for fresh fruit instead.
However, smoothies can make the perfect healthy meal or snack—when you mix them at home. Ordering on the go is when you get into trouble, as some smoothies can have in excess of 400 calories (or more) per 20-ounce cup, turning this healthy treat into more of a dessert.
Cold-pressed juices, while nutrient rich, are devoid of dietary fibre.
This makes their glycemic index higher than their whole fruit counterpart. Anything with refined sugar is a waste of calories because they score low on the satiety index.
Non-dairy ice cream
While some non-dairy ice cream alternatives can be lighter than the real deal, not all of them are—so be sure to check the label of your favourite brand. Some popular brands dish out 210 calories and 13 grammes of fat per ½ cup, while a ½ cup serving of vanilla ice cream comes in at 145 calories and 7.9 grammes of fat.
Pasta dishes usually come with a tomato, cream or oil-based sauce, some cheese and a slice or two of bread. Cream and oil-based sauces are usually more calorie-dense since they contain more fat than say, a tomato-based sauce. Coupled with carbohydrate-dense pasta, you’re looking at anywhere from 300 to 800 calories per pasta dish.
Mayonnaise may be a sandwich staple, but spreading just two tablespoons on your bread adds an extra 180 calories. That’s about the same as eating an additional sandwich.
Remember, it’s all about moderation, even healthy foods have their limit.
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Stay tuned, friends.