Weight loss tips: How to spot food ‘frenemies’

August 21, 2014 - Health & Nutrition, Nutrition, Weight loss tips

101334085foodfriendemiesWhen you’re aiming to lose weight, it can be easy to consume more calories than you think by eating the wrong things. Our experts look at the foods you thought were ‘diet friendly’ but aren’t always quite so innocent…

Salad, granola and yoghurts are all foods you might buy when you’re trying to eat healthily but these so-called ‘saintly’ foods can carry more risk than you think.

LighterLife’s Management programme is packed with tips and tools to help you make better choices and to keep the weight off once you’ve reached your goal weight. On it, you’ll learn about which foods offer good nutrition and which foods are best treated with caution when you’re trying to maintain a healthy weight. Here are just a few things to watch for…

Fruit smoothies
DITCH IT: While smoothies contain fibre and a range of vitamins and minerals, they are also full of naturally occurring fruit sugars, and as it’s far easier to neck down a lot of sugar-packed smoothie than it would be to eat the equivalent in whole fruit – so it’s very easy to overdo it on the calories and sugar with these drinks.
SWITCH IT: Go for a portion of whole fruit instead, or make your own slushy smoothies by blending up crushed ice and a handful of berries – you could also use a LighterLife Drink Mix as the base.

DITCH IT: Yoghurts are a great source of calcium but when they include fruit compote the calories soon add up (as much as 109 kcal in a 100g/3½oz serving*). If you’re having more than one pot in a day, this can really start to affect your waistline and your goals.
SWITCH IT: Stick to fat-free, low-sugar yoghurts and, if you like them a bit fruity, add a small amount of freshly chopped fruit instead.

Flavoured water
DITCH IT: Flavoured water brands like Vitamin Water might seem like a good idea if you’re thirsty and trying to avoid fizzy drinks, but these are still loaded with sugar – Vitamin Water packs 115 kcal into a tiny 115g (4oz) serving**.
SWITCH IT: Keep it simple and try adding a squeeze of lemon or lime into your natural spring water to give it an extra kick, or use LighterLife Drink Mixes.

Salad toppings
DITCH IT: Shop-bought salads often come with high-fat dressings, crunchy little croutons and tempting meats and cheeses that can add hundreds of ‘hidden’ calories to what you thought was a safe bet. (Read ‘Is your salad cheating on you?’ for more details)
SWITCH IT: Chuck away those calorie-laden commercial dressings and try lemon juice, balsamic vinegar and a sprinkling of herbs instead. Why not make your own salads and add texture with fresh veggies like green beans, peas and beetroot rather than carbs and meats – these will add bulk and fill you, up without adding too many calories.

DITCH IT: So you thought that replacing your Crunchy Nut Corn Flakes or Coco Pops (400 calories per 100g/3½oz) with a granola-based cereal was healthier? In fact, did you know that Fruit N Fibre actually only has 50 fewer calories per 100g? That’s not really much of a difference…
SWITCH IT: Instead, why not substitute your cereal for porridge oats? This can reduce your intake by up to 300 kcal. Sprinkle on some cinnamon and chopped apple if you want a mixture of flavours. Or, of course, have a delicious LighterLife Porridge for 150 kcal and at least 25% of your RDA for vitamins and minerals*.

Found this post interesting? Read more of our nutrition-related articles today!

LighterLife can help reshape your future. LighterLife can help you understand why you eat the way you do, give you new ways to make better choices now and in the future. Get in touch with LighterLife today – visit to find out how our groups can help you.


* Food Standards Agency (2002) McCance and Widdowson’s The Composition of Foods, Sixth summary edition. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry.

** VitaminWater: Nutritional facts.