Hidden Sugar: Top Sources You May Not Know
Think your "diet" food is going to cause you to lose weight? Think again. Can't figure out why you're not losing weight even though you think you're eating right? It could very well be that your "diet" food is stopping your weight loss before it gets started due to the notorious hidden sugars.
Remember, just because it says "no sugar added" doesn't meant it's sugar-free. It just means that no "extra" sugar was added to the contents. Chances are that the product itself may contain enough sugar to slow down your weight loss without you even knowing it.
So, want to lose weight? Know where the top sources of hidden sugar are and stop eating them. When we eat sugar, we hurt our weight-loss efforts in two ways:
- We cause our fat cells to go into storage mode.
- We stop fat-burning. Instead of burning fat while doing cardiovascular exercise, we are simply burning off all of the extra sugar that we consumed.
Sugar is a simple carbohydrate that elevates your blood sugar. Every time you consume sugar, or a product that contains sugar, you’re not only elevating your blood sugar but you’re stopping fat loss. If you’re trying to lose body fat and excess weight, stay away from sugar. This essentially starves the fat cells so that they go away. After all, most of us exercise to burn body fat.
I know how hard it is to avoid sugar. It's extreme to say it, but sugar is one of the most widely used drugs in our country. Sugar is also in part responsible for diabetes, metabolic syndrome, and cavities. Did you know that sugar, due to its addictive nature, makes your diet plan harder to stick to? Did you know that sugar feeds cancer cells?
The key to overall health and to successful workouts is to cut sugar from your diet. Of course, you’ll need to make sure you’re not unknowingly consuming it. Here are the top hidden sources that you can find sugar in your diet:
Toasted rice flakes contain 10 grams of sugar per serving. Instant flavored oatmeal often has 16 grams of sugar per serving. Instead, go for sugar-free, high-fiber cereals or plain instant oatmeal that you flavor yourself with blueberries and cinnamon.
Popular pre-packaged weight-loss drinks pack 35 grams of sugar per serving. Homemade smoothies made with skim milk can have up to 80 grams of sugar depending on how you make them. One cup of skim milk has 11 grams of sugar. Most soy milk brands have 12 grams of sugar per serving. Once you add in juice and fresh fruit, you’ve made a super-sugary concoction. LynFit's Protein Shakes are very low-sugar, making them the best choice for faster weight loss.
Yogurt and Yogurt Drinks
If your yogurt or yogurt drink isn’t sugar-free, it can have anywhere from 27-60 grams of sugar per serving. Aim for the sugar-free variety.
People tend to overeat dried fruit because they think that it’s good for them. But dried fruit is not as nutritious as fresh fruit. A 1.5-ounce box of raisins has 30 grams of sugar! Instead, grab fresh fruit like a green apple.
Juice can have anywhere from 30-80 grams of sugar. Many processed juices also lack the fiber whole fruit or fresh juices provide. Drink water instead.
Be sure to read all nutrition labels. Stay away from sugar and sugary products to put your fat loss in the fast lane.
Need more irresistibly delicious recipes that not only steer clear of the hidden sugars, but also boost your metabolism? Make sure to check out 100 of them in my book, The Metabolism Solution, HERE. Your family will love you for it!
Breakfast Shakes: Drink Yourself Skinny
Meal-replacement shakes are an effective, easy way to drop pounds. They teach you how to eat less and lose weight quickly and permanently – and the right shake can boost your metabolism by 25%. Who doesn’t need that?
The fact is, when you’re trying to lose body fat, you can’t skip breakfast – but you may be too busy to think about calories and to make healthy choices. That’s why drinking a protein shake first thing in the morning is a simple, foolproof weight-loss method. When you drink the right protein shake, you give your body the nutrients it needs and you can also:
- Boost your metabolic rate by 25%.
- Save calories by avoiding fatty foods (if you drink a shake for breakfast, you can save an average of 400 calories per day).
- Keep your blood sugar levels balanced, allowing your body to burn stored fat as fuel.
- Increase your energy levels, which enables you to increase your activity and automatically burn more calories.
Why do meal replacements or protein shakes for breakfast work? Simply put, weight loss occurs when your metabolism gets moving and you put out more calories than you take in. If you were to replace your 750-calorie bagel and orange juice meal with a 155-calorie protein shake, you’d save 595 calories per day. And you’d see the results on your bathroom scale in no time.
We can’t be perfect all the time, so we need calorie safe havens that keep us anchored while we learn how to eat correctly. Protein shakes that contain nutrients offer those safe havens. Most people love them because they don’t have to think about food, plan meals or buy expensive products. You can even make them yourself. To start, try one of my favorite recipes: a mocha madness shake that tastes amazing.
Fat-Burning Mocha Madness
- In a blender, mix ½ cup of cold water (you can add more or less water depending on the consistency you prefer).
- Add 2 scoops of nutrient-rich chocolate-flavored protein powder.
- Add 1 tsp of granulated instant coffee.
- Gradually add 5 ice cubes to thicken.
- Blend on high for one minute (in a pinch, this shake can also be made by simply mixing ingredients together in a glass with a spoon).
- Drink yourself skinny!
3 Ways to Boost Thyroid Function
Hypothyroidism may be the reason you’re overweight, but it’s not an excuse! I too have battled with a “dead” thyroid my whole life so I understand how frustrating it can be. You can still lose weight even if your thyroid is not working properly by taking a few simple steps.
There are many causes of hypothyroidism, and you want to make sure you know why your thyroid isn’t working properly so you can treat it accurately. It doesn’t matter if your thyroid is underactive because you have Hashimoto’s disease, goiter or your hormones have slowed it down. Most times, your doctor will treat you with thyroid hormone pills and you will start to feel better within a week or two.
But what should you do if you have all of the symptoms (tired, cold all the time, hair and memory loss, brittle nails and hair, leg swelling) and your doctor says your blood tests are fine? Most thyroid tests aren’t articulate enough to catch this, so pay close attention to how you feel and treat your thyroid naturally to keep it working at an optimal rate so you never have a problem with it slowing down.
The thyroid is “The Master Hormone” that controls everything in our body. One of the biggest reasons our thyroids slow down is due to iodine deficiency in addition to aging. In fact, 40% of us are at risk for iodine deficiency and hypothyroidism. Not giving our bodies the nutrients that are important for a healthy thyroid will also slow your thyroid down. Since the body does not make iodine, it relies on the diet to get enough. We can easily maintain adequate iodine through our diets by using table salt because it’s fortified with iodine, but most of us need to restrict or limit our sodium causing iodine deficiencies to show up. Many medications also slow down the thyroid and also cause iodine deficiency. Lithium and corticosteroids are thyroid-slowing and should be used sparingly if at all. Pain medications, antihistamines and anti-depressants may also slow the thyroid down. Medications that make you feel sleepy or slow may also slow your thyroid and your metabolism down even more. Ask your doctor about alternatives.
Here are three things you can do to boost your thyroid function:
1. Eat more of these great sources of iodine to enhance thyroid function:
- Low fat cheese
- Cow’s milk
- Low fat ice cream
- Low fat yogurt
- Saltwater fish
- Seaweed (including kelp, dulce, nori)
- Soy sauce
2. Eat less of these foods; they slow your thyroid because they block your thyroid and your medication from producing thyroid hormone properly, especially when eaten raw. Cooking these foods inactivates their anti-thyroid properties. These foods are called goitrogens, which are chemicals that lower thyroid function. Eat these foods sparingly or only once every four days:
- Cauliflower (Any vegetable that falls into the broccoli family is a goitrogen and shouldn’t be eaten more than twice a week if you have hypothyroidism.)
- Brussels sprouts
- Pine nuts
- Soy (Isoflavones block iodine)
- Canola oil
3. Workout every day. All you need is a pair of sneakers and a watch, and you’re ready to go. For optimal thyroid function, you must exercise at least three days a week for 40 minutes per workout. I strongly suggest working out/walking every day so your thyroid gets a boost daily to correct the condition until your thyroid is running at an optimal rate. Circuit training is also great way to lower insulin levels and increase thyroid function. This is easy to do in the comfort of your own home by doing pushups, lunges and sit-ups back to back without rest, pushing yourself a bit to get out of breath.
Bonus: Enhance your thyroid with supplements. Take thyroid-enhancing supplements daily to gently and safely keep your thyroid working optimally for life. The best way to treat anything is to prevent it! Supplementing is the best way to keep your thyroid running at an optimal rate and to keep your weight under control. Start your supplement regime first by using a very strong, high quality multivitamin. Most store-bought vitamins are not suitable or strong enough to help hypothyroidism, so look for a very potent high quality multi with high levels of iodine, selenium, zinc, vitamin B, D, E and at least 2 grams of vitamin C. Other nutrients such as omega-3 as well as amino acids also help regulate the thyroid and need to also be considered. One of my favorites that I put all of my hypothyroid clients on is gugglesterones. Guggulsterone or guggulipid’s have been used for centuries in ayurvedic medicine to naturally regulate the thyroid and keep it running at an optimal rate without the side effects of medications. Look for supplement multitaskers from a very reputable source so you don’t have to take 29 different pills every day.
Do You Know What’s in Your Protein Bar?
Let’s be honest here, most of us eat protein bars not only because they are convenient, but because we hope that they will help us lose weight. These bars were designed with endurance athletes in mind. Because they are portable and high in carbs, they are the perfect food for endurance events lasting more than 2 hours. They keep athletes from “hitting the wall” by providing nutrients that the body needs while exercising. Additionally, they are easy to snack on while training. The reality is that most people do not need extra carbohydrates while they exercise. In fact, the reason why we exercise is to burn off extra carbohydrates so that they won’t be stored as fat.
It is very important to be clear what your fitness goals are when choosing a protein bar.
- Do you want to lose weight/body fat?
- Is it to replace a meal?
- Is it a snack?
- Is it for weight gain?
- Do you need extra energy for long (2 hours plus) intense training?
Most of the bars today are loaded with excess sugar and saturated fat. They also lack fiber and other important phytochemicals that keep your body healthy. You would never think that the companies that make these bars and preach about low sugar-low fat diets would actually add those ingredients to their bars. But guess what? They do! Always read the label before you buy any nutritional product.
Here is what you should look for:
Check to see how much fat is in the bar and what type of fat it is. Many bars contain the “bad” fats and trans fats that can lead to heart disease. Look for good fats like canola oil.
If you are looking for a snack, the bar should contain 150 calories and under. To replace a meal, the bar could have 300 calories. Remember the bar’s purpose is to supply your body with the same nutrients that a meal would supply.
What type of protein does the bar contain? Whey is the best source. Look for at least 15 grams to help you reach your goal of at least 50 grams of protein per day.
Always look for complex carbohydrates like brown rice and other natural sources like fruit or fruit juices.
Look for the lowest number that you can find. If a bar contains, let’s say, 36 grams of carbohydrates and has 30 grams of sugar, you can be pretty sure that almost all of the carbs come form sugar. Most people eat protein bars to improve their diet, not to add more sugar to it.
Remember that sugar alcohols may be listed elsewhere on the label, so be sure to check for them. Try to keep sugar grams to no more than 5% of the bars total calories.
Some fiber is better than no fiber. See if you can find a bar that has at least some fiber to help to get you to your goal of 30 grams per day.
Sugar alcohols do not have to be listed as a carb on the label, so your bar could have a lot more carbs than you think. Even bars that claim to have no carbs may contain high amounts of carbs. Bar companies get away with this by calling them “sugar alcohols”; but this is just a way to disguise carbohydrates.
Always read the labels and look for the cleanest bar that you can find. After all we all need a “quick meal” available once in a while.
Why More Exercise Won’t Help You Lose Weight
Why More Exercise Won’t Help You Lose Weight
By Lisa Lynn, Weight Loss Expert
Are you tired of trying every fad diet and exercise program on the market
just to see little or no results? Now, you may think the answer is even
more fitness, but I'm here to tell you you're wrong!
There is actually a true science to losing weight, and guess what? It
doesn't involve spending more time at the gym. The answer has to do with
what you're eating.
I wish someone had told me this a long time ago, because I used to work
out for three hours a day while eating a vegetarian diet (or macrobiotic
diet or raw foods diet - I tried those, too), and yet I still kept getting
Nevertheless, I kept thinking if I could only add one more hour to my
workout, then the weight would really come off at last. Turns out I was
My weight loss story goes like this: I lost 40 pounds and managed to keep
it off for twenty years despite having a serious thyroid problem. At
first, I used my thryoid as an excuse, thinking that my body just wasn't
meant to be thin.
Then I went to work educating myself about weight loss and discovered the
truth about it. You do have to eat "clean" and you do have to exercise,
but there is also a science to losing weight.
I call this science "living in the real world. I learned that you have to
be honest with yourself and you've got to know what your calorie and
weight numbers are and what you're eating, for real.
Weight Loss Success = 80% Food, 20% Exercise
Most of my clients are shocked to find out that eighty percent of weight
loss comes from changing your diet. Bottom line: if you are able to "eat
clean," the amount of exercise you'll need to do is minimal.
On the other hand, if you think 30 minutes of exercise will cancel out
that doughnut you just ate, you need to take another look. It's not even
close: the calories you consume stay with you much longer than that.
Common Eating Mistakes Leading to Weight Gain
Let's start with breakfast. One of the biggest mistakes I see is starting
your day with croissants, bagels or muffins. Every one of these is at
least 500 calories. Granola and orange juice are also high in sugar and
can pack on the pounds as a result.
Instead, I suggest people start their day with a LynFit protein shake. I
mix my shake with a little coffee - sort of a "Mocha Madness" shake - and
then I take my vitamins (LynFit Cutting Edge, LynFit Carb Edge and LynFit
Accelerator). This all makes me feel good, meaning I'm less likely to
crave high calorie foods instead.
Meal number two of the day is what I like to call your "metabolic boost."
Every time you eat this way, you are giving your metabolism a little jolt.
Eat a piece of fruit along with a LynFit protein bar. This has 10 grams of
fiber in it and all protein with almost no carbs.
The next meal is basically a snack that you can also call lunch. I
recommend a plate of steamed vegetables along with another protein shake.
A couple of hours later, you can have another snack. Many of you may be
tempted to have a cup of yogurt or a snack bar made with soy - both of
which are not good for weight loss. Once again, I recommend having a
protein shake instead, as it will boost your metabolism by 25%.
As we approach dinnertime, let's take a look at what we might have. You'll
notice there is no bread and no pasta. Instead, I recommend chicken and
broccoli, which is one of my favorites. And I'll put marinara sauce on
top, which makes it more delicious.
If you want to have a salad, you could use tuna or shrimp and a lot of
greens so that you get your vegetables in.
There's also a soup you could make, and the one I recommend has no starch,
just steamed vegetables and tomato soup broth, watered down and low
"Grab and Go" Smart Foods
Popcorn with no butter and salt is a great snack food. Low in calories and
lots of volume to fill you up.
Contrast this with eating a pint of regular ice cream, which is equal in
calories to almost everything else you've eaten today so far if you follow
the plan above. That's why you have to "know your calorie numbers," so
that you can eat smart.
The science of weight loss really isn't that hard, as long as you are
honest with yourself about what you are really eating.
Learn more about my metabolic boosting system on my website. Check out the
before and after photos of my clients! If you purchase LynnFIT fitness and
nutrition products, please use discount code BLOG2 as my way of saying
3 Ways to Cut Calories Without Being Hungry
5 Rules for Losing Those Last 10 Stubborn Pounds
Losing those last five or 10 pounds can be downright impossible. The bottom line is … it is all about numbers! All you have to do is take your goal weight and multiply it by 10 – and that is the correct amount of calories that you should be taking in each day in order to reach your goal weight. The hard part is HOW do you decrease your calories without giving up even more?