'Healthy' foods that could be sabotaging your goals

·Features and Health Editor
·3 min read

If your goal is weight and fat loss the equation is relatively simple - eat less calories than what you expend, meaning to be in a calorie deficit.

For some people that means taking a closer look at what they're eating, but as fitness expert Michelle Bridges tells Yahoo Lifestyle, plenty of us might be reaching for 'healthy' foods that are actually laden with calories and sugar.

michelle bridges
Trainer Michelle Bridges reveals what 'healthy' foods to avoid. Photo: Instagram/michellebridges

To be clear a calorie deficit is different for everyone and doesn't mean you have to restrict certain food groups or try and stick to an unsustainable and often dangerous low calorie allowance.

But as Michelle, who is gearing up for the next round of her 12WBT that kicks off on 6 September, explains here, if you're not seeing results it could be because you're eating these common foods you might think are 'healthy', but could actually be sabotaging your deficit.


Trail mix

"Fabulous for a portioned snack and to take on a hike. Energy to last and full of wholesome flavours. BUT be wary - many supermarket-bought trail mixes are laden with added sugar (from candied preserved fruit, yoghurt drops or chocolate chips). 

They are also often super high in sodium (from nuts and flavourings) and can leave you gasping for air if you are sensitive to sulphite preservatives.

Close up of a girls hands eating nuts
Some trail mixes are a no-go. Photo: Getty

Takeaway smoothies

"Often replacing meals OR consumed as an addition to a meal, smoothies have long been deemed a health chaser’s dream. However, you must choose wisely as many smoothies bought at cafes and eateries are laden with fat and sugar from ice-cream, frozen yoghurt and fruit flavourings. 

Steer clear of all the unnecessary additives by having a go at making your own - try one of our awesome smoothie recipes, they’re packed full of nutrients and absolutely delish.

homemade smoothies
Michelle suggests to stick to homemade smoothies. Photo: Getty


"It’s not the salad vegetables itself we’ve got an issue with, but more the dressings and toppers we add to them. Vegetables are incredibly healthy, however many of us wouldn’t just eat them just on their own. 

Unfortunately, many dressings are loaded with sugar, flavourings, preservatives, salt and trans fats AND toppers like croutons, bacon, fried onions, etc can also be laden with fat and flavourings.

Protein bars

"With literally hundreds of protein bar options on the market, you need to keep vigilant about what you are buying. 

With ingredient panels that read like phone books, many commercially available protein bars are simply heavily processed (and expensive) versions of a chocolate bar. The added ‘fibre’ and no added sugar versions can also leave those with sensitive tummies running to the bathroom.

protein bars
There are so many different protein bars on the market. Photo: Getty

Granola and yoghurt café cups

"It’s often love at first sight - you see it through the café counter glass, that beautifully crafted layering of shiny silky yoghurt and golden crunchy granola. 

Often the reason you can’t quite re-create this ‘healthy’ breakfast at home is because the yoghurt is usually the full fat Greek yoghurt (which is upwards of 10% fat) mixed with added sugars and flavours. The granola, too, is often of the sugar and oil baked variety."

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