Don’t believe everything you see and hear

People that see me on the street probably don’t think I’m someone who knows a thing or two about nutrition, health and exercise. Especially if, at the time they walk past me, I’m scoffing my face full of chocolate and churros. I’m not slim, I don’t live in yoga pants, I don’t go to the gym.

But I know a lot about food nutrition and exercise, I sometimes just choose to do and eat things that don’t fall within the healthy realm. For me, the issue is more about motivation than lack of knowledge.

Which brings me to the point, recently I noticed a photo on instagram  of a bottle of Gatorade and an apple and she mentioned how she was trying to get on track to be healthier. I commented that Gatorade was high in calories and sugar and it would be better to stick with normal water. Her response was that her doctor said it was ok (which concerns me), it’s better than soda and athletes drink it so she will too.

There is so much about this response that just worries me. For one, why a doctor would suggest Gatorade is ok to drink is beyond me, (granted I don’t know the situation so maybe it’s for a good reason), it’s high in calories and sugar and has no proven benefits (over water) on hydration. I can understand if you were drinking it after a strenuous workout but not as an every/all day drink, as it is only a slight improvement on drinking soft drink all day. Also, athletes are getting paid to say they drink the stuff, they’re sponsored by brands to endorse them and make grand statements about how it helps them. And maybe it does, because their lives are about working out, they do a whole lot more than just your regular person, they can afford to have the additional calories. If you’re trying to lose weight, you probably can’t.

How many empty calories are you drinking?
How many empty calories are you drinking?

This reminds me of, about 5 or 6 years ago, when I was doing my best to eat healthy and lose weight. I was eating all the things the advertising told me to. Yoghurt, muesli, low calorie snack bars etc. and I was exercising but I wasn’t losing any weight. I couldn’t work it out, I was doing everything right!

Nope, I was doing just what those clever food marketers wanted me to do, buy into their “fat free”, “low sugar” “wholegrain” gimicks and buy their products. As it turns out, it was an episode of The Biggest Loser that made me start investigating further. They were doing a challenge and at the end had to chose what they thought was the best food off a table with 20 or so options. One person made a comment about steering clear of the vanilla flavoured yoghurt because it was the first thing the trainers threw out of the house in the beginning, why? Because flavoured yoghurt, with all its healthy claims is high in sugar and calories. They lure you in with fat free but forget to mention the sugar content. If you want to eat yoghurt you are better off going with low/no fat greek yoghurt, it is high in protein but low in sugar and fat (the tastes takes some getting used to though, eventually you’ll find flavoured yoghurts to sweet).

Same as the muesli I was eating, I thought I was doing so well! But it was high in sugar too even though the box claimed it was healthy and nutritious and awesome for a balanced diet. So obviously, you cant believe all the hype you see and read because, at the end of the day, it’s all so you will spend money on a product, it has nothing to do with your health or wellbeing.

Sarah