NikeOh the new year. The healthy year. I give out with my best big toothed grin, secure in the knowledge that there are loads of healthy and delicious things to eat and I can say goodbye to cookies, candy, pie and ice cream forever and “lose weight and feel great!”

Right, so the first thing I get is a big box of delicious sweet and succulent dates! They are chock full of fibre, minerals, and vitamins and best of all—they are naturally sweet!! Same with all dried fruit, right? So stock up on those delightful yellow pineapple slices which have a thin sugar coating, the kiwi fruit ever so slightly dipped in sugar (to keep them fresh), and mango…mmmm. Follow this up with some really boss dark chocolate covered goji berries and acai berries! Yummmmm.

Next, if you must have something crunchy, haul out the granola bars or the Cliff Bars, or the Power Bars (“packed with protein”). Munch munch munch.

And, any kind of whole grain is good for you, too! So, get some of those wheat chips with the bits in them and pile it high with tapanade, goat cheese, or other sorts of cheese.

Yogurt! Yogurt! It is said to balance the flora and fauna in your intestines. It is the staple of a healthy diet so don’t mind if it’s full of healthy honey, jolted with jams at the bottom, or is full of fruit that you thought was really candy, eat up! It won’t hurt you!

Oh, and don’t forget the olive oil! Olive oil is full full full of good fats, so you can have as much as you want and not gain any weight.

AHEM, ALL THE ABOVE ARE LIES! LIES! LIES!

If you want to lose weight, you have got to stop eating as many calories as you have been and to do that you have to make sure that you are eating real healthy foods instead of Stealthy Foods. So, read the labels and be surprised. Basically, the sweeter it is, the more fattening it is. I was horrified to see that ONE date carried 70 calories! Two of them = a can of Coke! Wow. That was putting on the weight while thinking I was being good. Wrong. Have a date but know what you are consuming and stay within your calorie budget.

Same with dried fruits, some of them normally are sugar coated. The ones which have soft watery bodies can be coated with sugar and they will be preserved BUT they are horribly fattening. All of the fruits mentioned above are prime examples: pineapple, mangoes, kiwi, and bananas and cherries are sugared up to make them last so don’t indulge. Also, things like the humble raisin is high in calories. Oh, and don’t eat those cute and tasty fried veggies or veggie chips either unless you want to be tomato shaped, they are full of grease and have as much pudge power as potato chips. Goji berries and other faddy stuff is a no go, especially when they bang on about it in dark chocolate which might just be as calorie full as milk chocolate, some of it is so very very sweet you won’t believe it’s dark! Avoid.

Same with power bars and whole grain anything. Check that label and compare it to what you have for a budget. I bet you will go for something else after you behold the massive lard producing load. Protein bars are really packed with calories and unless you are a 7’2″ weightlifter, avoid them.

Whole grain, what a bountiful idea! Fills you up and gives you “the goodness of grain”? No, it’s just chewy starch. Yes, that is what it is. And that “goodness”=calories.

Lots of yogurts are great, but take them in moderation and be sure that you check the calorie count on the outside before you put them inside. As long as you stay in bounds, it’s fine but be honest with yourself. I think the Greek yogurts give you the most protein for the calories, and try to cultivate a taste for unflavored, you will save HEAPS of calories. Heaps!

Last, I am going to attack olive oil. This one has really slid under the radar. You wouldn’t dare to dive into butter on your bread, right? Butter is baaaaad. But happy olive oil is good. No, olive oil has all of the calories of butter so if you are on a diet, avoid fats. The only time they seem to get neutralized is when they are brushed on things which you grill and give up their unctuous goodness so that the heat can penetrate the surface of what you are grilling. They get burned away then and the calories go up in smoke. But ingest them and they make a bee line for your fat sacks.

So there, I have taken a swing at a bunch of goodies we all like to eat in lieu of the junk foods we love to hate to love. BUT in general, you just have to eat less and move more. Alas, there is no way around that one. You might want to investigate a program (and app) like www.loseit.com or others like it if you want to effectively lose weight and keep it off while knowing what you are really eating.

Fabienne lost 30 lbs 1 1/2 years ago and kept it off. She is going to write a series of essays about how she did it and how she maintains it on this blog, brought to you by Possets Perfume (Bottled Happiness) where the fabulous Yule perfumes are still available for sale at fabulous prices! See for yourself!

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