90/10 Rule calories cardio cereal Confessions Counting Calories Cravings diet empty calories food food habits Food Memories food mistakes Food update gym healthy snacks High Fructose Corn Syrup How to Lose Weight limiting calories Losing weight Non-Scale Victories portion sizes portions relationship with exercise relationship with food snacking snacks sugar weight loss yogurt

Foods Masquerading As “Healthy”

Foods Masquerading As “Healthy”

Lisa Eirene

About Lisa Eirene Lisa lost 110 pounds through calorie counting and exercise. She swims, bikes, runs, hikes and is enjoying life in Portland, Oregon. Her weight loss story has been featured in First Magazine, Yahoo Health, Woman's Day and Glamour.com.

Related Posts


  1. Diane

    I totally agree with what you said. Fake diet.foods are not food at all! The amount of chemicals they contain are staggeringly high. Real food is best in moderation! Thank you for posting this!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      Hi Diane- thanks! I’m glad you enjoyed this post. It’s a realization I came to rather slowly but I am so glad I did. Fake food does NOT satisfy me. Ever.

  2. Jordan @ food, sweat, and beers

    UGH when I first decided to “get healthy” I definitely leaned towards yogurt and cereal and figured granola + trail mix = GREAT snacks!! Only after I started adding up the points did I take a step back and realize that I was getting more sugar from these than I was when I was eating my “unhealthy” foods.

    Now I try to satisfy my random bits of hunger without crunchy granola but, instead, I go for fruits, nearly-fat-free popcorn/kettle corn, and, if I need something sweet, I like fat-free jello or those dessert gums (just to occupy my mouth).

    That being said, I fully grab hold of frozen yogurt any time I’m near a spot. I recognize it’s not healthy, but I also recognize it’s more delicious than what else I might be eating 99% of the time.
    Jordan @ food, sweat, and beers recently posted..Halloween Recipe and a Flavor Blasted Burger

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I recently experienced the “frozen yogurt” thing and it was great! Creamy and delicious. Of course I went nuts with the toppings and added probably 300 calories to my yogurt… 😛

      ALL of processed foods have a ton of sugar in them. Which I learned the hard way when I started to actually read the ingredients list and pay attention. It’s a hard habit to break too. I don’t deny myself things but I just eat them less often.

      Now I want kettlecorn…

  3. Lydia

    I agree with you on a lot of these. For me, though, I need to not have any foods that are off limits. It’s a mental thing. I’m like that spoiled little brat kid that only wants what you tell her she can’t have!

    So, I make adjustments. I measure out the cereal and homemade granola that I love so much and add to my Greek yogurt. I choose to eat full-fat or whole versions of foods because I like their taste and their ingredients better than their “low-fat” varieties. I do find that my hunger is satiated longer when I eat real foods – whether they are healthy or not! So, I disagree that things like granola which might be high in calories are inherently “junk” food but I agree that a whole food is much better than a gimmicky diet alternative food.

    I do love a bottle of G2 Gatorade after a long run. It might be mental, but I’ll use 45 calories for it.
    Lydia recently posted..Elsewhere…

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I don’t have any “off limits” foods. I just choose not to eat these things much anymore because of the reasons I said. I drink G2 after workouts in the summer time–or on long bike rides. It does work great for that!

      Thanks for your comment. 🙂

  4. Ember

    I couldn’t agree more. It is amazing how easy it is to pack in unnecessary calories by being mislead that you are actually making a healthy choice. All the items you listed advertise themselves as the healthy alternative, yet, in the long run they end up being as much or more calories than the unhealthy choice you substituted them for.

    It took awhile for me to learn to stop trying to eat things labeled or advertised as the healthy choice and to actually look at what was on the labels and from that STOP buying food with labels. Less processed more homemade. 🙂 I make my own granola now, a 1/4 cup is a serving, and yeah it’s still not uber healthy but I know whats in it!

    The best way I found to avoid these unhealthy healthy choices is to just shop the perimeter of the store and avoid all those center aisles altogether.

    I love greek yogurt too! It is amazing to me now, after having a bite of a friends sugary yogurt, how much better greek yogurt tastes. Honestly the sugary stuff is just way to sweet and the “plastic” tasting. Having a 1/2 cup of nonfat plain greek yogurt with some fruit and my homemade granola is just so much better tasting and super filling. Honestly, that combination is so filling sometimes it is my lunch!

    I also love your take on Gatorade and sports drinks. At the end of a triathlon I drink a gatorade and it does give me a boost and help me feel less drained. Yet, there is no reason for me to need it after an hour spin class or a 5k run. I just havent ran through enough stored energy to require something like that. A banana, an apple or celery with a tablespoon of peanut butter (if I have really worked hard) are just way better choices.

    Ember recently posted..Running Clinic – Weeks 10,11 and the Zombie 5k!!!

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I hate to admit this but it was Michael that changed my thinking about “diet foods” and processed foods. I was so into “low calorie” and diet foods I thought it was healthy. I’d eat those 100 calorie snack packs and cookies as treats and feel 100% unsatisfied but it was low in calories. Michael NAGGED me endlessly about the junk I was eating. He told me to stop eating it. He said “that shit is giving you cancer.” Probably. So many chemicals and junk in out food…

      For years he told me to stop eating processed foods and when I finally did I noticed immediately the change. It was astounding. Suddenly the REAL FOOD I was eating satisfied me. I felt satisfied. I mindlessly munched on junk LESS. It really does make a difference. Now? I rarely want to snack on things like crackers…if it comes out of a box I’m less interested.

      I’m glad you agree on the yogurt thing! I thought that would be a “hot topic” for people because so many people think yogurt is healthy. Yes, it’s healthy IF you are eating the right kind. Lesson learned.

      Thanks for commenting Ember! Looking forward to Saturday. 🙂

  5. Cheryle

    I definitely agree with this. Yes you can lose weight eating 1300 calories a day of these Frankenfoods, but at least I would never feel satisfied. Eating real food though, I do feel like 1300-1500 is plenty while I am in weight loss mode.

    I don’t get the apple juice thing at all! If I am going to drink my calories make it a Ninkasi Total Domination or Deschutes Jubelale please!

    Agree on the yogurt. Fage 2% plain is my yogurt of choice, I can’t even stomach Yoplait and the like anymore.
    Cheryle recently posted..What I did on my Facebook vacation

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I like that–Frankenfoods. That’s totally what it is. Foods now are “injected” with things to make them bigger, with more flavor (ie sugar). It’s all weird stuff.

      I’m with you on the Ninkasi! If I’m going to drink my calories I want something good like wine. 🙂 Or Tricerahops!

  6. Diane Fit to the Finish

    I agree with most of these, although not all dried fruit has added sugar! (Like if I dry my own.) But the concentration of calories from the drying process makes them be very calorie intensive, which can ruin a calorie level in a hurry! Great post, and something that everyone trying to lose weight should read!
    Diane Fit to the Finish recently posted..How to Stop Eating for Comfort

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I really wanted to start drying my own food but saw how much work it actually was and decided not to. 🙂 But yes, if we make our own it’s probably much healthier! In any situation!

      I’m glad you liked the post. 🙂

  7. Coco

    Oh, wow, there are a ton of calories in a gallon of apple juice! When there was the news story about low levels of arsenic being found in apple juice, there was an article saying that kids shouldn’t really be drinking it anyway — at least not as a regular, staple beverage. I agree with most of your “foods” except I eat granola and trail mix by the pound–so I try not to buy it!
    Coco recently posted..My Midwest Adventures

    1. Lisa Eirene

      I used to eat too much trail mix too. I try not to buy it now.

      I saw another guy at the gym this morning with a jug of grapefruit juice. I need to know why!

  8. elyse

    I have to disagree with the gatorade comment. I am newly getting into working out and sometimes if I work out too hard I need the sugar and electrolytes to bring me back up. That being said I don’t drink a whole gatorade in a session I only drink it as needed. I drink water when I am thirsty and a sip of gatorade if I get dizzy. I might be “too” cautious but I have almost passed out about 3 times now. It gets scary real quick.

    1. Lisa Eirene

      It’s definitely beneficial for people with medical issues! And I’ve used Gatorade when I was running in the summer time because I’d get dehydrated and dizzy and almost passed out a few times too. It was scary. My doc said it was electrolytes. So when I run in the summer I mix a half and half of gatorade and water in my bottles.

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

%d bloggers like this: