Hungry for Real Food? Don’t Eat Fakes

Diet pop is one of the worst beverages to consume for weight control.

Did you know there are foods you eat that actually make you hungrier?   For better performance when playing golf, you’ll want to stay away from foods devoid of real nutrition.  They will hurt your golf game even though you may not realize it.

It is all about the way your body metabolizes food and the combinations in which you eat them.  A lot has to do with consuming ‘empty’ calories that really don’t fill you up.   Foods labeled ‘low-fat’, ‘fat-free’, ‘low-sugar’ or ‘sugar free’ should be avoided.   They all sound like great bargains for your diet and you couldn’t possibly gain weight, but the sad truth is….you do.   Your body gets no real nutrition from these foods, hence, you are still hungry and will eat more.

Think about it:  since these foodstuffs have been introduced in the past 20-30 years or so, have we, as a nation, gotten bigger or smaller?  There lies your answer…..and it is not a pretty one.  So why do we keep consuming such pretenders?  The simple truth is that we’ve become brainwashed into thinking that way.  Savvy marketers know the hot buttons to push.  We need to be smarter and not fall for claims sounding too good to be true.  Here are some ‘fooler’ foods you should avoid, particularly when getting ready to tee it up in a tournament or club event:

Plain salads with low-fat or fat-free dressing:  The dressings are loaded with sugar.  Salads are great but you need some protein, like lean meats and cheeses (NOT low-fat) for staying power.  Lean chicken breast or grilled shrimp add pure protein;  Parmesan or Romano cheeses are perfect:  they are higher in fat but if you buy a block and grate the cheese fresh, you only need a few sprinkles for superb flavor.  Try my favorite recipe for Balsamic vinaigrette:  2 parts Extra Virgin olive oil, 1 part Balsamic vinegar, a dollop of Dijon mustard, dashes of sea salt and pepper, 2 TBS of Agave nectar or organic sugar, and fresh garlic cloves.  Throw it all in a blender for about 1-2 minutes.  It keeps forever and makes a great marinade as well…’re welcome!

Plain rice cakes are useless.  One has to wonder who discovered these because they taste like sawdust and you need a bunch to fill you up.  If you do eat them, add some peanut butter.  Better still,  eat whole grain bread or crackers with cheese and herbs, or top with a vegetable dip made with Greek yogurt.

Plain rice cakes....useless for proper nutrition.

‘Lite’ or ‘fat-free’ yogurt….again, practically useless except for the ‘good’ digestive bacteria cultures.  They are loaded with extra sugar, which gives a quick boost, but there’s little substance.  Eat plain Greek yogurt with real fruit, add some nuts, seeds, and cinnamon for a true power snack.

Greek yogurt with raisins, walnuts, and honey - truly a power snack.

An apple a day may keep the doctor away but even though it is filled with fiber and vitamins, eat some protein with it so you won’t be ravenous an hour later…now I understand the apple-cheddar cheese connection.    And buy Michigan-grown.

Chewing gum.  People think this staves off hunger but instead, chewing gets the gastric juices flowing and prepares your body for food.  Plus, just about every brand of gum has an artificial sweetener or sugar alcohol in it, also a bad thing. Try air-popped popcorn or raw veggies instead.

Diet pop does the same thing as chewing gum.  This stuff wakes up the digestive system with a vengeance and no payoff whatsoever.  The caffeine and sugar alcohols may postpone the inevitable, but you WILL get hungry and actually eat more.  Try a warm beverage, like herbal tea or coffee, or even some diluted 100% juices.

Fat-free graham crackers or similar fat-free goodies.  The fat may be gone but excess sugar replaces it.  Don’t be fooled.  Buy regular grahams, start with one cracker, then wait 15 minutes instead of gobbling up 4 or 5 all at once.  You really don’t need that many to ease hunger pangs.   Fun Treat:  add a small piece of dark chocolate to your cracker for a tasty and healthy boost.  You can skip the marshmallow as in S’Mores:  it simply adds pure sugar and chemicals.

Forget low-fat graham crackers: go for the real thing.

Puffed cereal with skim milk; again, this sounds calorie-conscious but gives no nourishment.  Low fiber, high glycemic index with no fat equals hunger within an hour.  Instead eat steel-cut oatmeal (NOT instant).  Add real maple syrup, fruit compote (smashed fruit), and cinnamon for a delicious meal.

Again, please consume REAL FOOD.  Just eat less of it…and eat regularly.  There is no point, nor benefit, in starving yourself.

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