In your quest to get ripped and muscular, you make sure to take the time to carefully prepare your meals as healthily as possible. You know that what you put into your body on a daily basis will have an incredible impact on how clearly you can see your abs, so there is absolutely no room for error.
Unfortunately, many men who think they are preparing their food healthily unwittingly make healthy food unhealthy. The following are some of the biggest mistakes that you might make while preparing foods that are generally considered good, nutritious choices.
If you are in the habit of making healthy food unhealthy, it's time to switch things up and change how you prepare your meals.
Healthy food: Grilled chicken
Unhealthy food: Grilled chicken with barbecue sauce
One of the easiest ways to make healthy food unhealthy is to smother your chicken breast with barbecue sauce before placing it on the grill. While chicken is definitely one of the healthier protein selections to choose this summer while cooking outdoors, the barbecue sauce that you use is very high in sugar and calories.
Most guys will use far more than the recommended one tablespoon listed on the nutritional panel, easily taking in 100 extra calories per chicken breast.
If you want a smarter alternative, prepare your own marinade out of low-sodium chicken broth, soy sauce and a small amount of Worcestershire sauce. Rub this into the chicken and let it sit for a few hours before grilling and you'll still get plenty of flavor without the calories.
Alternatively, there are some low-sugar barbecue sauce varieties on the market now, so you may want to look into one of those instead.
Healthy food: Salad
Unhealthy food: Salad with fat-free dressing
With more and more information coming out about all the high-calorie salads in disguise, most men still think that layering on the fat-free dressing is the healthy way to go. Unfortunately, it’s an easily overlooked way to make healthy food unhealthy. For proof, all you have to do is take one look at the nutritional panel on the regular version of dressing and you can clearly see just how much fat it contains.
The problem is that many of those low-fat varieties of salad dressing are actually loaded with sugar, which spikes your insulin levels and will encourage the storage of body fat.
Additionally, many of the vitamins that are found in salads actually require dietary fat for absorption purposes, so adding a light amount of full-fat dressing with healthy fats is your better pick.
The key to avoiding this unhealthy eating habit is to just watch the overall volume you add so that calories do not get out of control.
Healthy food: Whole grain bagel
Unhealthy food: Whole grain bagel with cream cheese
If you typically start your day off with a whole grain bagel, don't make the mistake of loading it up with cream cheese. Cream cheese offers very little in the way of protein; rather, it dishes up a high amount of saturated fat.
For a quick fix to this mistake, simply swap the cream cheese for natural peanut butter. Natural peanut butter contains more healthy fats, less sugar and is a far healthier way to start your day
Or, for an even greater protein boost, consider scrambling up a few egg whites and placing them on top of your bagel.
Healthy food: Stir-fry
Unhealthy food: Stir-fry with white rice and/or store-bought sauce
A quick stir-fry dinner is a great way to get in your daily vegetable requirement while also adding fiber and protein to the meal. There are two big mistakes many men make when preparing their stir-fry: The first is to smother it with a prepackaged sauce and second, they serve it up with a few cups of white rice.
White rice is definitely low in fat. However, it's also going to have a larger impact on your blood sugar level, which isn't something you want going into the evening hours. Instead, choose brown rice with your stir-fry or, even better, serve it with quinoa. This grain has a similar taste and texture to brown rice, but also contains a complete source of protein.
Then, be sure to prepare your own stir-fry sauce so you can control the ingredients that go into it and avoid any additional sugar.
The Poison’s in the Mix
Keep these mistakes in mind as you go about preparing your meals. A few small errors in the preparation process can quickly turn an otherwise healthy diet into one that's not going to promote fat loss at all. Always pay special attention to any sauces or condiments that get added, as this is commonly where the nutritional errors are found.