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At River North Gym, we strive each and every day to help you become your best self! This means from the inside out. But did you know that your favorite foods could be prohibiting you from reaching your weight loss goals…even though you might think they are helping? In a world powered by marketing and advertisements, it’s near impossible to know what is fact and what is fiction about nutrition. Yet the choices you make about what foods you put in your body impact you every single day!

Words like “all-natural,” “organic,” and “no sugar added,” are bound to make you pick up a snack package. But don’t be so easily fooled! Check out these perpetrators and see how easily you fall for the tricks:

All-Natural Granola: The word “granola” just sounds healthy, doesn’t it? Add a big handful to yogurt and you’re losing weight just thinking about it! Wrong. Granola contains rolled oats, nuts, oils and dried fruits. A bowl of granola can easily contain 500 calories a bowl. Be sure to check the nutrition label on your favorite granola before indulging. If you just can’t let go of that crunch, be sure to portion out a serving size and take it into consideration with the rest of your intake for the day.

Bottled Juice & Smoothies: An apple a day keeps the doctor away, so we should always say yes to more fruit! Not so fast. Bottled juices and fruit smoothies are packed with sugar, whether they are “all-natural” or not. For example: a 15-ounce bottle of Mighty Mango-flavored Naked Juice has 290 calories, 28 grams of carbs, and 57 grams of sugar. A 16-ounce bottle of Coca-Cola has 44 grams of sugar. Try making your own smoothie at home so you know exactly what is going in it and can control your portion size! Recipes online will provide the macronutrient breakdowns, too.

Organic: Organic, while it does have benefits in some ways, has become a major marketing term (especially for Whole Foods). Food manufacturers have found ways to make just about everything, including high-calorie snacks and junk food, into organic products. Organic cane sugar can even be an ingredient, which is virtually the same exact thing as regular sugar. Bottom line: don’t let the word “organic” on a package let you think that it is “healthy.” Read the nutrition label yourself and remember that whole, fresh foods are always your best option.

The list goes on and on, and it is so easy to get caught up in the ambiance of a store, the labeling and packaging of a product and even the name of a snack that will make you think it is healthy. The best thing you can do is to read nutrition labels for yourself and understand what each ingredient means! Do not let marketing tactics fool you into thinking something is healthy because of the way it is presented to you. Be objective and make that decision for yourself. Put good fuel into your body and it will thank you.