SHAPING UP: Five ‘healthy’ foods it’s best not to eat

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It’s frustrating when your body won’t change. When the pounds won’t drop. When those extra inches won’t go away.

If you’re exercising regularly and still not seeing results then it’s time that you look closely at your diet. 

Courgette muffins.

Courgette muffins.

One of the biggest obstacles that prevents you from losing fat and getting into awesome shape is all that processed food that you’re still eating. 

And I can’t blame you, with the way more and more processed foods are being marketed as healthy, even the health savvy are being fooled. 

Take a walk through the local natural foods market and you’ll see nearly every form of junk food that you’d find at the supermarket – only with things like ‘gluten free’, ‘organic’ and ‘zero trans fats’ on the packages. 

Those are all great – being gluten free, organic and trans fats free. Fresh, organic veggies, fruits and meats could all boast the same. But when those words are stamped on a package of cookies, chips or the like, then eating them is going to seriously slow your fitness results. Gluten free or not. 

Here are the top five ‘healthy’ processed foods that you’re eating that are killing your results and keeping you from attaining your goal weight:

1. Healthy Cereal

Have you seen the cereal aisle at the natural foods market? Its shelves are lined with dozens of cereal boxes, all with bold health claims.

There are gluten free cereals, cereals with no corn syrup, cereals with heart healthy grains, cereals with whole grains and even cereals with added vitamins. 

Those all sound healthy, right?

Well, sure those cereals are technically not as harmful as the brightly coloured cereals from the supermarket, but as far as your fat loss results are concerned, the two are really about the same. 

Cereal is a dense source of calories, which means it’s almost impossible not to overdo it when enjoying a bowl. If your goal is to lose fat, then cereal, even organic, gluten free cereal, should stay off your daily menu. 

2. Healthy Packaged Snacks

There is a brand of ‘healthy’ popcorn that literally has fit in its name.

With branding like that it’s no wonder people are getting confused and eating food that destroys their fitness results. 

Popcorn, and other crunchy, packaged ‘health’ food snacks are filled with carbohydrates and calories. Two things you should be cutting back on when working towards a fitness goal. These are habit forming, so you may tell yourself that it’s just a once-in-awhile treat, but soon it becomes a daily occurrence. 

Here’s the simple, unchanging fact about packaged snack foods: No matter what benefits are broadcasted on the package, it’s always going to promote fat storage. Yes, even if it has fit right in its name. 

3. Healthy Energy Bars

The energy bar aisle at the health food store is a colourful, wonderland of beautifully packaged, seemingly healthful snacks. The bars contain nuts, fruits, protein and even goji berries. What’s not to love? 

All that sugar, for starters. Manufacturers are clever enough to call sugar ‘evaporated can juice’ or ‘natural cane sugar’ or even ‘rice syrup’ but that sugar reacts in your body just the same as any other sugar. It encourages fat storage. 

The next time that you reach for an energy bar, consider all of the calories and sugars. Look for bars that are low in sugars and high in protein, and if you’re eating it in between meals consider eating just half the bar. 

4. Healthy Bread

Have you ever spent time in the bread aisle, reading labels and trying to figure out which is the healthiest? It can be pretty confusing. There’s wheat, whole wheat, gluten free, and sprouted grain. How can you tell what’s the healthiest? 

The unfortunate news, for all you bread lovers, is that when it comes to losing inches all bread is a problem. You see, gluten free bread is filled with just as many calories and carbohydrates as wheat bread or sprouted grain bread. 

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that you have a free pass to indulge in bread when it’s the ‘healthy’ kind. Your body will convert that healthy bread into fat quicker than you can say burpee. 

5. Healthy Trail Mix

Trail mix is a tricky one for healthy food shoppers. It’s made with nuts and seeds, which we know to be healthy. It’s also often dotted with chocolate, sweetened dried fruits or other treats. 

Nuts can belong in a fat loss diet, within certain parameters. For example, a small handful of raw almonds makes a wonderful in-between-meals snack. It’s filled with fibre, protein, good fat, vitamins and minerals.

A half a cup of trail mix, on the other hand, is packed with two or three times the calories in addition to having added sweeteners and extra salt. Not to mention, trail mix is hard to stop eating once you’ve started. When working towards a fat loss goal, it’s best to stay away from even the healthiest of trail mixes. 

Never take a packaged food item based on the claims and benefits printed on the labels. When you’re looking to transform your body, you must guard what goes into your mouth. Packaged foods, even those from the health store, are going to derail your results every single time. 

Speed your fitness results by becoming one of my clients. I’d love to get you to your goals using my results-driven method. 

Want to speed up your weight loss, make it permanent, and shape your body at the same time? I’ve got what it takes to get you there! No guess work, no fad diets, and no super long workouts – I’ve seen hundreds of my clients before you do it, and I’ll see hundreds after you do it. Today it’s your turn. If you’re serious about transforming your body then let me help you and give you the kick start you need – sign up and start training with me online with my workout and nutrition programmes: for women and


Courgette Muffins

Most muffin recipes use white flour, sugar, canola oil and dairy – but not these healthy muffins. Each of these Grain-Free Courgette Muffins is packed with nutrients, vitamins and minerals.

Serving: 12 

Here’s what you need...

11/2 cups almond flour

11/2 teaspoons baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

pinch of ground nutmeg

3 eggs

3 tablespoons raw honey

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 banana, mashed

1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted

1 cup grated courgette, water squeezed out

1/4 cup golden raisins

1/2 cup chopped pecans

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a muffin pan with coconut oil, or one large loaf pan.

Combine the almond flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg in a medium bowl and set aside.

Combine the eggs, honey, vanilla, banana and oil in another bowl. Mix well and add the dry ingredients. Mix until fully combined

Fold in the courgette, raisins and pecans. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling each tin 1/4 full.

Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and set (for a loaf bake for 30 minutes).

Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.

Nutritional Analysis: One muffin equals: 182 calories, 12g fat, 13g carbohydrate, 166mg sodium, 3g fibre, and 6g protein.


Abs in one mile

A tough workout aimed at increasing your endurance and fitness levels and also targeting your abs and love handles

Complete the following as quickly as you personally can:

1/4 mile run

10 crunches

30 burpees

10 side plank hip lifts (right)

1/2 mile run

20 crunches

20 burpees

10 side plank hip lifts (left)

1/4 mile run

30 crunches

10 burpees

10 side plank hip lifts (right & left)

Tip: Time yourself and aim to beat your time each workout – aim to do the workout every other day 3-4 times per week - good luck

Always warm up before and stretch after any workout, all exercises are easily found online.

Good luck


Don’t forget how much your diet matters when it comes to getting your legs into amazing shape. In addition to the exercises outlined above, incorporate these diet tips into your routine: Eliminate processed snack items from your diet. Cut down on the amount of grains you eat each day. Include lean protein with each meal. Fill your plate with colourful, nutrient-dense veggies. Enjoy fresh fruit as dessert, instead of sugar-filled items.


Your Trainer: David Souter is an award-winning fitness trainer based in the North East and creator of IN10SITY. David is one of the co-stars of Charlotte’s ‘3 Min Belly Blitz’ – The multi platinum selling No.1 DVD of 2015 and record-breaking fastest selling fitness DVD ever. David was also the exercise choreographer behind the No.1 selling fitness DVD of 2014 – Vickys Pattison’s ‘7 Day Slim’, and has appeared on BBC1 warming up 45,000 Great North Runners.

For personal training, online workouts and nutrition plans email or visit or
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