The new year is off to a great start… And I know you’re probably working hard right now to keep your resolutions!
Now, for many people, a big goal for 2016 is eating better.
And if that’s something you’re working on this year, I have to say — I’m really proud of you.
Breaking bad eating habits is one of the toughest things a person can do… And even the smallest victory should be celebrated.
However — a lot of people’s efforts to get healthy are sabotaged before they even start.
Because a lot of the “health foods” you see in the store… are anything but!
Unfortunately, loading up on certain supposedly “healthy” foods will actually work against your health… your weight… and yes, even your skin…
Even if you feel like you’re doing everything right.
Let me tell you a quick story…
Almost exactly a year ago, I had a patient who we’ll call Diane. She’s been a regular client of mine for years now, getting a medium-strength chemical peel about once a year to keep her skin smooth and fresh.
Diane embarked on a mission during 2015 to eat right and get healthy. Part of that was losing weight… but mainly, she just wanted to feel better and have more energy.
I applauded her good attitude, promised her my full support, and invited her to check in with me anytime along the way.
But only three months later, I noticed she was booked for an appointment… For another chemical peel!
I was surprised. She’d never needed a touch-up that quickly before.
But when I walked out into the waiting room to greet her, I could see right away that her skin was suffering. In the exam room, I noticed she had lost a lot of radiance and moisture, and her wrinkles were significantly more pronounced.
“I don’t know what happened!” she said. “My makeup’s not going on very nicely anymore, and no amount of moisturizer seems to be helping.”
I immediately suspected her diet might have something to do with it.
I asked her to tell me everything she could remember eating from the past week… And she didn’t get too far before I realized exactly what the problem was.
She had been eating TONS of processed “health” foods!
“Could that also explain why I’m not losing weight?” she asked.
The answer was yes — absolutely.
How to Avoid “Health Food Traps”
Here, I want to talk about a few of the foods Diane had been eating, because they’re surprisingly common and deceptively labeled… And I want to make sure YOU’RE not relying on any of them for your health goals!
#1) “Fiber-added” foods.
Walk up and down any aisle at the grocery store and you’ll notice countless items with the word “FIBER” written on them in big letters. Cereals, granola bars, brownies, breads… even sauces and dressings.
You should always be very weary of these foods, because the word “added” is a big red flag that your food has been over-processed.
And with over-processing comes a lot of bad stuff… Often corn syrup and low-quality vegetable oils, to keep the food tasting good.
These kinds of ingredients wreak havoc on your skin cells by creating free radicals, which throw skin cells into chaos and can actually destroy skin’s essential proteins.
So instead, get your fiber from fresh fruits and vegetables… and if do you want to indulge in a brownie here and there, grab it from somewhere it’s made fresh — not from a box!
#2) Whole wheat pastas and breads.
Now, let me be clear: If you’re going to eat pasta and bread, whole wheat is a healthier option. Whole grains take longer for your body to break down, so they don’t cause the dramatic insulin response that crashes your energy, packs on fat, and damages your skin’s collagen production.
So in moderation, they’re fine.
But unfortunately, when pastas and breads are marketed as “healthy,” it gives people a license to load up on them.
And for anyone who wants healthy, ageless skin… It’s important to eat carbs in moderation, and cut them where possible.
That’s because carbs break down into simple sugars, which actually attach to skin cells and causes them to age faster…
Leading to wrinkles, sagging, and dullness, just like Diane was seeing.
If you’re a big pasta fan, try replacing half of your usual pasta meals with zucchini noodles instead. They’re low-carb, fast and easy to prepare, and with a little sauce added, they can really satisfy a pasta craving!
#3) Organic snacks
Eating organic is great if it’s done right. There are volumes of evidence showing that excluding pesticides from your diet may lead to a healthier body.
However — remember that that’s ALL organic means: No pesticides.
It doesn’t mean anything about the sugar , salt, or fat content…
So it doesn’t mean you’ll lose weight or even make your body (or your skin) healthier by eating it. At the end of the day — a cookie is still a cookie!
Stick to fresh snacks like fruits, vegetable, nuts, and lower-fat cheeses as much as possible…
And if you DO need the convenience of a pre-packaged snack like whole-grain crackers or trail mix (like we all do from time to time), be sure to check out the nutrition facts before you buy, and keep your portions small.
I know you want the best for yourself… high energy, boosted confidence, a healthy weight, and glowing skin…
So as you navigate through your new healthy eating plan this year, keep these in mind… And I’m confident you’ll look (and feel!) better than ever.
Cheers to you — keep up the good work!
Your Beverly Hills MD,
Dr. John Layke
P.S. Did you find these tips helpful? Please leave a comment with your thoughts. Even better — hit “share” to share this important health info with your friends and family!