Kim Lyons, of The Biggest Loser fame, designed the Kim Lyons Diet to encourage healthy lifestyle changes, not a restrictive, deprivation based diet that always leaves you wanting more. The diet is about eating natural foods that are close to the source, or minimally processed and chemical free. On the diet, you’d choose whole fruit over fruit cocktail, honey over sugar, and lean protein like chicken or lean beef, rather than chemically processed deli meats.
It’s important to look past the packaging claims of “healthy foods” and avoid those that actually wreck havoc on your system. These are a few of the foods to avoid:
1. Most Protein Bars
Most of those so called nutrition bars in the health food or diet aisle are full of chemicals, processed ingredients, and hydrogenated oils or trans fats. Check the label — do you know what the ingredients are? If there are words in front of things like ‘soybean oil’ or fructose, sucrose, etc, then they are not the greatest choices. Look for words like ‘organic’ or ‘natural’ and choose those bars as a quick fix snack.
2. Over-Processed Cereal
You’d be surprised at what is actually in some seemingly healthy cereals. Just like protein bars, check the ingredients for ingredients like wheat, oats and barley, rather than processed foods that challenge your diet. Ingredients with unnatural chemical names, like monoglycerides, should be avoided on the Kim Lyons Diet
3. Store-Bought Salad Dressing
Salads will likely be a big lunch or dinner choice when you are on the Kim Lyons diet. However, be wary of salad dressing, which adds not only calories and fat, but can also add chemicals, tons of sodium and sometimes even sugar. Go for a drizzle of vinegar and olive oil, or make your dressing from scratch. Use 1/2 cup vinegar and 1 cup olive oil with your favorite herbs, like basil and mint. Sprinkle in a little salt and pepper and refrigerate for up to 2 months.
4. Ground Beef
Kim suggests that you skip the ground beef for lean ground turkey or chicken. You’ll save on fat and calories with a poultry version, and cholesterol as well. You can probably find lean enough ground beef which will match ground turkey! Use it to make burgers, tacos or a delicious taco salad.
5. White Bread
White bread is super processed and lacks the whole grain benefits of whole wheat. Whole wheat or sprouted grain breads are a great way to get whole grains, fiber and vitamins into your diet. This versatile choice makes a great breakfast option when toasted and spread with peanut butter, or a healthy, filling lunch when piled high with lean, sliced turkey, lettuce and tomato.
6. Snack Aisle Favorites
Chips, artificially flavored crackers and cookies are empty calories that can derail your diet. They are full of fat and calories, and devoid of nutritional benefits. Stick to air popped popcorn, whole wheat pretzels or wheat crackers as a snack, or opt for protein packed nuts and fruit when snack cravings hit.
The good news is that Kim recommends a cheat day once a week to get your fill of those not-so-healthy snacks. Be sure to do it in moderation, though, even on your cheat day!