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If You Want to Lose Weight, "Avoid These Foods Like the Plague," Fitness Expert Says

You may want to think twice before throwing these products in your shopping cart.

Everyone's weight-loss journey is a bit different—but in general, you need to make some dietary changes to shed extra pounds. When switching your habits, you probably head to the supermarket to stock up on fresh fruit, veggies, and lean proteins like chicken. But while wandering the aisles, it can be tough to pick out other healthy options to eat. Making things more complicated, some products tout weight-loss effects when they're really "fake health foods" that can derail your progress, according to fitness expert Michael Smoak. Read on to find out which foods and brands he says to avoid if you're serious about weight loss.

RELATED: Fitness Coach Shares "3 Easy Steps" to Lose Weight Before Summer.

Bolthouse Farms Protein Plus shakes

bolthouse farm protein shake
Copyright Michael Smoak / TikTok

In a Jan. 7 TikTok video, Smoak (@HigherUpWellness) takes viewers on a trip through his local grocery store to showcase "fake health foods."

First up on his list of skips is Bolthouse Farms Protein Plus shakes.

"[If you tell me], 'Oh, I'm eating cleaner,' and I see one of these in your hands, I will slap it out of your hand and then slap you," Smoak jokes.

Even though the shake has protein, he notes that it also has 49 grams of sugar and a total of 400 calories.

"You can eat a sizable whole-food-based meal for 400 calories," Smoak says.

RELATED: Lose 50 Pounds by Following 2 Simple Rules, Successful Dieter Says.

Power Up Premium Trail Mix

power up premium trail mix
Copyright Michael Smoak / TikTok

Next up on the list of "fake health foods" is Power Up Premium Trail Mix. According to Smoak, even though it promises "high energy," that doesn't necessarily make it a good choice.

"No, this isn't inherently bad food, but it is very calorie-dense for like, this much food," he says, holding up his hand in a small circle formation. On the back of the trail mix packaging, it lists the serving size as a quarter cup.

"So, if your goal is fat loss, put the [expletive] trail mix back," Smoak urges viewers.


yoplait yogurt
Copyright MIchael Smoak / TikTok

Smoak also picks up a pack of Yoplay Original yogurt, which says it is "low fat" and an "excellent source of calcium" on the packaging. While this may have you believe you're starting your day with the healthiest choice, you'd be mistaken.

"Only 5 grams of protein and 20 grams of sugar," Smoak says, recommending that you swap out the Yoplait for Oikos Triple Zero Blended Greek Yogurt.

"Less calories, three times the protein," he says. "See how getting fit is just about raising your awareness? Little swaps like Yoplait for Oikos—like putting the [expletive] Bolthouse Farm juice down and just having a meal instead, or just a regular protein shake."

RELATED: Certain Foods Trigger Natural Ozempic-Like Weight Loss Effect, Doctor Says.


pistachios at food store
Copyright Michael Smoak / TikTok

Smoak continues to stress paying attention to marketing ploys—especially if you're a fan of pistachios.

According to Smoak, if you regularly buy these nuts because the packaging advertises "protein," that's not actually the full truth.

"Pistachios and nuts are a fat source, not a protein source," he says. "I'm not yelling at you. I'm not mad at you. I'm mad at big food."


cereal aisle at grocery store
Copyright Michael Smoak / TikTok

While some nutritionists say there are good choices in the cereal aisle, Smoak recommends avoiding it altogether.

"Any—and I mean any—kind of cereal" is a fake health food, he says, listing common buzzwords like "made with real food," "good source of fiber," and "good source of calcium."

"Cereal is the worst thing—well, one of the worst things—you can start your day with," he tells viewers. "You should start every day, or the first meal of every day, high in protein. You know what cereal has none of? Protein."

For a good source of protein, consider swapping cereal for eggs, Smoak suggests.

RELATED: Walmart Shopper Reveals the 5 Frozen Foods He Ate to Lose 100 Pounds.


tropicana juice
Copyright Michael Smoak / TikTok

Rounding out his list, Smoak also cautions against buying juice—even if you've always thought it's a healthy choice.

"If you're still drinking juice cause you think it's healthier, a good source of vitamins, you're almost too far gone," he says. "Luckily, you found this video. I got you."

Smoak advises viewers to stop drinking juices like Tropicana due to the sugar content.

"You know the only place real sugar occurs in nature? In fruit, bound up in fiber," he explains. "Orange juice is just sugar without the fiber. Not good for your blood sugar, not good for your energy, not good for your appetite, not good for you."

He offers another tip for grocery shopping in general.

A woman shopping in the seafood section of a grocery store

If these particular items aren't on your regular shopping list and you're still looking for tips to shop smarter, Smoak recommends shopping in certain areas of your local food store.

"Easiest tip in the world, if you wanna be healthier—shop the perimeter of the grocery store," he says. "Meat is on the perimeter, fruits and vegetables are on the perimeter."

The items that might detract from your weight-loss journey tend to be in the middle aisles, so those are areas to "limit," Smoak cautions.

Best Life offers the most up-to-date information from top experts, new research, and health agencies, but our content is not meant to be a substitute for professional guidance. When it comes to the medication you're taking or any other health questions you have, always consult your healthcare provider directly.

Abby Reinhard
Abby Reinhard is a Senior Editor at Best Life, covering daily news and keeping readers up to date on the latest style advice, travel destinations, and Hollywood happenings. Read more
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