Feature Image by Calum Lewis

When it comes to getting in shape, what you eat matters just as much as how often you work out (there’s a reason why they say “abs are made in the kitchen”).

Although there isn’t a one-size-fits-all when it comes to diet, there are certain foods that do more harm than good. Here are five things fitness trainers try to avoid to maximize their health.

Soft drinks
“There’s nothing natural about a soda,” says trainer Matthew Peale. “[It’s just] 100 empty calories that leave me more thirsty than when I started. Diet sodas are even worse because it has more artificial ingredients in it.”

Foods with sulfites
“I like red wine, but I don’t love a lot of California Reds, and I was told it had to do with more sulfites,” says trainer Gunther Klaus. “We know sulfites don’t do anything good for the body, and whether my stuffy nose and headache the following day have to do with sulfites or simply my dehydration and sugar overload, I try to avoid sulfites.”

“Cereal is almost all carbohydrates, even the ones that say it contains protein,” says Peale. “I haven’t purchased cereal in almost a decade. Cereals spike insulin response and you’re hungry again very soon after. There are better ways to get fiber in your daily diet.”

Foods with natural flavorings
Klaus steers clear of foods that contain “natural flavorings” in the label, as it could mean a number of different things. “There’s been talk that natural flavoring can be anything from beaver anus to lemon peels,” he says. “I don’t love the uncertainty.”

Breakfast pastries
Peale avoids foods like bran muffins, Pop Tarts, and other breakfast pastries in a box. “I don’t eat these for the exact same reasons as cereals, but worse — it has no redeemable nutritional qualities for anyone. It’s mostly sugar and it’s high in calories, and there are much better breakfast options available with both protein and carbs.”

xx, The FabFitFun Team