Top 10 Foods to Avoid When Trying to Lose Weight
Losing weight for most people usually means making a few changes in their lifestyle, especially when it comes to their diet. Not everything at the grocery store is really good for you, and a lot of the food taking up space in your pantry right now might be contributing to weight gain. If you’re serious about getting in shape, make sure to avoid these 10 foods.
- Fried foods
So good but so bad. It’s hard to resist childhood staples like French fries and chicken nuggets but frying food adds more calories without making you feel any fuller. Not only that, a Harvard analysis of over 37,000 people showed that people with a genetic predisposition to obesity gain more weight when they eat fried foods than people who don’t have the predisposition.
- Frozen foods
Frozen dinners and foods might be a great time saver, but they also compromise your health. Some frozen foods like fruits and vegetables won’t do much harm, but beware of premade meals. Check the labels before buying because most are packed with hundreds of calories, added sugars, and ingredients like monosodium glutamate that make you crave more.
- Sugar-free foods
When products are marked sugar-free, they usually make up for the taste by pumping it full of artificial sweeteners. Harvard Health Publications warn these types of sweeteners might alter your gut bacteria, make you feel like eating more, or change the way you taste food so naturally occurring sugar in fruits tastes blander.
- Low-fat foods
Similar to sugar-free foods, when fat gets taken out, the flavor changes and manufacturers make up for it with sugar or artificial sweeteners. The Telegraph even found that out of 100 of the most popular low or non-fat products on the market, many had at least two teaspoons of sugar, and 25 percent had more than three teaspoons. You might think you’re eating healthy, but it’s just a trick.
- Processed foods
It makes sense that more natural food would be the best for us, and processed foods are the opposite. A study in PLOS ONE found processed foods tend to combine lots of carbs and lots of sugar (hello pizza, we’re talking to you). Most naturally occurring foods don’t contain both of these life-giving substances, so your brain thinks it has hit the survival jackpot and makes you an instant addict.
- Most cereals
It might be a breakfast staple, but most cereals are loaded with sugar and calories. If you’ve ever looked at the back of the box, you know a serving size is usually a measly 1/2 or 3/4 cup. Even if you find half of a cup filling, make sure to check the sugar. Some of the most popular brands have 10 grams of sugar per serving or more, almost half the recommended daily value for women.
- Refined carbohydrates
The best diet plan does away with refined carbohydrates like white flour and rice. They make your blood sugar spike, and if you don’t need the sugar for energy, it gets stored as fat. Switch to whole grains, which your body takes longer to digest.
- Sugary drinks
By now we all know just how bad soda is, but don’t forget bottled teas, sports drinks, juice, sweet coffee drinks – pretty much anything that isn’t water, black coffee, or natural tea. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, 25 percent of people in the U.S. get 200 calories from sugary drinks and studies show for every additional 12-ounce can of soda, children increase their risk of obesity by 60 percent. Stick to consuming drinks that don’t come with sugar or calories.
- Baked goods
It’s hard to resist desserts, but if you’re trying to lose weight, it’s just better to pass or choose dark chocolate instead. Baked goods are usually made with refined carbohydrates, high in sugar, and have almost no nutritional value.
If you’re eating more salads to lose weight, watch out for the dressing because it could sabotage your weight loss. Most popular dressings like Ranch, French, Thousand Island, Caesar, and Greek have over 140 calories in just two tablespoons. If you have a salad, it’s better to make your dressing or just use olive oil and vinegar.
This list is long, and seeing all of the foods you should avoid losing weight might make you want to just give up immediately or reach for one of the top diet pills that claims to be a miracle solution. Don’t despair, losing weight doesn’t have to be as difficult as it sounds. Instead of focusing on all of the things you shouldn’t eat, focus on all of the things you can eat, and the benefits you’ll get from picking healthy foods.
David Gomes completed his M.S Professional degree in California Institute of Technology. He lives in Oakland, California, USA. He loves to write on a variety of topics such as joint health, weight loss, beauty and skin care for blogs and on-line publication sites. He also loves latest technology, gadgets. You can connect with him on Google+ and Twitter.