So you’ve finally decided to turn your life around and hop on the fat-loss train. However, a quick Google search on ‘what to avoid eating to lose weight’ churns up millions of results — almost all of them contradicting each other. Some tell you to avoid eating carbohydrates, while others are big believers in maintaining your current diet, and just working on decreasing portion sizes, ultimately confusing you to no end.
Fret not, here’s a definitive list of foods you should avoid for the new you to shine through!
- Examples: White bread, white rice, pasta
For some folks, bread, pasta, and rice are dietary staples. And removing them for just one day equates to a year without rain. However, refined grains are some of the biggest hurdles in your weightloss goals.
Refined grain products are heavily processed, which means all nutritional value is completely stripped off the food before it lands on your plate. Furthermore, the processing tends to remove fiber, which makes you feel less full, causing you to eat more. A lack of fiber also means your body will digest the food faster, spiking your blood sugar, triggering your body to over-secrete insulin. And guess what, a surge in insulin means you feel hungry quicker.
Substitutes: Any whole grain product should be an apt substitute. Consider replacing white rice with brown rice and white bread with whole-grain bread.
Soft-drinks or drinks with added sugar
- Examples: Fruit juice, energy drinks, sodas
Sugar is present in almost everything we eat, so avoiding it is borderline impossible. What you can do is avoid products with added sugar.
Large manufacturers often add sugar in the form of corn syrup and cane sugar to sweeten a drink way beyond what’s recommended. Additionally, sugary drinks often have no nutrients. Even though they contain a large amount of calories, your body doesn’t process it like solid food. What this means is that you won’t be eating lesser food to compensate for these empty calories, ultimately going over your recommended daily caloric-intake, which leads to weight gain!
Substitutes: If you’re really craving something sweet, try eating fresh fruits. Nature’s candies contain water and fiber, which help slow your body’s absorption of sugar.
Frozen meals are the best thing to be invented since sliced bread. After all, they do replace boring bread, and who doesn’t want dinner to be ready in five minutes? But the dangers of frozen meals are unprecedented.
Trans fat is just one of the ingredients found in large quantities in frozen foods, apart from the excessive sodium, starch, preservatives and additives. It is the red-headed stepchild of the ‘fat’ family, and has been linked with an increase in cholesterol levels and one of the direct causes of heart disease.
Trans fat is also extremely addictive and appealing to our taste buds. Needless to say, frozen food may prove to be more than just a minor speed bump in your weightloss journey. Avoid them at all costs!
Substitutes: If you need to whip up a quick dinner, stock up on frozen veggies and meat. These natural foods are healthy, easy to prepare, and chock full of nutrients.
Greasy and fried foods
- Examples: Pizza, french fries, burgers, fried chicken, chips
We understand it’s tough to leave behind some of your favorite foods, but trust us when we say it’s for the greater good. Similar to frozen meals, fatty foods raise your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Plus, with each calorically-dense bite, you put a dent in your daily caloric intake like no other.
Substitute: If you’re craving something fried and greasy, you could substitute it for the roasted or baked variety.
- Examples: Beer, wine, hard liquors
We know this one hurts considering we Irish live and die by the liquor. But facts are facts: Exercise and alcohol don’t mix. Alcoholic beverages are similar to sugary drinks in that they also contain empty calories. Fortunately for us, moderate alcohol intake is not linked with obesity, but if you’re a heavy drinker then there are studies linking alcohol consumption to obesity.
Additionally, being intoxicated can lower your inhibitions. After a few drinks the weightloss journey is a distant thought, whereas inhaling the potato chips in your pantry seem like a real good idea.
Substitutes: Fresh water and natural, freshly squeezed juice won’t give you a buzz like a glass of wine can, but they’re infinitely better for trimming your waistline.
If you’re still confused about where and how to kick-start your weightloss journey and achieve the body of your dreams, look no further. Contact BodyScene to set up a one-on-one session with a nutritional therapist who can guide you on weight management, foods to eat and avoid, and more!