As the saying goes, “you are what you eat.” While we all know you won’t actually turn into a cheeseburger, the foods you choose to eat do have a direct effect on your health and body weight. Some weight loss foods can help you reach your goals, while there are other foods to avoid when trying to lose weight.
Here are 10 foods to avoid when losing weight.
When it comes to weight loss, there are simply no redeeming qualities about fried potatoes of any kind, whether that’s potato chips, French fries or pan-fried potatoes. One study even found that potato chips were the number one food leading to weight gain, which makes chips and other varieties of fried potatoes one of the top foods to avoid when losing weight.
Soda, flavored coffees, sweet tea and juice are all loaded with sugar that can spell disaster for any weight loss diet. Not only are sugary drinks packed with calories, but those calories are also considered “empty” calories, meaning they don’t help satisfy hunger and aren’t recognized by the brain in the same way as solid food. If you’re trying to lose weight, don’t drink your calories. In the end, you’ll end up consuming even more calories because liquid sugar doesn’t make you feel full.
A sandwich may sound like a healthy meal, but eating too many of them could lead to weight gain. Not only is white bread highly processed, it is also high in sugar. Even wheat bread contains sugar, although generally in lower amounts than white bread. Not to mention, bread — white or wheat — contains carbohydrates that the body stores as fat. So, add bread, especially white bread, to the list of foods to avoid when trying to lose weight.
Not all candy contains the same amount of sugar and fat, but in general, candy should certainly be avoided when you’re trying to lose weight. Candy bars, in particular, are packed with added sugar, oils and refined flour and they won’t satisfy your hunger (despite what the commercials may tell you). A piece of candy may be small but it can be a big problem when it comes to a healthy diet. If you’re feeling snacky, reach for a small handful of nuts or a piece of fruit, instead.
Even if they’re made with real fruit, they are no substitute for an actual piece of fruit, which contains fiber and other nutrients not found in juice. Fruit juices are loaded with sugar and many of them contain just as many calories as soda. Just like any other liquid calories, fruit juice will do little to satisfy hunger. Eating a whole piece of fruit is always a better option and will leave you feeling much more satisfied.
Cakes, cookies, muffins and other baked pastries are almost always made with refined flour and added sugar, and are also packed with calories. Even wheat bran or blueberry muffins contain between 300 and 500 calories in a single muffin. Although they may be temporarily satisfying, baked goods lack the nutrients that are essential in any weight loss foods.If it’s something sweet you’re craving, opt for a small bowl of berries instead.
Drinking alcohol (particularly red wine) in moderation likely won’t cause you to gain weight, but some alcoholic drinks like beer and many cocktails are loaded with sugar and carbohydrates that can easily derail any weight loss diet. If you’re trying to lose weight, cut back on alcoholic drinks as much as possible.
Although they are often marketed as a “health food,” quite the opposite is true. Like most breakfast cereals (including those marketed as “whole grain”), granola bars actually contain a huge amount of added sugar. In any food, excess amounts of added sugar can not only cause weight gain, but may also be linked to serious diseases and other health concerns.
Be wary about any food labeled as “low-fat” or “fat-free.” If fat is removed, sugar is typically added to compensate for any flavor that is lost. Saturated fat found in some foods may actually be better for you than all the added sugar in processed “low-fat” and “fat-free” foods.
Just about any food, even junk food, can be made organically, but that doesn’t make it any more healthy. Instead of refined sugar, organic food might contain raw sugar, which has the same effect on your waistline as regular sugar. Always check the label to see exactly what a food contains, even if it is marketed as a “health” or “organic” food.
If you’re looking for the best foods to lose weight, stick with real, whole food and avoid the inner aisles of the grocery store as much as possible. Don’t be fooled by packaging; even “health” foods can be quite unhealthy. When it comes to even weight loss foods, always read the label and watch your portion size. Some healthy foods like nuts or fruit won’t help you lose weight if you indulge in excess.
Each body is different and responds to foods in a different way. If you’re looking for the best weight loss foods for your body, consider scheduling an appointment with a registered nutritionist who can help you choose the best foods to help you lose weight. And if diet and exercise alone aren’t enough to help you reach your weight loss goals, schedule an appointment with a First Baptist Medical Center weight loss doctor.