The Top 10 Foods to Avoid to Lose Weight
The most successful weight loss diets and plans stress healthy eating while watching calories. Buying primarily fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and low-fat dairy products is the optimal choice for weight loss.
Processed foods tend to have higher fat, sugar, and salt content. Moreover, most of them use refined grains, unhealthy fats, and artificial ingredients. If you want to see the scale drop and lose inches, there are certain foods to avoid due to their being packed with hidden calories and having a low nutritional value. Here are the top 10 foods to avoid to lose weight:
#1: Trans Fat
Used in baked goods, frozen pizzas, and many other products, trans fats have been shown as some of the unhealthiest fats. In addition to adding calories to the food, trans fat has been implicated in increased risk for heart disease and other ailments. The goal of any good diet is to not only lose weight and fat, but also to increase health. Nutrition labels on packaged foods provide information on the trans fat content. In the ingredient portion of the label, trans fats are listed as partially hydrogenated oil.
#2: Fried Foods
From fried chicken to deep fried pickles, frying food takes a good thing and loads it with calories by cooking it in fat. Calories are also added when foods are coated with breading. Rather than preparing foods by frying, keep them healthy and lower in calories by roasting, broiling, or grilling.
#3: Canned Fruit in Heavy Syrup
Since fruit is already sweet, there is no need to package it in sweetened syrup. Better choices can be found with frozen fruit, which does not have all the added sugar. Ideally, fresh fruit is best. Additional flavor can be added using spices rather than sugar.
#4: Baked Goods
Cupcakes, cookies, donuts, and other sweetened baked goods are low in nutrients and high in calories. Sugar, fat, and refined flour top the ingredient list, adding plenty of empty calories to the diet. These foods provide few nutrients and should be strictly limited. If you must partake, as many feel the need to do sometimes, try splitting a dessert with a friend. In addition, one can substitute fresh fruit and whole grain cereal for breakfast rather than unhealthy donuts and pastries.
#5: Packaged Salty Snack Foods
As with other processed foods, most packaged salty snacks are high in fats and calories and low in the nutrients the body needs. Whole-wheat crackers or pretzels and homemade popcorn with parmesan cheese are better choices than bags of flavored, salty snacks. Eating any snack straight out of the bag or box defeats efforts at portion control.
#6: Sugary Drinks
Soft drinks, sweetened teas, iced coffee drinks, and sweetened fruit drinks are loaded with sugar. A 12-ounce can of soda can contain the equivalent of approximately 12 teaspoons of sugar, while a 20-ounce bottle has 19 teaspoons. Those who need to see what this looks like can measure out this much sugar in a bowl and then imagine eating it. Diet soda is also not recommended since it is artificially sweetened, something which many health professionals advise against. Sugary drinks like soda are completely devoid of nutrients. A better choice is fresh water or unsweetened tea.
A baked potato sprinkled with herbs is a low-calorie, delicious meal. Potatoes are not inherently bad. It is how potatoes are commonly prepared that make them a bad choice for those trying to lose weight. Obviously, French fries and potato chips are loaded with fats and calories, but other potato dishes are equally bad. Potatoes prepared with heavy cream or cheese sauces contain plenty of high-calorie fats. Mashed potatoes with added butter or cream are also packed with hidden calories. A good choice is a plain baked potato seasoned with garlic and herbs.
#8: Saturated Fats
Animal products such as meat and dairy products contain saturated fat, which has been linked to unhealthy increases in blood lipids. Although the body needs fats and oils, rather than choosing marbled meats and whole milk dairy products, health advocates advise limiting saturated fat consumption by picking lean meat and low-fat dairy foods.
#9: Refined Grains
Studies have shown that increased fiber consumption can help reduce harmful belly fat. Refined grains such as white flour and white rice have had the parts of the grain containing fiber and nutrients removed. Enriched refined grains have had the natural nutrients replaced by synthetic ones in an attempt to boost the nutrient value of the refined grains. Rather than buying products made with refined grains, choose whole grain bread, cereal, and other foods. Eating plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables also increases dietary fiber.
#10: Alcoholic Beverages
Alcoholic beverages are high in calories and generally devoid of nutrients. Health professionals advise limiting drinks to one per day for women and two for men. In addition to calories, alcohol taxes the liver as it rids the body of the alcohol.
Making simple dietary changes as outlined here can help those who desire to lose weight and fat be well on their way to achieving their goals!
About the Author:
Monique Hawkins loves sharing health and fitness tips so all can reach their weight and fat loss goals. She believes that with simple lifestyle and dietary changes, anyone can lose weight and keep it off for good. For weekly weight loss tips and strategies, visit her blog How to Lose Weight.