Are you starting a diet? Are you interested in losing a few pounds? Or perhaps you are just choosing a whole new approach to eating healthier.
Achieving weight loss is possible through the combination of calorie cutting, regular exercise, and eating whole, unprocessed foods. To attain this goal, it is necessary to have a “diet cleaning” of your pantry/ food shelves to get rid of those pesky food items that are delicious but do nothing except add inches to your waistline.
Clearing out these temptations and being conscious of what they are when you are out with friends can significantly make the road to your ideal weight much smoother and possibly even faster than you expect.
Here is a list of the worst foods to eat on a diet:
1. Refined Grains
Refined grains are notorious for having little to no fibre or nutrients in them because their nutritious outer shell has been removed. These are already known to you in different forms such as white bread, white pasta, muffins, cakes, most kinds of baked goods.
Not all grains are restricted during a diet you can substitute refined grains with whole grains such as barley, brown rice, oats, whole grain bread. They are high in fibre and much nutritious than its counterpart, be sure to eat this in moderation though as they can also stack on the weight, you are to lose if consumed in excess.
2. Sugary Drinks
Sugary drinks come in all forms and can be marketed as a healthy alternative even. Take, for example, diet soda, the marketing around diet soda tells you it is a healthier form of drink in comparison to its entirely sweetened sibling. That is not true; if you pay attention to the label on any drink you buy, you will notice any beverage that does not out write print sugar on it tend to replace sugar with a fancier word like syrup or sweetener.
They are just filled with empty calories that will give you a temporary energy boost and make you crave more food afterwards. If Coke is your go-to drink for cram sessions or staying up working late, it is time to switch to unsweetened black coffee.
Your future waistline will thank you for eliminating this from your diet!
3. Ice Cream
You probably saw this one coming! I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but our yummy best friend is very high in sugar and offers no nutritional value whatsoever. Well, except maybe it can cure broken hearts, ah!
Having one scoop of ice cream on occasional is not such a bad idea, however, let us be honest, it is quite difficult to not go back for seconds or thirds till the whole tub is cleared out.
If weight loss is your goal, consider going to an ice creamery when the craving strikes and order just one scoop. Better yet, skip it altogether and replace this craving with a small bowl of Greek yogurt, with a drizzle of honey mixed with fruit and a sprinkle of dark chocolate chips.
4. French Fries/Potato Chips
French Fries and potato chips are a standard night out staple, and it is often offered as a side dish or an appetizer at restaurants. Nonetheless, they are very high in unhealthy fats and contain a high amount of calories. They do not provide the necessary fibre needed to feel full, so it not uncommon to be hungry just a few hours after eating them.
If you are a potato lover like me, consider opting for baked or boiled potatoes. If you can not shake off the craving for fries, toss them in a little olive oil and grill them in the oven. They are much healthier this way than when purchased at a restaurant or fast food because they have not been deep-fried in an excessive amount of oil.
Going on a girls’ or guys’ night out? Great, having fun and connected-ness is an essential key to living a happier and healthier life. But, be aware of the drinks you will be consuming, alcohol is sure to set back your weight loss back by a significant percentage.
Alcohol contains a lot of empty calories, just like sugary beverages do. They offer no real sustenance for the body except just waking up with a nasty headache and partial memory loss the next day.
To truly commit to a diet, it is vital to find other ways to have fun besides drinking. Consider ordering a glass of water with a slice of lemon or lime to go with it. Sure, your friends might think you are lame at the moment but put your long term weight goals ahead of peer pressure. They might envy you and come to you for dieting tips and tricks when you get to your fabulous weight, you never know!
If you must have alcohol, limit it to no more than one glass, think moderation!
6. Foods with Added sugar
Beware of this one; it is quite easy to miss and quite possibly the most common in proclaimed “healthy” foods. Check those fat-free products you love so much, the fat content might be low, but the taste will have been improved with a lot of sugar.
Examples of foods with added sugar are fat-free yogurt, flavoured yogurt, granola bars, energy bars, breakfast cereal, pasta sauce, baked beans.
Now that you get the picture of some places added sugar might be hiding in your food, here is a solution.
- Read ingredient lists carefully and make sure there are no hidden sugars.
- Consider making some food items like pasta sauce from scratch if you can not find a sugar free one.
- Read nutrition facts at the back of the product making sure to pay extra attention to the sugar category.
Candy is delicious, yes, these little nuggets of deliciousness are high in sugar and fat that is not good for you.
However, you do not necessarily have to cut candy-like chocolate from your diet. It can be replaced with dark chocolate, preferably with a minimum of 70% cocoa in them.
Weight loss requires a lot of sacrifices. However, those sacrifices do not mean you can not enjoy the process. There are various alternatives for each one that will make you feel fuller and look your best. It is time to get creative with your meals.
These foods listed above, when eliminated, are going to help you move your goal along quite nicely. Aim for unprocessed foods that are high in fibre and are not calorie-dense like fruits and vegetables. Also, incorporate proteins and carbohydrates in moderate portions.
If you still find that your weight loss journey is not going quite as expected after making all these changes, see a medical specialist to get to the root cause of the issue.