While exercising frequently is key to weight loss, the real game-changers in this journey are the foods you put in your body…
Or rather, the foods you don’t.
The foods that give you energy, make you feel good, and keep you on the track to better health may very well be different from the foods someone else leans on in their weight loss journey.
However, a handful of foods are a no-go for anyone trying to lose weight and keep it off. Here are 10 foods you should actively avoid as you work to get the pounds off.
Soda is one of many enemies of weight loss… and this shouldn’t come as a surprise.
The amount of sugar that comes in soda and other sweetened beverages is utterly contradictory to your health.
And if you are someone who often reaches for the “zero sugar” or “zero calories” soda, don’t be fooled. These beverages are no better for you.
There is still little known about artificial sweeteners, but they have been linked to various health issues, including kidney disease, heart disease, osteoporosis, and decreased blood sugar control.
- Most Fruit Juices
For the same reason, sodas are a no-go for your weight loss journey, most fruit juices should also be avoided.
Yes, the vast majority of fruit juices, even the ones that are marketed as “clean” and “healthy”, contain loads of added sugar and are highly processed.
Remember, the benefits of eating whole fruit are multifold — only natural sugars, plenty of fiber, and they are not processed. Fruit juices rewrite this narrative and give your body just the opposite.
So next time you are feeling fruity, reach for an orange instead of its juicy, bottled counterpart.
- Most Baked Goods
Baked treats are oh so tasty, but oh so unhealthy… and for several reasons.
The added sugar, refined flour and trans fat found in most baked goods are not complementary to any weight loss journey. These foods are high in calories and low in nutrients, making them an absolute no-go for anyone on a journey to better health.
It never hurts to cater to your sweet tooth every once in a while, but you should eliminate these types of foods from your day-to-day diet if your goal is to drop the number on the scale.
- Fatty Red Meat
If you are a meat eater, know that not all meat is created equal.
Lean meats like chicken and turkey can pose many benefits to your health journey, but studies show that fatty red meat is not your friend in this situation.
Fatty red meat is linked to numerous health issues, in addition to abdominal weight gain.
Keep this in mind for your next taco Tuesday, and sub out that sizzling ground beef for a shell stuffed with a leaner protein alternative.
While you should try and avoid all alcohol if you are working to lose weight, beer is the ultimate bad guy in this game.
Packing in more calories than carbs and protein, beer is heavily linked to weight gain.
However, if you prefer a couple of sips at night or while being social, go for a glass of wine instead. Drinking wine in moderation has actually been linked to various health benefits.
- High-Calorie Coffee Concoctions
Coffee, as it comes naturally, is ay-okay and will not harm your weight loss. We’re talking black coffee or a cup with only a tad bit of creamer and sweetener (if you are not one for the bold and bitter).
The Starbucks-inspired coffee concoctions are another story.
You should actively avoid coffee-based beverages that are crafted with more sugar, cream, and other delightfully sweet ingredients. Drinking these types of beverages is no different than eating a candy bar, so it is best to set them aside if your goal is to lose weight.
- Processed Meats
Processed meats contain countless harmful chemicals that are not present in fresh meat. These properties have been extensively studied and have been linked to cancer, heart disease, and numerous chronic illnesses.
If that isn’t enough, processed meats are not productive agents in your weight loss journey.
So if you are someone who enjoys a carnivorous meal, chef up some fresh meat when the dinner bell rings and ditch the processed proteins once and for all.
- White Bread
People love to assume that all bread is a no-go when it comes to weight loss.
This is far from true. Good bread poses good benefits. And bad bread… Well, you get it.
The queen of all bad bread is white bread herself.
This type of bread is highly refined, packed with added sugar, and high on the glycemic index, meaning it can cause your blood sugar levels to spike.
In fact, one study shows that those who consumed just two slices of white bread a day were at a 40% greater risk of weight gain and obesity than those who did not.
- Potato Chips & Fries
Potato chips and fries are addictive, salty snacks that weasel their way into so many people’s diets.
Available at nearly every restaurant and stacked in most vending machines, potato chips and french fries are the weight gain-inducing foods that you need to learn to say no to. Not only are they high in calories, but they are so often overconsumed in one sitting.
If you love a good potato, be sure to bake or boil them. This cooking method will preserve more of the potatoes’ nutrients and keep you feeling full.
Lucky Charms, Frosted Flakes, Froot Loops… the whole Kellogs klan is not a friend to your weight loss journey.
This boxed breakfast food is nothing more than sugar, fat and carbs.
Keep this in mind, not only as you serve yourself to breakfast in the morning, but also as you spoon out the first meal of the day for your kids.