When looking to lose weight the foods you eat can make a huge difference. In the end, it comes down to your balance of healthy diet and exercise. However, a healthy diet can make more of an impact than your level of exercise when trying to lose weight. For example, if you exercise with high intensity and all the time but have a terrible diet then you’re very unlikely to lose weight. But if you have a very healthy diet and eat the right foods but exercise very little to almost never then you can still manage to lose weight. Of course, the ideal scenario is a good mix of both establishing a good, healthy diet is probably more difficult. One of the first steps is to figure out which foods in your typical diet are hindering your efforts to lose weight. Here are 10 foods to avoid when trying to lose weight!
1. Sugary Drinks
There are two main types of sugary drinks to avoid when trying to lose weight: soda and fruit juices. Soda is fairly obvious to avoid but sometimes it helps with temptations to know just how bad it is for you. Typically, sodas are filled with high-fructose corn syrup which is essentially sugar-filled syrup. It’s detrimental to your fitness goals to lose weight because that highly concentrated sugar just all turns into fat and has no benefits for you. Similarly, fruit juices such as standard orange juices are filled with additional sugars. Drinking too much sugar from these kinds of drinks spikes your blood sugar then when you crash later on and feel hungrier it overall won’t help you lose weight. It will actually push you in the other direction of both fat and weight gain!
2. White Bread
Although white bread is so great for grilled cheese, french toast, and more it can actually be quite detrimental towards your goal to lose weight. It’s typically very refined which means that it will lead to building more fat in your body. As opposed to whole grains which are shown to lower your “visceral fat deposit” in your body/stomach area.
3. Sugary, Refined Cereals
Even though they make a great tasty treat, sugary and refined cereals should be avoided if you want to lose weight. Cereals like Froot Loops, Reese’s Puffs, Frosted Flakes, Lucky Charms, and so many more are just densely packed with sugars that lead to weight gain. Additionally, if you have one of these sugar-packed cereals for breakfast you’re more likely to not stay full for very long and thus will want a bigger lunch. Calorie control is very important when trying to lose weight so you’ll want to stay away from these sugary cereals for breakfast and really just in general.
4. Fatty Red Meat
Red meat has been observed as a big contributor to weight gain across different studies. The big difference, however, is how fatty the cut of meat is. Essentially, the fattier the meat the more likely it is you’ll gain abdominal weight. So when trying to lose weight stay away from those 70% lean 30% fat cuts of red meat!
5. Energy Drinks
Energy drinks fall into the same line of why “sugary drinks” are terrible when trying to lose weight. They’re full of sugars and other additives that are bad for your body in general, especially bad when trying to lose weight. One wrong preconception about them is that the caffeine might be good for weight loss. However, drinking too much caffeine doesn’t have the good effect that is assumed, it can actually be bad for your body. Caffeine can help in small amounts but too much of it mixed with a high-sugar drink will not help your fitness goals.
6. Fast Food
Another obvious food to avoid when trying to lose weight is fast food. Usually, these foods are loaded with preservatives, trans fats, high-fructose corn syrup, and tons of salt. All of these individually lead to building fat, and without getting into too much of the science things like preservatives and trans fats work at tricking our brain into thinking we aren’t full yet; so we just keep eating.
7. French Fries
As delicious as they are, unfortunately, french fries are a huge contributor to weight gain. Potatoes are found to be one of the most likely foods that lead to weight gain because it increases your blood sugar and insulin both more and more quickly than even pure table sugar. To make them even worse, studies have shown that when you deep-fry carbohydrates (potatoes) it leads to some chemical compound called acrylamide which leads to abdominal obesity. Avoid french fries when trying to lose weight!
8. Refined White Pasta
Refined white pasta is a great choice if weight GAIN is what you’re trying to do! As opposed to whole grain pasta which is a pretty good option for dieting, refined white pasta has almost no nutrients or fibers and it basically all gets made into fat stores in your stomach. The other part of it is if eating refined white pasta with some store-bought sauce that can have a lot of additional calories, sugar, and sodium which should all be avoided when trying to lose weight!
Shouldn’t come at too big a surprise that avoiding desserts is essential when you want to lose weight. They hit the three main things you want to avoid in your diet which is high in sugar, fat, and overall calories. Yes, they taste great and it’s tough to cut them out completely. You can instead choose to eat fewer calories during the day then you can have a little bit of dessert after dinner and balance out your calories for the day.
Although many people don’t want to hear this, alcohol is something that should be at least consumed less if you want to lose weight. Beers and wines can have a lot of sugars and calories so limiting your consumption and switching to at least lighter beers is highly suggested. Definitely avoid sugary cocktails for the same reason! Another reason to cut back on alcohol is that studies (and no doubt previous experiences) have shown that when drinking one is likely to eat more as well. People seem to consume more food and food even tastes better when you’ve had a few drinks in you.
Have any additional foods you should avoid when you’re looking to lose weight? Share them in the comments below!
Featured Image Source: Photo by i yunmai on Unsplash
I have a passion for helping others and see journalism as a great way to reach and impact many people. Born in Texas but raised in the San Francisco Bay Area! Then with a short detour in Boulder, Colorado to get my bachelor's in Journalism with a minor in political science. I'm a determined, motivated individual striving to make a difference in this world. I have hopes to play a role in the continued development of journalism and in maximizing efforts to inform and inspire the public. Check out my articles on Society19!