If you’re trying to lose a lot of weight or even if you’re trying to shed a bit of extra fat and maintain it after, you need to know that weight loss requires meticulous care and attention. There are a lot of mistakes you can make during weight loss which can trigger your weight gain and you will gain back any and all the weight you’ve lost.
One of the most common mistakes is binge eating and consuming foods you know aren’t recommended for a smooth and quick weight loss process. This means we need to not only know which foods to eat to lose weight but also the foods to avoid for weight loss.
When you have been dieting and exercising for some days and then you immediately revert back to eating sugary, processed and fatty foods, all your progress will be lost and worse, you’ll gain back the weight you lost with a lot of extra pounds.
Another fail that can happen may be that you’ve been eating healthy all day but at the end of the day, you eat something which has more calories than your recommended intake and it just upsets your dieting balance completely.
A problem that has been reported for a lot of years is that people tend to revert to binge eating. The reason could be anything, but the major ones are stress and failure to cope with the diet or exercise.
However, it’s always important to remember that we’re all humans and mistakes are a part of any process.
Although many diets come with a detailed guide of what to eat and what foods to avoid, it is always important to have a clear idea of what foods you should be avoiding and why.
Eating healthy is ultimately the main goal and so you should try your best to stay away from foods that will end up upsetting your efforts and progress. You can lose your weight just by replacing some unhealthy foods with healthier options in your daily routine.
We’ve compiled a list of such foods for you so that you can avoid and remain focused during your weight loss journey.
This should come as no surprise. Fast food is the major cause of weight gain and health problems. Fast food is mainly a lot of carbs and sugars with no nutritional value. We actually consume a lot of food which have little or no nutritional value. If you’re worried about how to focus on avoiding fast food then check out our article on important tips that help in eating healthy.
If you’re starting weight loss, then you should probably consider cutting out all fast food as it will only be an obstacle between you and your desired health goal. An article published in Neuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews tells us that people nowadays are more addicted to eating rather than the food itself. And fast food is easy to get addicted to as it can be cheap, it is available easily and the taste is good.
Eating fast food or junk food is related to inducing feelings of satisfaction for our body. That’s where the concept of “comfort food” comes from. We eat a lot of fast food and because we’re so addicted to it, our brains immediately produce hormones of pleasure and satisfaction and before we know it, we’ve emptied the tub of ice cream.
Some of the most common fast foods responsible for weight gain are:
- Ice cream
- Cold and sugary beverages (Cold drinks, milkshakes etc)
- Milk chocolate
- French fries
- Fried chicken (so stay away from that KFC)
Say NO to Sugar:
Sugar is a big problem when it comes to dieting. Once you consume sugar and don’t properly burn it immediately, it will instantly convert to fat and be stored in our body for future energy. The only problem is, our body already has a lot of fat for future energy and so, we’re only increasing weight gain because of this.
It’s best to avoid raw sugar, artificial sugar and sweeteners.
The most common sources are:
- Fruit juices (all the beneficial fiber is lost, and only sugary content is left behind)
- Sweetened drinks (milkshakes, iced beverages, and cold drinks)
- Cookies and doughnuts
- Cupcakes and muffins
These extra sugars will not only increase your unhealthy weight gain but will also immediately enter your bloodstream and eventually make you prone to diseases. One of the main factors of sugary cravings can also be stress so if you’re someone who likes to eat a ton of sugar during stress, learn here how stress is one of the greatest factors of belly fat.
However, a little bit of sugar won’t hurt you and can even provide energy when you’re feeling extremely low. The American Heart Association suggests only eating 100 calories of added sugars for women and about 150 calories for men per day. That’s no more than 6 and 9 tablespoons of sugar, respectively.
Avoiding carbs can be difficult, especially when they include pasta, rice, breads, potatoes, and other more delicious foods. However, limiting your carb intake will not only help you control your weight loss but will also keep you away from high cholesterol or diabetes.
Carbohydrates are an essential source for energy, but it helps to remember that carbs are the easiest to break down into sugar by our body. Ultimately, it’s stored as fat and you know what happens after that! Carbohydrates are necessary for sustainment of the body but limiting their intake and replacing the majority of carbs in your diet with protein is the best option to choose.
Foods rich in protein and fiber help you feel full and provide energy to your body so that it can function properly.
However, carbs are the most preferred source of energy and according to the Eat Well Guide by nhs, half of our calories should consist of carbs and fruits & veggies. But if you are planning on losing some weight a bit quicker, then it will be important to cut out carbs a lot and limit them to only a third of your portion.
Carbs include starchy foods and unfortunately, sugary foods. Yes, carbs can also include free sugars and when we start cutting out sugar and carbs, our body will burn the fat already stored and start the weight loss process naturally.
Some carbs to avoid are:
- Rice (Use brown rice instead)
- White bread (Replace with brown bread)
- Foods such as pancakes, doughnuts, and cakes.
Monitor Your Salt Intake:
High salt levels are not usually a serious factor of weight gain, but they can lead to our body storing water content and that will lead to bloating. And since weight gain can ultimately trigger diseases such as obesity, diabetes, high blood-pressure and high cholesterol, it’s safe to limit our salt intake as well because it’s one of the greatest factors for high blood-pressure.
According to The Heart and Stroke Foundation of South Africa, our body only needs minimal amounts of salt to function and so using excessive amounts just for the sake of flavoring can be harmful for us.
Try replacing extra salt with herbs, garlic, or other spices. Just remember, if you’re adding processed sauces, chances are they are going to have more salt because of the preservatives as well.
Limit portions when consuming:
- Cottage Cheese
- Salad dressings
- Canned vegetables and meat
- Frozen meals
It is very important not to exceed the recommended salt amount of 2300 mg sodium per day. An extra precaution would be to reduce eating out or ordering delivery because you have no idea how much salt they’re using and when you’re preparing home-cooked meals, you will have the control of all the components.
Stay Away from Fried Food and Excess Oils:
This is a no-brainer. Fried food items are one of the major enemies of weight loss and you can see fried items advertised everywhere by every fast-food chain. Fast food generally contains a lot of calories which will make your body store all the fat immediately. Moreover, when you fry any item in excess oil or even butter, it alters the structure and changes the nutritional benefits of the food.
Oils from plants on the other hand are very beneficial such as olive oil and coconut oil. However, vegetable oils such as corn oil, sunflower oil, soy oil, and palm oil are not good for our health because they have a higher concentration of inflammatory fat omega-6 but a lower concentration of anti-inflammatory fat omega-3. Substitutes would be coconut oil and olive oil used in minimal amounts.
Inflammatory fat is directly connected to obesity therefore it’s safer to avoid it when starting out on weight loss.
In the end, weight loss eventually requires minimal to almost negligible amount of oil used so try to avoid oily foods and opt for grilled and boiled food items.
Remember: Olive oil and coconut oil should never be used more than 1 or 2 tablespoons when frying food items.
Some Fruits to Avoid:
Not all fruits are healthy as sometimes we may be consuming versions of fruits that may have altered nutritional value and will lead to more harm. One such example would be fruit juices. Artificial fruit juices have high sugary content and no fiber at all which is the main component for helping our bodies feel full. So, if you think opting for a fruit juice instead of a cold drink is better, you might want to think again.
Even fresh fruit juices are not beneficial for your weight loss journey at all. When we squeeze all the juice out of the fruit, the fiber is left behind, and it is the fiber which helps us feel full. All what’s left is the sugary content which will only enter our blood levels and also be turned into fat.
Another type of fruit to watch carefully is dry fruit. Once again, the same rule applies here that when fruit is dried and preserved, all its contents are highly concentrated and so are the calories. However, moderation is the key rule here. Consumption practiced with moderation and minimality is always ideal.
Therefore, recommended form of fruits would always be raw. That said, fruits are extremely healthy, and a good chunk of our calorie intake should consist of fruits.
Food choice plays a major role in your weight loss journey. To get the optimum results, you will need to make healthy and low-calorie food choices part of your diet plan and cut out all unhealthy, high-carb and high-fat food items from your meals initially. At the end of the day, you’re ultimately protecting your own health and body and trust me, your body is going to thank you for this years later.
Just bringing change in your diet with the right choices and the right amounts and proportions as well as knowing what foods to avoid for weight loss can lead to achieving your weight loss goal.
Remember, nothing happens if you don’t take action so change up your diet plan and start adding more healthy variants today.