The foods you eat can heavily affect your weight loss progress. Some foods, like yogurt, coconut oil and eggs help with with loss, and other foods like processed and sugary foods will make you gain weight instead. So, if you truly want to lose weight, here are 10 foods that you must avoid – at the very least if you must eat them, it’s best to just devour them on your cheat days only (and even so, in moderation and just enough to satisfy your cravings). Let’s get going.
1. Fruit Juices
Most fruit juices you find at the supermarket have very little in common with whole fruit. Fruit juices are highly processed and loaded with sugar. In fact, they can contain just as much sugar and calories as soda, if not more. Additionally, fruit juice most usually has no fiber and doesn’t require chewing, which means that a glass of orange juice won’t have the same effect as eating a full orange. So, just stay away from fruit juice and eat whole fruit instead.
2. Cakes and cookies
Most, if not all store-bought pastries, cookies and cakes are packed with unhealthy ingredients like added sugar and refined flour. They may also contain artificial trans fats, which are very harmful and linked to many diseases. Pastries, cookies and cakes are also not very satisfying, and you will likely become hungry very quickly after eating these high-calorie, low-nutrient foods. If you’re craving something sweet, reach for a piece of dark chocolate instead.
3. Beer and Mixed Cocktails
Here, the type of alcohol and the quantity matters. In general, drinking alcohol in moderation seems to be fine and is actually linked to reduced weight gain. Heavy drinking, on the other hand, is associated with increased weight gain. Beer and mixed cocktails are the worst of all – they can cause weight gain quickly but drinking wine in moderation may actually be beneficial.
4. Ice Cream
Ice cream is incredibly delicious, but very unhealthy. It is high in calories, and most types are loaded with sugar. A small portion of ice cream is fine every now and then (remember, your cheat days), but the problem is that it’s very easy to consume massive amounts in one sitting. So, you could consider making your own ice cream, using less sugar and healthier ingredients like full-fat yogurt and fruit. Also, serve yourself a small portion and put the ice cream away so that you won’t end up eating too much.
Pizza is a very popular fast food. However, commercially made pizzas also happen to be very unhealthy. They’re extremely high in calories and often contain unhealthy ingredients like highly refined flour and processed meat. If you want to enjoy a slice of pizza, try making one at home using healthier ingredients. Homemade pizza sauce is also healthier, since supermarket varieties can contain lots of sugar. Another option is to look for a pizza place that makes healthier pizzas.
6. Coffee Drinks
Coffee contains several biologically active substances, most importantly caffeine. These chemicals can boost your metabolism and increase fat burning, at least in the short term. However, the negative effects of adding unhealthy ingredients like artificial cream and sugar outweigh these positive effects. High-calorie coffee drinks are actually no better than soda. They’re loaded with empty calories that can equal a whole meal. If you like coffee, it’s best to stick to plain, black coffee when trying to lose weight. Adding a little cream or milk is fine too. Just avoid adding sugar, high-calorie creamers and other unhealthy ingredients.
7. Foods High In Added Sugar
Added sugar is probably the worst thing in the modern diet. Excess amounts have been linked to some of the most serious diseases in the world today, in particular obesity. Foods high in added sugar usually provide tons of empty calories, but are not very filling. Examples of foods that may contain massive amounts of added sugar include sugary breakfast cereals, granola bars and low-fat, flavored yogurt. You should be especially careful when selecting “low-fat” or “fat-free” foods, as manufacturers often add lots of sugar to make up for the flavor that’s lost when the fat is removed.
8. Potato Chips and French Fries
Whole potatoes are healthy and filling, but french fries and potato chips are not. They are very high in calories, and it’s easy to eat way too many of them. In old and recent observational studies, even with different types of cooking oils, consuming French fries and potato chips has been linked to weight gain. One study even found that potato chips may contribute to more weight gain per serving than any other food. Additionally, some baked, roasted or fried potatoes may contain cancer-causing substances called acrylamides. Therefore, it’s best to eat just plain, boiled potatoes.
9. White Bread
White bread is highly refined and often contains a lot of added sugar. It is high on the glycemic index and can spike your blood sugar levels. A recent study found that eating two slices (120 grams) of white bread per day was linked to a 40% greater risk of weight gain and obesity. Fortunately, there are many healthy alternatives to conventional wheat bread. One is Ezekiel bread, which is probably the healthiest bread on the market.
10. Candy Bars
Candy bars are extremely unhealthy. They pack a lot of added sugar, added oils and refined flour into a small package. Candy bars are high in calories and low in nutrients. An average-sized candy bar covered in chocolate can contain around 200–300 calories, and extra-large bars may contain even more. Unfortunately, you can find candy bars everywhere. They are even strategically placed in stores in order to tempt consumers into buying them impulsively. If you are craving a snack, eat a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts instead.