Foods to Avoid When You’re Trying to Lose Weight

So far, we have been dealing with what is healthy for you, your body, and your fitness and nutrition plans. However, this chapter deal with the opposites of what is unhealthy and bad for you and your body and what can nullify all the effort you have been putting into healthy living.

Among the things that are proven unhealthy or even devastating in the long term, food is the first that comes to mind. Unhealthy food includes sugary drinks, pizzas, white bread, margarine, vegetable oils, pastries, cookies and cakes, French fries, ice cream, candy bars, processed meat, cheese, artificial sweeteners, and many others.

Sugary Drinks

If we were on a mission to find the unhealthiest product today, we would definitely end up with added sugar. However, it must be emphasized that not all sources of sugar are bad. In the sea of unhealthy products full of sugar, the most

important or the unhealthiest is sugary drinks. Many people don’t actually realize that drinks also have calories, and because of that, they fail to understand that drinks can also be bad for health. Sugary drinks include sodas, fruit punches, lemonades, energy drinks, and other drinks with added sugar. 

Constant consumption of sugary drinks leads to obesity, which can have devastating effects on the human body. Surprisingly, fruit juices are also included in this category. Although they have more nutrients, they also contain very high levels of sugar and calories, which can be very easily neglected by people.

In order to avoid what was previously mentioned, people must totally abandon the practice of consuming sugary drinks and search for alternatives, such as water, soda water, tea, and many others. Among the drinks with the most sugar per ounce are the fruit juices with a range of 4.75 to 7.15 grams of sugar per ounce, followed by regular sodas, energy drinks, ice tea/coffee, and sports drinks.

While you may think that drinks with artificial sweeteners would be a great alternative to sugary drinks, artificial sweeteners can actually be just as harmful. In fact, artificial sweeteners have been shown to increase one’s appetite for sweet food. 

While the cause of this has not been confirmed, it is likely due to the body increasing insulin secretion when sweeteners are eaten in anticipation of the glucose that will appear in the blood. When the glucose does not come because the sweetener is artificial, your blood sugar will drop, and you will experience increased hunger.

Pizzas

Pizza is the ultimate favourite food of so many of us. However, only a few of us understand the danger that pizza poses to our health. Similar to sugary drinks, pizza is also one of the reasons for the growing rate of obesity in the world. 

As regards the number of calories, 100 grams of pizza contain 266 calories, which is for sure a number you don’t want to be a part of your daily eating habits. Aside from calories, some pizzas contain 1,620 mg of sodium and 33 grams of fat. 

One slice of cheese pizza also contains 5 grams of sugar. However, not all pizzas are marked as unhealthy. In order to avoid the high intake of calories, fat, sugar, and other unhealthy nutrients, people often choose a vegetable pizza. 

Vegetable pizza contains Vitamins A and C and more fibre in comparison to cheese or meat pizza. Add to this some veggie toppings, such as mushrooms, spinach, tomatoes, or onions, and you will get not only an amazing pizza but also a healthy intake of vitamins and other healthy nutrients.

White Bread

In the majority of cases, white bread is made of wheat, which contains gluten, and because of this, white bread is not good for people who are sensitive to gluten. However, white bread is not bad only for gluten-sensitive people but also for everybody else. White bread is mostly made of refined wheat, the healthy nutrients of which are reduced to a minimum because of the refining process.

What you get in the end are pure calories, which can result in high blood pressure for some people. If you want to use bread, it is better to use whole grain bread instead of white bread. Whole grain bread contains a lot more vitamins, minerals, and fibre than white bread. All of this provides you with more energy throughout the day. 

One slice of white bread has 66 calories, 0.82 grams of fat, 12.65 grams of carbs, and 1.91 grams of protein. Yes, you do get some protein with white bread, but the damage the white bread is causing is much bigger than the benefits of the proteins it contains.

Margarine

Can you imagine a time when margarine was considered to be healthier than butter? Well, that was the case until recently, when it was proven that margarine is much more dangerous for your health than butter. 

There is a debate about whether butter is good for your health on not, but it is definitely healthier than margarine, and the reason for this is that butter is made up of natural ingredients while margarine, on the other hand, is made of artificial ingredients in order to look and taste just like the butter. Some margarine contains trans fats that, just like saturated fat, elevate blood pressure and have negative effects on your health. 

There are several types of margarine: stick margarine, light margarine, margarine with phytosterols, and several others. Only one teaspoon of stick margarine already has between 80 and 100 calories, between 9 and 11 grams of fat, and 2 grams of saturated fat. Butter or margarine is not really important because there is no big difference in their effects on your body. Both are unhealthy and may cause some serious problems.

Pastries, Cookies, and Cakes

The majority of products from this category are proven unhealthy. Often, pastries are made of refined sugar, butter, refined flour, and added fats. The combination of all of these can cause serious problems for the human body. 

The biggest danger that can be caused by such products is diabetes. All pastries, cookies, cakes, ice cream, and other desserts contain a large number of calories, and if you are not able to burn those calories at the gym or through some other exercise, they will be stored in your body as body fat. 

However, just like every other unhealthy food, there is a healthy counterpart for desserts. Some desserts provide you with healthy nutrients. Those healthy nutrients can be found in fruits. So if you want to have dessert, try and find one that does not contain a large amount of sugar, fat, or butter. Your body will thank you for it.

Instant Ramen

Wait, what? Instant ramen is bad? But that’s all I’ve been eating in college! No, but seriously, instant ramen is definitely not healthy. If you think about it for second, instant ramen has a ridiculous amount of salt in it. It can have up to 2,000 mg of salt, which is definitely not healthy for your body. 

On average, your daily intake should not exceed 1,500 mg of sodium. Most people already eat some foods with sodium before dinner time. Having instant ramen to help you get through finals week or just as a quick meal is the last thing you should be doing. 

If you regularly eat instant ramen and then cut it out of your diet, you’ll notice a lot of differences in your body, including not being as thirsty and feeling better overall. Sodium is okay, just in moderation.

French Fries and Potato Chips

One of the unhealthiest foods out there is definitely French fries. Potatoes, in general, are healthy, but potatoes in French fries are everything but healthy.

Several studies conducted recently in different parts of the world identify French fries as one of the reasons why people are gaining more and more weight and, due to that, are becoming more and more unhealthy. 

One of the reasons why fries are unhealthy is because they contain bad fats, and by now, we all know what kind of dangerous bad fats are for our health. The second reason why fries are considered unhealthy is that they are made of bad carbohydrates. In the body, potato converts to sugar, and if we are not able to spend that sugar through exercise, it remains in the body in the form of fat. 

Another reason why we consider fries unhealthy is that they contain trans fats, which are dangerous when in relation to heart diseases. Also, these trans fats are linked to diabetes and certain types of cancer. In the process of making French fries, all good or healthy elements are removed from the potato, and what is left are only the unhealthy elements that have no nutritional value. As regards the number of calories, a medium portion of French fries has 365 calories and 17 grams of fat.

Much of the information above also applies to potato chips, unfortunately. While potato chips are a favourite snack for many, they are very high in calories and provide virtually no nutritional benefit. In addition, potato chips tend to come in servings that make it far too easy to eat way more than you should.

Instead of potato chips, you can eat plain popped corn, whole grain crackers, or cut-up vegetables.

Alcohol

You may not want to hear it, but alcohol is one of the first things that should be eliminated (or at least greatly reduced) from your diet if you are trying to lose weight and build muscle. Like potato chips above, alcohol provides very little, if any, nutritional value – it is essentially empty calories. 

As with potato chips, it is hard to regulate the amount that you are taking in; drinking some alcohol tends to lead to drinking more alcohol. The type of alcohol is important: beer is definitely associated with weight gain, whereas wine (in moderation) can be beneficial.

Ice Cream

While ice cream does have some nutritional value, unlike many of the food items discussed in this chapter, it is still very unhealthy. Ice cream is very high in calories and is usually full of sugar. 

As with the other foods on this list, it is also difficult to eat just a little ice cream, and it usually comes in servings that make it hard to limit your intake. If you absolutely need to have ice cream every once in a while, try making your own; you can use less sugar and healthier ingredients, like fresh fruit and yoghurt.

Specialty Coffee Drinks

Fancy coffee drinks with a variety of delicious flavourings are a popular option for many people, but unfortunately, these drinks tend to be extremely high in calories. The problems with these coffee drinks are the same as those with sugary drinks discussed above: empty calories and little, if any, nutritional value.

Moreover, we tend to add sugar (or artificial sweeteners) and milk or cream to these drinks, increasing the caloric content even further. Plain, black coffee can actually help with weight loss because caffeine will boost your metabolism. Adding low-fat or part-skim milk is fine, but try to avoid adding sugar or sweeteners.

Candy Bars

Eating candy regularly can have negative effects on your health. Eating too many candies can result in the body having too much sugar and fats. Candy bars and candies, in general, are full of sugar, and we have already seen what kind of consequences too much sugar intake can have on your body and on your health.

Aside from sugar, candies contain a large number of calories. Some candies may contain between 250 and 280 calories per portion. For example, a Snickers candy bar has 280 calories, 14 grams of fat, and 30 grams of sugar; a Twix candy bar has 250 calories and 12 grams of fat, and a Mars candy bar has 230 calories and 8.6 grams of fat. 

Consequently, eating too much candy every day will result in too many calories in your body which would have devastating effects on your health. Of course, it is impossible to abandon candies, just like any other food previously mentioned, for good, but it is necessary to have control over the intake of the aforementioned food. Otherwise, the consequences to your health may be devastating.

Any Foods High in Added Sugar

While this applies to most of the foods discussed above, sugar is added to many foods, and some of these may surprise you. This can include breakfast cereals, low-fat products, and granola bars. In fact, low-fat and fat-free foods are often supplemented with additional sugar to make up for the flavour lost from removing the fat content.

Other food products that likely contain much higher amounts of sugar than you would expect include commercial salad dressings (make your own for a healthy alternative), whole wheat products (look for whole-grain instead), sports drinks, and foods advertised as “low-carb.” 

You should also keep in mind that just because food is labelled as organic, vegan, or gluten-free does not automatically mean that it is healthy: many of these foods are processed and contain high levels of sugar.

The bottom line is that you should always look at the nutritional label before picking food in order to avoid surprises, such as higher than expected sugar content.

Processed Meat

Unlike unprocessed meat, processed meat is proven to have negative effects on your health. Several studies around the world indicated that some serious diseases, such as colon cancer, diabetes, and heart diseases, could all be the result of the consumption of the processed meat. 

If we were to look for a definition of processed meat, it would state that processed meat refers to meat that has been cured, salted, dried, canned, and smoked. In the category of processed meat, we can include hot dogs, sausages, salami, bacon, and ham.

According to some studies, processed meat contains N-nitroso compounds that are proven to be cancer-causing elements. The most important thing about the intake of processed meat is self-control. You must be able to determine the maximum amount of processed meat you are going to eat and decide on what type of processed meat you will be eating because not all types of processed meat are equally unhealthy.

As we have seen from this chapter, it is hard to live or, in this case, to eat healthy because all of our favourite foods seem to be the most dangerous ones. All of the food previously mentioned in this article bears a level of danger that can have serious consequences in the future. 

Limited consumption of the mentioned food doesn’t necessarily have bad effects on your health, but the constant, everyday consumption of such food has been proven to be devastating. Sometimes, it is important to have a “cheat day” – a day where you will eat this kind of food, but the consumption of such food needs to be limited to as little as possible.


Note: If you require a little extra help to shed pounds, you might consider trying natural supplements that support weight loss.

Resurge is one of the most popular weight loss supplements that promise to help you shed pounds and sleep better. Because studies have shown that sleep deprivation is associated with deficiencies of growth hormone and elevated levels of cortisol, both of which contribute to obesity.

While other supplements promote nutritional factors, meal replacement forms, appetite suppression, or similar effects, Resurge boosts your body’s metabolism by increasing your core temperature. However, before making any purchases, you might want to read some Resurge reviews.

Besides, it should be noted that pills or supplements only work when combined with a healthy weight-loss diet and regular exercise. Supplements are ineffective on their own and are hardly a solution to obesity. 

In any case, it’s always best to talk with your doctor before you start taking a supplement, especially if you are taking medications, pregnant or have any health concerns.

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