If you’ve ever tried to lose weight, I’m sure this question has flashed through your mind at one time. We’ll talk about foods that can help you lose weight another time, but today, we are going to talk about foods you should cut down on or simply avoid if your aim is to lose weight.
Basically, you gain weight when you consume more calories than you burn. Some types of foods contain more calories than other with equivalent nutrients. So you need to choose wisely what you eat, or you risk thwarting your efforts. So lets begin with the most obvious…
Sugar and related products;
This shouldn’t be too much of a surprise. I’m sure at the back of our minds, most of us know sugar isn’t really beneficial to us. But how exactly does it affect our efforts at weight loss? Alright, so sugar is a carbohydrate, which eventually gets stored as fat. Sugar also provides about 4 calories per gram, doesn’t sound much, but in a can of soda, you could have an equivalent of 300 calories, which easily translates to excess calories and results in weight gain. So if your aim is to lose weight, cutting down or avoiding refined sugar and its related products like soda, cookies, cakes and the likes will eliminate a lot of unwanted calories from your diet and enhance your chances at success.
Whole milk contains the highest percentage of fat, about 8 grams per each serving. Per every gram, fat gives 5 more calories than carbohydrates and proteins; so whole milk packs a lot more calories. An alternative to this is semi-skimmed or skimmed milk. Skimmed milk is essentially fat-free.
Considering we’re talking about foods, you might be wondering why I’m mentioning this. Well, some people drink it like food..lol. And much like sugar, alcohol also contains empty calories, about 7 calories per gram. And remember, excess calories lead to weight gain. The type of alcohol is also important, beer in particular has been shown to cause weight gain. So alcohol may be fine in small amounts, but if you’re trying to lose weight, you should consider avoiding it altogether. A glass of wine may look innocuous, but cumulatively, it affects your efforts at weight loss.
Refined here means the grains have been stripped off fiber and other important nutrients. The fiber is what helps you to feel full, once it’s been stripped off, you’re more likely to overeat. Fiber also helps the food to be digested at a good rate, absence of this causes the food to be digested quickly and creates spikes in blood sugar levels and consequently insulin levels. Insulin is a hormone produced by the pancreas which regulates the absorption of sugar ( glucose ) in the body, it also helps turn glucose into energy or store it as fat for later use. So when there’s a spike in blood sugar, insulin tends to be over secreted, this leads to more glucose being stored as fat in the cells. So instead, go for whole grains, these still have their fiber intact and digest more slowly, as a result, blood sugar levels are more stable.
Fried foods and fats;
This also includes greasy foods. Oils used to fry foods outside tend to be mostly not very healthy, so if you still want to keep some fried foods in your menu, it’s advisable you do the frying yourself with oils without cholesterol, like sunflower, soybean or olive oil. This is not to say that eliminate fats from your meals completely, in actual fact, you need some healthy fats to balance your diet. The fats you should stay away from are Trans fat and saturated fat. These are derived from animal products and vegetable fats ( like coconut and palm oil). According to research, saturated fats increase the risk of colon and prostate cancers, raise cholesterol levels and lead to higher risk of heart disease. The kind of fats you should go for are unsaturated fats, these are found in fatty fish, nuts, walnuts, flax seed etc.
I know I’m treading on dangerous grounds here by mentioning this widely popular food, but yes PIZZA! With all the processed meat and flour, pizza tends to be high in calories and quite unhealthy. If you can prepare your own Pizza at home using healthier ingredients, you’re good to go, and even that, it shouldn’t be a regular practice.
This post just gives a broad overview of what kinds of foods you should cut down on, completely avoid in your quest to lose weight and live a healthier life. The details of the reasons why these foods are not beneficial to your progress will be addressed in other posts. I believe once you start cutting down on these foods, you’ll see a lot more progress, feel and live healthier.
If you have any questions, please leave a comment below and I will get back to you as soon as I can. I would love to have your feedback too, let me know what you think about the post. Also share via the buttons below to create the awareness.