It can be confusing when it comes to trying to eat healthy and make the best diet choices – think about how how many new diet books come out in a year! That being said, there are some foods and drinks that will definitely promote weight gain and should be avoided if you are trying to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight.
Read below to learn which foods and drinks you should avoid if you are trying to lose weight:
Soda is probably the number one worst thing you can consume for your waistline and your health. Drinking soda is basically like pouring sugar directly into your bloodstream. Why is this a problem? An overload of sugar in the bloodstream is highly toxic to the body and signals the hormone insulin to get that sugar out of the blood as quickly as possible (this is why you go from a sugar high to a “crash” or hypoglycemia). So where does insulin funnel sugar to? The place where you have an infinite abundance of storage, i.e. your fat cells.
2. Fruit juice
Fruit juice acts the same as soda because it is high in sugar and has about zero fiber to slow down the release of sugar into the bloodstream. The only better thing about juice is that it doesn’t contain all of the chemicals that you find in soda, and it does have some vitamins and minerals.
Foods that fall under this category include all of the foods we love – cookies, pancakes, waffles, white pasta, white bread, hamburger buns, pizza dough, etc. The problem with white grains (aka refined grains) is that these grains have been stripped of all their fiber and nutritional value, and what you are left with is just a bunch of carbs and calories.
4. Granola bars and protein bars
Check the ingredients and the nutrition label between granola bars, protein bars, and candy bars – they are pretty similar! What makes granola bars and protein bars worse than candy bars is that they are marketed as being healthy so you’ll eat more of them, whereas at least with candy bars you see them more as a treat.
Learn how to choose healthy protein bars by reading here.
5. Cereal and granola
About 99.9% of cereals and granola will help you to pack on the pounds. They tend to be loaded with sugar and calories and have very low fiber or nutritional value – yes, this includes the “all natural” types as well.
Pastries are basically a mix of unhealthy fat, white grain, and sugar, all of which will increase your appetite and pack on the pounds quickly.
The term “beer belly” is highly accurate because it does promote a larger waistline. Beer is probably the worst alcoholic beverage you can drink because it is loaded with carbs and alcohol, and contains zero nutritional value. Plus, unlike spirits beer has less alcohol meaning it’s easier to drink more of it.
8. Dessert coffee beverages
This basically includes all coffee drinks that are made of more than just plain coffee. Once you start adding milk, sugar, cream, syrup, whipped cream, etc. the sugar and calories add up very quickly without you even realizing it.
9. Salad dressing
Just about all salad dressings can contribute to weight gain, including bottled and even freshly made. This is because just a small amount tends to be loaded with calories, unhealthy fat, and sugar.
Read here to learn about healthy and delicious alternatives to salad dressing.
Chips are one of the easiest foods to overeat because they don’t fill you up until you finish an entire bag! Chips have about zero nutritional value, meaning they are just empty calories you are putting into your body that will end up as fat.
11. Ice cream
Ice cream basically consists of fat and sugar, which tastes amazing but also is the combination that will rev up your appetite, make you hungrier, and pack on the pounds.
12. Artificial sugars
Think you are being healthy by cutting back on real sugar and eating the fake stuff? Err, probably not. There have been many studies that have found that consuming artificial sugars may promote weight gain by throwing off your natural gut flora and making you crave sugary foods and increasing your appetite. Read more about this here.
13. Fried foods
This includes french fries, onion rings, crispy calamari, fried chicken, etc. Once you fry something, you add a ton of unhealthy fat and calories to an otherwise healthy food.
Avoid the above foods and drinks as much as possible and this will help to prevent you from gaining the unwanted extra pounds.