Trying to lose weight? Eight foods to stay away from!
I am the last person to tell you to follow a fad diet. Cabbage soup, Atkin’s, GM, South Beach, there’s no dearth of diets with foods on the banned list. Actually, everything in moderation is the key, provided you stay away from high fat and sugary treats. But having said that, there are some seemingly ‘healthy’ foods that are the worst offenders and actually do deserve the boot. They’re standing between you your skinny jeans so it’s time to get to know your diet enemies better.
# 1 Snacks that only contains carbs
Think crackers, biscuits, bread and jam, parathas, grain khakhras and rice cakes. As soon as you eat them, the carbs are converted into simple sugars and the body produces a rush of insulin to absorb it. Within a few minutes your blood sugar will fall making your hungry again. And that’s when you’re likely to reach for sugary treats to get instant energy.
Beat it: Treat snacks as mini meals, with a mix of carbs, proteins and fiber. A toast with a lick of cheese and cucumber/tomato slices or a tablespoon of hummus with vegetable sticks will hit the spot and fill you up nicely till your next meal.
# 2 Ready-to-eat meals
To make fresh ingredients last longer, manufacturers load them with sodium—even though the label boldly claims ‘no added preservatives’—a natural preservative. We all know sodium makes you retain water and even if it’s not weight gain per se you will still look and feel bloated.
Beat it: Eat fresh every chance you get. Pressed for time after a long day at work? Cook on the weekends and freeze individual portions to chomp on through the week. While eating out, stick to salads with dressing on the side and soup. Then share a main with a friend.
# 3 High-fiber snack bars
Of course fiber is your good friend when you’re on a diet because it fills you up. But what you don’t need is a walloping mega dose of fiber (about 25 grams) in a single snack bar. It will lead to bloating, constipation, excessive thirst and more. On a weight loss plan you should be consuming 25 gram of fiber spread through the day to stave off hunger and boost digestion.
Beat it: Ditch the snack bar and include natural fiber-rich produce like fruits or veggies with every snack and meal.
# 4 ‘Low-Fat’ foods
There are countless studies to suggest that people who eat ‘low fat’ foods tend to eat 30 percent more. And we all know portion control plays a BIG role in weight loss. Also, often when fat is removed from food other additives like sugar, salt and artificial flavors are added to make the food tastier, making it even worse for you.
Beat it: Eat the real thing in SMALL portions, like a tablespoon of chocolate cake or one tiny scoop of regular ice cream to satisfy your sweet tooth.
# 5 Fruit juice
Did you know that it takes six to eight oranges to give you a 200 ml glass of orange juice? Plus you get none of the benefits of the natural fruit fibers that would have filled you up had you eaten six oranges. Avoid juice like a plague: it’s just empty sugar calories.
Beat it: Eat a fruit. The only exception is juiced veggies with all the fiber intact.
# 6 Artificially sweetened soft drinks
Yes, we all know diet sodas have 0 calories but sometimes slurping on a diet drink actually enhances cravings. Plus you feel you’ve been so good that you deserve a treat, like a samosa or a cheesy sandwich. Besides, colas contain phosphoric acid that is linked to tooth decay with or without the sugar.
Beat it: Have a glass of sparkling water or soda with a spring of mint and twist of lemon. Carbonated water will fill you up and you’ll end up eating less.
# 7 Food sold in value-sized boxes
You think you’re getting a great deal but a study at Cornell University’s Food and Brand Lab showed that people tend to eat 22 percent more they eat from large or jumbo sized snack packages. That’s because when people know there’s more food available, they subconsciously let themselves eat more of it.
Beat it: Everyone loves a bargain and so buy a jumbo sized pack of cereal, chips or snacks by all means. Then portion it out into single serving zip lock bags and eat just one when you’re peckish.
# 8 Booze
For someone who loves a glass of wine or a beer, you know that each time you give in to temptation, the scale stays stuck. That’s because the liver has to first work at excreting liquor from the system before it can turn to digesting food. Plus drinking impairs your judgment and you end up reaching for the pizza even if you don’t want it.
Beat it: If you must drink, stick to a weekly glass of wine or beer till you reach your ideal weight. Also choose your drink with care; some cocktails like a vodka-soda tend to have fewer calories than say a glass of port.