What food to avoid when trying to lose weight
As you have learned from our previous blog posts, you need to adopt healthier nutritional habits to lose weight. Moreover, you should strive to consume nutrient-dense foods, foods rich in nutrients, and not empty calories. Here we will direct your attention to few types of food to avoid when trying to lose weight.
To achieve your weight-loss target, it’s true that you need to be in a calorie deficit. That is the basic principle. However, it matters what food you consume daily. Thus, the quality of food is critical. To be in a healthy calorie deficit, nutrient-dense foods are the best option to help you achieve this goal.
The following paragraphs will describe food categories that are usually high in calories and low in essential nutrients, and our recommendation is best to avoid them.
Three categories of food to avoid when trying to lose weight
There are three categories of food and drinks to avoid when trying to lose weight, and those are:
- Sugary drinks.
- Sugary high-calorie snacks.
- Processed high-calorie food.
Your goal should always be a healthy weight loss (fat-loss) while preserving your muscle mass. By avoiding these foods and drinks, you will be on the right path to achieving that.
Now let’s deconstruct each category in detail.
Sugary drinks are one of the many reasons why people gain weight. Those beverages are usually high in calories and low in real nutrients.
Sugary drinks include soda and other carbonated soft drinks, sports drinks, energy drinks, fruit-flavoured or powdered drinks, vitamin-enhanced drinks, and sweetened tea and coffee drinks. If you want to lose weight, it’s best to avoid them.
When talking about soda, 330 ml can on Coca-Cola has about 140 calories. Similar soda drinks like Fanta, Sprite, etc., have in the range of 150-170 calories per can.
Energy drinks are slightly worse in terms of calories. A famous Monster drink can has about 200 calories. Redbull has 170, and Burn energy drink has 160 calories in its can 250 ml size.
The national health public health agency, CDC or Centres of Disease Control and Prevention, confirmed that,
Frequently drinking sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with weight gain/obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, kidney diseases, non-alcoholic liver disease, tooth decay and cavities, and gout, a type of arthritis.
The bottom line is, if you want to lose weight, these sugary drinks will just add fuel to the fire. They will bring nothing more than empty high-calories with high-sugar content that can lead to many unwanted diseases.
Sugary high-calorie snacks
Sugary high-calorie snacks like all kinds of chocolate bars, doughnuts, cereal bars, cookies, cakes should be avoided at all costs when you are trying to lose weight.
These types of foods are lacking in essential nutrients and are high in calories. Remember the weight-loss principle: To lose weight, you need to reach a calorie deficit. By eating sugary snacks, you will struggle to achieve a calorie deficit with other energy needs that your body will need.
Furthermore, if you need energy, sugary high-calorie snacks will give you a short spike, but the long-term consequences will be obvious (weight gain).
If you tend to have cravings for certain high-calorie sugary snacks, replace that habit with a healthier option like apple or orange. It will be hard initially, but if you keep at it, you will eventually lose your cravings.
Our brain and not our body drive sugar cravings. We experience cravings because our brain seeks dopamine, a reward hit which sugary snacks provide in abundance.
Here is our recommendation for people who need a gradual transition:
- The first step is: Cut back on sugary high-calorie snacks.
- The second step is: Remove all high-calorie sugary snacks from your daily nutrition.
- As a snack, pick up an apple, banana or some other fruit you like.
Processed high-calorie foods
Processed high-calorie foods can be sugary drinks and snacks we already mentioned. However, we will focus on different types of processed foods: potato chips, French fries, frozen pizza, burgers, processed meats (like bacon, sausage), and ready meals that you put in the microwave.
Highly processed foods are processed or prepared foods and drinks that add excess sodium, sugars or saturated fat to their composition. In other words, highly- processed food is any food that has been altered in some way during preparation.
Eating too much sodium, sugars or saturated fat can increase your risk of chronic disease and make your weight-loss pursuits almost impossible.
Let’s take, for example, potato chips. A serving of 28.4 grams of potato chips contains 152 calories ( 10g of fat, 15g of carbs, 2g of protein) and no essential nutrients. This is a perfect example of a non-nutrient-dense food. In the same way is with French fries, in 100g of French fries, there are 312 calories, 15g of total fat, and 210mg of sodium.
Frozen pizza is a popular choice for many young people. This type of food is usually highly processed and contain artificial preservatives, added sugar and unhealthy fats. Here is an astounding fact. The 1/4 piece of an average pizza has in the range of 300-380 calories. Pizza made in fast food chains like Dominos contains even more calories per slice. Hence, avoiding pizza of any sorts is a wise choice when trying to lose weight.
What about bacon and sausages? Even though one slice (8 grams) of cooked bacon contains about 45 calories, high cholesterol and high sodium presence make bacon not a good choice for weight loss. Interestingly, about 68% of the calories from bacon come from fat, and nearly half of those are from saturated fat.
Sausages have more calories than bacon per link and are high in saturated fat and sodium.
To successfully lose weight, the truth is, you need to be disciplined. You need to be disciplined regarding what you eat and how much you eat. Expression, Everything in moderation is not suitable here. Remember, everything affects everything, so you need to cut out certain food altogether and start consuming more nutrient-dense foods.
The people who lose weight are disciplined and determined. They realise that to lose weight, they need to treat their bodies like a temple and consume only what will be good for them in the long term.
Try cutting out mentioned food entirely out of your daily nutrition. If you do that, you will have the best chance to lose weight, feel more energetic and be happier as a result.
Until next time,
Damir Pervan, Founder and CEO of TrainChampion | Online weight-loss platform