Losing weight is not easy, but growing awareness of the health impacts of excess body weight is leading more people to make the effort to lose the extra pounds.
People who are overweight or obese are more likely to develop health problems like heart disease, strokes, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, depression, and cancer. Fortunately, losing weight can reduce your risk of developing some of these problems.
Regular exercise and a healthy diet can go a long way toward reaching your weight loss target. However, people often make mistakes in planning their diet.
Just like there are certain foods that help you lose weight, there are certain foods that have the opposite effect.
When you consume these foods more often than you should, you end up messing with your weight-loss target.
Here are the top 10 foods you should never eat if you want to lose weight.
1. Sugary Cereals
Regularly eating a healthy breakfast may help in your weight loss efforts by reducing your hunger later in the day. When you skip breakfast, you are tempted to reach for unhealthy snacks.
However, if you start your day with a bowl of sugary cereal, it will not help.
These cereals are loaded with sugar that the body converts to fat. Moreover, the refined carbohydrates are among the most fattening ingredients in existence.
To make things worse, starting your day with sugary cereals will cause your blood sugar and insulin levels to spike. This will increase your appetite and cravings for unhealthy sweet and fatty foods.
When buying breakfast cereals, check the label carefully and avoid those that include sugar or highly refined grains.
Choosing a cereal higher in dietary fiber can be helpful for weight management.
2. Potato Chips and French Fries
Potato chips and french fries are markers for junk food diets and if you love munching on them, you can forget about weight loss.
These fried forms of potatoes are high in calories and fat, making them the worst choice for your weight loss diet. Plus, fried potatoes cause a rapid increase in blood sugar and insulin levels, causing a negative impact on appetite and weight.
Plus, when carbohydrate-rich foods like potatoes are fried at high temperatures, they produce acrylamide. This substance is a known risk factor for cancer.
A 2011 Harvard study on of 120,000 healthy, non-obese participants found that when it comes to unhealthy weight gain, potato chips as well as regular potatoes are the biggest offenders.
The study found that each 1 ounce daily serving of potato chips consisting of about 15 chips contributed to almost 1.69 pounds of weight gain over a period of 4 years.
If you like potatoes, plain boiled potatoes are very satiating and a healthy option for you to try.
Other deep-fried foods like onion rings, fried chicken and breaded cutlets are also unhealthy and work against your effort to lose weight.
3. Diet Soda
If you think switching to diet soda from regular soda is helping you lose weight, you need to think again.
The artificial sweeteners in diet sodas can stimulate your appetite, leading you to eat more junk foods.
In fact, a 2015 study published in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society reports that people who drank diet soda gained about triple the abdominal fat over nine years than those who did not.
Though counterintuitive, like sugar, sugar substitutes such as aspartame, sucralose, and saccharin also increase the risk of excessive weight gain, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, according to a study conducted by researchers at Purdue University.
To quench your thirst, nothing is better than plain water or water with lemon. You can even try sparkling water, a calorie-free but carbonated drink. Just avoid those that are flavored with sweeteners, even artificial sweeteners.
Processed meat, such as bacon, is something you should avoid completely or eat strictlyin moderation if you wish to lose weight.
Bacon is rich in saturated fat as well as sodium, nitrate and nitrite content. Excess saturated fat is not good for your weight. Plus, the excess salt in it can lead to water retention and bloating.
A 2011 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that weight gain is most strongly associated with the intake of processed meats, along with potato chips, potatoes, sugar-sweetened beverages and unprocessed red meats.
Eat bacon in moderation, and grill or roast it rather than frying, to keep control of your weight.
5. Commercial Salad Dressings
Salads are part of nearly everyone’s weight loss diet.
Vegetables and fruits are very healthy, being loaded with nutrients, antioxidants, soluble fiber, low calories and various other nutrients that are good for health and weight loss.
But this healthy food turns out to be one of the worst for weight loss when you use commercial salad dressings to improve the bland taste.
Salad dressings are often loaded with a lot of fat and calories, due to ingredients like high-fat mayonnaise, soybean oil and high fructose corn syrup.
To improve the taste of your salad, put a little extra-virgin olive oil or vinegar over it. You can also use herbs to turn a salad into a great meal.
Also, don’t order a salad at a restaurant. Many of them are loaded with salad dressings as well as candied nuts and raisins, which can be a major cause of weight gain. Make your own salad at home with organic fruits and vegetables.
6. Oil Popped Popcorn
Popcorn is a tasty and healthy snack. Its complex carbohydrates give you energy and stamina and its high fiber content fills you up. Plus, it has a rich antioxidant content.
But, the commercial oil-popped popcorn you enjoy at the movie theater is not at all a healthy choice, especially when you are striving to lose weight. It is laden with calories, fat and sodium.
Enjoy homemade air-popped popcorn and flavored with a variety of herbs.