Foods that you’re eating that you shouldn’t when trying to lose weight

When you’re trying to lose weight, it might get really hard to keep track of what foods are good for you, what are essential and what are wasteful empty calories that are half the satisfaction and 4 times the calories! Here’s a handy guide to avoid the foods that you’re eating that you don’t need.

1. Snack bars

Snack bars are basically high calorie foods disguised as healthy alternatives. The fact is that it’s tough to spot the ones that are actually healthy versus the ones that are loaded with sugar or unnecessary fibre. While fibre is necessary for feeling full and regulating your digestive system, what’s not is getting all 25 g of the recommended daily intake from one small bar. They’re easy to carry, stay dry and are great travel snacks. But snacking with caution is extremely important. Here’s a simple tip – read the labels. More the ingredient list things unpronounceable, the farther away you should be running from it.

2. Carbonated drinks/juice

Aerated drinks which contain carbonated water are shockingly high on sugar content. People don’t often realize just how much. A can of Coca Cola can have up to 35 g of sugar! So, still don’t resort to juices. While you may be thinking of the freshly squeezed orange juice as a safe bet, it’s actually all the sugar and calories sans the fibre that fills you up. That makes it empty calories. The other thing? Fructose, the fruit sugar component tricks your body into gaining weight by thwarting its ability to realize it’s full. Beware!

3. Zero calorie foods

The misguided belief is that zero calorie drinks are perfectly ok. Uh, no. What happens is that these drinks are often sweetened by a chemical called aspartame which mysteriously increases cravings in many people. So if having a diet soda leads to a tub of Baskin-Robbins, you’re certainly not gaining anything but empty calories. So, goodbye diet drinks!

4. Low fat foods

When one knows something is fat-free or low fat, automatically they tend to consume 30% more than they would otherwise. There’s research to back this up. The reason is that removing the “fat” from the food results in some compromise in flavour which in turn leads to people overeating to compensate. Honestly, what’s the point?

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5. Frozen meals/Ready to eat foods/ Instant noodles

Frozen meals, ready-to-eat mixes, instant noodles, all hit the roof in sodium content. Sodium or salt is used as preservatives to keep your food fresh, no matter how long. This in turn makes you retain water, feel bloated and unnaturally full. Also, frozen meals are designed to make you feel full even from a measly portion size with less than the half the satisfaction. As for instant noodles, they are high in sodium, very low in fibre and have the dubious reputation of having mixed wax to retain their form. You’d much rather avoid it.

6. Booze

Losing weight? Bye bye booze. Nearly nothing feels as good as alcohol while piling on the empty calories, making you hamper your judgement on what you ingest at the same time. Besides, when alcohol is present in your system, it’s considered a toxin by your liver and becomes your body’s no 1 priority to address. Add to that that your need for spicy, tangy, calorie high foods like pizza also becomes omnipresent with alcohol. If you’re serious about weight loss, alcohol, even occasionally is a strict no-no.

7. Cereal

While cereal can be a great breakfast option to provide you essential nutrients with a healthy twist, choosing which cereal can determine everything. Frosted flakes, honey loops and the variety targeted at kids is very high in sugar which negates any good effects from it. Choosing muesli or oats or granola is a healthy choice.

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