By Amanda Wilks
Nowadays, more and more people are interested in living healthy and losing weight. This comes as a more than welcome counter-reaction to the obesity epidemic that the entire Western world fell into during the last decade. However, the food industry has made staying slim a lot harder by coming up with a lot of deceiving products. This poses a challenge on maintaining weight loss. Even after working so hard to lose weight, getting to maintain the healthy weight involves a number of sacrifices. Here is more on the 5 foods to avoid.
Everyone knows that fizzy drinks, junk food, and processed snacks are the unholy trinity when it comes to staying slim. But did you know that there are plenty others out there, and some of them we mistakenly consider to be healthy? Here are the five ones to avoid when trying to maintain a diet.
1. Veal and Pork
Although staying nourished means involving all the major food groups in your diet, veal and pork meat are something that you should steer clear of. Not only are they fattier and heavier, but they also raise cholesterol levels and can have negative effects on your heart health in the long run.
Other meats such as salmon or chicken are the perfect replacement to make any dish healthy. And if you’re looking for equally protein-packed vegetables, mushrooms are a great choice. And to top it all off, mushrooms last two weeks, so you don’t have to worry about them going bad as easily as meat does.
2. White Bread
Although white bread might seem innocent enough, it is actually highly refined and contains a lot of added sugars for taste. This makes it addictive, which means that you might find yourself consuming high quantities of it and gaining weight like there’s no tomorrow.
Medical research also backs this information up. According to a study conducted in Spain on a sample group of 9,267 people over the course of five years, eating two slices of white bread per day, or 120 grams, led to a 40% higher risk of weight gain and obesity among participants.
Fortunately, there are plenty of healthy alternatives on the market. By far the best one is Ezekiel bread, which doesn’t contain any added sugar, and is made with organic sprouted whole grains. It does contain gluten though, so if you’re intolerant you might want to look for other options.
3. Fruit Juice
Although freshly squeezed juice is seen as a staple for any healthy breakfast, this beverage actually makes you feel full slower than eating the actual fruit due to lack of pulp and other filling fibers. Studies show that it can be as sugary and high in calories as soda.
And green juices or smoothies are just as bad. Thus, it’s better to eat an orange than drink its juice, as is the case with any other fruit. Instead of having a couple of glasses of juice in the morning, try eating a fruit cup.
Green smoothies are also an alternative to consider, as long as you make sure not to add any extra sugar or creamy bases for flavor. It’s really easy to put more than what you need into such a drink, so be careful what ingredients you choose.
4. Flavored Yogurt
In an interview with Men’s Fitness, Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD, Registered Dietitian and founder of her own private nutrition counseling practice said that as little as six ounces of flavored yogurt ccontains30 grams of sugar. This is even more than what can be found in ice cream.
Thus, plain, full-fat Greek yogurt is the best alternative. And for an extra boost of flavor, add a tablespoon of honey or some fruit pieces yourself. In this way, you can get all the deliciousness of flavored yogurt with a lot less added sugar.
5. Diet Soda
Although the name would have you believe otherwise, diet soda doesn’t actually help you lose weight. Even though the sugar has been taken out of it, the beverage is still full of synthetic sweeteners, which are not only a calorie bomb, but they also increase cancer risk.
Furthermore, substitutes such as saccharine or sucralose affect your gut bacteria, which impedes digestion. This means that foods are processed differently, and your metabolism can change, which leads to weight gain.
When trying to stay slim, what you eat is the most important aspect of them all. Although exercising helps, at the end of the day a truly healthy diet is what keeps you going. And to achieve that, you need to know which foods to eat and which ones to avoid.
Veal and pork meat are off the table, as is white bread and diet soda. But deceivingly nutritious alternatives such as fruit juice, smoothies or flavored yogurt are unfortunately something to steer clear of as well. By knowing what to say no to, you will be able to keep your meals limited to truly nourishing ingredients only, which is the key to accomplishing any fitness goal.
Amanda Wilks is a passionate writer and cooking enthusiast. She believes that a healthy lifestyle is based on healthy eating before anything else. Amanda enjoys writing about nutrition facts and healthy eating habits, thus hoping to inspire others to make smart choices regarding their own diet.
If you’re interested in learning more about Amanda, follow her on Twitter.”