Saturday, April 10, 2010

Foods to Avoid when Trying to Lose Weight

Losing weight involves both dieting and exercising. The exercising part, though dreaded by many, is not so bad after you stick with it for a week or two. After a while, it becomes a welcomed break from your daily stresses. Though some might find it surprising, it’s actually the dieting bit that ends up proving more difficult for most people. There are so many bad foods that we are so used to eating already that they’ve become a kind of addiction. Eliminating requires discipline and will. Here are some foods that you must cut back on if you want your exercise regiment to have any effect.

1. Soda
This is a pretty obvious one. Soda is nothing but calories with absolutely no nutritional value. They also lead to tooth decay.

2. The Snack Aisle
Avoid fried potato chips and, in general, anything you’ll find in the snacks aisle at your local grocery store. Eating a baked potato during lunch once or twice a month can be healthy, but fired potatoes and fried snacks of any kind contain large amounts of fat, salt and unhealthy oils. Furthermore, it’s easy to overeat when it comes to chips. The serving size of many snacks is really small, but people tend to have a lot more than one serving size; because chips are small and not individually filling, it can be hard to notice.

3. Coffee
Coffee increases stress, causing the release of the fat inducing cortisol hormone. Most of this fat goes to your belly, the part of your body containing the largest amount of cortisol receptors. This is the same reason why smoking cigarettes is bad for your metabolism. In many people, coffee also increases appetite, leading to overeating. Instead of coffee, try switching to tea. It has caffeine as well, but none of the negative weight gaining effects.

4. Alcohol
Alcohol contains a large amount of concentrated, refined sugar, even if it doesn’t taste like it. It also contains a ton of calories (about 7 per gram). Drinking alcohol, especially in excessive amounts, is dehydrating and can lead to overeating.

5. White Bread
Highly refined carbohydrates, such as found in white bread, are treated like sugar by the body. By the time white bread gets to your table, most of its nutrients have been bleached out. All the processing and preservatives are terrible for your body and the high carbohydrates are bad for your weight.

6. Starchy Vegetables
Eating too many starchy vegetables is bad for weight loss. This is because your body treats them like sugar, causing a rise in blood level and making it harder on your metabolism to process them, and thus for you to lose weight. Starchy vegetables include, potatoes, yams, pumpkins and squash.

7. Fruit Juice
Most fruit juices contain mostly fructose corn syrup and very little actual juice. Avoid them and make fruit juice at home instead, from real fruit.

8. Baked Sweets/Pastries
Cakes, cookies and any kind of processed candy bar is definitely something you’ll want to stay away from if you’re trying to lose weight. Baked pastries are made with tons of flour, butter and milk, all of which contain a lot of fat and cholesterol.

9. Red Meat
While red meats have a lot of nutrients, like iron and zinc, which are essential to your health, they give them to you at a high price. Red meat, especially when grilled and slathered in sauce, contains lots of calories and fats. Try to have red meat only once every few weeks, and switch to fish and poultry instead.

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