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A diet is quite simply a way of managing your daily food and nutritional intake, usually to improve your overall health, lose weight and maintain other various key aspects of how your body functions.
There are so many different diet plans you can follow it can become confusing and complicated to decide which one is really best for you, and which ones actually work.
We all know at least one person that follows a super strict regime to maintain their ideal weight and glowing appearance, but luckily, you don’t have to try and survive by eating carrots from plastic Tupperware boxes in order to lose a few pounds.
Simply avoiding certain foods can be a great way to get you started with your diet, and improve your overall health. Here are 10 foods that we recommend you abstain from eating if you’re trying to lose weight:
1. White Bread
Whilst you may enjoy a tasty golden toasted slice of white in the morning with your breakfast, white bread contains simple carbohydrates in the form of sugars, as well as high amounts of refined added sugar which you really need to avoid when you’re dieting.
You want to opt for foods that contain complex carbohydrates such as whole-wheat or seven-grain bread as carbohydrates still play a very important role in any healthy diet.
2. Sugary Drinks
You need to avoid cold beverages such as Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Dr Pepper, Mountain Dew and other similar brands.
A 12-ounce can of regular Coke contains 39 grams of total sugar, which is about 9 1/3 teaspoons of sugar. That is a seriously unhealthy amount of sugar to digest. Not only will this be processed extremely quickly and turned into fat, but, you’ll also face a sugar crash during the day.
Sugary drinks can easily be considered one of the unhealthiest foods you can consume and don’t think you can get away with the sugar-free version, these are just as bad.
Sugar-free drinks are loaded with artificial sweeteners which trick your body into thinking you’ve just consumed sugar. This, in turn, prepares your body to digest said sugar and either store it or use it to expend energy, however, when your system realizes the sugar is nowhere to be found, it can potentially convince you to drink more or have you craving a candy bar.
3. Fruit Juice
This may come as a shock to your system but most fruit juice should be completely avoided when dieting. Whilst fruit juices are high in vitamins and naturally occurring sugars, they’ve had the fiber removed, which means your body will process the sugar very quickly and turn it into fat.
You’ll generally find that most of these drinks will also be pumped full of additional sugar, which again, will be turned into fat.
Stick to fresh smoothies or even better, fruit!
Pizza is a triple threat to any diet.
This tasty Italian dish is unfortunately seriously bad for you, especially if you’re trying to lose weight.
Firstly, the base itself contains processed white bread with high amounts of refined sugar added to enhance the taste, and even high fructose corn syrup in some brands.
Secondly, an average slice of pizza will contain approximately 10 grams of fat just in the cheese alone. That means eating a full pizza could add up to a staggering 78 grams of fat in one meal which is close to double the recommended daily intake.
Finally, most pizza will be topped with processed meat which is high in fat and usually doesn’t contain much in the way of protein.
Most brands of alcohol contain sugar and a good amount of calories so avoiding this drink is key to staying on track with any diet.
A typical beer will average 10-15 grams of sugar and between 170 – 400 calories so even one or two will see you exceeding your daily intake of calories on top of anything else you consume.
Wine is also one to avoid, with a typical glass containing 228 calories, equivalent to a 44-gram chocolate bar.
Spirits such as vodka, contain almost 0g of sugar, however, when mixed with other drinks such as juice or cola, the sugar content will skyrocket.
6. Potato Chips
Whilst whole potatoes are healthy and filling with plenty of fiber, Potato Chips are super high in fat, contain sugar and usually artificial flavorings which will trick your body into thinking you’ve had a decent meal.
The truth is, these fried friends will fill you up for about 20 minutes before your body starts to tell you to eat again, and most of the nutrition has been removed from the original source.
7. Breakfast Cereal
For years, you’ve probably been told to make sure you eat a bowl of cereal every morning to help you start the day and give you an energy boost. Well, there is some truth to this myth but you need to be very careful when you decide which brand of cereal to eat.
Many brands will claim to be super healthy for you, boasting high fiber content, whole wheat and even high in protein.
Most of these brands fail to tell you they are also very high in sugar content. They add sugar to improve the taste and leave you craving more which can, in turn, trigger your brain into demanding more sugary snacks throughout the day.
look for cereals that contain low amounts of sugar and artificial sweeteners.
Many dairy products are relatively high in saturated fat and contain some trans fats as well.
The main dairy products you need to avoid are cheese and full-fat milk, it’s a good idea to opt for a dairy-free alternative such as oat milk, almond milk or soy milk, however, even these products can sometimes contain added sugar to enhance the flavor so always check first before you buy.
Yogurt, on the other hand, can give you some of the benefits of dairy without the downsides, but, you still need to avoid full-fat dairy yogurt as this can be just as bad as cheese or full-fat milk.
9. Processed Meat
There have been many recent studies that suggest you should avoid consuming processed meat altogether, whether you are dieting or not. One study actually linked long-term consumption of processed meat to weight gain so this is a big one to avoid with any diet.
This food is often found to be very high in calories and fat with little to no nutritional value to offer the consumer at all. It can also lead to other health problems such as high blood pressure, cancer, and heart disease.
Processed meats include items such as sausages, hot dogs, bacon, canned meat, salami, ham, and burgers. These products also contain additional ingredients that you need to be avoiding such as chemical preservatives, again, they offer no nutritional value to the consumer.
Processed meats will also trick your body into thinking you’ve had a large meal full of protein and nutrients, however, your body will quickly realize this is not the case and will send hunger signals to the stomach and brain telling you to eat again.
10. Fast Food
This is the ultimate food to avoid when you diet, and in general.
Fast food used to be the number one go-to option for a quick, tasty, filling snack, but not anymore. If you really want your diet to work, you need to stay away from pretty much every type of fast food you can think of.
These meals contain several items already mentioned in this article, including burgers, processed meat, sugary drinks, white bread and potato chips, but this time, in the form of the French fry.
All of these items are going to be high in saturated fat, trans fats, salt and offer very little in the way of nutritional value. Some fast food options can contain over half of your daily calorie intake, double your fat intake and 3-4 times your daily sodium intake, all in one meal.
Although some companies have started to offer a variety of healthier options, it’s still a good idea to stay away. Even the salads can be covered in dressings that contain fat and refined sugar.
While this is only a small list of foods that you really should be avoiding when you diet, there are some key points that we can highlight in order for you to easily figure out if the food you’re about to consume is good or bad for your diet.
Stay away from processed foods in general as these tend to contain refined sugars and fats with little nutritional value. Try and eat as many food items that are in their natural form, instead of drinking a fruit juice, eat some real fruit as it contains the fiber your body needs to process the natural sugars.
Fast food and frozen food will generally contain high amounts of fat, sugar and other chemical preservatives that serve to only enhance the flavor and taste of the product, not deliver nutrition, protein or fiber.
Finally, avoid consuming foods that are high in fat and foods with added sugar.