If you want to improve your health by changing your food choices, this blog post is for you! In this guide, you’ll learn about the top foods causing unnecessary weight gain and healthy alternatives. You’ll also find tips on staying aware of what’s happening in your body and avoiding poor food choices. Best of all, it’s a quick read.
Top foods that are causing unnecessary weight gain
1. Refined grains
Myths of the food world like ‘whole grains are good’ and ‘refined carbs are bad’ have been floating around for too long. One simple fact is that a processed grain contains no dietary fiber whatsoever and lacks many other essential nutrients! You can build a healthier diet by replacing white bread and cereals with whole grains (brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, whole-grain pasta) or without grains (vegetable-based proteins).
2. Processed meat
With its high saturated fat content, processed meat is detrimental to those trying to lose weight. Avoid bacon, sausages, and lunch meats and choose lean cuts of organic or free-range meat with the fat trimmed off. You can always use delivery services searching for such organic targeted delivery options. They are also now offering gluten-free meats as well.
Dairy is one of the most common food allergies! If you have symptoms such as bloating or gas after drinking milk, then dairy is something that you need to eliminate from your diet. Milk is also filled with unnecessary sugar (lactose), leading to extra weight gain over time. Lactose intolerance led to the development of lactose-free milk or coconut/almond milk for those who want to avoid dairy altogether!
4. Refined oils
Manufacturers use the extraction process or chemical solvents to remove the fats and make oils more stable to produce refined vegetable oils. This process is not recommended since it alters their chemical structure. You’re better off steering clear of processed vegetable oil (corn, cottonseed, canola, soybean) and opting for extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil instead.
5. Sodium chloride (common salt)
Salt is bad news! It’s a chemical that has been linked to high blood pressure and heart disease. If you’re consuming salt on your food, make sure it comes from healthy sources like sea vegetables or herbs (rosemary, garlic powder). Switching to sea salt is a step in the right direction for anyone trying to lose weight.
6. French fries
Fries are loaded with harmful fats, which can be detrimental to those trying to lose weight. Instead of adding fries to your plate next time you eat out at your favorite restaurant, go for the healthier options (steamed vegetables, brown rice, lean protein), or try making your fries at home. You can use mashed potatoes as a base and add spices like paprika and garlic powder for some flavor!
7. Refined sugar
We have so many sweet treats in this world that it’s time to pause and think before eating something high in calories and highly addictive. You’ll find that refined sugar is bad news for your body. It can cause weight gain and stimulate agitation or anxiety in your mind. Temptation can be hard to avoid since we’re surrounded by it daily, but if you’re trying to lose weight, eliminating all sources of refined sugar is the best thing you can do for your health and wellness!
8. White bread
Refinements on white bread are unnecessary. White bread has no nutritional value, and it comes with unnecessary artificial chemicals and preservatives. Just go for whole wheat bread or go sans bread altogether!
How to stay aware of what’s happening in your body
The most important aspect of maintaining a healthy weight is to be aware of what’s happening in your body. Your weight is not a reflection of your self-worth (or anyone else’s, for that matter). The main thing you need to check on is how you feel! Do you have healthy energy levels? Are you lazy and unable to get out of bed? Are you having difficulty sleeping or concentrating? These are just a couple of tips on staying mindful of how your body feels when it comes to weight loss. Make sure that if you’re trying to make changes, they’re coming from a place where you’re making them for yourself and no one else.
How to avoid making poor food choices
This section is super important to keep tabs on, especially if you’re on a diet. You want to eat only healthy foods and avoid anything that will sabotage your progress. Your body needs protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats. If you don’t have these three nutrients in your diet, you’ll start feeling less energetic.
Play detective! Here are some tips for noticing whether food choices are sabotaging your weight loss efforts:
- Pay attention to what you’re eating during the day (breakfast and lunch) vs. the evening before you sleep (snacks). If you’re constantly snacking on unhealthy foods after dinner, it’s time to reevaluate what you’re doing at night. If you tend to eat unhealthy snacks when watching TV before bed, try switching out the snacks (nuts instead of chips, veggies, and hummus instead of cookies) or just give yourself a curfew! Set the alarm on your phone so that when 8 pm hits, it’s time to power down the TV and get ready for bed.
- Try eating smaller meals vs. three square meals per day. If you’re not hungry, there’s no point in forcing yourself to eat. Instead, try eating 4-8 small meals to ensure that you’re getting a balanced amount of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats into your diet. This can also help you feel more satisfied with your food choices for any given meal!
- Pay attention when you’re hungry. When do you typically get hungry? It’s essential to understand your own body since each person is different and has different cravings for food at various times. Some people are usually hungry in the morning and need to eat their first meal; others are not ever hungry for food! If you’re not hungry at 10 am and feel like you need a snack before heading to work, your body is telling you that it needs fuel. If your stomach is still empty after eating a healthy breakfast at 10 am, then try eating something a little bit later in the day.
- Don’t skip meals. Many people skip breakfast or afternoon snacks, or lunches because they don’t have time in their busy schedules to eat these foods, but skipping meals can cause weight gain! Make sure that you’re getting nutrients into your body by regularly eating throughout the day.
We hope that this article has helped you understand the science behind weight loss and the things you need to keep track of to make healthy diet changes. Remember that weight loss is a process, and it can take time. Be patient with yourself, but also be hard on yourself positively!
If you want to understand various diets and how they work, we recommend looking into the Paleo diet (lots of protein and healthy fats), the Ketogenic diet (high fat, low carbs), or going Vegan. If you’re not looking for an extreme diet change, we try eating a balanced diet for any goal.