Top 5 Foods to Avoid for Weight Loss

Weight loss is one of the largest challenges that we face on a daily basis. Whether you’re trying to lose some weight for your friend's wedding, or you simply want to take off a couple of pounds, making the lifestyle changes needed to lose weight is something we all struggle with.

 Losing weight is not as simple as eating less. Chances are if you’ve been eating unhealthy food for the past couple years, your body has adapted to poor sources of calories. Simply switching your intake to cleaner, whole foods may make a big difference.

 The difficulty is: how do you determine which foods are best for weight loss? How do you know what's going to work best for you from day one?

 Here are some of the most effective ways to ensure you are losing weight and keeping it off.

 Emphasize Balance in Your Diet

One of the biggest mistakes that many people make when they start a new diet program is to remove a specific food from their diet. Whether you try a high-fat diet and remove most of your carbs or try a high-carb diet and limit your intake of fat ‒ both can be harmful to your health and weight loss.

 Although these methods may work in the short-term, helping you lose some weight in a couple of weeks, as the months progress you may see a plateau. For this reason, it is always best to emphasize a balance of all food groups.

 Consistent weight loss will come when you create a caloric deficit - that is, taking in less calories than you burn off.

 After you’ve found balance in your diet, consider keeping a few, more harmful foods out of your diet whenever possible. Check out these top 5 foods to avoid for weight loss.

 5 Foods to Avoid:

 1. Fatty meats. We all love bacon and ribs ‒ but to a certain extent, these foods come with a high caloric value and a low nutritional yield.

     Limiting your intake of fatty meats like beef and pork and substituting fish, turkey, beans, and other lean meats can help to lower your intake of saturated fats and total calories.

  2. Processed sweets. Halloween is the only exception to this rule. Processed sweets like candy, donuts, muffins, and cakes all contain high amounts of calories with low nutritional value.

     They are also loaded with trans fats, perhaps the worst fat you can consume for overall health.

  3. Processed grains. Humans have developed over thousands of years to eat whole grains, yet the past generation of food processing has stripped grains of nutrition and can lead to weight gain.

     Limiting your intake of foods such as white bread, flour tortillas, ready-made cereals, and other processed grains can lead to stronger overall health, faster weight loss, and better digestion.

  4. Whole creams. Many people enjoy a nice cappuccino, but the extra amount of high-fat dairy is detrimental for your daily calorie needs.

     Limiting your consumption of high-fat dairy products like ice cream, whole milk, and full-fat yogurt could be a step in the right direction if you are looking for long-term weight loss.

  5. Fruit juices. Eating whole fruit will never be an issue, yet fruit juices are loaded with added sugar and preservatives that have no place in your daily calories.

     The added sugar can cause inflammation which leads to weight gain, and the extra calories are not needed. For best results, try making your own fruit juice smoothies. You’ll likely find no need for the added sugars.

 Emphasize Moderation

 These food recommendations are foods that are generally quite high in calories. At the end of the day, your weight loss will come down to the total amount of calories you consume and your ability to maintain a calorie deficit throughout the weeks.

Do your best to emphasize moderation in your food. Simply put, all food is good when it is consumed at the right time and the right amount.

Slashing Calories on the Sly: 15 Weight Loss Tricks That Require Little Effort

Slashing Calories on the Sly: 15 Weight Loss Tricks That Require Little Effort

When you’re trying to lose weight, the last thing you want to think about are all the delicious foods you’re trying to cut back on. Give yourself a break with calorie-slashing tricks that require little thought or effort.

 Change the Way You Eat and Drink

1.      Spread out your daily protein. Foods high in protein curb your appetite better than fats or carbohydrates. That way you’ll feel satisfied on fewer calories. Eat yogurt at breakfast and fish at lunch rather than saving all your protein for dinner.

2.      Drink more water. Fill up on water so there’s little room left for cheesecake. Have a glass before every meal and snack. Put a pitcher on the table for easy refills.

3.      Eat more fiber. Fiber is good for your heart and waistline. All that chewing makes you feel like you’ve had enough. Good choices include apples, beans, and broccoli.

4.      Start with soup. Serve soup for your first course. It forces you to eat slowly. Choose a clear broth or slim down creamy recipes by substituting low-fat milk for cream.

5.      Use smaller plates. Tiny dishes make the contents look more abundant. Buy a pretty set of dessert plates that will make the most of a skinny slice of pie.

6.      Put your fork down. Set your silverware down between bites. It’s one of the easiest ways to pace yourself and give your brain time to realize that it’s full.

7.      Limit the side dishes. One look at a buffet line proves that variety leads to overeating. Plan your menus around one main course and a salad.

8.      Eat before shopping. It’s easier to bypass the cookies right after you’ve had a bowl of minestrone with some whole wheat bread. Bring home more produce and fish.

9.      Clear out your pantry. What about the junk food that’s already on hand? Drop it off in your office or church kitchen for others to enjoy. If you decide to hold onto your corn chips, store them out of sight so they’re less convenient to get to.

10.  Choose healthier restaurants. Dining out can be challenging. Skip the fast food places and try a new Indian restaurant that serves lots of low calorie vegetable dishes.

Other Lifestyle Changes

1.      Take a walk. Aerobic exercise tends to suppress appetite temporarily. Hit the treadmill or stroll around the neighborhood after dinner instead of taking a second helping of potatoes.

2.      Dine alone. Studies show we eat more when we sit down with others. Instead of your usual Sunday brunch, you may want to eat a healthy breakfast and then go bicycling with friends.

3.      Make new friends. Socializing can also be a positive influence. Keep your old buddies, but reach out to that coworker who loves yoga and green salads. You may pick up her habits if you spend more time together.

4.      Get a good night’s sleep. Lots of people give their bodies more food when better sleep is what they really need. Go to bed an hour earlier on work nights. Keep your bedroom dark and quiet so you’ll sleep more soundly.

5.      Indulge in calorie-free pleasures. Overeating is often closely tied to our emotions. Reward yourself with a new book rather than a candy bar. When you’ve had a rough day at work, walk right past the pizza parlor and call a friend to talk things over.

Making small changes in your diet and lifestyle can add up to big declines in your weight. Best of all, these tips are so easy to use that you’ll be able to stick to them and keep the extra pounds from ever coming back.

The Weight Loss Solution for Women Who Love Spicy Foods

Maybe you want to lose weight, but you’re turned off by bland fare like cottage cheese and rice cakes. Women who love spicy foods can still eat healthy. Have your chili and eat it too by trying these suggestions for managing your food choices and adopting other beneficial lifestyle habits.

Healthy Eating for Women Who Love Spicy Foods

1.      Practice portion control. Your love for fiery dishes can work to your advantage when you’re trying to cut calories. Flavorful foods tend to satisfy you quicker. A few bites of tangy cheese may be all you want. Hot salsa may help you stop snacking after just a handful of chips.

2.      Order Asian food. Asian menus are usually full of highly seasoned options. Use chopsticks to slow you down. Order brown rice instead of white, and avoid the deep fried beef.

3.      Eat Mexican. Maybe fajitas are your idea of a good time. Other relatively light choices include grilled chicken or fish, as well as black beans. Double check your salad for high calorie additions like tortilla chips.

4.      Feast on Italian. Pepperoni pizza packs on pounds, but you can slim down your slice by making it at home with whole wheat crusts and more vegetables. Soups and half portions of hollow pasta will also help you stick to your diet.

5.      Cool off. Does your tongue feel like it’s burning? There’s a good reason why many spicy entrees come with ingredients like cilantro, lime, or coconut milk to balance the heat. You can also soothe your mouth quickly with a glass of milk or something with a rough texture like rice.

6.      Avoid heartburn. Experts now believe that spicy foods are unlikely to cause ulcers or heartburn, but they can aggravate existing conditions. For relief, eat smaller and more frequent meals, and avoid lying down for at least 3 hours after your last meal.

7.      Chew gum. Another easy way to fight heartburn is to chew gum. Plus, it stimulates saliva so it will help protect your teeth from sticky sauces that accompany some spicy food.

8.      Benefit from capsaicin. Studies show that many spices are good for your body. Some of the  most promising results have been tied to capsaicin, a compound found in hot peppers. It has been associated with reducing inflammation, lowering blood pressure, and even fighting certain cancers.

Healthy Lifestyle Habits to Adopt

1.      Thrive on variety. Fans of spicy food often crave novelty and change in many aspects of their lives. Find excitement in travel and hobbies instead of relying on food for your entertainment.

2.      Address your feelings. Some scientists speculate that a fondness for morsels that burn your mouth could be tied to the pain-relieving hormones they trigger. Keeping a journal can help you spot whether you’re using food to cope with difficult events in your life.

3.      Manage risks. While a sense of adventure enriches your experiences, it’s good to practice moderation. Stay safe while you sample the latest trends in ethnic cuisine or make new friends online.

4.      Quit smoking. It’s natural for our taste buds to lose some sensitivity as we age, but you can keep them sharper by giving up tobacco. That way you can savor your food for as long as possible.

5.      Work out. Of course, exercise is essential for weight loss whether you love jalapenos or brownies. Aim to work out at least 3 times a week for about an hour each session.

Spice up your life while you manage your weight. You can eat the hot foods you love as long as you practice portion control, satisfy your need for excitement, and engage in regular exercise.

Stop Sabotaging Your Weight Loss Fact Sheet

Sabotage: You deprive yourself of enjoyable foods, then give in and overeat them. 
Antidote: The issue of ‘forbidden fruit’ applies here. Stop labeling foods as good or bad. Eat food you enjoy in small quantities. Otherwise, you will crave the foods you deprive yourself of and binge on them later.

Sabotage: You give in and eat the high-fat foods that your family eats.
 Clean up the diet of the whole family by decreasing the fat in the foods everyone likes.  Another tip: Put leftovers in the fridge or freezer before you eat to prevent second helpings. 

You skip breakfast.
 Develop some fast and easy breakfast meals. Protein bars or shakes may be a good substitute, but skipping breakfast is a set up for overeating later in the day or eating unhealthy, fast foods for a pick-me-up.

Sabotage: You give in at parties and restaurants.
Antidote: Share an entrée and dessert with your partner, or order a salad for starters and have a cappuccino for your third course. Opt for meals cooked using low-fat methods such as grilling or stir-frying. 

Sabotage: You weigh yourself several times a day.
Antidote: Limit weighing yourself to once a week at the same time of day. Weight fluctuates by several pounds some days. Pay attention to how your clothes fit and use a tape measure to monitor inches lost.

Sabotage: You eat while working, reading the newspaper or watching television.
Antidote:  Eating on the run lessens your satisfaction with food. Make a commitment to doing nothing else while eating. Focus on your food and savor the moment.

Sabotage: You get frustrated when you don't lose weight, and give up.
Antidote: Make ‘slow and steady’ your diet mantra. One to two pounds per week is recommended for long-term weight loss.