If you want to lose excess weight, it is important to be mindful of your dietary habits. Even regular physical activity can be offset when you continue eating unhealthy foods. You need to be scrupulous about the products you choose. Even if the grocery store touts their low-fat or natural ingredients products, they can interfere with your weight loss journey. That’s why, if you want to lose weight or improve your dietary habits, you should look beyond the label.
You shouldn’t rely on the products labeled like “organic”, “gluten-free”, “natural”, or “fiber-rich”. They aren’t always a good choice for people who struggle with excess weight or bad dietary habits. Being aware of these “healthy” foods can support you on the way to your healthy lifestyle.
Below are 10 foods that are better to avoid or enjoy in moderation if you are trying to lose weight.
1. Low-fat dairy products
It might seem like low-fat or fat-free dairy products are a healthier option for your weight loss goals. However, missing fat is often compensated with higher amounts of added sugar. For this reason, low-fat or fat-free dairy products often have more calories than plain full-fat yogurts. For this reason, it isn’t recommended to consume fat-free dairy products, especially after bariatric surgery.
2. Energy bars
Energy bars are often spotlighted as a healthy post-workout snack that can give you a boost of protein and energy. However, these bars are often loaded with huge amounts of fat, added sugars, and calories. Of course, because of the high sugar content, energy bars can give you a burst of energy. But it will be a short-term burst that can leave you feeling even more tired and hungry in the long run.
3. Salad dressing
Salads made of leafy greens and crunchy fresh vegetables are often a healthy choice. Salad is a great source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support you on your way to a healthy lifestyle. But adding bottled dressings to your salad can counteract all of the health benefits of this meal.
Popular bottled salad dressings are often loaded with ingredients like sugar, salt, artificial flavors, colors, and preservatives. It is better to avoid these ingredients if you are trying to lose weight.
4. Nuts and nut butter
Nut butter and nuts are good for you but in moderation. If you often snack on nuts, be sure to control the size of the portion. As for the nut butter, read the label on the package carefully. Nut butter often contains a lot of added sugars, preservatives, and other ingredients that are incomparable with a healthy lifestyle and interfere with weight loss.
5. Coconut oil
For a long time, coconut oil has been touted as a healthier alternative to vegetable oils. It is recommended for everything from baking sweets to applying it to your body after a shower. However, coconut oil contains as much as 50% more saturated fat than butter and other oils. Consuming a lot of coconut oil can increase the levels of bad cholesterol in your body.
A small blueberry muffin may sound innocent. What can happen to your weight and diet from just one muffin? But ordering a muffin from the bakery, you can get a high-calorie sugar bomb with very little fiber. If you want some baked goods, you can prepare them at home. There are a lot of low-calories and nutrient-rich muffin recipes on the internet.
Granola is filling and fibrous, making it a great breakfast and snack. But not all granola is suitable for your weight loss goals. Some granola is packed with sugars, fats, and empty calories. When buying granola, be sure to check the label and buy one that won’t become a source of added sugar.
People often think that smoothies are great for healthy eating and weight loss. In fact, they may become another obstacle on your way to ideal weight. Smoothies bought in grocery stores and cafes are often loaded with sugars and sweeteners. Even your homemade smoothie can be high in calories if you add too much milk and different sweeteners.
9. Diet soda
One of the biggest misconceptions is that you can consume diet soda instead of a regular one thinking it’s better for your weight loss goals. But consuming diet soda can actually lead to increased belly fat.
10. White rice
If you are on your way to weight loss, it is recommended to swap white rice for a brown. White rice is bran and embryo removed. This means that white rice is stripped of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Besides, white rice has a higher glycemic index, meaning it can increase your blood sugar levels more than brown rice. Blood sugar spikes can potentially increase your craving for unhealthy and sugary foods.