Conventional weight loss wisdom dictates that the fewer calories you consume, the more weight you lose. But not all calories are created equal. The truth is, it’s not just how much you eat that impacts your weight loss, it’s also the kinds of foods you’re eating.
Processed foods that are high in sugar, salt, and fat generally have little nutritional value and actually encourage overeating. Weight loss friendly foods, on the other hand, are rich in nutrients, including healthy fibers to keep you feeling full for a long time.
To help separate the good calories from the not-so-good ones, here are 10 of the worst foods you can eat for weight loss—and some recommendations for substitutions.
Everyone knows regular soda is bad for you, but diet soda isn’t much better. Even though many diet soft drinks are low-calorie or no-calorie, they’re still packed with unhealthy artificial sweeteners that lead to sugar cravings and weight gain. Instead of drinking soda, enjoy sparkling water with lime.
2. White bread
Your body digests refined flour very quickly. This can often lead to a spike in blood sugar and a corresponding surge in insulin, signaling your body to store more fat. Next time you make a sandwich, use whole grain bread.
3. Candy bars
They may come in small packages, but candy bars contain a whole lot of empty calories; a single 215-calorie Snickers bar is packed with unhealthy ingredients like sugar and refined flour. Satisfy your sweet tooth with fruit instead.
While it’s wise to avoid all alcohol for weight loss, beer is one of the worst alcoholic beverages you can drink. Full of carbs that are quickly digested, it slows down your ability to burn fat. If you must have a cocktail, choose a low-cal vodka soda.
5. Potato chips
Potato chips are low in nutritional value but high in calories. And once you open a bag, it’s hard to stop eating them – so you’ll likely end up consuming way more calories than you meant to in one sitting. Healthy alternatives for crunchy snacks include nuts or kale chips.
6. Fruit juice
Don’t be fooled: a glass of fruit juice is not equivalent to a serving of fresh fruit. Juice often has lots of added sugar, so it provides an abundance of empty calories. It also lacks the filling fiber and nutritional value of whole fruit flesh and skin. Quench your thirst with water instead, and for additional flavor, add a lemon slice.
7. Deli meat
Cold cuts, such as ham, turkey, and roast beef, are highly processed and loaded with sodium. Aside from being bad for weight loss, they’ve also been classified as carcinogens by the World Health Organization. Steer clear of lunchmeat and opt for lean, healthy chicken breast or tuna fish instead.
Pre-packaged cookies, like Oreos or Chips Ahoy, are full of sugars (including high fructose corn syrup), refined flours, and in some cases, artificial trans fats. While they taste great, they can seriously inhibit your ability to lose weight. If you’re craving dessert, eat a square of dark chocolate.
9. Breakfast cereal
Eating a healthy and filling breakfast is one of the most important things you can do to encourage weight loss, but most breakfast cereals are high in refined flour and sugar. For a quick, nutritious breakfast, try whole grain oatmeal with berries.
10. “Low-Fat” anything
Many people associate “low-fat” foods with weight loss foods, but this isn’t the case. When manufacturers remove fat from their food products, they also remove taste – so to make their food flavorful, they wind up adding extra sugar, salt, and artificial ingredients.
These add empty calories, which translates to weight gain. The fats found in avocado, nuts, cottage cheese, and salmon actually support healthy weight loss.
Viva Wellness offers medical weight loss in San Diego
If you’ve been avoiding unhealthy foods but you’re still having a hard time losing weight, Viva Wellness can give you the extra help you need to reach your weight loss goals.
Our clinic offers prescription weight loss supplements to suppress your appetite, regular check-ins with our medical team to monitor your progress, and weight loss tips to help you stick to a healthy lifestyle and shed those extra pounds for good.
Call Viva Wellness at (619) 222-5433 to learn more about what our medical weight loss therapy can do for you.