Healthy Living

Worst Foods To Eat When Trying To Lose Weight

Losing weight is a socio-physiological dilemma since foods high in calories and fats are ubiquitous, so much so that it is hard to imagine our diet without sweetened beverages and red meat.

Saturated fats are high in calories with little nutritional value and are of no use to the body’s proper functioning. Self-control is the only way to stick to the mission of weight loss because even small indulgences could lead to weight gain and increase blood sugar levels.

The 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans explain that mixed foods containing both cheese and meats are highest in saturated fats and, wherever possible, these foods must be replaced with non-saturated fats. It is important to observe that the combination should not exceed 10 percent of the total calorie intake of the day.

In order to remain on the path to weight loss and achieve one’s goals, there are certain foods that are big no-nos. But what exactly are the foods that one must avoid when trying to lose weight? We compiled a list of them below.  

Juice and sweetened beverages

As sugar goes by various unidentifiable names such as corn syrup, corn sweetener, malt syrup, trehalose and turbinado sugar, it is sometimes difficult to spot this ingredient on the nutrition label. But awareness is important since half of the sugar in the daily diet comes from sweetened drinks.

Out of the 2,000 calories required on an average day, 200 calories or 12 teaspoons of sugar is advised by the U.S. dietary guidelines to be consumed and it could also be through added sugars. Unfortunately, this is not always the case and 17 teaspoons are reportedly consumed daily instead by Americans, leading to what constitutes an unhealthy lifestyle.

Swapping cakes and deserts, for fruits, switching to low-fat milk and unsweetened cereal and adding one teaspoon of sugar as opposed to two teaspoons to coffee or tea is recommended by the dietary guidelines to stop consuming added sugars. 

Processed meats

The U.S  dietary guidelines recommend 26 ounce per week of meat, poultry and eggs.  Lean meats, lean poultry and eggs are more healthy than processed meats because they do not trigger type 2 diabetes, obesity and cancer.  

Fast food and processed snacks

Saturated fat is easy to load up on through french fries, hamburger, crackers and other processed snacks. A study based in Iran was conducted on 300 Iranian students randomly taken from two prominent universities in Qom in the spring of 2015 to better understand the association between obesity and fast food-eating habits. It was found that based on Body Mass Index (BMI), the obesity prevalence was 21.3 percent on average among the students involved in the study.

The study concluded that fast food consumption affected the wasit-hip ratio (WHR) more than it affected BMI. Based on WHR, the prevalence of obesity was 33.2 percent. When it came to understanding how often fast food was consumed, the study found that overall 72.4 percent indulged in fast food at least once in the last month prior to the study.

White Rice and Pasta

The glycemic index (GI) is a comparative parameter used to measure how particular foods raise blood glucose level against other foods. Carbohydrates like white bread, short grain white rice and pasta have a high GI of 70 or more, thus they have to be eaten in smaller quantities. And beans, yam, lentil, sweet potato, fruits and non starchy vegetables have a low GI of below 55. 

White rice and white pasta do not have much fiber and protein, so nutrition is limited and they also do not bring many health benefits. Controlling carbohydrate intake is one way of surviving diabetes, since this type of carbohydrate affects the blood glucose levels. Combining high GI foods with low GI foods works best for a balanced diet.

Ice cream

Ice cream is high in calories and sugar content. The latter mostly contributes to an increase in blood glucose level and obesity. It does not provide any fiber and protein, as well. Replacing ice cream with frozen fruit and yogurt for dessert is a healthier option when trying to lose weight.