Health experts often say that eliminating certain foods from your diet or refraining from eating something that you’re really craving on a weight-loss diet can trigger undesirable consequences such as a risk of binge eating leading to rapid weight gain.
Although we strongly believe that it is completely okay to indulge in our guilty pleasures sometimes and let ourself enjoy a few desserts every now and then, there are some foods that you must stay away from completely when trying to lose a few pounds. Here are our top 5 never-to-eat foods on a diet, and how you can replace them with healthy alternatives to support your weight loss goals.
When you’re hungry, the first thing your brain craves is carbs because it is the easiest and quickest nutrient to convert into energy – but when you eat bread, rice cakes, cereal or crackers, the carbs are broken down into simple sugars in your bloodstream which trigger insulin production.
Insulin has one job and that is to absorb the sugar from the bloodstream ASAP and either store it as fat or use it for energy. The problem with eating simple sugars is that as soon as the insulin removes them from your blood, you end up feeling hungry and craving carbs once again.
What to Eat Instead: Try to eat snacks that contain a healthy balance of protein, fats, and carbs so that your body takes longer to digest them and you feel satisfied until your next meal. If you’re having a piece of toast, why no throw some low-fat cheese, smoked ham or nut butter on it to make it more substantial?
What’s the one thing that makes frozen meals unhealthy? Sodium – and other preservatives used by manufacturers to increase the food’s shelf life. Sodium doesn’t make you gain fat, but it does make your body retain water and feel bloated over-all. So even if you do lose fat from your diet eventually, you won’t notice much of a difference if you’re always puffy and bloated from consuming too much sodium.
Frozen foods also tend to contain more calories for smaller portions. The lower volume tricks your brain into thinking that you need to eat more even if the small frozen box of food contained the same amount of calories as in a normal meal.
What to Eat Instead: Skip the frozen section and make your own frozen foods by simply doubling up the quantities every time you cook and storing the leftovers in the freezer in a microwave-safe container.
Frozen meals tend to last between 1 to 5 months depending on what’s inside them. All you need to do the next time you want something on the go, is grab the preservative-free homemade frozen meal from the freezers and microwave it for a couple of minutes.
High-fiber snack bars
Fiber is really good for your digestive system and bowel movements and it is that one useful nutrient that keeps you satiated for longer without eating too many calories – but too much of a good thing can be bad for you.
Most people rely on high-fiber snack bars for a quick source of energy but forget to check the nutrition label behind the packaging. One snack bar can contain an average of 25g of fiber – which is what you need in one day! Consuming too much fiber can have the opposite effect on your digestive health and can cause erratic mood swings.
What to Eat Instead: Instead of eating processed snack bars, rely on fresh fruits and vegetables for your daily fiber intake. Snacking on fruits and veggies won’t only keep you satisfied for longer but it will help you lose weight too!
You may think that you’re being economically efficient when purchasing value-size boxes of cereals, cookies or chips – but once you discover that people eat 22 percent more from a value-sized box, you’ll realize that you’re not doing your waist or your pocket any favors.
What to Eat Instead: If you have to buy snacks or cereals, make sure to get it in the smallest packaging possible to minimize overeating – besides, you’re better off staying away from processed, sugary snacks altogether on your weight-loss diet.