A healthy, well balanced diet should include ALL types of foods even the odd unhealthy treat. Some foods and drinks however, if eaten excessively and routinely, will stop you from reaching your weight loss goals. The 5 biggest culprits responsible for our growing waistlines are listed below.
1. Sugary beverages
One of the main causes of overweight and obesity all over the world. Soft drinks such are Coke and Pepsi etc. are generally sweetened with sucrose (table sugar) in Australia and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) in the USA. Research on these drinks has shown that our bodies do not recognize the calories in soft drinks and therefore are stored as fat rather than burned. Drinking a glass or two of your favorite high calorie soft drink at dinner does not correspond to a reduction in food eaten, and often it results in a larger appetite.
We have all heard the health benefits associated with a moderate intake of alcohol, particularly that of red wine. The problem with alcohol is that we consume more than we think. A generous glass of wine with a meal can easily translate as 2-3 standard drinks. A second glass and you are looking at 4-6 standard drinks! The current government guidelines recommends no more than 2 standard drinks per day, with 2 alcohol free days per week. However for the dieter even in small quantities alcohol can prevent weight loss due to its high calorie content. Click here to see the full government guidelines for alcohol
3. Refined cereals
The types of carbohydrates you choose is vital when dieting. Carbohydrates that are high in fiber are digested slower by the body and tend to keep us fuller for longer. Refined carbs, such as white bread, most breakfast cereals and crackers; are broken down quickly and sugar is dumped into your bloodstream. This will cause a sharp rise followed by a sharp fall in blood sugar levels. Research has shown that refined carbs can result in excess food cravings and consumption across the day.
Read: Are low carb diets better for weight loss?
4. High sugar/high fat foods
It’s a good idea to limit your intake of high fat foods like oils, cheese and butter, as well as sugary foods like lollies. However it’s vitally important to avoid foods that combine fat WITH sugar. These foods are deadly. When these foods are eaten the body’s attention goes into breaking down and burning the sugar content whilst the fat goes straight into storage. It’s no wonder that fast foods cause weight gain as almost all of these meals combine excess sugar with fat.
Why is it that the meal with the highest calories on the menu is often the salad? Answer: creamy dressings. These dressings are generally high in fat and or sugar which when drenched over the salad causes big problems. Many people think that choosing low fat varieties will solve this problem. However most low fat creamy dressings are still high is sugar and sodium. When eating salads its best to chose an oil or vinegar based dressing when on a diet.