January 09, 2019
Anyone who’s ever embarked on a weight loss journey understands that implementing a healthier diet is easier said than done. In fact, two out of five people abandon a diet regimen within the first seven days of starting one. The good news? Making small, incremental changes to your routine can lead to long-term healthy habits that will ultimately help you achieve your weight loss goals.
If you’re ready to begin making some healthy changes to your diet, consider cutting out the following foods and ingredients:
Soft drinks are undeniably refreshing, especially when paired with the salty goodness of fast food fare like fries, pizza, and burgers. However, these beverages pack a sugary punch, and add a ton of extra calories to whatever meal you choose to enjoy. If you’re trying to shed some pounds, cutting all sugar-loaded sodas and juices from your diet is an easy way to eliminate a large number of calories.
Many breakfast cereals claim to provide everything you need to start your day off on the right foot. While these cereals may offer health benefits through added vitamins and minerals the content of many these products are little more than empty calories. Next time you’re looking for a morning pick-me-up, skip the sugary cereal and try something healthier, like plain yogurt or eggs.
Foods that are mostly composed of refined carbs, like breads, pastries, donuts, bagels, pasta, and more, contain an exorbitant amount of empty calories that can quickly lead to weight gain. While these foods are satisfying, they offer little or no nutritional value and should be avoided if weight loss is your goal.
Things like processed beef and chicken, as well as the ever-popular lunchtime staple known as lunchmeat or cold cuts, are high in sodium, which raises your risk of high blood pressure and weight gain. The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has categorized processed meat as a carcinogen, meaning it is something that has been known to cause cancer. While menu items like hot dogs, sausages, and deli meats please the palette, they often wreak havoc on your health (and your waistline) in the long run.
Popcorn itself can be a healthy treat — it isn’t naturally high in calories. But when paired with chemical-laden faux butter, it takes on excessive amounts of sodium and fat. When it’s time for a matinee, opt for a healthier snack, or pop your own corn to reduce your chances of ingesting unfavorable additives that will lead to weight gain.
While it is important to understand the contents and nutritional value of anything you eat, not all “healthy” food is created equal. Grocery store shelves are lined with items that sound good for you, yet turn out to be anything but wholesome. Stick to a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein to ensure you’re getting all the nutrients you need to sustain a healthy weight and feel your best.