If you’re like most people, you’ve probably struggled with your weight throughout your lifetime. Whether you’re fighting the freshman 15, the middle-aged spread, or you’re dealing with something in between, you’re most likely no stranger to dieting.
And, with so many different diets out there, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and confused. One day you may hear that red meat is the enemy, but the next day its carbs.
What’s an overweight person to do?
The fact is, there’s no one diet to rule them all. Your body is different than your neighbor’s body. What works well for you may not work well for someone else.
Regardless, though, there are a few hard and fast rules about diet and weight loss that deserve your attention.
While the jury is still out on what the best diet for weight loss really is, nearly everyone can agree that some foods exist only to sabotage your goals.
If you want to shed those unwanted pounds quickly, there are a few foods that simply have zero places in your diet.
The Naughty List: Foods You Should Never Eat If You Want to Lose Weight
Trying to lose weight can be seriously challenging. Everywhere you go, you’re surrounded by constant reminders of all of your favorite foods.
And here’s the thing. Your favorite foods? They’re probably not hummus, kale, and celery.
No, they’re high-calorie, high-fat, and admittedly very tasty junk foods.
There’s nothing wrong with liking the taste of these foods. But, if you eat them, you’re increasing your risk of obesity and other health problems.
If you’re trying to shed fat, certain foods can prevent you from reaching your goal weight.
Here are five foods that you should never touch if you’re trying to drop a few pounds.
1) Deep-Fried Foods
French fries. Potato chips. Donuts.
When you’re stressed out, tired, or hungry, these foods have a way of catching your attention.
You’re not thinking about the greasy oil or the ridiculous amount of calories in these foods, either; you’re just wanting to silence the craving-beast hiding in your stomach.
There’s arguably nothing worse than deep-fried foods if you’re trying to lose weight. Studies have shown that a diet full of fried foods is tied to weight gain.
Not only that, but these foods have been shown to cause serious health complications, too.
2) Refined Carbs
Imagine the smell of freshly baked cookies, or piping-hot chewy bread fresh from the oven.
Are you drooling yet?
Well, you’re going to have to wipe that drool off your chin.
If you want to keep obesity at bay, then you’re going to have to learn how to say no to these foods.
Research has indicated that a diet full of refined carbs is one of the worst ones for your weight. Highly processed foods, like white bread and cookies, can cause the pounds to pile on.
While these smells can be appealing, the unwanted weight they can bring is surely the opposite of desirable.
Skip these foods unless you want your weight loss to grind to a screeching halt.
Chewy and gummy candy is virtually fat-free, so it can’t be that bad for your figure, can it?
Unfortunately, that’s been proven to be wrong.
Sugary candies can absolutely cause your weight to climb. Eating sweets and candy has been shown to cause weight gain and obesity.
Besides, candy has no nutritional value and will just leave you craving more. After all, who stops at just one piece?
If you want to lose the weight, you’re going to have to say no to the candy.
4) Liquid Calories
Even the most careful eaters may be mindlessly sucking down calories without realizing it.
Many people don’t realize that their favorite drinks can be packed to the brim with unnecessary sugar and fat.
Even if you’re eating a healthy diet, you could be accidentally causing weight gain by sipping on calorie-laden drinks.
Soft drinks and sugary coffee beverages aren’t the only drinks to blame, though. Your cocktails and evening nightcap can also cause unexpected weight gain.
To stay slim, you’re going to need to steer clear of all sugary or boozy drinks.
5) Fatty Meats
If you thought that grabbing highly processed and fatty meats between meals was a healthy alternative to candy and empty carbs, think again.
Fatty, processed meats aren’t just going to make you get fat. They’re also going to put your health in danger.
The high levels of saturated fat and sodium have been shown to be detrimental to your overall health and your waistline.
Honestly, there’s really no redeeming nutritional value to any of those foods.
Your diet is much better off without these junky pseudo-foods in them. Sure, they may taste good at the moment, but in the long run?
Is acne, heart disease, diabetes, cancer, stroke, and even premature death really worth it?
Yeah, on second thought, maybe not.
Your BFFs: Reach for These Foods to Help Shed Weight Quickly
Now that you know which foods can make you gain weight, you’re probably wondering what you need to be eating to lose it.
If you’re looking to lose the weight and keep it off, adding a few good-for-you foods to your diet and following simple weight loss recipes can help make it easier.
These foods not only taste delicious, but they can also help you stay trim and svelte!
1) Lean Protein
A diet high in protein has been shown to be more filling and satisfying than a high-carb diet.
Instead of reaching for cured meats like sausage, bacon, and pepperoni, instead, you should select nutritious sources of lean protein like low-fat yogurt, chicken, and tofu.
2) Whole Grains
Just because you’re eating healthy doesn’t mean you have to give up carbs completely.
A slice of whole-grain bread hot from the oven can be just as satisfying as its refined-carb cousin, and it won’t make you gain weight, either!
3) Fresh Fruits & Vegetables
If you’re feeling snacky between meals, you can’t go wrong by choosing fresh fruits and vegetables to munch on.
Fresh, ripe, in-season fruit is nature’s candy and can also help keep your weight down.
And if you fill your dinner plate with sautéed or even roasted veggies, you’ll enjoy a delicious, filling meal and stay slim.
4) Dark Chocolate
No doubt about it, chocolate should be its own food group.
It’s yummy, good for you, and can help make you feel better after a stressful day.
By sneaking a few squares of it into your diet every day, you can help keep the fat off your body while also satisfying your taste buds.
5) Calorie-Free Beverages
Many people mistake thirst for hunger, causing overeating and weight gain.
Drinking plenty of water throughout the day has been proven to help you stay hydrated and lose weight.
If you’re not in love with water, no worries. You can also enjoy unsweetened beverages like iced or hot tea and sparkling water.
As long as you’re hitting your minimum of eight glasses of water per day, you’ll be right on track to lose the weight quickly!
Keeping Your Goals in Sight
At the end of the day, your diet isn’t just about having the perfect slim body you’ve always wanted. It’s about how eating healthy makes you feel better all around. You’ll have more energy, better sleep, and be happy.
Yes, there’s a lot to be said for feeling good about yourself when you look in the mirror. Easily slipping into your favorite jeans, without feeling pinched or uncomfortable, can be so rewarding.
Feeling confident in your own body is an incredible thing, and it’s something that should never be taken for granted.
Nobody is going to argue with you about that!
But the fact is, eating a healthy diet is about your health, not just your appearance. The whole point of eating right is to help ensure that you live a long and happy life.
And, of course, if you just so happen to look awesome and feel great about yourself in the process?
Well, then, that’s just icing on the (whole-grain, sugar-free) cake!