Avoid These 6 Foods If You Want to Lose Weight

Do you want to lose weight but don’t know where to start? Or, have you been trying to lose weight but with little success? Although losing weight looks different for everyone and no one approach is right for all, it’s widely agreed by researchers that some foods are more closely linked with weight gain than others.


With that in mind, I’ve listed 6 foods noted by researchers that are tied to weight gain and which you should avoid. I also include some recommended healthy alternatives that do both your taste buds and body some good.


So, if you’re keen to get the ball rolling and start losing some weight... Let’s go!


Foods linked to weight gain and which you should avoid

1. Crisps

Ah, the go-to snack when you’re feeling peckish. The snack that’s also so moreish that you just don’t know when to stop (or is that just me?). 


Crisps are made with 3 ingredients: potatoes, oil and salt. The issue with crisps bought from the supermarket is the type of oil used to cook them. The potatoes are sliced and fried in high omega-6 fatty acid oils such as sunflower, safflower and corn oil which can cause inflammation. 


In addition, the method of cooking is a problem when it comes to this kind of food. Frying high-starch foods at high temperatures activates the formation of the chemical acrylamide which has been linked to a higher risk of cancer.


What’s the alternative?

A healthier homemade alternative to crisps can be easily made. Simply slice a potato into thin discs (keeping the skin on), add a little bit of avocado oil, sea salt and black pepper and then cook in the oven at about 200C. 


Another great alternative is vegetable crisps. If you haven’t already tried kale crisps, you need to ASAP! Seriously, they’re amazing. If you’re thinking about making some, we have a quick and easy Baked Kale Crisps recipe on the app.


2. Artificially sweetened drinks


Despite being marketed as the healthier option, artificially sweetened drinks are no better for you than drinks made with sugar. In fact, they could even be worse for you. 

Some scientists say that artificial sweeteners trigger the pleasure point in the brain without satisfying it. This leads to an even greater desire for sweets, and statistics show that people who drink diet drinks aren’t any leaner.


What’s the alternative?

The next best thing which isn’t going to pile on the pounds is a natural-flavoured sparkling water. If you love sweet drinks, you could also slice up some fresh fruit and add it to your water!

3. Sweets and desserts


A sweet treat here and there is no harm at all. Sometimes, however, some of us can get carried away and overdo it (oops, guilty). In addition to weight gain, eating too many sweet treats on a regular basis can lead to an increased risk of heart disease, cancer and type 2 diabetes.


The government recommends that free sugars - those added to food or drinks, and those found naturally in honey, syrups and unsweetened fruit juices and smoothies - should make up no more than 5% of the calories we get from the food and drink we consume everyday. This means that adults shouldn’t have more than 30g of free sugars a day - the equivalent of 7 sugar cubes.


What’s the alternative?

With sweet treats, the best thing you can do is to limit your intake. Identify your favourite treats - you know, those ones you just can’t live without - and consider limiting consumption to once or twice a week.


If you can’t live without a daily sweet fix, consider eating 70% and higher dark chocolate. As well as having significantly lower amounts of added sugar than regular chocolate, studies have found that a bit of dark chocolate everyday can increase happiness, protect your heart and deter cravings for sweet and salty foods.


4. Refined carbohydrates


Refined carbs are low in fibre, meaning they’re digested quickly and can lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. This, in turn, can cause overeating and lead to weight gain fast. 


Foods classified as refined carbs are white rice, pasta, bread and flour, many breakfast cereals and more. These foods should be avoided, as well as options that are only partially made with whole grains.


What’s the alternative?

Fortunately for us, there’s a whole grain version of just about everything. Instead of buying refined carbs, choose whole grain options such as whole grain rice, pasta, bread, flour and breakfast cereals.


Another alternative is choosing veggie alternatives such as cauliflower rice and butternut squash spaghetti. These alternatives are great as they are lower in calories and carbs but have more fibre, nutrients and antioxidants.


5. Red meat


Red meat includes beef, pork, lamb and mutton, veal, venison, goat and buffalo. As well as causing weight gain, overconsumption of red meat has been linked to cancer.


The World Cancer Research Fund advises no more than 500g of red meat a week - about 70g a day. 


What’s the alternative?

Instead of red meat, opt for organic poultry - such as organic chicken or turkey - low-mercury seafood - like salmon, sardines and cod - and plant-based options. In fact, plant-based options like pulses are the best for weight loss and include beans, lentils, chickpeas and peas. Plus, they’re more affordable than meat, more filling, and higher in fibre and nutrients. 


6. Processed meat


Processed meats include bacon, sausage, pepperoni and deli meats (e.g. ham and salami). In addition to causing weight gain, the World Health Organisation has categorised these meats as cancer-causing. These meats have added nitrates which can lead to the development of potentially carcinogenic compounds. 


What’s the alternative?

Like with red meat, the best thing you can do is to replace processed meat with healthier meat options or plants. If you’re craving processed meat, you can also try a plant-based version like sausages or bacon made from veggies or pea or soy protein. 


Okay, so I know what I should avoid… But what should I be eating more of?

One word... plants!


Foods tied to weight loss are largely plant foods. So, if you want to lose weight, try incorporating less meat into your meals or cooking a veggie meal once or twice a week. For some great plant-based meals, check out Veganuary’s recipes in the app.


See the 7 best foods for weight loss here.

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For more information, view the original article:

These 6 Foods Are Tied to Weight Gain—Here Are Their Healthy Alternatives

Answer to quiz question: false - it's the other way round.

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