The food you put in your mouth has a major effect on weight loss or gain. Bad habits add up to weight gain over time just as good habits prevent weight gain. The New England Journal of Medicine published a report showing that small lifestyle choices add up to big weight gain over the years.
The Military Diet is great for rapid weight loss, but small changes and tweaks to your lifestyle can prevent weight gain over time. Eliminating just one serving per day of the following foods makes a big change over a period of four years, according to the study.
Not surprisingly, adding foods like full fat yogurt, coconut oil and eggs help with weight LOSS, but read on to find out what foods consistently cause weight gain over the years.
Foods to Avoid When Trying to Lose Weight
French Fries and Potato Chips
Potato chips are possibly the surest way to gain weight. French fries and potato chips are very high in calories and it’s easy to eat too many of them. In fact, potato chips may contribute to more weight gain per serving than any other food! Whole potatoes are healthy and filling, a way better choice. Boiled potatoes are considered the best and healthiest way to get your spuds.
Highly processed food constitutes almost 60% of food eaten in the United States! Processed foods include meat nuggets, frozen meals, soft drinks and foods high in additives. A study done at the NIH Clinical Center showed that even when two different groups of people eat the same amount of calories, but one group eats processed food and the other group eats unprocessed food, the first group gains weight because processed food is often high in sugar, fat and salt and low in fiber.
Candy bars taste so good but are so unhealthy with all their added sugar, oil and refined flour. Despite their small size, candy bars pack a big caloric punch, about 300 calories on average. It’s so tempting to get a quick fix with a candy bar but the calories are empty and you’ll be hungry an hour later. Candy bars are strategically placed on shelves to encourage an impulse buy, but look just a little further and pick up a bag of nuts or an apple instead.
Soda is one of the unhealthiest form of calories you can ingest. When consumed in excess, soda has disastrous effects on weight gain. Soda is so bad because getting your calories in liquid form doesn’t make you feel full or satisfied and you end up overcompensating when you do eat, but still have the extra calories of soda on top of your regular food intake. If you’re serious about losing weight forever, kick soda to the curb for good.
White bread doesn’t hold a candle to whole grain bread. White bread is highly refined with a ton of added sugar – that’s what makes it taste so good and that’s why you want to keep eating more. This kind of bread spikes your blood sugar levels and should be avoided at all costs. Eating two slices of white bread per day increases your risk of obesity and weight gain by 40% according to this study.
Fruit juice sounds healthy in theory, but in practice, the stuff you find on the grocery store shelves bears little resemblance to the fruit after which it is named. Fruit juice sometimes contains more sugar and calories than soda. And removing the pulp from fruit juices is even worse because you don’t get the fullness provided by the fiber. When you eat an actual orange, the juice and the fiber balance eat other out, so stick to whole fruits when you get a craving for something fruity.
Keto lovers will tell you meat is great for your diet, but it really depends on what kind of meat you’re eating. Bacon, hotdogs and sausage are super processed with lots of added sodium. Swap out processed meat for organic and free range meat to avoid weight gain.
Cookies, cakes and pastries are a no brainer when it comes to weight gain because they contain so much sugar and refined flour. Their abundance of trans fats are also harmful and contribute to weight gain. Cookies and cake satisfy in the short term, but you will be hungry shortly after eating these low nutrient, low fiber and high calorie snacks. The healthiest and most luxurious treat is a piece of dark chocolate.
Beer is especially bad for weight gain in the form of belly fat. Beer matches soft drinks sip for sip in calories. High in calories and carbs, beer also prevents the body from burning fat because it prioritizes burning alcohol when you drink beer. They phytoestrogen content of beer is what causes hormonal changes in men that increases belly fat storage, causing the ‘beer belly’ phenomenon.
Fancy Coffee Drinks
High calorie coffee drinks also match soda sip for sip in calories. Caffeine boosts your metabolism and is a part of the Military Diet, but plain coffee is the way to go for weight loss instead of weight gain. Adding so much artificial cream, flavor shots and sugar to your Starbucks order cancels out the metabolism boosting effect of caffeine.
Honestly, who doesn’t love pizza. Nobody wants to give it up forever, but commercial pies are very unhealthy with all that refined flour and processed meat. You can still enjoy a healthier pizza if you make it at home with healthier ingredients. Then you know how much sugar is in the sauce and where your meat and cheese come from.