People get excited about a lot of things, but I have never in my life met anyone who’s thrilled about being overweight. I have however, met folks who are sick of the up and down roller-coaster of so-called healthy meal plans to lose weight. Rather than deal with more dieting disappointments, some of these people conclude that living “large” is simply in the cards for them.
Throwing your hands up in defeat and deciding to spend the rest of your days (unhappily) overweight is no way to live. A decision like this can beat your self-esteem into the ground and shave years off of your life. C’mon, you owe yourself and your loved ones so much more than this.
There’s no magic formula to losing weight – if there were, everybody and their mama would be slim. The best way to achieve successful weight loss results is to know what types of foods to keep out of your diet.
1. Just Say “No” to Processed Foods
Processed foods are cheap, convenient and easy to prepare. Unfortunately, these foods are bad for your health. Of course, you’d never know this by watching those hyped up television ads. Since manufacturers aren’t going to give you the dirty on the ingredients they use in processed foods, I’ll gladly do it for them.
Let’s start with trans fat. This ingredient lowers good cholesterol, raises bad cholesterol, and can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Considering heart disease is one of the leading killers of men and women, trans fat is one ingredient you want to steer clear of.
If you’re wondering where that double chin came from, the high fructose corn syrup used in some of your favorite processed foods may be partially to blame. This ingredient has been getting a lot of press lately because it is believed to be a major player in the rising obesity epidemic.
Don’t even get me started on the chemicals manufacturers use in processed foods. If I tried to name some of these chemicals, I’d be tongue tied for days. Besides, you’d probably think I was reading the label on a can of bug spray instead of the ingredients in your favorite microwavable meal.
2. Send Sugar Packing
The average person consumes about 150 pounds of sugar per year. When you think about the fact that sugar is in almost everything, it’s easy to eat tons of this stuff without even realizing it. So what’s the big deal? There isn’t enough time in the day for me to tell you about all the damage sugar can do to your health. However, I can give you a quick rundown.
Sugar contains nothing but empty calories. When you eat this stuff, a large portion of it gets stored in the body as fat. If your goal is to slim down, being heavy-handed with the sugar isn’t going to help. This is not even the worst of it. Sugar can also depress the immune system, feed cancer cells, contribute to heart disease, raise your risk of osteoporosis and make you look decrepit.
3. Give Artificial Sweeteners the Boot
Before you run out and stock your fridge with a bunch of those zero-calorie diet drinks, there’s something you should know. The artificial sweeteners used in diet drinks and other low-calorie products are lab-created. Yep. You heard me right – mixed up in a lab like something out of a Frankenstein movie.
These chemical sweeteners can cause or contribute to a laundry list of neuropsychiatric disorders and chronic illnesses – depression, anxiety, migraines, mood changes, panic attacks, vertigo, memory loss, Alzheimer’s, brain tumors – should I go on? And if you think you’re going to shed a few pounds using artificial sweeteners, think again. These sweeteners stimulate your appetite and make you eat more food.
When you’ve tried diet after diet and not one of them delivers results, it can certainly make you want to give up. But you owe it to yourself and to your family to live the healthiest life possible. Processed foods, sugar and artificial sweeteners are the main culprits of weight gain. When you eliminate these foods from your diet, you greatly improve your chance of losing weight.
Make dieting disappointment a thing of the past. Get the tools you need to create effective healthy meal plans to lose weight and live healthier.
Mark Dilworth, BA, PES
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2 thoughts on “3 Foods to Avoid in Your Healthy Meal Plans to Lose Weight”
Great article. Very much agree, especially with your point on the artificial sweeteners. Lot’s of people looking to diet load up on these, unaware of all of the potential negative effects.
Thanks for the compliment! Whole, natural foods are always the best way to eat.