Diets that are too restrictive are much more likely to fail.
Rather than never allowing yourself anything that you really enjoy, I believe in sticking with healthy eating habits and allowing for the occasional indulgence.
However, there are some food villains that should be avoided at all costs.
Here are my list of the top 5 foods that should make you “just say no”…
There is really nothing good to report about greasy, fried food. It is often laden with trans fats, and terrible not just for your waist line but your overall health. And, of course, fried foods tend to be significantly higher in calories than other options. If you really must indulge, look out for the baked varieties of your favorite treats and watch your portions, or make you own chips or fries at home in the oven.
Unfortunately, white bread is so processed that it has negligible nutritional value, and most of the nutrients it does contain have been added back in. In any case that you can, always opt for the whole grain option. Whole grain bread is less processed, more nutrient dense, and also contains significantly more fiber. If you really want to get healthy, try one of the sprouted grain breads that you can find at most health food stores.
This is a tough one for a lot of people who turn to artificial sweeteners because they are calorie free. But what is the trade off? In truth, artificial sweeteners are just that: artificial. There is also some research showing that they may actually be tied to weight gain, not weight loss. I recommend using any sweeteners in moderation, but always choosing natural options such as honey, agave nectar, or stevia extract. Also, pay attention to labels, sugar-free does not always equal calorie free.
A lot of us grew up using margarine because it was supposed to be the “healthy” alternative to butter. We now know that this isn’t really the case. Most margarine is made by extracting vegetable oil at a high temperature and then using hydrogen to solidify it. Much of the margarine available is high in trans fats and has been shown to raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower HDL (good) cholesterol. Try using a healthy oil such as olive oil instead, or look for one of the new heart healthy spreads. If not, then butter is the better option. True, butter is a saturated fat, but – when used in moderation – it can help to raise your good cholesterol.
It really can’t be said enough; soda is pretty much nothing but liquid sugar. One 12oz. can of soda contains 39 grams of sugar and 150 calories. This is a lot of sugar, and very rarely are people drinking just one small can of soda. More often we are consuming the much larger bottles or fountain drink sizes. All of this sugar increases your risk for obesity, diabetes, and other related diseases.