“You are what you eat.”
“Abs are made in the kitchen.”
“Weight loss is 70% diet and 30% exercise.”
We can bet that you’ve come across at least one of these sayings during your fitness journey. This is because you can never overemphasize the importance of food in fitness. Whether you want to build muscle or lose weight, your diet would always play a major role.
With food taking such prominence, it’s important to know which foods are best or worst for you. So today, we’re giving you a list of the best and worst foods for your weight loss journey.
Bear in mind, though, that this is in no way a comprehensive list. It is merely a list of the somewhat overlooked foods in the various categories.
- Whole Grain Oats
For some reason, these don’t get as much PR as they should. However, they’re hands down one of the best foods for weight loss. With their high nutrient content, they are superior in every way to oats made from refined grains.
Whole grain oats are rich in proteins, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. Even more importantly, they’re a great source of fiber. This means that they keep you full and prevent you from eating unhealthy snacks that cause weight gain.
- Greek Yoghurt
With Greek yogurt, you can lose weight without completely giving up your sweet tooth. It is, without mincing words, one of the best foods for weight loss. It is a great source of protein, and it also boosts your metabolism.
It is also a by far healthier substitute to regular yogurt. This is because it has no added sugar and contains at least two times LESS caloric content per serving.
- Sweet Potatoes and Yams
Some fitness coaches preach total abstinence from carbs for weight loss. However, this is inadvisable and downright impossible.
Your body needs carbohydrates to function. Without them, you become easily tired and incapable of doing any work.
Tubers like sweet potatoes and yams are some of the best carb sources for weight loss. Their high fiber content keeps you fuller for longer periods, thus preventing overeating. This makes them a great substitute for other carb sources like white rice, which aren’t as filling.
- Fruits and Vegetables
Weight loss diet or not, fruits and veggies are some of the best foods to eat. They’re packed with nutritious vitamins and minerals and can be eaten in different ways. You can use them as appetizers, desserts, mid-day snacks, or even whole meals.
Veggies can also be used as sides when monitoring meal portions.
1. Fries and Chips
French fries and potato chips are top on the list of things to avoid. Their mode of preparation adds many unhealthy calories, which lead to weight gain.
However, apart from negatively impacting your weight loss journey, they’re also bad news for your general health. Fries and chips are high in trans fats, which increases your risk of heart disease.
2. Fruit Juice
Fruits in their natural form are healthy. Fruits processed into fruit juice are not. It doesn’t matter what the nutritional information at the back of the pack says. They are unhealthy, and you should avoid them at all times.
They contain lots of added sugars and sweeteners, which make them calorie bombs. And they also lack the fiber most fruits have in their natural form. This means that your body absorbs the sugars faster than it would for natural fruits.
If you want to take fruits, eat them in their natural form or squeeze them yourself. Commercially produced fruit juice is a no-no, and it only leads to one end – a bulging gut for you.
3. Instant Noodles
Processed foods like instant noodles and pasta are some of the worst things for you. Apart from providing near-zero nutrients, they’re also very high in calories. In a 2019 study, participants who ate processed foods like instant noodles consumed an extra 500 calories daily.
In addition, sodium, a preservative in noodles, is a leading cause of rounded stomachs. This is because it causes water retention, which leads to a bloated belly over time.
Apart from belly fat, instant noodles also put you at a higher risk of heart diseases.
4. Processed Meats
If you ever want to lose weight and improve your health in general, avoid processed meats like the plague. Processed meat refers to meat preserved by curing, salting, smoking, drying, or canning. It also includes meat like sausages, hot dogs, and corned beef.
They also contain high levels of unhealthy saturated fats, which cause weight gain. Like processed foods, their high sodium levels can cause a belly bloat.
5. Margarine, Peanut Butter, Mayonnaise & Salad Creams
We all love a nice thick spread of margarine and peanut butter on bread. The same goes for mayonnaise or salad creams on our salads. They’re delicious, and they greatly improve the taste of whatever they’re added to.
However, these tasty spreads come with a price. They’re packed with so much fat that you could consume an entire week’s worth of calories in a single sitting.
Of course, it is possible to track your intake to account for every calorie ingested. But we’d rather you avoid them till you’ve made substantial progress with your weight loss.
6. Ice Cream
Sweet treats like ice cream and cookies are also things to avoid if you want to lose weight. Yes, giving them up may be hard. However, the negatives they bring far outweigh the momentary pleasure we get from eating them. They’re filled with fats, sugars, and nothing more. A single cup of vanilla ice cream contains about 210 calories. Your favorite cookie brands contain around 70 – 110 calories per cookie. No one, we repeat, no one eats a single cookie and calls it a day.
Throughout this article, you must have noticed a recurring theme. Natural, whole foods are the best for you if you want to lose weight. However, processed foods are the exact opposite, and you must avoid or drastically limit their intake.
We understand that it would be difficult to give up some favorite foods. However, with a little dedication, you can give up ANYTHING. We’ve done it before, and we’ve trained hundreds of students to do so as well. So, get started today. Cut out those unhealthy foods stopping you from losing weight and get the body you’ve always wanted.
NB: Nothing in this article should also be taken for professional medical advice. All content provided here is only for informational purposes. If you need medical advice, seek the services of a qualified healthcare practitioner.