Top 5 Foods to Avoid for Weight Loss

Weight loss is one of the largest challenges that we face on a daily basis. Whether you’re trying to lose some weight for your friend's wedding, or you simply want to take off a couple of pounds, making the lifestyle changes needed to lose weight is something we all struggle with.

Losing weight is not as simple as eating less. Chances are if you’ve been eating unhealthy food for the past couple years, your body has adapted to poor sources of calories. Simply switching your intake to cleaner, whole foods may make a big difference.

The difficulty is: how do you determine which foods are best for weight loss? How do you know what's going to work best for you from day one?

Here are some of the most effective ways to ensure you are losing weight and keeping it off.

Emphasize Balance in Your Diet

One of the biggest mistakes that many people make when they start a new diet program is to remove a specific food from their diet. Whether you try a high-fat diet and remove most of your carbs or try a high-carb diet and limit your intake of fat ‒ both can be harmful to your health and weight loss.

Although these methods may work in the short-term, helping you lose some weight in a couple of weeks, as the months progress you may see a plateau. For this reason, it is always best to emphasize a balance of all food groups.

Consistent weight loss will come when you create a caloric deficit - that is, taking in less calories than you burn off.

After you’ve found balance in your diet, consider keeping a few, more harmful foods out of your diet whenever possible. Check out these top 5 foods to avoid for weight loss.

5 Foods to Avoid:

Fatty meats. We all love bacon and ribs ‒ but to a certain extent, these foods come with a high caloric value and a low nutritional yield.

Limiting your intake of fatty meats like beef and pork and substituting fish, turkey, beans, and other lean meats can help to lower your intake of saturated fats and total calories.

Processed sweets. Halloween is the only exception to this rule. Processed sweets like candy, donuts, muffins, and cakes all contain high amounts of calories with low nutritional value.

They are also loaded with trans fats, perhaps the worst fat you can consume for overall health.

Processed grains. Humans have developed over thousands of years to eat whole grains, yet the past generation of food processing has stripped grains of nutrition and can lead to weight gain.

Limiting your intake of foods such as white bread, flour tortillas, ready-made cereals, and other processed grains can lead to stronger overall health, faster weight loss, and better digestion.

Whole creams. Many people enjoy a nice cappuccino, but the extra amount of high-fat dairy is detrimental for your daily calorie needs.

Limiting your consumption of high-fat dairy products like ice cream, whole milk, and full-fat yogurt could be a step in the right direction if you are looking for long-term weight loss.

Fruit juices. Eating whole fruit will never be an issue, yet fruit juices are loaded with added sugar and preservatives that have no place in your daily calories.

The added sugar can cause inflammation which leads to weight gain, and the extra calories are not needed. For best results, try making your own fruit juice smoothies. You’ll likely find no need for the added sugars.

Emphasize Moderation

These food recommendations are foods that are generally quite high in calories. At the end of the day, your weight loss will come down to the total amount of calories you consume and your ability to maintain a calorie deficit throughout the weeks.

Do your best to emphasize moderation in your food. Simply put, all food is good when it is consumed at the right time and the right amount.

15 Weight Loss Motivation Tips

If you’re like many adults, you begin your diet with great enthusiasm. You drink protein smoothies and turn down deserts. However, as the weeks go by, you find yourself making more excuses and shedding fewer pounds.

Jumping from one popular diet plan to another is likely to yield the same results until you build sustainable motivation.

It’s important to change your thinking to prevent old habits from creeping back. Consider keeping a variety of strategies in your toolbox that you can turn to in different situations.

With practice, you can develop plenty of motivation to stick to your weight loss goals. Use these practical tips to take weight off and keep it off.

Developing an Effective Weight Loss Attitude:

Look inwards. Distinguish between extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Warnings from your doctor and workplace contests may give you a quick incentive to lose weight but finding your own reasons will help you to make lasting changes.

Love your body. Regard healthy eating as something positive you do for yourself rather than deprivation. Appreciate your body and enjoy nourishing it.

Live mindfully. Set the table and sit down at mealtimes. Turn off the TV and pay attention to your food. You’ll probably feel fuller with fewer calories.

Set realistic goals. Create targets you can achieve. Each victory will inspire you to keep trying. Maybe you’ll want to lose 1 pound a week or give up soda.

Plan for relapses. Be prepared for obstacles and setbacks. You’re less likely to feel discouraged if you know how you’ll recover from overindulging during business trips or holiday parties.

Seek counseling. Do you feel like you need help understanding your thoughts and behaviors about food and your body image? Talking with a therapist may provide insights and options for how to cope.

Developing Effective Weight Loss Habits:

Eat whole foods. Fill your plate with vegetables, fruits, lean proteins, and healthy fats. Cut back on ultra-processed foods that are a major source of empty calories, sugar, and sodium.

Control portions. Learn how to estimate serving sizes. Using smaller plates and bowls is one easy way to slim down your meals.

Add flavor. You can still enjoy your food. Sprinkle herbs and spices into soups and salads. Roast vegetables with olive oil and garlic.

Weigh yourself. Some studies suggest that adults who step on the scale each day are more successful at losing weight. Keep in mind that it’s natural for your weight to fluctuate, so you’re really looking for upward trends you can catch early.

Stay hydrated. It’s easy to mistake thirst for hunger. Try drinking a glass of water when you crave something fattening to see if the feelings will pass.

Dine in. Compared to home cooking, restaurant fare tends to be much higher in calories, fat, and salt. Master quick recipes and pack a lunch bag for work.

Rest and relax. Managing stress and sleeping well reduce hormones that signal your body to store fat. Stick to a consistent bedtime and find relaxation practices that work for you.

Be social. Make weight loss fun by inviting your family and friends to join you. Take cooking classes together and discuss your progress on social media. Support each other in developing healthy new habits.

Move more. While your diet usually plays the major role, physical activity is important too. Staying strong and fit will lift your spirits and help you to lose weight safely.

Maintaining a healthy weight will help you to feel more confident and lower your risk for many serious health issues, including diabetes and heart conditions.

Transform your approach to dieting. Motivation keeps you going when you hit a plateau!

Top 3 Strategies for Healthy Weight Loss

A recent study identified 3 strategies that may be the key to losing excess pounds and keeping them off. The results aren’t really surprising, but they are worth repeating. Successful weight loss depends on choosing healthy foods, tracking what you eat, and changing your thinking.

That’s according to the researchers at California Polytechnic State University (CPSU). They surveyed about 5,000 members of WW, formerly called Weight Watchers, who lost an average of 50 pounds and kept it off for at least 3 years.

If you’re tired of dieting and gaining back weight, this may be the breakthrough you’re looking for.

Learn more about how to use these 3 proven techniques to help you maintain weight loss

Choosing Healthy Foods:

Eat more fiber. Foods rich in dietary fiber help you to feel full, so you may be satisfied while eating less. Smart choices include vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Fiber also helps to stabilize your blood sugar and lower cholesterol.

Cut back on sugar. Excess sugar consumption is a major cause of weight gain and food cravings. You can reduce your intake by avoiding ultra-processed foods and drinking water instead of sweetened beverages.

Spice it up. Nutritious meals and snacks can be delicious. If you’re trying to use less salt, cook with spices and herbs. Healthy fats like olive oil and cheese will also add lots of flavor.

Read labels. Check the back of cereal boxes to ensure that the ingredients match the advertising on the front. Nutrition labels reveal important information like calories per serving and how much sugar has been added.

Dine at home. Preparing your own food puts you in charge of the cooking methods and ingredients. You’re likely to use less sugar, salt, and saturated fat compared to most restaurants.

Tracking What You Eat:

Keep a journal. It’s easy to underestimate how many calories you really eat. A food journal can help you to record and evaluate your activities. You can also spot patterns like emotional eating and trigger foods that make you want to eat more. Browse online for free apps or use pen and paper.

Set daily goals. You can also use your journal to create short- and long-term goals for your food intake and other factors. Putting your objectives down in writing will make them more concrete.

Measure portions. Do you know what a cup of popcorn or 4 ounces of fish looks like? If weighing your food sounds too complicated, you can memorize easy equivalents. For example, one ounce of cheese is about the size of your thumb.

Developing Coping Skills:

Know your purpose. Think about your main reason for losing weight. You may be concerned about your appearance or lowering your risk for diabetes and other medical conditions. Remember your purpose when you feel tempted to overindulge.

Encourage yourself. Motivate yourself with positive self-talk and rewards. Build your confidence by reflecting on past achievements.

Seek support. Surround yourself with family and friends you can count on for constructive feedback. Let them know how they can assist you. Find a workout buddy or join a weight loss support group.

Manage stress. Lack of sleep and high levels of stress hormones can trigger weight gain. Relax safely with physical exercise and mindfulness meditation.

Deal with relapses. Holidays and business trips might set you back temporarily. Have a plan ready so you can recover quickly.

The CPSU survey also found that wholesome choices become automatic with practice, so keeping weight off becomes easier over time. Forget about crash diets that leave you feeling deprived. Healthy eating and regular exercise will help you to stay lean and fit.

Top 5 Habits for Successful Weight Loss

Weight loss is a challenge we all face. In an ever-evolving modern world, it can be very difficult to find fresh food at a good price.

Fast food joints on every corner are selling a burger for a dollar, but a head of broccoli can be two or three times that price. It's an issue with our supply and demand, but it's a challenge that many people face when they try to eat healthy.

With varying opinions and decades of conflicting science showing that some diets work better than others, finding what's right for you can be a challenge.

With that in mind, hands down the best method you can use to achieve greater weight loss is to influence balance whenever possible.

Using a balanced diet as our foundation to successful weight loss, let’s break down five of the most important habits you can integrate into your life in order to lose weight and keep it off.

The 5 Habits

There are way more than five habits for successful weight loss, and many people will find that by making one simple change to their life that they begin to lose weight.

With that said, these are the five most effective habits:

Stay hydrated. This is perhaps one of the most overlooked components of weight loss. Not only is our body made up of at least 60% water, but hydration is important in muscle growth, circulation, and promoting healthy bowel function.

Do your best to drink around 3 quarts of water daily. This daily consumption of water will help your body to remove toxins, flush out waste, and increase your potential for strength.

Additionally, this habit can stave off food cravings too.

Wake up earlier. This is one of the habits that would be beneficial for all of us to aspire to. Waking up early will get your system into a natural circadian rhythm. It also promotes feeling tired enough at night to get to bed at an opportune time to allow you to get enough sleep.

Waking up earlier could help you sleep better, feel more energized, and promote a healthier weight.

Eat more fibrous foods. The average north American gets 1/5th of the recommended daily allowance of fiber. Not only is fiber essential in balancing out your carbohydrate levels, but it is also a crucial element in weight loss.

Decades of science have shown that fiber has unique properties that help to promote healthy bowel movements, which lead to greater weight management.

Additionally, fiber has also been shown to limit inflammation and be a great tool for recycling cholesterol.

Limit trans fats and saturated fats. Although the debate is open to interpretation, lowering the amount of dietary fat you consume to 15-20% of your total calories will help many people to start losing weight.

Why is this? Adapting your diet to a more balanced macronutrient scheme of 50/30/20 (50% carbs, 30% protein, 20% fat) will help your body to best handle the increased amount of exercise you will likely be committing to in your quest to lose weight.

Increase your daily energy expenditure. This is a fancy way of saying become more active. You don't need to engage in really difficult workout sessions every day ‒ simply by being more active throughout the day, you will start to increase your energy expenditure and influence weight loss.

Do the simple things, like parking further away at a grocery store or taking the stairs in the office.

Successful Habits Instill Positive Lifestyle Behaviors

Your best bet at losing weight is to try out new things. Try eating fresher foods and see how your body responds. Try going for more walks and see if you start to lose weight.

At the end of the day, instilling more active habits and eating fresher foods will be a step in the right direction for successful weight loss.