We all know the obvious unhealthy foods such as greasy burgers, fries, and candy.
Still, then there are some foods that can fool you into thinking that they’re not that bad for you but which are actually loaded with preservatives, salt, sugar, and saturated fat, AKA your weight loss enemies!
Here we reveal the four foods you should stop eating now and some tasty, healthy alternatives for you to try to achieve the best weight loss results.
Instant Ramen Noodles
Since ramen noodle bars have become increasingly popular, the instant versions are beginning to appear in the average American’s shopping cart more often.
While you probably didn’t consider instant noodles to be healthy food, you probably didn’t think that they would be that bad for you.
However, research into instant noodles showed that they stay undigested in your system for hours, putting a strain on your digestive system and exposing your body to more of the preservatives and additives that they contain.
In addition, a study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that women who consumed instant noodles more than twice a week were at a significantly greater risk of metabolic syndrome than those who ate noodles less often, regardless of their overall diet or exercise habits.
These women also showed excessive levels of calories, unhealthy fats, and sodium in their weekly intake.
The salt levels in instant noodles are particularly concerning, with as many as 2,700 milligrams of sodium in some individual serving packs– nearly twice the daily recommended limit!
Consuming too much sodium can cause you to retain water weight, therefore resulting in disappointing scale readings.
Crucially, however, over-consumption of sodium contributes to increased risks of elevated blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and strokes.
Grate zucchini with a cheese grater and either fry lightly with olive oil or eat raw.
Eat your zucchini noodles with a chopped and fried small green onion, sliced boiled egg, and sesame seeds, and season with your choice of soy sauce or sriracha sauce to taste that ramen flavor.
Despite the misleading nutrient call-outs of many sugary bowls of cereal, such as ‘with added calcium’ or ‘contains vitamin D,’ it’s not surprising that many cereals are often packed with sugar, white flour, and a range of preservatives and artificial ingredients and hide behind these claims to appear less unhealthy.
Lucky Charms, for example, lists ‘marshmallows’ as the second ingredient, so they are little more than candy.
However, many kinds of cereal not aimed at children aren’t much better, as they often pack a lot of sugar and aren’t always what they claim when it comes to whole grain either; the best way to identify the healthiest grain products is to look for at least 1 g fiber for every 10 g total carbohydrates and less than 8 g of sugar per serving.
Although many breakfast cereals are fortified with nutrients such as B vitamins, it’s better to get your vitamins from a range of foods such as eggs, vegetables, lean meat, and nuts.
Try homemade instant oatmeal. To make this, blend seven cups of oats in a blender, then add another three cups of oats and blend again.
Put the blended oats into a large bowl and add two tablespoons of salt and a cup of brown sugar plus one cup of non-dairy creamer and mix it together with a spoon.
Measure out the mixture into Ziploc packs, each containing half a cup of the mixture. When you’re ready to eat the oats, simply pour them into a bowl, add hot water and then liven them up with your choice of toppings, such as berries, bananas, nuts, or cinnamon.
For most people, the word ‘diet’ equals weight loss.
However, diet soda may not be delivering on its promise here. Researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center recently found that people who drank two or more diet sodas daily had a six-times-greater increase in waist circumference at the end of the 10-year study than those who didn’t drink diet soda at all.
These bigger waist sizes, which are the most dangerous place to carry extra fat, may be due to the ‘I saved here, I can splurge there’ theory of dieting, or it may be that the artificial sweeteners in diet soda increased the diet soda drinkers’ appetites, as other research suggests.
If you miss the fizz of soda, try adding fruit to seltzer water – use frozen berries instead of ice cubes or pretend it’s cocktail hour and add some appetite-suppressing mint and lime to the mix!
OK, so we all know that potato chips are bad for us, but don’t think that opting for low-fat or fat-free versions is any better – ‘lite’ chips will not make you light, and fat-free anything is officially too good to be true.
In a new study from Purdue University, rats fed potato chips containing Olean (a no-calorie, fat-free fat substitute) subsequently put on more weight than rats fed regular potato chips!
More research is needed, but experts suggest that fat substitutes, much like the artificial sweeteners found in diet soda, may interfere with your body’s natural ability to regulate how much food is enough, causing you to eat more. And, like instant noodles, chips are usually loaded with salt and many artificial flavors and preservatives.
Always check the packaging, as even seemingly healthy bags of snacks like rice cakes can actually be loaded with these types of artificial ingredients to add flavor.
Make your own by tossing kale leaves in olive oil, then spread them evenly on a baking sheet and bake them at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes.
Finish them off by adding your favorite seasonings or just a sprinkle of salt and pepper.
There’s no need to resort to fad diets and extreme exercise routines to get the best results.
Instead, it’s more about adopting healthy eating habits, such as planning meals and finding healthier ways to incorporate the foods you love into your diet.
And, as we’ve shown above, it’s important to know what’s in the food you’re eating; you should aim to eat clean, unprocessed foods as there are many hidden dangers lurking in lots of our daily staples, such as hidden additives, salt, sugar alternatives and fat-free substitutes that actually cause you to gain weight.
And lastly, if you read the ingredients list of food and find lots of long words that you can’t pronounce, then it’s probably bad for you!
What foods have you cut out of your diet? Let us know by commenting below.