Achieving your weight loss goal – no matter how many pounds that goal represents – feels so good! There’s nothing like seeing and feeling the unquestionable results of your hard work. Now, if only you could maintain that accomplishment.
Sometimes the challenges you face with maintaining achieved weight loss goals boil down to simple changes in your diet.
Certain foods are deal-breakers when it comes to staying at your healthy weight, so it’s smart to avoid them. So which foods fall into the category of pesky weight gainers?
These foods are some of the most notorious deal-breakers:
1. Soda. Most sodas, including some of the “sugarless” ones, have so many calories it’s alarming! As you know, excessive sugar intake quickly contributes to weight gain and a return to a less-healthy YOU.
* A typical 20 ounce can of soda contains an average of 16 teaspoons of sugar, which is way more that you’d want to consume in your day to day eating.
* Choose less toxic options like water, coconut water and naturally extracted juices, and track your body’s reaction by continuing (or starting) a food journal.
2. Snacks with hydrogenated oil. Not only does hydrogenated oil result in a buildup of fat in the body, but it’s also known to increase risk of heart disease. Most snacks, whether sweet or salty, contain hydrogenated oil. From potato chips to chocolate chip cookies, you’re bound to pump this oil into your body by eating them.
* Choose healthier snack options like nuts, which consist of healthy fats – but eat these in moderation. Other great choices for snacks include veggie bites, fruit salads and low-fat granola.
3. Whole dairy. One cup of whole milk contains 5 grams of saturated fat, which can wreak havoc in your body.
* Because dairy does have benefits like high protein and calcium, you might opt for low fat versions like 1% milk and low fat yogurt and cheese.
* Remember that some prepared foods contain dairy, so be vigilant with those options as well.
4. Refined grains. Refined grains are found in foods like white rice, and they cause drastic sugar spikes, which result in weight gain. Since there are so many alternatives to refined grains, you may be more than comfortable in getting rid of them altogether.
* Opt for brown rice instead of white rice. It goes through less processing and has the fibrous benefits associated with whole grains.
* Other products like quinoa and couscous are great substitutes for rice.
5. Processed food. You can basically define processed food as anything “unnatural.” These foods are filled with preservatives to extend the life of the product. They’re also usually full of sugar, fat and carbohydrates – all elements which contribute directly to weight gain.
* Eliminate packaged foods as much as possible to lessen your exposure to unwanted fat and sugar.
* Replace processed foods with options found in natural food stores or organic farms.
* If processed food somehow ends up in your home, read the label diligently and ensure the listed sugars, fats and carbohydrates don’t exceed your daily allowance.
Within weeks of getting rid of these foods, you’ll see a marked difference in your weight loss maintenance. Give yourself the chance to really enjoy the fruits of your labor.