6 Sneaky Foods That Are Stalling Your Weight Loss
Most of us have at least a few pounds we would like to shed. But weight loss is not as simple as magazines would have you believe. There is much more to losing weight than simply eating less food, or eating better foods more often.
It is possible that you are eating unhealthy food and do not even realize it. If you think you are doing everything right and the pounds are still not coming off, these six sneaky foods may be at fault.
1. Dried Fruit
"But it's fruit," you might be thinking. "It's healthy!"
Fruit in moderation is a healthy source of vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients. It also contains fluid and fiber that is important for a balanced diet. But fruit it also contains relatively high amounts of sugar, a known diet destroyer. Apples, bananas, peaches, and other fruits that are commonly dried are all high in sugar.
What's more, you are less likely to eat dried fruit in moderation as compared to whole fruit. Most of us would not eat ten whole apricots in one sitting, but would not hesitate to eat ten dried apricots in the same amount of time. Dried fruit has all the sugar and calories of whole fruit, but in a smaller package that is far easier to overeat.
For the fastest fat loss, eat whole fruit most of the time. Save dried fruit as a concentrated energy source to fuel hiking, biking, and other intense physical activity.
Oils are a concentrated source of calories in our diet. Nearly 100% fat, they have more than twice as many calories per gram as carbohydrates or protein. Because they also make food taste delicious, oils are easy to overeat.
Some oils such as avocado oil and olive oil are considered to be healthier forms of fat. This is because these types of unsaturated fats can improve your blood cholesterol levels. But even these oils can stall or stop weight loss if used to excess.
Eliminating or reducing fried and fatty foods from the diet is the easiest ways to reduce excess calories and speed fat loss. Switching to baked or grilled options is a healthy way to reduce oil consumption.
If you fry foods with oil in a pan, save calories by switching to an oil sprayer. This uses far fewer calories when compared to pouring straight from the bottle. This technique uses 75% fewer calories while still maintaining great taste and flavor.
3. Nut Butters
Almond butter is an example of a food that many of us think of as healthy. And it is true that peanut butter, almond butter, and other types of nut butter are a source of protein, fat, and minerals.
Unfortunately, due to their high amount of calories, nut butter often unexpectedly stalls weight loss. Most types of nut butter averaging over 100 calories per tablespoon. Due to this caloric density, they are easy to overuse, especially on toast or in smoothies.
To be sure you are not overeating these otherwise nutritious options, be sure to measure your portions carefully. If you eat peanut butter or other types of nut butter, use a measuring spoon until you are certain that you know what a serving size looks like. Some people are shocked to find out that they use 500 calories on peanut butter alone on their breakfast oatmeal!
As with most foods, if you can't seem to practice restraint in portioning, it might be better to avoid this food group in the first place.
When it comes to weight loss, not all yogurts are equally.
The best yogurt for weight loss will have low fat and low or no added sugar. For example, a 0% fat unflavoured Greek yogurt is a healthy choice that works well with fresh fruit or in a smoothie. If you eat yogurt on its own, look for flavored options that are low in added sugar.
Yogurts that are high in fat or sugar often have packaging that suggests that they are healthy. Do not be deceived! You may have to read the nutrition label to find the healthiest option.
There is a common perception that wine is a healthy alternative to other alcoholic beverages such as beer or sugar-laden cocktail drinks. And it is true that wine drinkers are found to have overall better cardiac health than non-drinkers.
However, wine is high in calories and carbohydrates. A single glass of wine contains 125 calories and almost no nutritional value otherwise.
Those bottles add up. While you're in a period of intense weight loss, it is prudent to save the alcohol for special occasions only. And when you do drink wine, drink in moderation.
6. Granola Bars
Granola bars seem like a healthy option. But most granola bar brands contain hidden sugars and fat that contribute to weight gain.
Most calories in granola bars and similar products are empty calories. They do not contain protein, vitamins, or minerals and have low nutritional value. Eating granola bars takes up valuable space in your caloric budget.
Worst of all, granola bars are usually used as a snack and not as a meal replacement. Snacking is another common trap that prevents weight loss.
Successful weight loss is a complex puzzle to solve. Too much of the wrong foods can slow or stop weight loss. Or worse, it may cause you to gain weight while you are trying to do the exact opposite. Avoiding these common dietary pitfalls will keep you on the right track towards a healthier body.