When people think about losing weight, the first thing to come to mind is typically exercise. They hear about various workout regimens, they look into gyms and routines, and they try to plan their days around fitness. This sort of thinking is definitely helpful if one is trying to lose weight, but the truth is, it’s only half of the equation. Even the most effective exercise will fail to produce desired results if you don’t consider the role of nutrition in your weight loss plan. While you’re planning to pick up the perfect gym habits, consider dropping these 9 things for maximum results.
To be clear, bread isn’t a bad thing on its own; it’s the kind of bread that matters. White bread is a strong source of carbohydrates and….not much else. The same is true of bagels, and certainly donuts. Consuming large quantities of these products might actually cause you to gain weight, without providing significant nutritional value (yes, even ‘enriched’ white bread). If you can’t live without some loaf in your life, stick to wheat or whole grain bread, which include fiber and other things for much more of a nutritional punch, and make sure you balance them with other foods.
People often don’t differentiate between margarine and butter, but the two have differences. Butter is a source of fat; taken sparingly, it benefits your body. On the other hand, the best serving size for margarine varies, depending on the brand and additives. Butter is traditionally high in saturated fat, whereas some margarine likewise carries similar amounts. Others are lower in saturated fat but have deadly trans fats. Whenever possible, skip both in favor of olive oil; otherwise choose unsalted varieties of butter to be sure you know what you’re getting, and to cut down on your sodium intake.
Is it any surprise that sugar is on this list? Excess sugar from processed foods typically translates into empty calories. Sure, they’re great for a quick burst of energy, but it doesn’t last, meaning you’ll have to consume even more to power through your day, or find another source of energy. This is definitely likely considering that sugar is mostly empty calories. It doesn’t help you feel full, and therefore doesn’t stop you from eating. Worried about the sugar in fruit? Don’t. Fruits come with a range of other nutrients that help with weight loss and offer additional health benefits.
Because microwaved popcorn combines the previous three things on this list, it’s definitely a food to avoid if you’re looking to shed pounds. It will raise blood pressure and body fat, and it’s pretty easy to binge on. Popcorn itself is a healthy snack that will fill you up without filling you out; the problem lies in microwave popcorn bags which may contain harmful additives, as well as the excess butter and salt. Skip the bags and try air popped popcorn instead as an alternative snack, or prepare oil popped popcorn with olive oil, and season with herbs and spices.