While a little bit of alcohol is a good thing, and one or two drinks a night cause no harm, large amounts of alcohol drunk frequently may stand between you and your weight loss goals. A glass of red wine is great for heart health, but frequent beers can actually cause you to gain weight, hence the term “beer gut.” The research isn’t fully fleshed out just yet, but large amounts of alcohol have other negative effects that have been confirmed; high blood pressure, for example, can make workouts harder by straining your heart. Stick to the one glass rule.
3. Fruit Juice
You might seem surprised to find fruit juices on this list, given how healthy fruit is. Fruit is, in fact, very healthy, but fruit juice moves away from that, particularly when it has added sugars and preservatives. Like most liquid calories, your body does not register fruit juice as well as it should, which makes it easy to drink juice to excess. The added sugar can cause complications as well. Fruits in juice form also lose the fiber that is a large part of what makes fruit so healthy. Substitute your fruit juice with a fresh piece of fruit instead.
2. Salad Dressing
Salad dressing is often packed full of sugars, fats, salts, and other ingredients that certainly flavor up your salad. However, these additives also work to undo the good the salad provides, as they can spike your blood sugar and damage heart health via higher blood pressure. Keep the salad, but go light on the dressing if you can’t ditch it altogether, or choose low-sodium brands. If possible, make your own salad dressing from scratch using vegetable oils. Olive oil, for example, adds a distinct flavor and a dose of healthy fats to your diet. Your body will thank you.
1. Added Salt
Table salt is typically a go-to seasoning along with pepper, but the latter is far healthier. An excess of sodium, found in salt, can lead to heart problems stemming from high blood pressure. In small amounts, salt is useful to the body, but since so many foods already have added salt, anything you put on at the dinner table is just overkill. When it comes to weight loss, salt won’t make you gain weight directly, but it will cause water retention and spur snacking binges, both of which will increase your weight. Find alternative seasonings to spice up bland dishes.Related: 7 Natural Ways to Lower Blood Pressure