Staying fit is difficult, not only must you maintain a workout regimen but you must constantly watch what you eat. Don’t worry; it gets easier once you identify which foods you should stay away from. Knowing what you can eat is half the battle. Here are seven foods you should stay away from and their healthy alternatives
Juice: What? Isn’t juice healthy? Unfortunately no, although this drink is heavily promoted towards kids and adults it is both calorie and sugar dense. The reason why fruits are healthy is that they’re filled with fiber. This allows your body efficiently process the sugars you consume in your fruits. Once your fruit is juiced you lose most of the fiber leaving you with a calorie dense drink. Just to put it in perspective an 8oz glass of orange juice has 103 calories vs 92 calories in an 8oz can of cola.
Alternative: Lemon Water
Potatoes can be healthy… if you eat them baked without any condiments. The problem is that potatoes usually aren’t eaten plain. The most popular potato dishes include mashed potatoes filled with butter, baked potatoes that are topped with sour cream, butter, and cheese. Lastly, the most popular potato concoction, fries, which are of course deep fried in oils. It’s easier to stay away from this starchy food and replace it with a green vegetable instead.
ALTERNATIVE: YAMS, CAULIFLOWER, OR SQUASH
Similar to beer, sodas are high in sugars and have little to no nutrition value. It’s time to drink water and only water. If you’re not a water drinker you will have to get accustomed to the taste. In a society that’s bombarded with sugar-filled drinks water has become an acquired taste. Soda won’t quench your thirst as advertised, but water will so stop relying on these sugary beverages whenever your body needs to be hydrated. Eventually, you’ll crave the refreshing and crisp taste of water.
ALTERNATIVE: LA CROIX
4. White StartchesRelated: One Bowl of Rice is Equivalent to Two Cans of Soda
White rice, flour, and white bread will quickly deter your efforts for a flatter belly. These foods have a high glycemic index which raises the body’s blood glucose. This results in gained weight and fat deposits that settle in your abdominal region. It is best to stay away from white starches and replace them with healthier options like quinoa, brown rice, and of course vegetables.
ALTERNATIVE: QUINOA OR BROWN RICE
Related: How Alcohol Really Affects Your Body
Everybody likes the occasional drink, but unfortunately, all types of alcohol contain a type of sugar that causes you to produce belly fat. The average beer contains 150 calories, and we both know that you’re not sipping on just one beer during each drinking occasion. You don’t want to be getting your calories from alcohol, especially since it supplies almost twice as many calories as protein and carbs. Another side effect of alcohol is increased hunger, so not only will you be getting unnecessary calories from alcohol but you’ll also be adding calories from the munchies. My advice, stick with water, limit your drinking to a minimum, or do two-a-days five times a week.
You’ll be surprised how many times you eat sausages, in your breakfast, in hot dogs, sporting events, or at BBQs. Unfortunately, there aren’t many alternatives to this food when you’re at BBQ or sporting events so be prepared to bring your own alternative. These foods are not only high in protein but also in fats that are not suitable for a diet. It is better to stick with the fresher meats like turkey, chicken breasts, or fish. Once you realize how this food is made you won’t think twice about picking up another sausage.
ALTERNATIVE: WHITE MEAT, FISH, TURKEY
1. Fast Food
Related: 10 Foods That Are Linked to Cancer
Not surprising right? But why is it that we still find ourselves in a fast food drive through? An average fast food meal contains close to 1,000 calories, that’s half of the recommended daily calorie intake! Look, nothing good ever comes from a fast food place so stop looking for a healthy alternative at the wrong place, we both know why you went there in the first place. Start to cook at home, not only do you use fresher and healthier ingredients, but you’ll also learn a thing or two while saving money.
ALTERNATIVE: HOME COOKED MEALS