Reading this article will give you a better understanding of your body composition and help in distinguishing fat control from weight control, what nutrients are and how their correct or incorrect composition in your overall diet may contribute to your levels of fatness or lean body mass.
1. French Fries or (Potato) Chips
Whole potatoes are healthy and filling, especially when boiled, but french fries and potato chips are typically cooked in fat and include high levels of added salt and refined carbohydrates.
Whole potatoes are healthy and filling, but french fries and potato chips are not. They are very high in calories, and it's very easy to eat way too many of them.
One study even found that potato chips may contribute to more weight gain per serving than any other food.
What's more, baked, roasted or fried potatoes may contain cancer-causing substances called acrylamides. Therefore, it's best to eat plain, boiled potatoes. The added fat and salt makes eating too many more chips even more likely. Additionally these foods are typically served with servings of other highly fattening food like Ketchup sauces and mayonnaise.
French fries and potato chips are unhealthy and fattening. On the other hand, whole, boiled potatoes are very healthy and help fill you up.
Several studies including the government and NHS Public Access Peer Reviewed studies of changes in Diet and Lifestyle and Long Term Weight Gain in both Women and Men ( Dariush Mozaffarian, M.D., Dr.P.H., Tao Hao, M.P.H., Eric B. Rimm, Sc.D., Walter C. Willett, M.D., Dr.P.H., and Frank B. Hu, M.D., Ph.D.
Link the consumption of chips to weight gain over a four year period.
2. Sugary Drinks
Nutritional and Dietary studies link drinking soft drinks which contain artificial sweeteners like simple processed sugar which type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer.
So why drink them? Well the marketing from the companies who sell us these products produce research which tends to contradict, or at least cast doubt on the accepted research.
Whether observational research or just common sense observation of the behaviours of obese adults and children we reach the same conclusion, if you drink sweet drinks a lot your propensity to become fatter increases.
(Simple)Sugar-sweetened beverages, like soda pop, are regarded by most health and fitness professionals to be among some of the most unhealthy foods on the planet. Yet sadly many health and fitness supplements and re-hydration style drinks amount to no more than fattening sweet sugary drinks themselves, just marketed as healthy.
By associating sugary drinks, usually in TV Advertising Commercials with either a healthy lifestyle or fitness and sport, we are stealthily given the illusion that these product might actually be harmless or even healthy.
In the same way observational science works advertising does the same thing. We observe a fit person drinking sugary drinks and eating french fries and our brain makes the connection that this is part of their lifestyle. But unlike the fat people who actually consume these products, fit people on the whole do not, they monitor and control their diet, and exercise regimes, so don't be fooled.
They contain processed sugars or simple carbohydrates which have been strongly linked with excessive weight gain and the triggering of associated ill health when consumed in excess.
Even though sugary drinks contain a lot of calories, your brain doesn't register them like solid food. Liquid sugar calories don't make you feel full, and you won't eat less food to compensate. Instead, you end up adding these calories on top of your normal intake.
If you are serious about losing weight, consider giving up sugary drinks completely.
Sugary drinks can negatively affect your weight and general health. If weight loss is your goal, then giving up soda and similar drinks is likely to make a huge contribution to your success.
3. White Bread
White bread is highly refined and often contains a lot of added sugar.
It is high on the glycemic index and can spike your blood sugar levels.
One study of 9,267 people found that eating two slices (120 grams) of white bread per day was linked to a 40% greater risk of weight gain and obesity.
Fortunately, there are many healthy alternatives to conventional wheat bread. One is Ezekiel bread, which is probably the healthiest bread on the market.
However, keep in mind that all wheat breads do contain gluten. Some other options include cornbread and almond flour bread.
White bread is made from very fine flour, and can spike your blood sugar levels and lead to overeating. However, there are many other types of bread you can eat.
4. Candy Sweets and or Chocolate Bars
Candy bars are extremely unhealthy. They pack a lot of added sugar, added oils and refined flour into a small package.
Candy bars are high in calories and low in nutrients. An average-sized candy bar covered in chocolate can contain around 200 to 300 calories, and extra-large bars may contain even more.
Unfortunately, you can find candy bars everywhere. They are even strategically placed in stores in order to tempt consumers into buying them impulsively.
If you are craving a snack, eat a piece of fruit or a handful of nuts instead.
Candy bars consist of unhealthy ingredients like sugar, refined flour and added oils. They are high in calories, but not very filling.
5. Most Fruit Juices
Most fruit juices you find at the supermarket have very little in common with whole fruit.
Fruit juices are highly processed and loaded with sugar.
In fact, they can contain just as much sugar and calories as soda, if not more.
Also, fruit juice usually has no fibre and doesn't require chewing.
This means that a glass of orange juice won't have the same effects on fullness as an orange, making it easy to consume large quantities in a short amount of time.
Stay away from fruit juice and eat whole fruit instead.
Fruit juice is high in calories and added sugar, but usually contains no fiber. It is best to stick to whole fruit.
6. Pastries, Cookies and Cakes
Pastries, cookies and cakes are packed with unhealthy ingredients like added sugar and refined flour.
They may also contain artificial trans fats, which are very harmful and linked to many diseases.
Pastries, cookies and cakes are not very satisfying, and you will likely become hungry very quickly after eating these high-calorie, low-nutrient foods.
If you're craving something sweet, reach for a piece of dark chocolate instead.
Pastries, cookies and cakes often contain large amounts of added sugar, refined flour and sometimes trans fat. These foods are high in calories but not very filling.
7. Some Types of Alcohol (Especially Beer)
Alcohol provides more calories than carbs and protein, or about 7 calories per gram.
However, the evidence for alcohol and weight gain is not clear.
Drinking alcohol in moderation seems to be fine and is actually linked to reduced weight gain. Heavy drinking, on the other hand, is associated with increased weight gain (20, 21).
The type of alcohol also matters. Beer can cause weight gain, but drinking wine in moderation may actually be beneficial.
If you are trying to lose weight, you may want to consider cutting back on alcohol or skipping it altogether. Wine in small amounts seems to be fine.
8. Ice Cream
Ice cream is incredibly delicious, but very unhealthy. It is high in calories, and most types are loaded with sugar.
A small portion of ice cream is fine every now and then, but the problem is that it's very easy to consume massive amounts in one sitting.
Consider making your own ice cream, using less sugar and healthier ingredients like full-fat yogurt and fruit.
Also, serve yourself a small portion and put the ice cream away so that you won't end up eating too much.
Store-bought ice cream is high in sugar, and homemade ice cream is a better alternative. Remember to be mindful of portions, as it's very easy to eat too much ice cream.
Pizza is a very popular fast food. However, commercially made pizzas also happen to be very unhealthy.
They're extremely high in calories and often contain unhealthy ingredients like highly refined flour and processed meat.
If you want to enjoy a slice of pizza, try making one at home using healthier ingredients. Homemade pizza sauce is also healthier, since supermarket varieties can contain lots of sugar.
Another option is to look for a pizza place that makes healthier pizzas.
Commercial pizzas are often made from highly refined and processed ingredients. A homemade pizza with healthier ingredients is a much better option.
10. High-Calorie Coffee Drinks
Coffee contains several biologically active substances, most importantly caffeine.
These chemicals can boost your metabolism and increase fat burning, at least in the short term (23, 24).
However, the negative effects of adding unhealthy ingredients like artificial cream and sugar outweigh these positive effects.
High-calorie coffee drinks are actually no better than soda. They're loaded with empty calories that can equal a whole meal.
If you like coffee, it's best to stick to plain, black coffee when trying to lose weight. Adding a little cream or milk is fine too. Just avoid adding sugar, high-calorie creamers and other unhealthy ingredients.
Plain, black coffee can be very healthy and help you burn fat. However, high-calorie coffee drinks that contain artificial ingredients are very unhealthy and fattening.
11. All or Any Foods High in Added (Simple / Processed) Sugar
Added sugar is probably the worst thing in the modern diet. Excess amounts have been linked to some of the most serious diseases in the world today.
Foods high in added sugar usually provide tons of empty calories, but are not very filling.
Examples of foods that may contain massive amounts of added sugar include sugary breakfast cereals, granola bars and low-fat, flavoured yogurt.
You should be especially careful when selecting products branded "low-fat" or so called "fat-free" foods, as a typical trick of some food manufacturers is to compensate the lack of taste that removing fat creates with the supplementation of processed sugar to make up for the bland flavour lost when the fat is removed.
Added sugar is one of the unhealthiest ingredients in the modern diet. Many products, such as low-fat and fat-free foods, seem healthy but are loaded with sugar.