There are plenty of foods we should eat more of, but unfortunately there are also plenty of tempting foods that are bad for your diet. If you’re trying to lose weight but don’t seem able to shift those few extra stubborn pounds, the culprits could be some of these foods that are bad for your diet – surprising foods that you may have thought were good for you can be packed with nutritional no-no’s that could see your diet fail before it has even started!
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Putting sushi at the top of a list of unhealthy foods that are bad for your diet is probably quite a controversial thing to do, but just bear with me for a second! Not all sushi is bad for you – just the rolls which contain mayonnaise or other high-fat ingredients. Large California rolls with mayonnaise and avocado can be fattening, as can rolls filled with too much rice. By sticking to sashimi and smaller maki rolls filled with fresh fish and raw vegetables such as cucumber and red pepper, you can be sure you’re eating a nutritious portion of sushi that will have benefits for your health and your waistline.
We all know that chocolate is a bad choice when it comes to dieting. Because it’s filled with sugar and fat, it causes your blood sugar levels to spike, crashing after a short period of time and leaving you feeling empty and even hungrier than before. If you do need a sweet fix to get you through your day, a few squares of dark chocolate or a healthy cereal bar with dried fruit should help ease your cravings. Sweet potato is another great choice – a baked sweet potato for lunch will ensure you’re not reaching for the biscuit tin come 3pm, and because sweet potatoes are filled with complex carbohydrates, your blood sugar levels will remain stable for longer!
Processed lunch meats and deli meats are really bad for your diet, as not only do they contain high levels of saturated fat, but they’re also filled with preservatives such as sodium nitrite, which can be harmful to the body. Consuming lots of processed meats and pates can lead to breakouts and headaches, particularly if you’re sensitive to the preservatives used. Try to stick to one to two portions maximum a week, or cut them from your diet entirely and replace them with lean chicken breast in salads and wraps. Your body will thank you for it!
Sweetened Breakfast Cereals
You might love Lucky Charms, but the chances are your waistline doesn’t agree! Sweetened breakfast cereals give you a temporary boost in the morning, but won’t provide the long-term sustenance of whole-grain cereals, leaving you feeling hungry again by the time coffee break rolls around. Instead, opt for whole-grain fibers and choose porridge or super-healthy muesli with fruit and nuts, to provide a stable boost to your blood sugar and keep you feeling fuller for longer. You can add anything you like to home-made muesli; I love coconut flakes, almonds and freeze-dried strawberries!
You might think that opting for the low-fat version of your favorite food means you can indulge to your heart’s content, right? Wrong, I’m afraid. Many low-fat and fat-free foods contain a whole host of other unhealthy ingredients such as sugar, colorings and flavor enhancers. Just because a food is fat-free, doesn’t mean it’s a healthy choice – for example, gummy bears contain no fat, but aren’t a good diet food! The risk with low-fat options is that you’ll consume more of them, presuming they’re healthier for you. There’s no harm in opting for reduced-fat spread and mayo, but keep your portion sizes strict to ensure you aren’t damaging your diet efforts!
If you’re planning on eating salad for dinner, it’s best to make it yourself at home. Prepare salads bought at grocery or convenient stores aren’t always the healthiest option and even the supposedly low-fat varieties can be loaded with cheese, mayo and other diet disasters. Prepare your own tasty chicken salad at home with a heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil, mustard and white wine vinegar dressing, and add your favorite vegetables to the mix, such as sweet peppers, cucumber and carrots. The more brightly colored the vegetables you choose, the more antioxidants they contain, boosting your health as well as your diet! Chicken salad doesn’t have to be boring; by adding your favorite vegetables and dressing you can create a yummy dinner that you’ll look forward to.
Buying a smoothie from your local coffee bar is usually seen as a healthy option – after all, aren’t smoothies mostly made from blended fruit? The truth is, portion sizes at coffee shops can add empty calories to an otherwise healthy choice, with sherbet, sugar or other additions mixed into your smoothie to create a tasty treat that isn’t doing your blood sugar level any favors. Make your own smoothie at home with fresh or frozen fruit, ice and yogurt or milk for a tempting way to start your day – you’ll know exactly what’s in it and can be sure you’re getting a healthy start!
Unfortunately there are plenty of foods lurking on the diet horizon that aren’t as healthy as we all might think, and it’s easy to let them ruin your weight-loss goals! By taking a sensible approach to eating, checking out a food’s nutritional values and watching your portion control, these foods don’t have a chance when it comes to adding weight to your waistline! Have you eaten any foods that you thought were healthy, only to be unpleasantly surprised? What tips and tricks have helped you to lose weight?
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