If you want to start 2019 off on the right foot and live your healthiest life yet, you should leave all of these terrible foods in the past. These are the 9 foods that experts suggest you stop eating this year if you want to lose weight. January is the perfect time for a fresh start and to get your diet on track, once and for all.
“Eating a bagel actually makes you hungrier because there is nothing in it to fill you up,” says Stacy Goldberg, a nutritionist at savorfull. “The calorie count in a bagel is astronomical!”
“Sugary cereal is a terrible food,” says David Baillie, a Connecticut-based personal trainer and owner of Front-Line Fitness. The cereals you grew up eating as a kid are highly processed and full of sugar and refined carbohydrates. Say it ain’t so! It’s super important to read the food labels on cereal boxes and aim for one that has at least 3 to 5 grams fiber and no more than 5 grams sugar per serving.
This small salad topping may seem harmless at first but since it is a refined carb, it actually contains a lot of sugar. Since your body processes these sugars into fat, it can easily ruin your weight loss efforts.
4. Dried Fruit
These are a huge calorie pit,” says Andrea Wise, a Chicago-based trainer and nutrition coach. You probably add dried fruits to salad, oatmeal and yogurt, or snack on a handful. But they contain so much natural sugar that your calorie and carb intake can skyrocket. Instead opt for berries. They’re packed with fiber and are low in carbs.
5. Flavored Yogurts
Flavored yogurts are just bad news. “Yogurt is a good source of protein, calcium, vitamin D, and probiotic bacteria such as L. acidophilus, but not all yogurts are created equal,” says Jenny Dang, RD, the founder of Eat Your Dang Veggies. Flavored yogurts contain more than 15 to 18 grams of total sugar. “You can reduce your added sugar intake by choosing plain, unflavored yogurt and flavoring it with fresh or frozen fruit, nuts, cinnamon or a drizzle of honey,” says Dang. “The fruit will give you an extra nutrient boost of vitamins, minerals and fiber,” she says.
6. Instant Oatmeal
“People who eat good carbs like oatmeal have more energy, reduced sugar cravings, lose more weight and even have more regular bowel movements”, says Dr. Jennifer Stagg, a naturopathic physician. But instant doesn’t qualify because it’s been refined and lost most of its health benefits. Steel-cut oats retain the entire grain and that provides ample fiber to get your body moving.
Put down that breakfast drink this year, it’s just loaded with sugar. “A healthy meal should provide a combo of protein, fat, and carbs with at least 5 grams of fiber,” says Alix Turoff, a New York City nutritionist and trainer. “But juices lack fiber so what you're getting is just a carb that’s going to spike your blood sugar.” You’re much better off squeezing some fresh citrus into a tall glass of water at home.
8. Protein Bars
Your body needs a sufficient amount of protein to function and build muscle, but it’s best to get it naturally from the foods you eat. Culinary nutrition expert, Andrea Wien, explains that protein bras are often loaded with preservatives, GMOs, allergens, soy, aspartame, saccharin, and artificial flavors. “Be diligent about checking labels and making sure ingredients come from a good source and is sugar, soy and gluten-free,” she warns.
9. White Bread
“Refined wheat, aka white flour, contains no nutrients and leaves your body hungrier than when you sat down to eat,” says Dr. Marizelle Arce. With so many other healthy options available at the grocery store there is just no reason to purchase this over-processed food. Avoid foods with ingredients like “wheat flour” or “unbleached enriched flour” on the label. “These empty calorie carbs will cause the next meal you have to be stored and turn into fat,” says Dr. Arce.