There are certain foods that are an immediate no, no when it comes to weight loss. These ought to be obvious but my generation have been brought up with little education around food. Domestic science, or home economics or whatever it was called at your school pretty useless when I was young. I remember learning how to bake a potato and make a trifle. Terribly useful.
|A proper food pyramid!|
Luckily, our kids' generation are growing up with much more education in schools about what makes up a healthy diet but even this education is outdated and tentative. Teachers aren't trained in nutrition. Many of them have been brought up, like me, with limited education themselves about what and how to eat. How can they be expected to pass on vital information successfully?
What we need to do is reeducate ourselves about nutrition. We need to understand what it is our bodies require and this will enable us to see that which it does not require and that which is actively harmful yet packaged and marketed so successfully as to make us feel not only do we want it but we need it.
Why do we believe that breakfast has to come in a bowl with milk or popped up our of a toaster? Why do we believe that lunch has to come between two slices of bread? Why do we believe that dinner is something or other with pasta or potatoes or rice?
We need to question everything, all the time!
Recent events unfolding over the horse meat scandal ought to act as a reminder - we genuinely are unaware of the most of the ingredients in the things we buy.
We need to get used to reading labels more carefully. In fact, if you were to stop buying foods with a list of ingredients altogether, you'd never need to go on a diet again!
With that in mind, here is a list of foods and drinks that we think we need, we think we like, we think we want but are actively bad for our health and waistlines. Avoid these and watch the pounds melt away!
It's converted immediately to glucose as soon as it hits your mouth. Glucose that isn't burnt off is stored in muscles (if you do no exercise or are older than 40 your muscle mass is likely to be pretty low which means limited storage) the rest is converted to fatty acids and stored in ever-expanding fat cells. (Actually, this isn't strictly true. There is a finite amount of storage in your fat cells. Once they are full, your body makes new fat cells. Fat cells can't be got rid of. They just expand and contract depending on the amount of fat stored, so once you have new fat cells, you've got them forever though they can be made smaller.)
Bread is also quick and easy to eat, so easy to over-consume and it is rarely eaten alone but often with calorific butter (not too bad) horrible fake spreads and sugary jams.
Eat this instead:
Oat cakes - but limit yourself!
2 Fruit drinks - that's fruit juices as well as squashes.
Fruit juice is natural, right? Yes but full of sugar. Natural sugar, yes but sugar nonetheless and if you are trying to trim your calories, this is a good place to start. Drinking doesn't have the same effect on the brain as eating does. Eating a piece of fruit registers in your brain, you get the benefit of the chewing action and the fibre that you don't get from drinking just the juice.
Drink this instead:
Water, tea, coffee.
3 Biscuits - and that includes Jaffa Cakes!
Easy to over consume. So, so easy. How many of us have opened a packet of biscuits just to have one and before you know it the packet is empty? It's so easy to eat your bodyweight in biscuits and one packet of custard creams can has=ve as many as 2000 calories! thats' 200 calories, easily, in one sitting. And you'll know if you've read my blog before that these high-sugar treats are in and out of your system in no time, giving you an almighty sugar high, followed by the inevitable and miserable sugar crash, leaving you grumpy and lethargic. And as your body hasn't received any nutrients at all from your 2000 calories on top of the glucose having been stripped from your blood stream by your over-efficient insulin response, you will go searching hungrily fro those calories elsewhere! And as you are by now incredibly hungry, you will panic and eat whatever comes to hand! What's that? Another packet of custard creams? Don't mind if I do!
Eat this instead:
Greek yoghurt with a bit of honey, a handful of nuts (not peanuts), a piece of fruit.
4 Crisps - that includes baked and rice cakes
Again, easy to over-consume, full of trans fats and salt and other chemicals. Highly calorific for what they are. Will not satisfy your hunger. Too easy to buy multipacks and always on BOGOF deals (these make me cross!)
Eat this instead:
Chopped up raw veggies, a bag of beansprouts, a handful of nuts (not peanuts)
A medium sized pizza, that you could easily eat all to yourself on the sofa on front of a fil of a Friday night could delver between 1000 and 2000 calories. That's between around half or all of your daily calorie requirements! in one pizza! That's without the coke and ice cream you ordered with it!
Eat this instead:
Make your own pizza with SR flour and yoghurt for the base, pack it full of veggies, make your own tomato sauce (with no added sugar!) and far less cheese that the shop would give you. Or have a nice chicken salad instead!
If you take one thing from this post,
make it this:
don't buy things with a list of ingredients!