Designing a proper fat loss diet plan is the best way to lose fat. Duh!
But even with a well-planned fat loss diet, at times your progress may slow down, and you won’t have a clue why.
The culprit for this can be the food that sneaks up in your diet, which you may falsely consider as healthy.
Here is a list of 27 such food items in 9 different categories that you should keep strictly out of your fat loss diets.
When fat loss is your goal, the first rule is to avoid all types of sugar. Sweets, cakes, pastries, jams, chocolates, ice creams, candies – these are a big no-no. But apart from these obvious offenders, some not so fat loss friendly foods can fly under your fat-loss radar if you are not aware of it.
1. Peanut Butter
Yes, peanut butter is a healthy and fat loss friendly food but not the ones that you find in your grocery stores. Most of the peanut butter found in stores contain added sugar.
Look for unsweetened peanut butter or prepare it at home.
Honey is a natural substance and it has many ayurvedic and medicinal properties. But I would not recommend it for a fat loss diet. Honey is loaded with a type of sugar called fructose. It is the sweetest known sugar and will hinder your fat loss process.
3. Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate is a healthy snack and it can curb your sweet tooth cravings. But the catch is that it should contain 80% or above cocoa. Less than that would contain a higher amount of artificial sweetener or sugar alcohol.
Tip: Try to find brands which use stevia as a sweetener.
Chikki a combination of jaggery (gud) and peanut.
Many people consider it a healthy snacking option. The chikki that you get in the market are loaded with sugar with some jaggery added for taste.
Murabba is a sweet fruit preserve. You can also call it a form of sweet pickle. Sometimes it can come in your diet and you would not consider it a problem. But it contains sugar as a preservative and should be avoided.
Sipping any kind of drinks with added sugar is the worst and the fastest way to derail your fat loss ride. And not just derail, but it will put you back on the losing track of gaining both weight and waistline.
6. All types of soft drinks
All brands of soft drinks are nothing more than sugary water with added flavours. It’s unfavourable for both your fat loss effort and your health.
7. Energy drinks
Popular energy drinks like Red Bull, Monster, Tzinga are a combination of caffeine and sugar.
8. Diet soda
Diet sodas are promoted as diet-friendly because it contains zero calories and no sugar. But it contains artificial sugar which will stimulate insulin – the fat-storing hormone. If you are serious about your fat loss, then don’t drink it.
9. Flavoured Milk
When you see the word milk you might think it’s healthy. The milk added with sugar and food colourings ruin its nutritive value and makes it a junk drink.
10. Tea or coffee with sugar
When I say don’t add sugar to your tea or coffee, many people will argue that they add very little sugar (“Na ke barabar”) to their tea or coffee. The point is, even with this little sugar, you are drinking your tea or coffee every day and many times 2-3 cups a day.
Over time this will slow down your fat loss even if you follow the rest of your diet properly.
11. Hot chocolate
Some people like to drink hot chocolate for an energy boost. A big no-no when you want to lose weight.
Salted lassi is a good drink but if it contains added sugar it’s ruined. Prepare it at home. Don’t trust the lassi you get in restaurants and dairy stores as they may contain some amount of sugar even if you ask for a salted lassi.
It’s a common belief that fruit juices are always a healthy and fat loss friendly drink. This is untrue.
13. Packed fruit juices
These are marketing scams, trying to sell you sugar water containing some fruit concentrate with added colours and flavours. The height of hypocrisy is that it is sold in the name of health.
‘If you want to get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals – drink this.’ Don’t get fooled by such marketing gimmicks.
14. Fruit Juices
Many consider fruit juices without added sugar as the epitome of healthy drinks. People cannot be blamed for believing in this myth as many health professionals and dieticians advocate fruit juices as part of healthy eating habits.
Let me make it clear – Fruits are healthy; fruit juices are not.
Fruit contains natural sugar known as fructose. The whole fruit also contains fibre which binds these sugar. The grinding process separates the fibre from the sugar, allowing the concentrated sugar to directly enter in your body. This overflow of sugar will not help you lose weight.
Plus, the whole fruit is more filling than its juice. Always opt for whole fruits which are rich in fibre.
15. Sugarcane juice
A special mention of sugarcane juice is in order.
Many people consider it a staple during the summer season.
What we spoke about fruit juices, stands true for sugarcane juice as well. Have you seen the leftover after the sugarcane juice is extracted? – that was the fibre holding that sugar.
Also, sugarcane is the raw material out of which sugar is made. When the sugar has so many devastating effects how can its juice be any healthy, particularly when trying to lose weight?
Fun fact: Sugarcane juice is the national drink of Pakistan.
Another misleading fact – If you want to lose fat don’t eat white bread instead choose healthier options like brown bread or multigrain bread.
16. Brown bread
Selling brown bread as a healthy alternative for white bread is a marketing hoax which people fell for. Brown bread or multigrain bread is no better. Like white bread, they too contain refined flour that spikes the blood sugar which in turn releases the fat-storing hormone insulin.
Here’s a piece of golden advice, when some packed food is marketed as healthy and nutritious, always take it with, not a pinch but a huge pile of salt.
17. Multi-grain bread
Multi-grain bread may sound like a combination of many grains, but that is not the case. It’s primarily a white bread with small quantities of different grains added to it. Also, multi-grain doesn’t mean it’s whole grain.
For the past few years, a new fad has hit the market in the form of healthy and nutritious biscuits. Healthy biscuits are like an empty ocean – they don’t exist. Don’t fall for such marketing bluffs.
18. High fibre biscuits
High fibre biscuits claim to give you the benefits of fibre.
But, are they only high in fibre?
The popular brands like Sunfeast and Britannia’s high fibre biscuits contain around 6gm of fibre in 100gm biscuits.
What they fail to mention is that it also contains 68gm of carbs with around 15gm of added sugar.
If you want fibre, eat green vegetables and fresh fruits. It will give you all the required fibre without the sugar and refined flour.
19. Protein biscuits
Protein biscuits sound very appealing as it has a high protein content. But as soon as you see the label of these biscuits, it turns out that protein is not the only thing that is high in these biscuits. In the name of protein you are getting a truckload of carbs and added sugar. There are better natural sources of protein than what these biscuits offer.
Snacks can help curb your cravings and hunger before mealtime. There are a lot of natural and healthy snacking options like nuts, fruits, buttermilk, coconut water and many more.
The trouble when it comes to snacks is that the market is filled will all kinds of snacking options. From low calorie, low fat, low sugar, to low in everything kind of snacks is up for grabs.
But a big problem with these snacks is that once you open a pack you won’t be able to limit yourself to eating just a few.
20. Baked potato chips
Companies making baked potato chips claim that it has less fat and fewer calories. The problem with the potato chips is not just its fat but the potato itself.
Fat gives you a feeling of fullness. So less fat will make you eat more to feel full. And have you ever seen anyone stopping at 2-3 chips?
21. Low-fat snacks
Not just potato chips, the market is flooded with all kinds of low-fat snacks like low-fat chakli, low-fat ragi chips, low-fat matri. You can get a low-fat version of many more snacks like these.
And every pack boldly writes ‘healthy’ on the packaging. Writing ‘healthy’ on the packet doesn’t make it healthy.
I have come across many people who think popcorn is a healthy snacking option as it’s a ‘light food’. The problem with popcorn is also the same. Once you start eating popcorn you won’t even notice when you’ve finished the whole thing.
Also, the corn itself is not a good option for fat-loss as it’s a high-glycemic grain i.e. it rapidly raises the blood sugar in your body. When fat loss is your target you should stay away from high-glycemic foods.
Dry fruits are great if fat-loss is not your target. But people who want to lose fat should stay away from dry fruits as they are high in natural sugar.
Dates (Khajoor) taste very sweet, you know why? Because they are crammed with carbs and sugar. One nut contains 4.5gm of sugar.
Kishmish (raisins) are dried grapes. They are chock-full of natural sugar. 100gm of kishmish contains a staggering 59gm of sugar. It’s a good idea to avoid kishmish while you are following a fat-loss diet.
Anjeer is a sweet fruit. It is also referred to as Nature’s candy. The sugar and sweetness of anjeer make it difficult to keep it in moderation. They have a high glycemic index and not ideally recommended on a fat-loss diet.
Sauces and Dressings
Sauces and dressings can enhance the flavour of your food. There are many healthy options for dressings like lime, vinegar, olive oil, coconut oil and many more. Stay away from the commercial sauces and dressings that you find in the aisles of your supermarket.
26. Salad dressing
Commercial salad dressing contains sugar, oil and many types of preservatives. Don’t make your healthy bowl of salad a little less healthy by adding such dressings over it.
27. Tomato sauce
Tomato sauce contains more sugar than actual tomatoes. Plus it’s loaded with thickening agent and preservatives. You can use different types of chutney or pickle instead of these types of sugary sauces.
These are the list of foods which I recommend my clients to avoid on a fat-loss diet.
If you think I have missed out on some food or if you have a doubt related to any other food, please leave a comment below.
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