Although physical activity has many proven benefits, new studies reveal that eating right is the foundation for successful weight loss.  For instance, if you reduce your daily calorie intake by 500 than you expend you are going to create a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories in a week which will lead you to lose one pound. On the other hand, if you aim to lose the same amount of weight in a weeks time through exercise alone, you have to walk everyday for about 3.5 hours at a speed of 2 mph. Hence, it is justifiable to say that watching what you eat is a lot more effective than working out if you aim to lose weight.

Eating right could mean different things to different people. But generally, it means eating healthy, balanced meals as suggested by the USDA Food Guide. More specifically, eating right means letting real, natural foods such as vegetables, fruits, and proteins as well as complex carbohydrates make up most of your daily food intake.

The 4 worst foods when you’re trying to lose weight

All the while, you should be avoiding foods that offer empty calories or no nutritional value. There are a lot of these types of food out there — but here are some of the worst.

1. Soda

Soda is said to be the leading source of empty calories. It is filled with nothing but sugar and offers absolutely no nutritional value. In short, it fills your body with a great deal of calories but zero nutrition. If you drink soda on a regular basis, you will be susceptible to gaining weight. See for instance, a can or 330 ml of Coke contains around 160 calories. This means that if you drink one can of Coke every single day, you will end up with 4800 extra calories or 1.4lbs at the end of a month and 57,600 extra calories or 16.8lbs in a year.

2. Alcohol

If you want to lose weight fast, you need to stay away from all the booze. Like soda, alcohol also contains only empty calories and has no nutritional value. It does not in any way satisfy your appetite or give you the feeling of fullness, so it does not keep you from eating less food but still adds a sizable amount of calories to your diet. They also have this tendency of loosening up your resolve to lose weight and make you eat without thinking. And lastly, being a depressant, alcohol slows down your metabolism. Drinking a can of beer is like gulping down the same amount of calories you get when you eat 3 whole apples.

3. Trans Fat

Trans fat, which is found in many fried and processed foods, is said to be the worst form of fat. Studies reveal that a person whose calorie consumption is composed of 8% calories from trans fat is bound to gain 7.2 percent increase in body weight in 8 years time. Trans fat does not only trigger weight gain but also cause fat from other regions of the body to be transferred and stored to the abdominal region. The best way to avoid trans fat is to keep away from processed food. When buying products, check the label or ingredient list for words like partially hydrogenated, hydrogenated,  high stearate, and stearic rich.

4. Refined Grains

Basically, refined grains include white flour, white bread, white rice, white pasta and their derivatives. These are what nutritionists often label as “bad carbohydrates.” They are termed as such because they are mostly responsible for many people’s weight gain and are also associated with many degenerative diseases. Refined grains are stripped of their fiber and nutritional contents as they are processed, leaving only sugar, starch and an enriched taste. Starch and sugar tend to get converted to fat and stored in the body; hence, making people fat. If you want to lose weight without totally eliminating grains from your diet, go for whole grains or whole grain products.

Featured photo credit: Refreshing Brown Soda via Shutterstock and inline photo by Dov Harrington via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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