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4 of the Worst Foods to Eat When You’re Trying to Lose Weight

4 of the Worst Foods to Eat When You’re Trying to Lose Weight

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.

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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.

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    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.

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    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.

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

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    Kara Heissman

    Kara is passionate about sharing her self-improvement insights to help more people.

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    Last Updated on September 18, 2020

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

    Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

    Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

    1. Exercise Daily

    It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

    If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

    Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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    If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

    2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

    Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

    One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

    This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

    3. Acknowledge Your Limits

    Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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    Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

    Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

    4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

    Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

    The basic nutritional advice includes:

    • Eat unprocessed foods
    • Eat more veggies
    • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
    • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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    Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

      5. Watch Out for Travel

      Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

      This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

      If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

      6. Start Slow

      Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

      If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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      7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

      Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

      My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

      If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

      I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

      Final Thoughts

      Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

      Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

      More Tips on Getting in Shape

      Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

      Reference

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