As you go about your diet plan, one thing that’s very important is that you take a look at all the foods you’re eating and make sure that they stack up with your nutritional requirements. One big mistake that some people make as they go about a diet program is failing to take into account the nutrients in their food and how this food is going to influence how they feel and function; instead, they simply focus on the total calorie level and it if matches their needs for the day, that food is as good as eaten.
While calories will dictate whether or not you lose weight, you also need to carefully assess the influence the food will have on how you feel, because if you feel miserable on your meal plan or are hungry all day long, chances are you won’t be sticking with that diet as you should. Let’s walk you through six of the top foods that you may be eating right now that need to get the boot from your diet plan.
1. Granola Bars/Energy Bars
The first of the foods on the list to get the boot is granola or energy bars. While these may seem like a wise quick snack option in times of need, don’t be fooled: most are loaded with sugars, are high in simple carbs, and incredibly low in protein. This is not a good combination as far as your diet plan goes. Furthermore, these foods will often only make you hungrier after you eat them and will not serve as a complete meal or snack, so virtually, all they’re doing is destroying your progress.
Sure, they may only be 100-150 calories, but you’d really be better off eating a 250 calorie snack that had some protein in it.
2. Convenient Frozen Dinner Meals
The second of the foods to get the boot from your diet plan is any frozen dinner meals you might be consuming.
Here again, these may be calorie controlled, but they are typically lacking in dietary fiber, protein, and may not provide much in the way of nutrients either. They also often contain pasta, which is a processed source of carb and just not ideal. Additionally, the sodium content in these meals can be through the roof, which will only increase the amount of water you retain.
Forgo frozen dinner meals entirely. If you need to eat on the go, start cooking up larger batches of food yourself when you prepare your meals and then freezing the leftovers for later use. This is a far smarter way to do things and will give you the nourishment that you need.
3. Fruit Juice
Fruit juice is yet another item that many people are consuming on a day-to-day basis that is not going to work in their favor in terms of getting lean and healthy and staying that way.
This one often fools people because it is made with real fruit, so they think that it must be healthy. The problem with fruit juice, however, is that it’s incredibly calorie dense, so you’ll be taking in far more calories than if you would have just had a piece of real fruit and in addition to that, it’s also lacking in dietary fiber.
This is not a good combination as far as results are concerned—just have a piece of real fruit and a glass of water if you’re thirsty.
4. “Whole Grain” Cereal
If you regularly start your day with whole grain cereal, you’re being fooled. Take a look at the ingredients in that cereal and more often than not, sugar will be among the first listed. Many whole grain cereals go in disguise because the marketers behind them want you to think they’re healthy and trick you into eating them regularly.
Don’t be so gullible. Read the nutritional information so that you can see for yourself how these stack up. If they aren’t providing you with a good dose of fiber per serving and have fewer than 3-4 grams of sugar per serving as well, they are not a food to put into your body.
5. Fruit-Flavored Yogurt
Fruit-flavored yogurt is the next thing to consider removing. While there are a few variations that will be okay, for the most part, fruit flavored yogurt is code word for sugar-infused yogurt. Once again, read the label here to see just how much sugar is in that small tub of yogurt you are having as a snack. Most easily contain 10 grams or more. If this is the case, reconsider that yogurt entirely.
You’d be far better off opting for Greek yogurt instead, which hardly contains any sugar and is the smarter and healthier option to get your dairy in.
6. Baked Goods
Whether it’s whole wheat bread, whole wheat bagels, or some other baked food that you are eating, these too need to be removed from your program plan.
The main issue with baked goods is that even if they don’t contain all that much sugar because you’re choosing wisely, they still contain wheat, which is very processed. This is going to set off a number of reactions in the body where your insulin level shoots way up, which will only cause hunger to set in shortly after.
While there is some dietary fiber in whole wheat bread, it often isn’t enough to offset this chain of events. Instead, focus on whole grains such as brown rice, quinoa, and barley—these are the carbohydrate sources that you want to eat because absolutely no processing has gone into them.
So there you have the main foods that you should reconsider having in your diet plan if they are present. Think twice about adding them and you will be all the better because of it.