Losing weight is a very common goal year-round. And while eating healthier foods, avoiding junk and fatty foods, and being more physically active sounds simple, the reality is much more complex. It’s frustrating when you believe you have been doing everything right not to see the scale budge. What could be wrong? Though the reasons can be many, the answer may also be in what you’re eating.
Eating a balanced diet is key, but you have to know which foods have hidden ingredients you want to avoid. Not all foods and rinks are created equal, and many of them you only think are healthy when, in reality, they wreak havoc on your body.
The biggest enemy to your diet is overconsumption of calories, particularly from sugar, processed carbohydrates, and fried foods, according to San Antonio clinical nutritionist Sarah Treat. People are very often unaware of their exact calorie intake, and this is their biggest mistake when trying to lose weight, she explained.
Ultimately, when you’re trying to lose weight, you need a calorie deficit, said Jill Maher, a nutrition health coach in Scottsdale, Arizona. You have to burn more calories than you consume. “But you also want to avoid artificial ingredients or you may not be as successful as someone eating whole foods,” she added.
“Something I constantly have to remind my clients is that carbohydrates are not bad,” Gabriela Rivera, a nutritionist practicing with clinical nutritionist Kay Spears in San Antonio, Texas. “Especially my weight loss clients, they seem to be scared to eat a sweet potato or get intimidated when going out to eat.”
Treat agrees. “Fruits and vegetables are carbohydrates, and are not bad for you. They are essential for good health, actually.” Many of her clients, she said, are also “afraid” of carbs. “I have to remind them of the right ones.”
Carbohydrates are an essential macronutrient and are needed for fuel — they are needed just like protein and fats. But when eaten excessively, or prepared a certain way (read fried), they can cause weight gain, Rivera added.
To compile a list of 17 “healthy” foods that are actually destroying your diet, 24/7 Tempo consulted several registered dietitians and clinical nutritionists specializing in weight-loss programs and health coaching.