If you are serious about losing weight, you have to give up sugar and fast food completely, says nutritionist Raheela Hasan.
Photograph*: Kind courtesy Kirby Jenner/Instagram
Every year, losing weight tops the list of New Year resolutions.
But how often do people succeed?
If you are doing everything right and still not losing weight, you're probably not eating right.
Here's a list of foods that may be leading you to gain weight:
Sugar-sweetened beverages like soda are one of the unhealthiest foods on the planet.
Foods high in added sugar usually provide tons of empty calories, but are not very filling.
They strongly lead to weight gain and have disastrous health effects.
Liquid sugar calories don't make you feel full. At the same time, you won't eat less food to compensate for the additional sugar.
Instead, you end up adding these calories on top of your normal intake.
If you are serious about losing weight, you have to give up sugar completely.
You should also be careful when selecting 'low-fat' or 'fat-free' foods, as manufacturers often add lots of sugar to make up for the flavour that's lost when the fat is removed.
Sugar negatively affects your weight and general health.
If weight loss is your goal, you must give up soda, aerated and canned drinks.
While processing food has allowed them to have a longer shelf life, the process often strips foods of its flavour and essential nutrients.
Most manufacturers will enhance the taste and perishability of foods by adding salt, sugar and bad kind of fat.
Manufacturers can also fortify processed foods with the nutrients that have been removed.
It may not be as good as the nutrients that were in there originally.
It's best to make foods fresh at home with whole food ingredients.
A drink or two is okay.
But when you drink in excess, alcohol begins to affect your body.
If you drink in excess and wake up with a hangover, you'll end up skipping your food or overeating.
With lack of exercise, alcohol can do worse.
Eventually, you may experience bloating and weight gain.
Pastries, cookies and cakes
Most baked foods are packed with unhealthy ingredients like added sugar and refined flour.
They may also contain artificial trans fat which are very harmful and may even lead to diseases.
These foods may temporarily satisfy your hunger. But you are likely to become hungry sooner after consuming these high-calorie, low-nutrient foods.
If you're craving something sweet, reach for a piece of dark chocolate instead.
The author Raheela Hasan is health and nutrition specialist, director and founder, Fitrition, Mumbai.