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Not losing weight? 10 foods to AVOID!

By GAURAV PAWAR
Last updated on: July 07, 2022 16:19 IST
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With easy access to processed meals and an unhealthy lifestyle, gaining weight is simpler than ever, warns Pune-based celebrity fitness coach Gaurav Pawar.

Kindly note the image has been posted only for representational purposes. Photograph: Kind courtesy Andres Ayrton/Pexels.com

You've tried Keto, intermittent fasting and every other trick in the book to lose weight quickly.

But you have either hit a plateau or haven't lost more than a few kilogrammes.

Sounds familiar?

Do you want to know why you are not losing weight?

The answer is simple: You are not paying attention to your diet.

While working out helps burn calories, eating the wrong food -- or even eating the wrong quantity at the wrong time -- leads to weight gain.

What you need to remember about weight loss, and weight gain, is that it's not just what you eat; sometimes, it's also how and when you eat that makes a huge difference to your body.

With easy access to processed meals and an unhealthy lifestyle, gaining weight is simpler than ever. And when you combine that with stress and poor sleep habits, obesity is a clear consequence.

Making the switch to a healthy diet may do wonders for your health. However, finding the right weight loss meals might be a challenging job.

With so many alternatives available, most of us are frequently confused and demotivated. 

If you are passionate about losing weight and getting back in shape, you can start by staying away from these food items:

1. Wheat

Yes, we know this is a bummer, but you heard it right. One of the items you must eliminate or manage in your diet is wheat.

You may have quit rice and replaced it with wheat. But if you gorge on yummy aloo parathas and crispy pooris every day, if you don't watch your calorie intake, wheat will contribute to your weight gain.

What you also need to understand is that it's not the wheat itself but the quantity of the grain you consume that really matters.

When you consume wheat products in excess, it can significantly raise blood sugar levels, resulting in insulin spikes that may also induce chronic inflammation and extra abdominal fat (visceral fat).

If you are addicted to wheat products thrice a day and are not counting your calories, you are clearly accumulating fat.

The solution? Cut down portions and watch your calorie intake.

2. White rice

Rice is one of the most extensively eaten grains on the planet.

Truth be told, it is a refined carbohydrate meal with very little fibre.

When you eat rice, it is converted to glucose by the body (basically sugar).

The body then consumes this glucose for urgent energy requirements; any extra glucose is stored as fat.

Also, once the fibre is eliminated, rice's glycaemic index rises.

This indicates that sugar is rapidly broken down in the body and released into the bloodstream.

Furthermore, several minerals are eliminated through the refining process, ultimately leading to the storing of excess glucose and weight gain.

If you cannot do without white rice, limit your portions to one cup per meal.

3. Hidden sugar

Any dietician, nutritionist or dentist will tell you how terrible sugar is for your health.

Even if you are not directly consuming sugar, a lot of pre-packaged and processed foods that claim to be healthy and fat-free contain sugar in the form of fructose and sucrose.

Watch out for labels that read brown sugar, ethyl maltol, corn sweetener, maltose and fruit juice concentrate, to name a few.

These are all hidden forms of sugar that, when added to your daily diet, will make you obese.

Added sugars are generally called empty calories since they are calorie-rich but low in nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, protein, fat and fibre, all of which your body requires to function smoothly.

Though little amounts of added sugar are unlikely to induce weight gain, eating meals high in added sugars daily may lead you to accumulate excess body fat quickly and dramatically.

4. Packed beverages

Although it may seem like the easy and harmless thing to do, sipping on a can or a glass of processed fruit beverage does not count as a meal. Nor does it add much value to your diet.

And if most of your diet consists of items high in added sugars, you're likely losing out on vital nutrients.

Protein, good fats, fibre, vitamins, and minerals are all nutrients found in complete, nutritious meals that your body requires for optimal performance and wellness. 

Processed meals and beverages rich in added sugar lack essential components such as the antioxidants that protect your body.

5. Smoothies and fruit juice

Most of us drink fresh juices prepared from fruits, vegetables or a mix of the two to enhance health or lose weight.

However, you must remember that all juices are high in sugar and calories.

Drinking fresh fruit juice daily can contribute to excessive calorie consumption and, if not, controlled can lead to weight gain.

To keep your calorie consumption under control, stick to juices made primarily of non-starchy vegetables like kale and low-sugar fruits.

Juice fills us up fast and the extra calories from juices will lead to weight gain.

6. Jaggery

We have grown up hogging on delicious gur ki dishes.

We have long believed that choosing natural sweeteners is a good idea and one of the most popular natural sweet foods is jaggery.

But what are the consequences? Increased blood sugar levels!

Did you know that 100 grams of jaggery has around 383 calories?

Consuming it regularly might create a significant spike in your blood sugar, thereby contributing to weight gain.

7. Honey

Sweet, sticky and satisfying -- honey undoubtedly brightens our day.

Although it has several health benefits, honey is a calorie-dense meal that is low on vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients.

One tablespoon of honey has 64 calories. That is more than 49 calories in a spoonful of granulated sugar.

Although natural, it is still sugar, just like table sugar.

Even raw honey contains just carbs in the form of sugar.

8. Corn

Corn is a starchy vegetable and cereal grain that has been consumed for generations all across the world.

Yes, it has a lot of fibre, vitamins and minerals. But when consumed regularly, it can also cause a spike in blood sugar. And if it is genetically modified, the risks are higher.

Maize is basically rich in starch and hence may not be suitable for those who want to lose weight, particularly diabetics.

9. Maida

Most of your favourite junk food -- naan, pizza, cakes and doughnuts -- is made using maida or refined flour.

When consumed regularly, refined foods can be extremely harmful for the body.

Even though you may exercise, maida significantly reduces your body's metabolic rate.

When you ingest maida-based foods, your body stops burning fat and instead stores it which leads to weight gain.

Fibre is necessary for a healthy and robust digestive system. And maida has no fibre.

It is naturally acidic, so when you consume it regularly and in excess, it reduces bone density, putting you at risk of arthritis and inflammation.

Eating maida products boosts your bad cholesterol (LDL and VLDL), making you obese.

It clogs the arteries, elevates blood pressure, changes blood sugar, keeps you hungry, makes you seek sweets, causes mood swings and wreaks havoc on your health, appearance and relationships.

It has been established that maida cannot keep you full for an extended period. It increases your appetite and encourages you to consume more.

It also contains a lot of carbs, which cause insulin secretion to rise, leading to weight gain and obesity. It also has a high glycaemic index which has been associated with overeating.

10. Sago/Sabudana

If you think sabudana (sago) is good for your health, you are wrong.

A popular ingredient during fasting and festivals, sago does not help you lose weight. In fact, it aids in fat gain.

Sago is starchy, high in calories and heavy on carbs, which makes it difficult to manage food cravings. As a result, you tend to overeat and gain weight.

Since sabudana has a substantial amount of simple carbs, the added sugar makes you feel hungry rather than fuller for longer.

Most carbohydrates, when consumed regularly, are known to raise insulin levels and when insulin levels rise, some people get hungry and eat more.

Consuming extra fat and protein helps to keep hunger at bay. Unfortunately, sabudana provides a lesser amount of both nutrients.

To lose weight in a healthy manner, you must reduce your food portions and consume low-calorie items to establish a calorie deficit.

If you want to stay in shape, besides working out regularly, it is also important to choose meals that keep you full for longer periods of time. 

You're less prone to overeating if you're full and content.

If you want to stay healthy and live longer, practise mindful eating and keep track of your fullness level.


Disclaimer: All content and media herein is written and published online for informational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It should not be relied on as your only source for advice.

Please always seek the guidance of your doctor or a qualified health professional with any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition. Do not ever disregard the advice of a medical professional, or delay in seeking it because of something you have read herein.

If you believe you may have a medical or mental health emergency, please call your doctor, go to the nearest hospital, or call emergency services or emergency helplines immediately. If you choose to rely on any information provided herein, you do so solely at your own risk.

Opinions expressed herein cannot necessarily provide advice to fit the exact specifics of the issues of the person requesting advice.


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GAURAV PAWAR