When starting a new fitness journey one of the first steps is to get rid of food temptations that might be hanging out in your kitchen. On first glance it’s obvious that you should probably get rid of the Girl Scout Cookies in your freezer, the bag of bagels in your fridge and the greasy potato chips in your panty. But you may also need to throw out some food that on first glance don’t seem so bad. Check out these 6 foods that are found in almost every women’s kitchen in America. If your weight loss is stalling or not at the pace you would like it’s pretty good sign you need to get rid of the following….
1. Salad Dressing
Pre-made, oil based, or low fat salad dressing is a no-go when trying to lose weight. Most pre-made salad dressing comes loaded with calories, sugar, salt and the low-fat versions tend to be even higher in sugar and salt compared to their regular counter parts.
Swap it for- Olive oil and vinegar. Just don’t overdo it. One tablespoon packs a healthy does of unsaturated fatty acids without being a calorie nightmare.
2. Canned Foods
The major problem with canned food is that the food is often loaded with sodium, which is a huge concern for women trying to lose weight. Sodium is used to keep your soup “fresh” and enhance its flavor, but it comes with frustrating water retention as a side effect, making you feel like you’re gaining, not losing, weight.
Swap it for: fresh and frozen produce. If you absolutely can’t part with cans, look for a BPA-free label, and make sure you drain your veggies and rinse them to remove excess sodium. If you’re craving a steaming bowl of soup, try pureeing those veggies along with your favorite spices.
Fruit or green, it doesn’t make much of a difference when it comes to spiking blood-sugar levels. While even 100 percent fruit juices are little more than sugar water, many packaged green juices are mostly fruit juice—just with a dash of spinach, kale, or spirulina. The juicing process separates the fruit’s juice from its fiber, so the sugar you do get makes your blood sugar spike. A a result Insulin rushes the sugar straight into your fat cells and, 30 minutes later, you’re left with a sugar crash and cravings. If you serve yourself a typical 16-ounce glass of orange juice, for example, you’re getting about 200 calories, 40 grams of sugar, and only one gram of fiber.
Swap it for: actual fruits. That way, you get fiber, which slows down your body’s absorption of the sugar and helps you feel full for longer. If green juices are your weakness, consider making your own. That way, you have complete control over what you’re sipping.
4. Coffee Creamer
A splash can’t be that big of a deal right? How much harm can it do to your weight-loss efforts? More than you probably think. Coffee creamer can be one of the most concentrated sources of calories in your refrigerator, weighing in at 20, 30, even 50 calories a tablespoon.
Swap it for: Unsweetened Almond Milk.
5. Processed Lunch Meat
No matter how lean your lunchmeat is (“come on, it’s turkey!”), it’s still processed and not a great choice if you’re trying to lose weight or just live healthier. Oftentimes processed deli meat is pumped full of chemicals our body doesn’t know or recognize. And while sodium can lead to ill-famed water retention and bloating, research has also linked processed meat to cardiovascular disease and premature death.
Swap it for: fresh DIY cuts. All you have to do is cook your turkey, chicken, or beef and then slice it up real thin. It doesn’t have to take a lot of work: Consider using your crockpot. With the right combination of spices, juiciness, and zero chemicals, you’ll never want a cold cut again.
The “diet-friendly” butter alternative is low in fat but high in chemicals. Most worrisome for weight loss: partially hydrogenated oils, which are in some types of margarine. Those oils are high in trans fats, or manmade ones, which can harm your weight-loss efforts and health even at low doses.
Swap it for: more natural fat sources, even if that means you consume a few more calories than you would with margarine. If you use margarine as a spread try unsalted organic ghee butter. However, if you’re cooking, coconut, hemp seed, avocado, grape seed, and other oils make great options. Just remember that they are all calorically dense—a little bit goes a long way.
Trashing the 6 foods above and using the healthy alternatives I listed might be just want you need to break past your weight loss plateau.
<3 Your Trainer, Emily Napier