Stay Away From These Food & Burn Fat Easily

once that new year’s eve hangover wore off, reality likely kicked in and those resolutions you made to save more money and lose more weight became a daunting reality.

year after year an incredible amount of people vow to shape up and whip their diet into shape to boot. however, most of those same people don’t end up with the results they hoped for. the real secret to fat loss is not about lifting more weight—although that helps, but rather it lies within the simple action of lifting fork to mouth (or sometimes choosing not to).

if your goal is to get rid of that stubborn fat hanging around your midsection, then stay far, far away from these foods.


the seemingly healthy snack often delivers a serious hit of sugar, sometimes making it no better for you than a handful of m&m’s. “flavored yogurts, even the innocuous vanilla variety, can pack nearly 30 grams of sugar per 6 oz. serving. that’s more sugar than ice cream! excess sugar can lead to weight gain so avoid the flavored varieties and stick with plain greek yogurt,” says tanya zuckerbrot, ms, rd, registered diekit ;)ian, a private nutrition counseling practice in manhattan. mix in your own berries or a small spoonful of honey to add flavor to plain varieties. 

sundays are all about treating yourself—to an afternoon spent on the couch and maybe some well-deserved brunch. however, treating yourself too often tips the scales in the wrong direction. “looking to add a touch of sweetness to your meal? don’t reach for pancake syrup, which is simply nutrient-devoid high fructose corn syrup mixed with preservatives and artificial colors and flavors. this highly refined sweetener causes your body to further crave sweets and sugary foods. plus it offers none of the micronutrients, antioxidants, or phytochemicals that less refined sweeteners offer like maple syrup or honey,” says zuckerbrot. sorry aunt jemima. 

do yourself a favor and just buy brown. “white rice is stripped of filling fiber and healthy antioxidants, and much of the nutritional value. most calories in white rice come from carbohydrates, resulting in the asian-staple leaving you feeling hungry not long after you step away from the table. this is due to the spike in blood sugar levels and subsequent drop, which leaves you feeling tired, hungry, and wanting your next quick energy fix,” says zuckerbrot.

a small pour of granola can add up to big repercussions in your diet. “touted as a ‘health food,’ granola is often laced with as many as five different varieties of sugar plus added fats. this caloric breakfast food provides instant energy but results in an energy crash later and primes you to crave sweets throughout the rest of the day,” says zuckerbrot. for the sake of your waist, it’s best to avoid this crunchy cereal all together. though if you really have a hankering for it, break out those measuring cups! you’ll quickly find that a true one-fourth cup serving really isn’t that much food for all the sugar and calories you get.

one cup, two cup, three cup…five! while it’s important to limit caffeine intake throughout the day, you’re doing even more damage to your body by adding in cream and sugar to every cup you make. “having a little coffee with your milk and sugar? that caffeine fix can set you back hundreds of calories and contribute to pudge if you aren’t careful. order black coffee. habitual “coffee with milk and sugar” drinkers are often surprised at how bitter coffee truly tastes. recognize that adding all those accompaniments to your morning brew is like telling yourself a fruit—flavored donut is like fresh fruit. not the same,” says zuckerbrot. it takes some getting used to, but cutting out (at least some of) the add-ins will push you closer to your fitness goals.

how often do you see anyone with washboard abs scarfing down bagels? yeah, didn’t think so. “bagels are not your friend if you are trying to shed fat. one bagel has the same amount of carbohydrates found in six slices of white bread! consuming foods high in refined carbohydrates spike insulin levels, which lead to cravings for these unhealthy foods. also, refined grains turn into sugar, which gets converted to fat and stored in the body, helping you gain fat rather than burn it!” says zuckerbrot. opt for complex carbs in the morning, like oatmeal, to fuel your day and your fat burn.

smoothies are one of those things that have the potential to be super healthy, but often take a turn for the worst. “designed to appear healthy, smoothies are often loaded in calories, carbohydrates, and fat. watch out for ingredients like peanut bu##ter, ice cream, juice, full fat milk, and lots of fruit. calories can climb quickly in these drinks, so opt for smoothies that use a protein powder or greek yogurt as a base. also, customize your smoothie and control the amount of added extras that can wreak havoc on your waistline and prevent you from shedding fat,” says zuckerbrot. as with most meals or snacks, it’s always best to make your own to control portions and ingredients. 

dried fruit is more or less candy thanks to the sugar content. it’s also much easier to go overboard with dried varieties as opposed to fresh ones thanks to the physical size of the food. picture one raisin versus one grape and you’ll get the gist of it. “taking the water out of fruit leaves you with sugar and calories. dried fruit is calorically dense due to natural and added sugar. consumption can impact your weight loss efforts, as it will alter the levels of your blood sugar and thus influence sugary cravings. if you opt for dried fruit, try making your own from its fresh whole food sources,” says zuckerbrot.

a general rule of thumb to live by: just because it’s green, doesn’t mean it’s healthy. “some green juices are additionally packed with hidden sugars to encourage taste. opt for green juices that are primarily vegetable-based and limit fruit to one or two servings,” says zuckerbrot. as with smoothies, it’s best to make your own. to cut the bitterness of the greens, opt for more lemon and ginger over sugar-filled fruit.

when compared to pancakes, bacon and poptarts, cereal may not seem so bad. however, as with most things, not all are on the same playing field. “cereals are often perceived as a healthy way to start the day. though this may be true, it depends heavily on your cereal of choice. many commercial cereals are loaded with sugars and processed carbohydrates. the presence of refined sugar, carbs, and fat will leave you feeling hungry mid—morning and be detrimental to your weight loss efforts,” says zuckerbrot.


Uma Maheshwari

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