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Monday, June 22, 2020

5 Surprising Foods That Hinder You From Losing Weight


Do you try to lose weight but are not quite succeeding as much as you would like?  Certain so-called "health foods" you might frequently consume may be at least one hidden reason.  A number of foods which are popularly thought to be ultra-healthy may actually be hindering your weight loss efforts, let alone not helping them along much.

Let's examine a few food items which, on the surface, may seem to be healthy options but are really far from premiere choices if long-term weight loss is your goal.

1.Dried fruit

"But wait," some would object, "Isn't fruit supposed to be good for you?" Well, fresh fruit certainly has a wide range of benefits, containing all manner of highly-bioavailable vitamins and minerals, and other vital nutrients, along with a lot of useful water. But when we're talking about dried fruit, such as what you most commonly find in stores, it's very frequently coated with additional sugar.  I say additional because you must remember that fruit inherently has built-in sugar (fructose) from Nature.  When the fruit is intended for consumption as a dried product, that natural sugar doesn't go away; it's still very much there, concentrated in the dried item.  And then they coat it with even more sugar (which is typically just fine refined white sugar, i.e., sucrose), which no doubt makes it sell better to a lot of people.  I don't mean to villainize dried fruit totally, though, because you can definitely find some which has no added sugar, and as a snack, for instance, there would be a lot of worse things you could eat than small amounts of plain dried fruit.  But regarding a lot of what's abundantly sold in grocery stores in terms of dried fruit, you might as well eat candy for all its weight loss value.

2. Iceberg lettuce

At at least one of my past workplaces I'd often laughed at co-workers who would enter the break room with a plastic container, announcing, "I'm starting to eat healthy."  And what was in the container?  Virtually always, it was a predictable mix of mostly iceberg lettuce, a few limp carrot shavings and some wonderful fat-free dressing (see #5 below for more on this).  If I told them that iceberg lettuce really isn't very nutritious, being comprised mostly of cellulose and water, they just ignored me.  No wonder I'd catch them later in the day getting junk snacks out of the vending machine, because they felt so starved a few hours after eating their lunch.  Ironically, the dandelion leaves which could be found out in our parking lot had vastly more nutritional content than what they had chosen for their "salad."

Make no mistake, leaf lettuce varieties like spinach, romaine and kale are loaded with nutrients.  If you really wanted to eat a healthy -- and satisfying -- salad for lunch or dinner, take any or several of these types of leaf lettuce, throw in a chopped-up hard-boiled egg, some real cheese, a generous amount of shredded carrots, spices to suit and some full-fat dressing on top of it all.  And if anyone offers their sage commentary that your salad will "make you fat," just ignore them.  They don't know too much about such things.

3. Whole wheat bread (in quantity)

Many people think that whole wheat bread is the best type to eat during dieting, or in general, for that matter.  And I won't argue with this, as it certainly has more nutrients than bread made from refined white flour (rye and spelt breads are similarly nutritious).  But the problem is that people can be mislead into thinking that if a little is good, a lot is good also; I've even heard of people making a meal of just whole wheat bread, and nothing more.  Where weight loss is a primary objective, if you take in too much high-energy food, even in the form of a complex carbohydrate such as a whole grain bread, you're heading in the dead-wrong direction.  You only want to be taking in as much of a high-energy foodstuff as you can reasonable burn up in a shortly-forthcoming span of time.  If you're not going to be using the caloric value as an actual energy source in the very immediate future, you'd be advised to just not eat a lot of it, that's all.  People are often stunned at how much weight they can lose just by following this simple principle alone.

4. Skim milk

For those who drink (bovine) milk, it had heretofore been a widely-held notion that skim milk was the best choice if weight loss was one's goal.  More recently, however, it's been realized that such is not nearly the case, and that you're actually better off drinking full-fat whole milk.  The issue with skim milk is really two-fold; one, not only does the skimming process not remove the sugar content (even for those who can tolerate it, lactose is still a sugar), you end up with much more of it in the final skim milk product.  The second issue is that without the natural fat content in milk, skim milk tends to be much less satisfying -- and thus, it can quite possibly lead you to eating more of something else to try to feel more satisfied.

5. Low-fat or fat-free products in general

People who follow diets tend to resort to buying products which have ubiquitous phrases like "low-fat" or "fat-free" associated with them, but more than anything else, these are merely tricks that companies use for expedient marketing purposes.  I've personally seen several very popular varieties of candy -- yes, candy, with a sky-high sugar content -- marketed as, "A Fat-Free Food" on the label.  I could write a dissertation-length article on how fat doesn't make you fat, and that it's instead sugars and starches which do, but some people are so conditioned to believe that to lose fat, you must eat less fat.  Well, guess what...those marketers who peddle low-fat or fat-free products easily succeed with such misinformed persons.  You, however, can be different.  You can see that, for the most part, companies will reduce or remove the fat content (which wasn't going to make anyone fat anyway), along with other parts that give it real flavor and substance, and then when the altered product has little or no taste, they beef things up by adding sugar (or worse yet, they turn it into poison by adding an artificial sweetener or two).  Doesn't sound too diet-friendly after all, does it?  You're catching on.

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