Thursday, July 9, 2009
Now that we’ve talked about the foods you should eat, let’s talk about the foods you should avoid at all costs. These are foods that can really screw up your weight loss efforts, and it’s best to avoid most of them completely, or carefully restrict them.
For the most part, you should feel free to enjoy the foods you love, just in lesser quantities. Unfortunately, many of the foods you love will contain these “forbidden foods”.
Because I believe in indulging on occasion in order to keep yourself happily sticking to your weight loss plan, I don’t exactly advocate cutting these foods out completely.
What I do suggest is that you limit these foods very carefully, indulging in them only when you are having a desperate craving for them and you feel like you might go overboard and binge if you don’t have them at that moment.
Sugar, specifically white sugar, is a very bad substance. I highly recommend avoiding it as much as possible. While it’s unrealistic to expect you to never eat anything that contains white sugar again, you should try to avoid it whenever possible.
Sugar is believed to be a major instigator of diabetes. It causes blood sugar levels to rise rapidly, and then they can cause an over-production of insulin.
When you have too much insulin in your body, it can cause your cells to hold on to fat. It can also cause your liver to create extra fat from the calories you consume. Excess insulin can cause blood clots that lead to stroke and heart attack, raise LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, and can cause plaque to form in the arteries. It can also raise your blood pressure by causing your kidneys to retain salt.
If your body continuously produces too much insulin, it can lead to a condition known as insulin resistance. Insulin resistance can lead to severe obesity, and it can make it extremely difficult to lose weight.
Sugar is one of the worst substances you can eat, and I highly recommend avoiding it. Remember, sugar isn’t found only in cookies, cakes, and sodas. It can be found hiding in places you wouldn’t expect it. Sugar is often found in salad dressings, gravies, sauces, condiments, cereal, and even bread and breaded meats!
White flour is another substance that causes blood sugar levels to rise very rapidly. White flour is used in most baked products, as well as various types of breading, and even as a thickener in many sauces.
Like sugar, it is a substance that causes very severe blood sugar spikes, which can then lead to crashes. White flour is one of the worst culprits, so I highly recommend avoiding it as much as possible.
White flour is found in so many different things, it will be difficult to avoid them all. If you’re a huge fan of baked goods, it will be almost impossible to avoid it altogether.
If you aren’t going to cut out white flour completely, I urge you to cut down sharply on your consumption of it. White flour is one of the worst things you can consume, and second only to sugar, in my opinion.
Switch to whole grain products whenever possible. Limit white flour products, and only indulge in them on rare occasions. I like to have cake on birthdays, but for the most part I try to avoid white flour completely.
know potatoes are delicious. In fact, they are one of my favorite foods. But they spike blood sugar. Potatoes are very high in carbohydrates, and they are “bad carbs” – the kind that raise blood sugar very quickly.
Sweet potatoes, on the other hand, don’t raise blood sugar so quickly. Even though they are technically “sweet”, they just don’t have quite such an extreme effect on blood sugar levels.
If you’re going to eat potatoes, I do suggest eating sweet potatoes rather than other types of potatoes. Not only will they not spike your blood sugar, but sweet potatoes are also very high in vitamins, while white potatoes have very little nutritional value.
White rice is another major cause of blood sugar spikes. It is consumed around the world, and people believe that because Asian people eat a lot of white rice and seem to be so thin and healthy, that white rice must be healthy.
The problem is, they aren’t looking at the other factors involved in the health of so many Asians. Asians tend to get a lot more exercise than Western people. They eat far less meat and junk food. They consume a lot more fresh fruits and vegetables. And they eat a lot of healthy seafood.
Because white rice causes these extreme blood sugar spikes, you should substitute brown rice for white whenever possible. The blood sugar spikes are mitigated by the fiber, which is left intact on the outside of the grains in brown rice. In most cases, high-fiber ingredients won’t cause the type of blood sugar spikes seen in their refined counterparts.
There aren’t a whole lot of foods that I would suggest avoiding completely. Basically, if a food has little or no nutritional value, it’s not worth eating and should be avoided.
You can indulge in these foods on occasion, but I would keep it to no more often than once per week. That doesn’t mean you can have white rice once per week, potatoes once per week, sugar once per week, and white flour once per week! It means you should have ONE item per week that contains one or more of these items.
And remember to control your portion. Just because you can have these items only once per week does not mean you should eat an entire cake at one sitting!