Boxed Foods. These items are convenient for storage but not so nice for your waistline. A few examples would include pasta, cereal, pizza, mac n cheese, hamburger helper, crackers, cookies and cake/muffin mixes. They’re all extremely processed versions of carbohydrates, contain more chemicals than actual food ingredients and have unnaturally long shelf-lives. I know what you’re thinking; there goes 50% of what I eat, Amanda. Maybe, that’s the problem. You’re eating way too much of it. Feeding the metabolism excessive carbohydrates, especially factory-produced ones, causes a rollercoaster ride of blood sugar and insulin levels throughout the day. This is certainly not the ideal path one wants to take with weight loss on the mind.
Eating too Little. We’ve always been taught the golden formula for weight loss is to eat less and exercise more. In fact, it seems to be as easy as third grade math. Unfortunately, metabolism is not that simple and severely cutting back calories causes more harm than good. In general, consuming too few of calories will stall your metabolism, sometimes for the long-term. Why? Our bodies are smarter than you think. The body’s basic instinct is to survive and if you don’t feed yourself enough food, the natural defense is to conserve energy. Your metabolism now stores calories rather than burns them, which makes weight loss near impossible.
Too much fruit. Fruit and health are practically used synonymously. Fruit is an amazing source of fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants but fruit also contains an abundant amount of natural sugar. Excessive intake of carbohydrates and sugars, even the natural ones, can cause blood sugar and insulin spikes and increase hunger. Now don’t run off on me and cut out fruit altogether. Make sure you always consume your fruit with a nice protein source such as eggs, cheese, cottage cheese, nuts or peanut butter and it might be a good idea to limit to no more than 2 servings a day. You can make up for the vitamins and minerals by increasing consumption of vegetables! If a ‘fruit item’ isn’t found in the produce section, then it probably isn’t the best of food choices. This goes for fruit snacks, fruit leathers, juices, jams/jellies, pie fillings and canned fruit in both heavy and light syrup.
Skipping Meals to Save Calories. “I don’t need a lunch today; we’re going out for a big dinner.” Sound familiar? I’m not sure where this idea of saving calories started (possibly Weight Watchers), but it needs to stop. Your body was meant to be fed every 3-4 hours and causing disruption to this pattern makes your metabolism very angry. So angry that when you eventually have your next meal, your body will aggressively store food as fat rather than burn it up for energy. Not to mention, if you skip lunch, you’re probably starving come dinner time and most likely will overeat. Regardless if your meal was a salad or a full rack of ribs, it’s going to be stored as fat. Does meal skipping still sound like a good idea?