Do you feel as if your weight-loss efforts have come to a grinding halt? Maybe you’ve been steadily losing weight but you can’t seem to lose those last ten pounds. If this is the case, don’t beat yourself up. There are many factors that can stall weight loss, and you may find it necessary to make some adjustments as you progress on your weight-loss journey.
Often, the answer comes down to diet. The dietary changes that got you this far may not be enough to get you all the way to your goal weight. If you’ve hit a stall, take a look at these ten foods and see if you can cut back or eliminate any of them from your diet.
1. Dairy products
Conventional dairy can be problematic for numerous reasons. Dairy naturally contains lactose, which is an insulin-spiking sugar that can lead to weight gain. The acidic nature of conventional dairy products also leads to internal inflammation, which interferes with weight loss. For those of you who enjoy milky products, try dairy alternatives like making “cheeses” out of various nuts, and swap out the milk for alternatives like almond milk and coconut milk — but watch out for added sweeteners.
2. Artificial sweeteners
You might think that low-calorie and no-calorie artificial sweeteners would have little effect on weight loss. Studies show, however, that artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and acesulfame potassium are linked to metabolic changes that can cause diabetes and obesity. If you drink diet soda or consume other foods that contain artificial sweeteners, start removing these foods from your diet. Use natural sweeteners such as honey or stevia instead.
3. Dried fruits
It’s surprising to think that something as seemingly healthy as dried fruit could stall weight loss, but it’s true. If you take a look at the ingredients in dried mangoes, papayas, pineapple, cranberries, and the like, you’ll most likely find a host of added sugars and preservatives listed. Any food that contains added ingredients that you can hardly pronounce — these are the things to steer clear of.
4. Too many cups of coffee
Sadly, too many cups of java can sabotage weight loss, too. Too many cups of coffee often lead to increased insulin resistance, which leads to faulty fat metabolization. Enjoy your morning cup of coffee if you feel like you need your caffeine fix, but try to limit yourself to one cup.
5. Frappuccinos and the like
On the heels of the coffee conundrum lies fancy coffee drinks like frappuccinos and sweet lattes from your favorite coffee shop. These drinks are loaded with calories, sugar, and even preservatives. When meeting a friend for coffee, skip the fancy flavored concoctions and drink your coffee black. Better yet, opt for some anti-inflammatory herbal tea.
6. Too many grains
Almost every grain contributes to gut inflammation, which can definitely stall weight loss. If you don’t want to give up eating grains entirely, opt for gluten-free quinoa or buckwheat.
7. Low-fat foods
Foods labeled low-fat and fat-free are typically highly refined and processed. They have little nutritional value to boot. Swap out the packaged foods for whole foods that don’t contain sugars and preservatives, like fruits, vegetables, nuts, and seeds. They’re nutrient-rich, and essential for your health.
8. Refined oils
If your cupboard contains hydrogenated oils like safflower, sunflower, canola, or soybean oil, throw them out now! Refined oils stall weight loss and cause digestive issues, too. Replace those oils with healthier options like extra-virgin olive oil, sesame oil, and coconut oil. These are the good ones that support weight loss, rather than stall it.
9. Table salt
There’s a reason why Himalayan sea salt is such the health craze these days. It’s really good for you! Table salt, on the other hand, is not. It causes bloat, and may contribute to a weight loss stall. So, throw out the table salt and replace it with a high-quality sea salt.
10. Unhealthy fats
This may come as a surprise, but some fats actually help you lose weight. Others don’t. Processed trans fats and refined omega-6 fats are no good for you. Examples of these are margarine, cottonseed oil, safflower oil, soybean oil, and canola oil. These fats are also commonly found in cookies, other baked goods, and fast foods.
Healthy fats to eat can be found in grass-fed meats, grass-fed butter, avocados, omega-3 fatty acids from fish and supplements, free-range eggs, most nuts, chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds, dark chocolate, and MCT oil.
Weight loss is complicated, no doubt about it. You need to know which foods will support your efforts, and which ones will stall them.
While losing weight in a sustainable and healthy fashion is no easy feat, it can be done. With the proper nutrition and exercise, your goals will soon become a reality. Know that your weight loss journey is uniquely your own. Be patient with yourself and go slow, as you experiment and determine which meals and exercise routines work best for you.
Enhance the process with self-care techniques. Yoga, aromatherapy, long baths, journaling, reading, writing, painting — these activities will make your healthy lifestyle all the more manageable and fun.
The journey can be fun. And it can get better when you reach out for help from a professional or a friend, or both. Find a workout buddy for motivation. Seek a professional for meal planning.
Need help meeting your weight-loss goals? We can help! SmartFit offers personalized diet plans to help you look and feel your best! Contact us today for a FREE consultation!