FOOD ELIMINATIONS

To dramatically transform your body, it isn’t enough to simply add healthy foods into your meal plan. You also need to eliminate problem offenders that are currently causing your waistline to expand at an alarming rate. Often, simply by eliminating the problem foods before even perfecting the rest of your diet, you will see fat burning taking place.

We as a society consume far too many unhealthy processed foods that are not only tilting obesity scales upwards, but also putting our health in jeopardy.

By ridding your diet of these foods, you can see significant results. Combine this while adding the healthy foods and you have a winning strategy for weight loss.

Let’s look at some of the biggest problem offenders you need to know. Keep in mind this list is not exclusive, so use your best judgment when assessing all the many foods you currently eat in your diet plan.

SUGAR

Of all the offenders, sugar is the biggest.  Consumption of the sweet stuff has gone through the roof, with obesity rates trailing closely behind.

On average, Americans consume approximately 130 pounds of sugar each and every year.  While the American Heart Association recommends that you limit yourself to no more than 9.5 teaspoons of sugar per day, most people are consuming 22 teaspoons per day.

What’s worse is that most kids are consuming 32 teaspoons, putting them even higher than adults despite their lower calorie intake.  All of this means one thing: obesity rates are only set to get worse.

We on average are eating about 500 added calories from sugar alone in our diet, which, if removed, would immediately yield a one-pound weight loss per week.  So as you can see, by simply removing this offender, you stand to see great results.

Sugar is closely linked to numerous health conditions including hypertension, high blood pressure, hypoglycemia, chronic inflammation, depression, headaches, fatigue, and diabetes.

When you consume sugar, your blood glucose level will spike rapidly and this is followed with an increase in insulin.  The insulin then begins to remove the excess glucose from the blood, moving it to storage in the muscle, or more often, fat cells.

This leads to a blood glucose drop, which then triggers the consumption of even more sugar.  Together, this chain of events sets up a cascade of ever-growing sugar consumption that’s hard to break free from.

We aren’t just talking about added sugar either. Remember sugar is found in hundreds of products in your local supermarket. Start reading ingredient panels to sleuth out sugar. Whenever possible, use Stevia in replacement of sugar or purchase items that use it in place of sugar.

Most Commonly Found In:

  • Soda
  • Fruit juice
  • Energy drinks
  • Energy bars
  • Cereals
  • Condiments
  • Sauces
  • Processed meats
  • Frozen foods
  • And more

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SWEETENERS

You might think that to avoid sugar, you’ll opt for the ‘sugar free’ products now available that contain other forms of sweeteners. It’s time to rethink that. While artificial sweeteners don’t contain any calories, they are not natural for your body.

Aspartame, Splenda, or Acesulfame potassium are all chemically derived and have been linked to unwanted side effects such as headaches and digestive troubles.

What’s more is that the sweet taste of these additives may promote cravings for sweet tasting foods more often, making it harder to stick with your healthy diet plan.

Those little packets of sweetener aren’t the only culprits here. You can now find these artificial sweeteners in a wide assortment of foods that line your supermarket. Again, start reading labels to uncover them.

It really isn’t the healthy alternative you might think it to be. What’s worse is the fact that these sweeteners may convince you to think the food item is ‘diet friendly’ when really, even without sugar, it’s still not a wise choice to consume.

Most Commonly Found In:

  • Yogurts
  • Diet sodas
  • Diet beverages/energy drinks
  • Gum
  • Candy
  • Condiments

PROCESSED / WHITE FLOUR FOODS

Along with the rise of sugar consumption, we’ve also seen a dramatic rise in processed food consumption as well.  This is what is, in part, driving the sky-high sugar consumption.

People today tend to eat more processed foods than they eat natural foods, moving further away from optimal nutrition.  If we start eliminating all these processed foods, we begin eating a diet provided by Mother Nature, which offers foods rich in valuable vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. This means foods like lean meats, fresh fruits and vegetables, unprocessed grains, as well as natural fats like plain nuts, seeds, and healthy oils like the ones we noted above.

When foods are processed, they are stripped of their nutrients and what you’re left with is an empty source of highly concentrated calories.

If you eliminate processed or white foods from your diet, you’ll also go a long way towards eliminating some of the other problem offenders we’ll be discussing next.

Most Commonly Found In:

  • White breads/baked goods
  • Snack foods
  • Processed meats
  • Pasta
  • Cold cereals
  • Candy
  • Condiments/sauces
  • Frozen foods

TRANS FATS

Next on our ‘hit list’ to remove from your diet are trans fats.  Trans fats are a type of manufactured fat that occurs when another hydrogen atom is added to an unsaturated fat, which in turn makes the fat have a longer shelf life and lowers the need to refrigerate foods that its used in.

For a food manufacturer, this is a very good thing but as a consumer looking out for their health, it’s an unfortunate thing.

Trans fats have been strongly linked to the development of coronary heart disease, which is one of the leading causes of death. Additionally, they will increase bad cholesterol levels while lowering good and put you at a higher risk for type two diabetes as well as stroke.  The body has no requirement for trans fats at all therefore the recommendation is to remove them from your diet entirely. In 2013, the U.S. Food And Drug Administration (FDA) stated that partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats) are no longer generally recognized as safe.

Any time you see the term ‘partially hydrogenated oil’, you know to back away from the food.  Start checking labels closely to ensure you aren’t including any foods in your diet plan containing this harmful fat.

Most Commonly Found In:

  • Doughnuts
  • Cakes, pies, biscuits and other baked foods
  • Fast foods
  • Cookies
  • Crackers
  • Stick margarine
  • Frozen foods

ALCOHOL

As much as you might enjoy that drink with your friends on the weekend, if you want to get leaner, it’s time to rethink alcohol.  Alcohol has no nutritional value for the body, but yet does contain calories. At 7 calories per gram, it’s higher than both protein or carbohydrates, which come in at 4 calories per gram.

Because alcohol is a toxin for the body, as soon as you consume it, all other processes – including fat burning – will be halted until the alcohol is removed from your system.  So consider that next time you are about to take a drink. Are you really ready to stop all fat burning?

Because alcohol does contain calories, it’ll instead put you at risk for fat gain.  Add to this that often people will mix alcohol with sugar mixers or other high calorie ingredients and you only intensify the problem.

Alcohol will also weaken your resolve to eat healthy and may lead you to eating foods that you shouldn’t be such as common bar food items of nachos, salted nuts, or pizza.

Finally, let’s not forget the fact that the morning after a night of drinking, hitting the gym is going to be the last thing you feel like doing.

Eliminate these problem offenders from your diet and I promise you will be seeing a dramatic improvement in both how you look and feel almost immediately.

SODIUM

Sodium is another offender to remove from your diet plan. While sodium itself is not going to lead to fat gain, the foods it’s often found in typically will and in addition to that, high sodium intakes can lead to water retention in the body, which can make you appear less lean.

A high sodium intake is also going to put you at risk for high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, and stroke, making it all the more reason to eliminate it.

You might think that because you aren’t adding salt at the table, you don’t have to worry, but that isn’t the case. Most of our sodium intake comes from processed foods, which have high amounts of sodium added.

If you are taking steps to eliminate processed foods from your diet plan, you’ll be well on track to reducing your sodium consumption as well.

You don’t want to eliminate sodium entirely as your body does need some for proper function, but if you eat a balanced healthy diet, you should take in enough from natural food sources without worry.  You should aim to take in no more than 2300 mg of sodium per day according to U.S. dietary guidelines.

Most Commonly Found In:

  • Pizza
  • Canned foods
  • Fast foods
  • Deli meats/processed meats
  • Yeast breads
  • Pickles
  • Tomato based products

IMPLEMENTATION

Perhaps the biggest mistake I see people making is trying to go from 0 to 100 in one day.  If you attempt to cut out all the foods you’re currently eating at once, it’s going to back fire.  The adherence for this ‘cold turkey’ approach is so low it’s not worth trying.

A superior approach is to start at the top of the following list and cut out one food at a time. Focus on keeping this food out for 2-3 days and once you feel you have mastered that, move on and cut out another food. Within a week or two, you’ll then be off all the problematic foods and will feel in total control and free from food cravings.