At a glance:
Food is the most important part of a weight loss protocol. Weight is lost in the kitchen, not the gym.
Foods you should eliminate or reduce, not just for weight loss but for your health.
If you are wanting to trim down, the first thing to understand is that this starts in the kitchen, and not the gym. If you are not fuelling your body with the right foods then no matter how much your exercising, the weight will not come off until you remove the damaging foods from your diet that are causing inflammation and continuing the cycle of weight gain. Your natural weight and where it sits is a reflection of how your body is functioning from within, so taking out the food that drives this damage can make the biggest impact.
This post will list some of the most damaging foods to avoid if you are wanting to trim down.
Sugar encompasses all of the refined and natural sugars added to our food. Sugar is not something that our body cannot digest easily, and can have detrimental effects on our health as a whole, especially when it comes to weight gain. Sugar is also one of the most addictive substances in our diet but because it is in almost everything we can buy from the supermarket we all don't even realize how addicted we are. Removing refined sugar in your diet will be a remarkable step towards weight loss.
There is a strong evidence suggesting that artificial sweeteners affect your metabolism in ways that make you gain weight. The research suggests that these sweetening products alter the balance of gut bacteria in a way that can lead to glucose intolerance. Counterintuitively, diet soda drinks are doing the opposite you want! They’re not, in fact, trimming you down as you hope, but are instead making you glucose intolerant and promoting weight gain.
The most important thing to realize about grains is that, from your body’s point of view, these foods are really just sugar in another form, and this includes the whole grains.
Two slices of ‘healthy’ whole-wheat bread actually raise your blood sugar more than a candy bar does. And furthermore, besides leading to insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome, your body also becomes resistant to leptin; leptin is a hormone that your fat cells use to signal to your brain how much energy they need. High levels of leptin make you feel full, whilst low levels make you feel hungry.
A diet consisting of high-carb grains leads to chronically high levels of leptin, which in turn leads to leptin resistance; whereby your cells no longer respond to leptin’s message. So, even when you do not physically need to eat, you experience deep cravings that are nearly impossible to resist.
Grains are also high in ‘anti-nutrients’ by the name of lectins; lectins make it harder for your body to efficiently use insulin and can damage the lining of your intestines. Additionally, grains are typically high in phytic acid, which blocks the uptake of important nutrients.
Finally, most grains contain gluten. One third of people are either gluten-sensitive or gluten-intolerant; and when people with these sensitives continue to ingest gluten, they induce intestinal permeability - more commonly known as leaky gut - and this leads to a myriad of other issues.
See below a list of sneaky ingredients that contain gluten:
Modified food starch
Wheat germ oil
Contrary to popular belief, corn is not a vegetable, it is a grain. Therefore all of the effects of grains on your system will pertain to corn as well.
See below a list of ingredients that contain corn:
High-fructose corn syrup
Some people can tolerate dairy just fine as a result of their genetic makeup - just do what you know works for you.
But, most of the time, people do not even realize that they have a problem with dairy. Symptoms such as weight gain, bloating, acne and allergies often resolve themselves when people drop milk and other dairy products out of their diets.
The protein molecule in dairy, casein, is almost molecularly identical to the protein molecule of gluten. Therefore if you are choosing to remove gluten from your diet, it is also a good decision to do the same with dairy. However, there are some dairy products that contain less of this harsh molecule, for example, organic grass-fed butter or ghee.
Soy has been commonly misconceived as a ‘healthy’ food and has frequently been used in the past as a non-meat based protein source. However, abuse of this food can be very detrimental to your health.
Soy puts you at risk for hypothyroidism, and an underactive thyroid packs weight onto your body. In addition to this, soy harms your thyroid by suppressing your uptake of the crucial nutrient, iodine, and this can indirectly promote autoimmunity in the body.
Soy contains phytoestrogens. Women consuming the equivalent of 2 cups of soy milk per day are consuming the estrogenic equivalent of one birth control pill; soy phytoestrogens disrupt other hormones and have the potential to cause breast cancer in women. Soy affects the male reproductive systems negatively as well; studies have shown that men with a high soy intake have lower sperm counts than men who do not eat soy.
Soy, similar to grains, contains phytic acid, which reduces your absorption of several key nutrients. The processing of soy proteins results in the formation of lysinoalanine and nitrosamines. These toxins damage your cells and make them sluggish, causing you to put on weight. Processed soy foods are as also high in MSG, an excitotoxin that excessively stimulates and can damage your cells.
The difference between soy products used in Asia is that they are usually fermented and unprocessed. This process neutralizes the toxins in the soybean. Besides our health, the production of soy is also very harmful to the planet we are dependent on. Those toxic chemicals damage the soil, the rainforest, and the wildlife.
These foods also include soy:
Miso natural flavoring
Tofu vegetable broth
Industrial Seed Oils
Seed oils contain high ratios of omega-6 to omega-3 fatty acids. Whilst omega-3 fatty acids fight inflammation, omega-6 fatty acids are pro-inflammatory, and these are the fatty acids we tend to get a lot more of in our diet than omega-3.
Seed oils are also heavily processed; they undergo caustic refining, bleaching, and degumming processes, amongst others, and the end result can hardly be considered food at all.
These oils are very unstable as they typically have much shorter chains of fatty acids. When you cook with them, the weak fatty acid chains break apart and when consumed are deemed by the body as ‘free-radicals’. These materials are toxic to the body and consume a lot of your precious vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients simply to replace what is missing from the damaged oil. So, when these are consumed, they are not only not doing you any benefit, but are also causing harmful damage.
Studies found that chemical emulsifiers used to thicken foods like soup and ice cream, break down your protective gut barrier and increase your risks of inflammatory bowel disease and metabolic syndrome. MSG is one of the most common artificial ingredients and has been linked to obesity, neurodegeneration, mood disorders, and many more harmful conditions. These additives have no place in your diet. They are really not food, and therefore our body has no capacity to digest them.
Alcohol is a no-brainer to leave out of the diet when trying to lose weight- it is a direct toxin in your body. Alcohol places enormous strain on the liver, slowing down your processing of toxins, and can damage your digestion, lower your brain function and dehydrate your system.
For starters, opt for non-grain-based alcohols such as gin, tequila or vodka. Try to avoid liqueurs, sweet specialty drinks, pre-mixed cocktails, grain-based alcohols and beers containing gluten. It is recommended to eat a high-protein, low-carb meal before you have anything to drink, and obviously, be sure to intersperse your alcoholic drinks with water to rehydrate your system.
Drink in moderation - the amount your body has to deal with when you over-consume alcohol is enormous - if you have 1-2 glasses of alcohol, enjoyed at a slow pace, it gives your body a chance to process the toxin before you give it more to process.