I want to preface by saying that there are no “good” or “bad” foods for fat loss. Food does not have a moral compass and you are no better or worse of a person for eating chicken breast or a pizza. That being said, there are going to be foods that will make your fat loss journey much more difficult than if they weren’t included as often. In today’s article, I am going to break down the 6 foods (and drink) that are stalling your fat loss progress.
Full Sugar Drinks
This one is a really easy one to comprehend but I think too many people are still struggling with it. It’s the sugar itself that’s the issue here, it’s the overconsumption of calories. The bottom line is, when you constantly have full sugar/calorie drinks, you are adding extra carbohydrates into your diet without the benefits of micronutrients and fibre. Sodas, juices, and “coffee” frappucinos end up being calorie bombs and you are typically pairing that with another snack item (think low satiety & nutrients but high calorie) or you’re hungry right after.
These drinks will not fill you up, provide any extra healthy nutrients or fibre to the body, and make it easier to overconsume your calories when you incorporate them into your diet. I strongly recommend going for zero-calorie options when presented with them: diet soda, black coffee, and just flat out avoid fruit juices – you’re better off eating a bowl of berries.
I am probably going to get a ton of flack for this one, but yes avocado is on this list. Not because it’s “bad” food or anything like that. Avocado is actually an awesome food to incorporate into your diet, but the problem is most people are doing it wrong. Just because avocados are healthy, does not mean you can eat an unlimited amount of them each day.
While they are jam-packed with micronutrients, they are also really high in fats and moderately high in carbohydrates. Fats are 9 calories per gram, so these calories tend to add up very quickly. That is what goes unnoticed when you are spreading a whole avocado on two pieces of toast or grabbing your order of guac & chips from your favourite burrito place. Total calories matter most, and avocados are no exception to the rule.
Nuts & Trail Mix
This is a broader food selection but it definitely applies. Let me ask you this: when’s the last time you ACTUALLY measured a tablespoon of peanut butter? It was depressing, right? That is why I included this in the list. Nut butter is a great source of fat and carbohydrate, but the calories add up really quickly if they go unchecked (see a theme here?).
The same thing goes for trail mixes and handfuls of nuts. If you’ve ever had a craving for salt and reached into a bag or jar of nuts, there’s no way you’re stopping for a while. With fat being the main macronutrient, the calories are extremely high and you’re very likely to overeat them. When it comes to trail mixes, the same thing applies, but also add in the calories from the dried fruits, chocolate, and other delicious add-ons to trail mix. They are calorie BOMBS. Do yourself the favour and avoid these entirely if you can. You are better off picking one or two of your favourite nuts, eating real fruit, and ensuring you are accounting for the calories of your entire snack.
This one is a culprit year-round, but it happens mostly during this time of year: BBQ season. If you’re like me, you love to fire up the grill and cook up some delicious food for yourself (and yea I guess your family too). But there are some options when you’re shopping for what to grill that you should just plain avoid. Hot dogs, Angus beef burgers, and sausages are all high-protein foods, but they come at a cost of super high-fat content.
As I explained above, fat comes at 9 calories per gram. Protein comes in at 4 calories per gram. So if an Angus beef burger is 30g of protein but 30g of fat as well, the fat calories are going to be nearly 2.5 times the amount of protein you would get. That’s not worth it for your daily calories when you can easily get that much protein from a chicken or turkey burger and with less than half the fat. Hot dogs and sausages almost always have more fat than protein, so they really aren’t a great option to build a meal around either. I’m not saying you can’t eat these foods, I’m just saying that there are better options out there that will help you more.
This is a big one and it’s not going away soon. The pandemic saw alcohol sales and consumption go through the roof. Now the summers here and places are beginning to open up again, that’s not going to slow drinking or social outings down. But it’s not just the choice of beverage. It’s much more than: red vs white wine; low-calorie vs regular beer; which mixers to use, etc.
It’s three things specifically:⠀
The amount being consumed
The frequency of consumption
The behaviours while consuming
- The overconsumption of alcohol (7 calories per gram) is very easy to achieve and leads to an excess of calories at the end of the day.
- The more times per week you drink, the more calories you’re consuming overall, and there is an impairment of your body’s ability to recover from workouts.
- While drinking, our inhibitions are loosened which leads to more snacking and food choices we typically wouldn’t go for when we’re trying to lose fat.⠀
I am not attacking those who choose to drink – but think about what your number one priority is. If your goal is to lose fat and actually be able to keep it off, your habits are going to have to change. That means sometimes skipping a night out of drinks or going for a lower calorie option more times than not. Life is long, short term sacrifice can and will play a massive role in your success.
All of these foods can be a part of your diet even if you’re trying to lose weight. I’m not saying that you should never eat them. The main thing you need to consider is the calorie count that comes from these foods because they tend to go unchecked and most of them are easy to overconsume (hello Saturday night beers and BBQ). If you want to learn more about how to incorporate your favourite foods into your diet and still see amazing results, click the link below and connect with me to get more information.
Jon Vlahogiannakos, Owner of Strong Jon Fitness.
I am Jon Vlahogiannakos, Owner of Strong Jon Fitness. Whatever you’ve tried to get in great shape – I’ve been there.
I was that overweight kid growing up. That didn’t get any better going into high school. I gained up to 40lbs at a time and ended up losing it all and more to where I was skinny fat.
My dreams were to make it into a level of professional hockey somewhere, but as fate would have it, I was not good enough. It did help me shift gears and find my true passion and calling – health and fitness.
After years of trial and error, the birth of my son, injuries, and weight loss success – I can honestly say I have been where you are and I can help you get past it. I’ve made mistakes so that you don’t have to.
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