If you’ve been scrupulously watching your diet but have failed to see the scale budge, you’re not alone. One of the most frustrating parts of weight loss is counting calories and not seeing the expected results. Fewer calories are supposed to always result in weight loss, right?
Wrong. Perhaps the biggest misconception in the diet world is that all calories are created equal – but they’re not. Now don’t get us wrong: weight loss is always the result of more calories burned than calories consumed. However, “diet” and “sugar free” foods can actually be hindering your efforts to lose weight. It’s better to consume real, healthy foods instead of substituting them with processed, low or zero calorie foods.
But I thought losing weight was all about monitoring the calories I eat? Yes, but you should always consider the quality of foods that you consume as well. Natural foods are healthier and safer than food substitutes processed to eliminate calories. Our bodies realize that those foods are unnatural and react accordingly, making it difficult to lose weight even though the foods are labeled “diet” and “zero calories.”
Think of it this way: would you rather grow a garden beneath synthetic light or the sun? No matter how advanced artificial lighting might become, it will never be a substitute for the benefits that our wondrously complex sun provides for vegetation. Likewise, our bodies were designed to consume natural foods, and artificially processed foods supposedly engineered to help us lose weight do anything but that.
In fact, these foods can make you gain weight. Over the next few posts, we’ll help you understand why, and what you can eat instead! If you are on a diet or monitoring your health, avoid these three foods:
- Diet sodas and sugar free drinks (and artificial sweeteners in general)
- Fat free or reduced fat foods
- MSG and other glutamates
Why Diet Sodas Aren’t Really “Diet”
One of the most popular food substitutes for those counting calories are diet sodas and sugar free drinks. As ironic as it might sound, however, zero calorie drinks make you gain weight. Without getting too technical, the chemicals in diet drinks destroy the pH balance of your blood, forcing our bodies into an acidic state. Our bodies react abruptly and negate the weight loss benefits that we were expecting from no calories, no sugar.
You see, the artificial sweeteners dupe our bodies into thinking that sugar is in our system, when it really isn’t. Because the sugar isn’t actually there, the insulin that our bodies pump out as a response begins piling on layers of unwanted fat. The more fat we get, the slower our metabolisms become and the worse our diet spiral gets. The worst part? These artificial sweeteners are addictive, ruin our metabolisms, and make us crave starchy carbohydrates and foods loaded with sugar.
Study after study shows the negative effects of diet sodas and sugar free drinks, yet the diet industry wants us to think that these are good for our bodies! But the exact opposite is true. Diet sodas:
- Increase the risk of diabetes. These artificial sweeteners might be zero calories, but they take a serious toll.
- Increase our demand for sweet foods. Artificial sweeteners are unnaturally sweet. As we get used to this flavor, we desire sweeter and sweeter (more caloric) foods
- Destroy our metabolisms
Don’t worry, though, because it’s not all bad news! If you’re looking for low calorie drinks, there are plenty of healthy options available. Instead of opting for a diet soda or sugar free drink, choose sparkling water. H2O never hurt anyone and sparkling water with natural fruit flavoring gives you something just as enjoyable as soda! The best part? There’s no sugar, no additives, and you can even make your own sparkling water combinations at home!
Click here for Part 2 – Why Fat Free and Low Fat Foods Actually Make You Fat
Click here for Part 3 - How Convenience Foods Make You Fat
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