If you’re interested in weight loss you would have undoubtedly clicked on an article via social media like this before – every year there’s a top ten foods which give you belly fat or top five foods keeping you fat.
Typically, the article will list three foods which are common in the diet and then throw you some pseudo-science sounding rationale for how it affects this hormone or that metabolic pathway and how cutting this out will be the magic bullet to getting you on the fat loss pathway.
Typically this will come in waves as certain foods are vilified and for a year or more you have crazes such as low fat, low carb, PH aligning diets etc. etc. after a while these foods are shown not to be the villains they are made to out to be and people move on to the next craze.
Despite what was stated above if your overweight it’s highly probable to be due to the foods you eat, as we eat foods and they provide calories. An abundance of calories above your needs will be converted to body fat.
Likewise, if you’re trying to lose weight and consuming adequate calories, you’re unlikely to tap into using your bodies stored fat as energy.
Considering that let’s look at the three foods which are making you or keeping you fat.
Often those on a diet will have foods which set them off – different for everyone but certain foods will cause a cascade of behaviours and food choices which derail any fat loss process as the subsequent food choices provide a whole series of high calorie food choices which will put you out of the needed calorie deficit required to use body fat as energy.
These foods are different for everyone but typically once consumed social and past behaviours create situations in which more high calorie treats are sought. For some this might be having a biscuit or a sweet. For others a salty snack but they all tend to put you in a position where you seek out more of the same or have that feeling of ‘oh well I have eaten something bad now so might as well continue’.
Much like the foods above these are a slippery slope where one leads to another until a whole packet is gone and your calorie intake is way above your diets allowance. Like the famous salty treat slogan states – ‘once you pop you just can’t stop’.
Often these are foods which are high in calories and come in multi serving packets. The most common are grab sized crisps, packets of nuts or large packets of sweets or biscuits. If you follow a diet based on macro-nutrient total compliance or any of the mainstream diet clubs having one of these items can be permissible and stay on your diet, however the chance of you having just one are slim to none.
It’s easy to consume a vast quantity of calories without even realising it. More often than not these calories come in the form of liquid consumption – soft drinks, smoothies, sugar loaded hot beverages or adding cream or full fat milk into a drink.
Quite often these drinks can contain anywhere from a hundred calories anywhere up to a thousand calories for some high street coffee shop indulgences. Just one or two of these per day will easily move you out of a calorie controlled diet into a calorie surplus state.
These have been mentioned any many articles before but typically the angle is one of a macro-nutrient focus where low fat diet foods are often higher carb counterparts to the real deal.
Typically, it’s not so much the macronutrient composition which is the problem but the mindset of this food is diet friendly which can lead to over consumption. Without realising it a dieter can consume as many calories eating diet version of foods as they would have if they had just moderated themselves and had one of the normal types due to thinking just because they’re diet labelled they can be consumed at will.
How to stop these things from breaking your diet
For each person the foods above will differ and for some people they might not be a problem, for others they can the key element in a diets success or lack of.
Below are a few tips to ensure they do not derail your dieting efforts.
- Track your food intake -if done correctly using tools like my fitness pal it’s easy to spot foods which might put you over your calorie allotment.
- Remove trigger foods from your cupboards – what’s not there cannot derail you
- Drink only calorie free drinks – water preferably but black coffee, tea and diet sodas are acceptable as long as they aren’t a trigger food for you. A black coffee is calorie free but if it needs to be accompanied with an iced bun then it will derail your efforts.
- Diet foods are accounted for – if you are tracking your food intake on a calorie counting app this will take care of itself.
- Reviewing your tracked food intake and spotting the trigger foods. Once you have identified them you can avoid them in the future.
As with all fat loss efforts there isn’t any magic bullets out there – a combined effort of diet compliance and regular exercise possibly supported with proven supplements will lead you to your goal but only if you stick with it long enough.