Weight Loss Foods That Make You Gain Weight
and Alternatives That Won’t, as much….
You’re trying to lose weight. Welcome to the club. First, change that to “Trying to lose fat”, and you’ll be good. Next, check your diet. I’m going to parrot the same crap as every fitness pro out there: it’s 80% diet / 20% exercise. When you’re tackling the diet part of the equation, you’ll get all kinds of advice, but many traditional “weight loss foods” actually make you gain weight. Of course, if you eat more calories than you burn, that’s the only outcome, really.
Weight Loss Foods; Gain Weight? What??
Yeah, it’s true, and mostly because they’re crammed full of simple carbs, often in lieu of fat. I thought we killed off “low fat myth” long ago. Oh, well. In any case, many of the worst offenders have glycemic indices just south of pure cane sugar. Straight into your blood it goes, making your pancreas do flip flops as it struggles to shoot in enough insulin to counteract the sugar. When your insulin’s runnin, your fat storage is hummin’ (See this article from Colorado State University for the dirty details)
A simple way to nip the whole thing in the bud is remembering one of my favorite sayings:
“If It’s White, Don’t Bite.”
I’m not talking about you sig other’s ass (what you do there is your own business), but the fat ’em up trio:
- White Rice
- White Flour
- White Sugar
List of “Weight Loss” Foods That Make You Gain Weight:
Taste good; not really all that good for you. Most are loaded with white flour, simple carbs, and calories. Adding
insult to injury, they’re low on metabolism boosting and muscle friendly protein. See this blast from the past on what white flour does to your weight loss efforts; not pretty. Why not eat ½ a loaf of bread instead…..
Healthier Weight Loss Food Substitute:
Sprouted grain bread, and the more grains, the better. Look ma, no flour! One that tastes great and has no added sugar is Food for Life’s Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Grain Bread. As an added bonus, it’s very high in fiber and delivers complete protein.
White rice is a glycemic index party. That stuff hits your blood glucose levels like a ton of bricks. Suffocating it with teriyaki sauce just adds insult to injury. That stuff is loaded with sugar. For some teriyaki sauce that’s not, see this recipe from Stephanie Wong over at Wake the Wolves.
Healthier Weight Loss Food Substitute:
Brown rice. While still not exactly easy on on the GI number, it is better, and at least brings with it far more fiber and nutrients. Then again, it didn’t have much to beat. There are 3 parts in a little rice grain: endosperm, bran, and germ. White rice is processed to remove all but the endosperm, the least nutritional part.
When getting brown rice, choosing Jasmine or Basmati gets you all 3 parts and more of the good stuff. For a great rice primer, hit up this Matthew Kadey piece 5 kinds of Rice over at Bodybuilding.com
Agave Nectar –
You’re trying to stay clear of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), so you’re thinking a switch to agave nectar sweetener would be a great idea? One flaw in your plan, agave nectar has 50% more fructose per unit than HFCS. Ouch! Excessive fructose is linked to all manner of troubles, including those around your midsection. Actually, according to recent studies, it’s been implicated in increased rates of Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease, gout, diabetes, and… well damn, isn’t that enough? Leave agave for what it’s best for, tequila!
Fat Free Breakfast & Granola Bars –
Really, have you checked the nutrition labels on these things? Talk about packin’ on the calories! Even the healthy, organic ones from reputable producers are less than stellar from a weight loss perspective. Sure, they taste good; great even. That’s the reason they never find their way into my shopping cart. I can’t resist them if they’re around. Which brings up the……
Belly Fat Loser Theory on Willpower and Food
It’s much easier to have enough willpower for the 15 min it takes to avoid buying something in the store, than the 5 days it tempts me in the cupboard. Just say no once, rather than for the rest of the week…..
Organic Bread and Breakfast –
Witness the Sin Dawg from Dave’s Killer Bread. Let me state right up front that this is about the healthiest thing around as far as baked, desert style bread goes. A weight loss aid, it’s not, however. Delicious? Hell, yes.
One problem: This thing is dense as hell. One little turd-sized roll weighs a pound. You’d need the willpower of Ghandi to resist putting away half a log in one sitting. It’s not that big, but packed with calories it is, young one. If you did wolf down a whole half (???) in one sitting, 800 calories up on your day, you’d be. Maybe eat it only if 4 of your friends are going to share.
Healthier Weight Loss Food Option:
Check out Dave’s flour-less bread if you’re going to lose weight AND eat bread. It’s damned good, and leaves the blood glucose spikes at home.
Are better cigarettes good for you? Hardly, and so it is with olive oil. Get down, I’m not equating a little olive oil consumption with lighting up. It is miles ahead of oils like the normal, hot-processed Canola and the like that most people eat. The truth is olive oil is still loaded with calories and not exactly great for your blood lipid levels.
First, the calories. A mere 2 tblspns of olive oil packs 240 calories. Damn! That’ll spike up the ole salad. To put it in perspective, an entire In-n-Out burger is only 310. Yeah.
The thing to remember is this: If you are eliminating unhealthy fats and substituting olive oil, with its monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), you’re improving your dietary standing. On that score, you’re smelling like a rose. But (yeah, there’s always one of those….)
Experts are divided on olive oil’s heart benefits. There are several studies relating to fat consumption and its health effects. There is no question that polyunsaturated fat has significantly fewer negative health risks. But, there’s a but…..
This 5-year study on green monkeys and their dietary fat consumption by Rudel, Parks and Sawyer, goes into excruciating detail on the subject. I’ll spare you the mind numbing, 30 min read. Basically, green monkeys fed high levels of saturated and monounsaturated fats developed similar health risk factors, while those consuming high levels of polyunsaturated fat (olive oil has predominantly monounsaturated fat) had fewer risk factors. Our friends at Harvard University School of Public Health have an excellent article on dietary fat, here.
While green monkeys are similar to humans, I don’t know if they sat around watching ESPN, and pretended to ride the bike while chatting up other cute green monkeys. This study was diet only, and didn’t examine the monkeys’ exercise habits, or effects on their health risks on various diets.
The key with oils is ensuring they’re Omega-3 heavy and Omega-6 light, and high in CLAs. If you’re going to fry with them (comon, you know you haven’t completely kicked the fried food habit yet….) check the smoke point; the higher, the better.
Healthier Oil Substitute: Coconut oil (un-hydroginated only, please) has been shown to have numerous health benefits, and is Omega-3 rich. The Elizabeth Walling book “The Nourished Metabolism: The Balanced Guide to How Diet, Exercise and Stress Impact Your Metabolic Health” is a good read, and goes into coconut oil’s benefits in greater detail.
Remember When Choosing Weight Loss Foods…
There are oh, so many diet products on the shelves these days. Many of the best have been with us for thousands of years. Remember these little bits, and you’ll be on the right track to healthy fat loss:
“If It’s White, Don’t Bite” – Yeah, the white food lobby will be all over my ass for this one, but skipping white flour, white rice, and refined sugar, will take you a long way. Read closely though, it’s in everything.
“More Than One, and It’s Done” – Single ingredient foods rock, and in most cases are far healthier for you. Yes, you can add them together in one meal. Where do you think salads come from?
Until next time, then avoid the traditional weight loss foods that make you gain weight, and stick to the substitutes….
What are your favorite weight loss foods?
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