If you’re practicing good nutrition and exercising several times per week, you might experience major disappointment if you step on the scale only to find your hard work isn’t paying off. Although it’s frustrating to find yourself stuck at a weight plateau, it’s perfectly normal for your weight-loss progress to stall on occasion, especially if you’re down to your last ten pounds. Sometimes it just requires a little more time and patience before your body gets back to shedding excess weight. But sometimes a weight plateau can be caused by the foods you’re eating, even if you think you’re doing everything right.
Have you suddenly hit a weight plateau? If you’re eating any of these foods, they may be interfering with your weight-loss efforts.
1. Dried fruits
Dried and dehydrated fruits may seem like ideal healthy snacks since they contain fiber, antioxidants, and many other nutrients. But some dried fruits are also high in sugar and calories, and can do more harm than good when eaten in excess. If you regularly snack on dried fruit, switch to snacks that are lower in sugar, such as nuts or roasted vegetables.
2. Artificial sweeteners
Synthetic sweeteners are linked to a number of health problems, including weight gain. Although artificial sweeteners may not contain any calories, these substances interrupt the body’s process of metabolizing sugar in ways that eventually lead to weight gain. Stop buying foods and beverages that contain artificial sweeteners.
Eating a diet high in salty foods can keep you bloated nearly all the time, even if you’re snacking on healthy foods like nuts. Other sneaky sources of salt are condiments, soups, restaurant meals, “diet” foods, and processed and packaged foods. Read the nutrition and ingredients labels on the foods you’re eating to determine whether you’re consuming too much salt, and stop eating fast food, since these meals are often high in sodium. Even a fast-food salad can contain an entire day’s worth of sodium.
Also, reduce the amount of salt you’re putting on home-cooked meals, and replace your regular table salt with pink Himalayan salt. Table salt is highly processed, but Himalayan rock salt is unrefined and high in important minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iodine.
Many dairy products are highly acidic foods that can upset your body’s pH balance. This can lead to inflammation if you don’t balance your body’s acidity level using alkaline foods such as leafy greens, almonds, spinach, and avocado. Inflammation can drive weight gain and is a common culprit when it comes to weight plateaus. Dairy products also contain lactose — a milk sugar that raises the body’s insulin levels to interfere with metabolism and weight loss.
The ideal weight-loss diet consists of healthy, low-glycemic whole foods such as vegetables, leafy greens, legumes, nuts, seeds, fish, whole grains, and organic meats. If you’re not sure which foods in your diet are causing your weight-loss plateau, start eliminating processed foods one by one until your diet consists primarily of whole foods as close to their natural state as possible.
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