Weight Loss: 4 Foods With Empty Calories You Must Avoid
Weight loss diet: Foods that offer almost no nutrition yet increase the daily calories of your diet are known as foods with empty calories. Here are some empty calorie foods you must avoid.
Empty calories foods include the likes of alcohol and mayonnaise
- White refined sugar provides you nothing but empty calories
- Sugary beverages are included in the same list
- Frozen desserts like ice cream also join the bandwagon
Foods with empty calories can be your worst enemy if you are trying to lose weight. The food you consume serves a primary purpose of providing you with energy besides all the essential nutrients required for a healthy body. It's a basic science where any kind of food you consume offers some calories which are utilised in the form of energy by your body. When it comes to managing weight or living healthy in total, the focus through foods should be on consuming calories that offer all the essential nutrients. But, a lot of us tend to consume excess calories that too from mostly the unhealthy foods or foods that provide empty calories.
Weight Loss: What are empty calories?
Foods that offer almost no nutrition yet increase the daily calories of your diet are known as foods with empty calories. Such foods often lead to the risk of obesity, diabetes, heart diseases, stress, and other lifestyle diseases. Here's a list of commonly consumed empty calorie foods:
1. Sugary beverages: Sugar definitely tops the chart of foods providing empty calories. Sweetened beverages contain excessive amounts of sugar besides having artificial flavours and preservatives making a lethal combination. There can be as much as 11 teaspoons of sugar in one can of your favourite soft drink. Now, sugar doesn't just provide empty calories, it makes you even crave for it more creating a vicious cycle of poor health. Switch to naturally sweetened beverages instead of sugar by using jaggery, dates, raisins, or consuming fruits.
2. Alcohol: Every millilitre of an alcoholic drink provides 7 calories. Just a couple of drinks can add up to 400-500 calories without any nutrition at all. What makes it worse is mixing cocktails with soda, juice, cream, or unhealthy snacks only to add up on empty calories in addition to piling up kilos or putting up fat on your waistline. Replace alcohol with unsweetened lemonade, kombucha, alcohol-free wine, sparkling drinks, or even unsweetened iced tea.
3. Mayonnaise: Just 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise can add up to 200 calories and about 25 grams of fat which is equivalent to almost a small meal size but with a higher fat count, and it's not even counted as a meal. Moreover, mayonnaise contains the unhealthiest forms of fats known as trans fats. These not only up the empty calorie count but also raise the risk factor for high cholesterol and heart diseases. You can instead make your homemade almond butter or peanut butter as a healthy substitute for mayonnaise. However, make sure to control on the portion size.
4. Frozen Desserts: It's a good time to bid goodbye to packaged frozen desserts like ice cream, frozen yogurts, or jellies. Just one serving of ice cream can provide 14 grams of sugar and an additional 150 calories without you even realizing it. Needless to say, there is no nutrient provided at all. The same goes for frozen flavoured yogurts which are marketed in a way to promote health but are actually loaded with sugar, artificial flavours, and preservatives. Make your own frozen desserts with mashed bananas and adding up natural sweeteners like jaggery, raisins, or dates.
The food you eat today has the potential to determine the outcome of your health tomorrow. Choose local and fresh foods instead of packaged or frozen ones as a thumb rule. Don't give in to the pleasures of your taste buds, instead commit to a healthy dietary routine and stick to it.
(Nmami Agarwal is nutritionist at Nmami Life)
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