10 Processed Foods You MUST Avoid If You Want To Lose Weight

Looking to shed a few pounds, but you love eating? Here are some processed foods to avoid in order to lose weight and look great!

By Daina
10 Processed Foods You MUST Avoid If You Want To Lose Weight

Looking to Lose Weight? Avoid Processed Foods!

Just because summer is winding down, it does not mean you should let yourself go! And what better time to lose weight than now? The first thing you think of when trying to see a loss in pounds is exercising. But there's only so much exercise you can do to lose weight. In fact, it would take hundreds of hours doing cardio workouts to lose a significant amount of weight. The majority of the weight loss comes from eating healthy. 

For you girls that love eating, as I do, it may be hard to shed the weight. However, if you swap out these ten processed foods for healthier options, you can start looking and feeling great with your new weight loss.

1. Instant Ramen

Instant ramen is probably the most unhealthy of the processed foods to choose from in wanting to stay healthy. The sodium in one serving of instant ramen alone makes up 33% of your daily intake. But that's just one serving, and really, who only eats half a package of instant ramen? That means in one small package for a meal that will probably only hold you over for 30 or so minutes; there is 66% of the recommended daily intake of sodium. That sodium is what makes your stomach so bloated and makes it hard to lose the weight. 

What makes instant ramen so popular is it is easy and cheap, mostly chosen by college-age kids or young adults. However, before popping it in the microwave, ask yourself if it's worth it. When instead, you can make a much healthier meal for a comparative price. 

Eat instead: Whole grain pasta with seasonings: a favorite combo is sea salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder.

2. Potato Chips

Potato chips are a combination of fried, oily empty carbs and unhealthy, over-the-top flavors. Don't even get me started on Pringles, which claim to be potato chips but are only 42% potato, leaving 58% of unhealthy additives. Even the "baked" varieties of chips have more sodium and fat than you need. The marketing of these products attempts to trick you, as on the packages, they say "60% less fat!" or something along those lines. However, that's 60% less fat than the unhealthiest potato chips.

Potatoes themselves tend not to be the healthiest of foods. Although they include a lot of nutrients that can be beneficial to your body, they are high in carbs, and they can release an unhealthy chemical if they are baked or fried. Cutting out all potato chips and these types of snacks will surely help you lose weight!

Eat instead: Baked kale or hummus chips. Homemade chips are healthier, but there are a few brands that offer healthy options. Make sure you are checking out the nutritional facts to make sure they are healthy for you!

3. Deli Meats

Deli sandwich meats are easy to get, easy to make, and great to eat. However, the additives and extra sodium that the deli meats come with are not so great. Avoid deli meats and even deli cheese, as the cheese is often processed enough to make your stomach bloated and make it harder to lose weight. 

This also includes any kind of pepperoni. Pepperoni is very oily and full of fat you can see among the minced meat. This is all fat that you need to avoid to make your stomach shrink. Not only do these oils and fats prevent weight loss, but they also lead to diseases such as heart disease and diabetes, 

Eat instead: freshly carved chicken or turkey is just as good on a sandwich, and can be cheaper! These are much healthier than the processed deli meat.

4. Salad Dressing

You may think the salad you made at home and are about to dig into will help you lose weight. After all, salad is healthy. However, the salad dressing you bought at the store with your head held high for making healthy choices is not as healthy as you think. Drop processed salad dressings to drop the pounds. 

Salad dressings from the store include high amounts of fat, sodium, and sugar. Adding these dressings to your salad ruins everything eating the salad would do for you. 

Eat instead: Homemade dressing made with EVOO (heart-healthy!) and vinegar with seasonings. Use EVOO, apple cider vinegar, sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, and Italian seasoning.

5. White Bread

I’ve never bought white bread before but the whole loaf was 39 cents and now I guess I eat white bread and no produce. It feels really weird- I’ve never spent more than 2 days without eating a fruit or vegetable since I was old enough enough for solid food. I already can tell the difference with my bloat/gut health/GI tract feeling way worse. Although that could be because beans are cheap and I’ve been eating them every day for the last two weeks (along with my white bread and 99 cent jars of store brand knockoff Jif peanut butter and the snacks from work). My boss brings nuts, chocolate, dried fruit, cookies, and granola bars for us to snack on, and I’m grateful to be able to eat what’s available without feeling too guilty like I used to. I called my dad and told him I would come home. I am resigned to the fact that my current lifestyle of working so often to barely scrape by isn’t sustainable. I am starting my new job and it’s closer to home than the place I originally was going to rent (which I lacked money for a deposit for anyways). I’m moving out of CVille on Friday night, starting my training for my new job on Monday, and headed to Boston on Thursday. I plan to work as much as possible to save up enough to move out and pay for the interview portion of the application process (I can dream). What is getting me through this situation is knowing that it is temporary. Its only a few months (most of it spent at work or away from home). I am really grateful that my father is being so generous and I am focusing on how much I appreciate the place to live, the freedom from paying utilities or for food, and my dads old car that he’s loaning me (I’ll still pay for gas/maintenance of course). Just counting the blessings is making acceptance of reality a much easier pill to swallow. Currently trying not to think about my mother and her reaction towards me. I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it. Today I’m running a training from 3:30-8 pm for the new lab tech replacing me. I feel like time is racing by and can’t believe August is here already. Thank you all for being so supportive these past few days while I was an utter mess. Love this community so much 💖

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Looking to shed some weight off your stomach? Avoid the empty carbs that are in white bread. White bread contains processed ingredients. Besides being the holder of your sandwich meat, it has no other purpose and therefore does nothing for your body except prevent it from losing weight and make your blood sugar skyrocket. 

In fact, most brands that market a "whole wheat" variety of bread do not add in any beneficial ingredients. So although whole wheat is better than the enriched flour that is in white bread, it still does not do anything for you nutritionally.

Eat instead: Whole grain bread, which includes grains that will keep you fuller longer and are beneficial to your heart health. 

6. Fast Food

Any kind of fast food is not good for you. Let's rephrase. Anything you get at a restaurant is not good for you. Even the healthiest dishes at a restaurant or fast food place could be made even healthier at home. All dishes have more sodium and less-fresh ingredients, which are created with love and care at home.

However, that is if you get a healthy dish. If a healthy dish is still not good for you, imagine what a burger and fries will do to you. Fast food is a major cause of heart disease. Fast food is filled with oils, salt, sugar, and fat, which only messes up your digestive system and makes you gain weight, not lose it. 

Eat instead: Home-cooked meals! You will lose a lot of weight by stop eating out and home cook all of your meals. 

7. Ice Cream

It is no surprise that ice cream is not good for you. The more Instagram-worthy the ice cream, the more unhealthier it most likely is. The more toppings on your ice cream, the more unhealthier it most likely is.You want to avoid this processed food in order to lose weight. 

Although ice creams have come out and claim they are healthy and only 300 calories per pint, that is still a lot more than that amount of food should be. Also, like I said before, it is not all about the amount of calories that are in food that matter. Before you choose one of these "healthier" options, check out the amount of sugar, sodium, and fat.

Eat instead: Homemade frozen fruit pops, or frozen yogurt if you want something creamy.

8. Soda

You have heard it a thousand times if you want to lose weight, lose the soda. Any kind of soda in your diet is detrimental to your weight loss journey. It's going to have high amounts of sugar and sodium, or it's going to have aspartame, a carcinogenic ingredient in diet drinks. 

Think about the bubbles just building up in your stomach. Cut out soda, and you will lose some weight!

Drink instead: WATER! However, I know from experience how hard it is to go from soda to water, so start with either flavored water to get the flavor you are used to or go for a seltzer which will give you the satisfaction of the carbonation.

9. Fruit Juice

For today only. #oceanspray

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Fruit juices should be healthy, right? They are made with fruit. And it's better than soda, so you should be able to drink any kind of fruit juice. 

But the scary truth behind this processed drink is that it is not fruit juice. Many times, you will read on the label that juice contains 10% or less of actual fruit juice. So what makes up the rest of the 90% of it? Water, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, and artificial flavors, most of which you do not want in your body, especially when you are trying to lose weight.

Drink instead: Water. Or, if you feel the need for flavor, add a slice of lemon or lime to your water. Or purchase a juicer and make your healthy juices!

10. Coffee

It's not so much the coffee that is what you need to avoid as the stuff that you typically put in your coffee--the cream and sugar. If you stuck with black coffee, you would be fine. But only about 20% of coffee drinkers drink it black without any sugar or cream. 

The other issue that arises with coffee with cream and sugar is when one coffee doesn't cut it for the day, and you can have about four coffees a day, loading each one with cream and sugar, which will prolong your weight loss journey. 

Drink instead: Black coffee or green tea, which has antioxidants and helps digestive health.

Avoid Processed Foods to Help You Lose The Maximum Amount of Weight

Granted, if you continued eating these processed foods while eating less and working out vigorously, you might still lose some weight. However, the best and easiest way to lose weight is to avoid these foods while still having a consistent workout routine. 

It is hard to change your diet, and your body may change along with your diet. But remember, this is a lifestyle change. It takes 60 days for a person's body to adapt to changes like a change in diet, so allow your body that 60 days to adapt before saying it's too hard and giving up.

Take the advice on healthier foods to eat and keep in mind that calories are not the only thing that determines if food is healthy or unhealthy. You need to look at all nutritional information and "weigh" your options.