There’s a lot of noise about how one should avoid junk food while trying to lose weight and one of the main reasons we ask you to do so is because of the high number of empty calories in them. So, what exactly are empty calories? Empty calories come from foods that though are filling but provide little to no nutritional value, have high amount of sugar and unhealthy fats. When food with empty calories is consumed, our bodies do not receive nutrients to perform normal functions and to source out nutrients, the body sends out hunger signals all over again, as a result, we consume more calories, leading to calorie surplus. When there is calorie surplus, the body stores the extra energy as fat. If empty calories are part of our daily diet, and we are consuming more calories than we burn, weight gain is imminent. Additionally, a diet that is high in empty calories will increase the risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, etc. Also, with a diet high in empty calories, nutritional deficiencies are common for obvious reasons. So, it becomes extremely important to weed out foods with empty calories and replace them with calorie-dense foods instead. In this article, we list out 8 surprising sources of empty calories you may be overlooking.
1. Biscuits and Cookies: For a lot of us, on tight schedules, chai-biscuit is a convenient and time-saving breakfast option, it also makes for a quick energy-boosting evening snack. But chai-biscuit combination is all empty calories, and when it replaces a proper breakfast meal, you are bound to feel hungry soon after. It’s the same with cookies, crackers, wafers, biscotti, digestives, tea cakes, rusks that make tea and coffee taste so much better! Remember breakfast should be a nutritious one and snacks should be healthy too, for example, nuts, whole grain crackers, roasted chickpeas, homemade granola etc.
2. Instant Noodles: Though instant noodles satisfy cravings and quell hunger instantly, they do not count for a proper meal, and will leave you hungry soon after. Some brands even add MSG (monosodium glutamate) to appeal to the tastebuds of consumers; MSG has been found to create hormonal imbalances and other health issues. Also, the sodium content in these fast food items is quite high, increasing the risk to develop high blood pressure. So, do avoid them while trying to lose weight.
3. Junk Food like French Fries, Burger, Pizza, etc.: Burger, pizza, French fries, etc., are all high on taste factor, but they are also high in calories and unhealthy fats. Additionally, burgers and pizzas have various high-calorie ingredients like cheese, processed meat, sugar and sodium rich sauces, and are low in nutrient profile also. Since popular junk food items like burger, pizza, hot dog, etc., are made from refined flour, the empty calories add up.
4. Indian Sweets: Whether it’s gulab jamun, kaju katli, or jalebi, these delicious treats are made from lots of oil and sugar. Barring a few sweets, the high sugar content in a majority of Indian sweets pack a lot of empty calories. Not a good idea to have something “meetha” after dinner every day.:P Also read: “Is Muesli Good For Weight Loss?”
5. Soft Drinks: Summer is here and the sale of soft drinks sky rocket during this season. The scorching weather makes soft drink a refreshing beverage, but do stay away from these drinks because they are high in sugar that add up loads of empty calories without any significant nutritional value. Having soft drinks will make losing weight extremely difficult and increase the risk of chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes.
6. Candies/Chocolate: Candies and chocolates are high in sugar and calories, with hardly any nutritional benefit. Dark chocolate is an exception because not only is it low in sugar, it also has antioxidants that fight free radicals and also fights stress. Also read: “12 Ways Dark Chocolate can Help you Lose Weight.”
7. Alcohol: It’s the most calorie-dense beverage with up to 7 calories per gram! Cut down alcohol consumption for better health and to lose weight.
8. Ice Cream: You can call it ice cream or frozen dessert, but it has a high number of empty calories with a high amount of added sugar and unhealthy fats. We know, it’s impossible to resist this refreshing treat during summer months which helps us to beat the heat.
Summing up, it’s important to weed out empty calories and make space for nutrient-dense food in your diet to lose weight successfully. The diet plans on the Rati Beauty app help you to plan out your diet, leading to weight loss as well as inch loss. Download the Rati Beauty app for more details.