I’ve heard it from plenty of clients, “Vic, I’ve stopped eating bread, avoid pasta like the plague, and haven’t had even a nibble of cheese is over a month and I’m still not losing weight.”
When I hear this, I know there is something lurking in their dietary habits that is sabotaging their weight loss efforts – without them even realizing it. There are items they are not even recording in their food journals because they feel it somehow doesn’t count. Well the proof is in the waistline. If you are taking care of the “big items” like bread, pasta, and dairy – but still aren’t losing weight – be on the lookout for these three hidden culprits of weight gain.
Hidden Culprits Of Weight Gain…
1. Salad dressings
Why clients think they don’t have to list the dressing they put on salads in their food journal amazes me. All of that creamy crap is ruining the healthy deliciousness of that spinach salad with asparagus, cucumber, grape tomatoes, and red peppers (my personal favorite salad combo). So steer clear of Ranch, Thousand Island, Caesar, and any other salad dressing where dairy is obviously a main ingredient. To be sure you stay on the proper path to weight loss, I actually recommend that you avoid ALL prepackaged salad dressings due to the unpronounceable ingredients that are nearly inescapable with store bought dressings. The only salad dressing that gets my seal of approval? Home made balsamic vinaigrette: 3 parts extra virgin olive oil, 1 part balsamic vinegar, spices of your choice, shake the shit out of it and enjoy. Delicious!
So you stopped drinking beer, you’ve stepped way back on the wine, and you’re now cutting your Jack Daniel’s with water. All of those adjustments are fine and good, but if you are not reaching your weight loss goals the booze has to go. Having just two drinks has been shown to drop the body’s fat burning ability by as much as 73%. When alcohol is consumed the body converts it to acetate. The acetate then becomes your body’s preferred source of fuel – which means your body is NOT using body fat for fuel. See De Novo Lipogenesis, Lipid Kinetics, and Whole-Body Lipid Balances in Humans After Acute Alcohol Consumption, Siler, Neese, & Hellerstein, American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 1999; 70: 928-936.
But the main reason that I recommend you steer clear of alcohol is because it lowers inhibitions. You don’t have to be staggering drunk and end up in the drive thru to see the effects alcohol can have on your will power. That one glass of wine can easily turn into a second glass with a cheese tray. It’s too much potential for a slippery slope in the wrong direction so my recommendation is to abstain from alcohol during fat loss efforts.
3. Diet Soda
I know, I know. . . there are no calories in diet soda so how can it hinder weight loss? It’s because that artificial sweetener that makes you fall in love with Diet Coke confuses the hell out of your body. The body’s natural regulatory systems that control hunger and weight get all out of whack when it has to process the sugary taste without the expected caloric intake. See Artificially Sweetened Beverages: Cause for Concern, Ludwig, Journal of the American Medical Association, 2009; 302: 2477-2478. Science and facts aside – my experience with clients has always been that weight loss efforts are hindered when diet soda remains a part of the diet.
As they say, the devil is in the details. Often seemingly harmless diversions from the plan can add up to crush your fat loss efforts.
What are some things you’ve eliminated from your diet that you weren’t expecting to have an impact, that have helped you reach your weigh loss goals? Let me know in the comments below.