You’ve heard of the Freshman 15. Those pesky 15 pounds most college freshman gain their first year eating in the dining halls and drinking new “beverages” of all kinds.
Here’s something else most of us are aware of–the 2020 . . . 20. Yeah, you guessed it. It’s the 20 pounds (on average) that people gained during lockdowns. Think about it–people who were otherwise hitting the gym several times a week and/or walking to work every day were suddenly sitting inside their home for long periods of time.
Along with exercise, diet is important when making a choice to drop weight and get healthy. To that end, we’d like to help you get back on track by sharing food and drinks to avoid for 30 days so you can lose weight and enjoy good health, or just feel better!
Remember when you were a kid, and your parents made you a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on delicious white Wonder Bread? We do too. And while those sandwiches do remind us of childhood–and they were made with love–they weren’t the healthiest.
Now that we’re adults, we know that white bread is made of refined wheat. The problem is that this wheat is low in fiber and essential nutrients, leading to rapid spikes in blood sugar.
Want to avoid white bread? No problem! Just choose a whole grain bread.
If you have an aversion to gluten, there are plenty of gluten-free options to choose from, too.
Most Fruit Juices
The idea that fruit juices are healthy is one of the greatest food industry ruses of our time. At first blush, it seems to make sense. Fruit is good for you. Water is good for you. So, if you add them together to create fruit juice, you should end up with a refreshing and vitamin-packed beverage.
Unfortunately, most fruit juices are packed with sugar. Sure, some of them also have vitamins and antioxidants, which are useful to our bodies, but we can’t assume all juices are created equally.
The best thing to do is check the label. Skip the juices with added sugar and those whose labels read, “made from concentrate.”
Do choose juices that are pure juice. These juices might be labeled “100% juice.” Better yet, enjoy a piece of fresh fruit with a side of water. Yum!
Who didn’t love a hearty bowl of Lucky Charms or Captain Crunch when they were kids? We sure did!
Then we grew up and realized most breakfast cereals are loaded with sugar and other ingredients that are dangerous for our health. Ingredients such as processed oats, wheat, corn, rice, and corn syrup, dyes, and other things that don’t provide the boost of nutrition a healthy breakfast should.
If you’d like to avoid breakfast cereals for 30 days to see how the change makes you feel, we suggest whole foods that are cooked simply. How about a hard-boiled egg, a piece of fresh fruit, and a small bowl of fresh oatmeal?
Now that’s a great way to start the day!
French Fries and Potato Chips
Ouch. We know. This one hurts. Especially when we think of munching and crunching our way through a Netflix binge on the couch. Chips are an easy way to go, but there are definitely more nutritious options.
Here’s the thing: whole white potatoes are good for you. Whole potatoes contain vitamin C and potassium. They’re also a concentrated source of dietary fiber and resistant starch. That’s good! What isn’t good is when we start frying, baking, and roasting our potato friends.
Potato chips and fries are high in fat and calories. Most potato chips also contain a dangerous ingredient called acrylamide. According to Cancer.org, acrylamide can lead to Cancer.
Instead of reaching for any of these processed potato products, you can get the crunch you’re craving from carrots, celery, or even air-popped popcorn! If you give this a try for 30 days, we think your body–and your tastebuds–will thank you!
You know how it is.
It’s late at night—time for bed. You’re just about to turn off the TV when you remember there’s a half carton of ice cream left. No one else is awake, and it wouldn’t be the end of the world if you dipped one of those big-back-of-the-drawer spoons into the tub while no one is looking. After the fifth spoonful, your stomach starts to hurt, and you regret your choices.
This could have been avoided. And it still can!
Ice cream is no good for us for several reasons. Mostly, it’s high in sugar and saturated fat. Over time, these dangerous dietary culprits can lead to heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity, and diabetes. But don’t worry!
You can avoid ice cream for the next 30 days by choosing other sweet-tooth satiating options. Fresh fruit, Greek Yogurt, baked pears or apples with cinnamon, and/or baked sweet potatoes all offer healthy nutrients and an answer to the nighttime cravings for something sweet!
Most Fast Food
When you’re running from soccer practice to ballet, or you only have 20 minutes to grab a quick lunch before your afternoon meetings, fast food is often the quickest choice. Now and then, we gotta do what we gotta do.
If you’d like to avoid most fast food for the next 30 days, we have some ideas. First of all, let’s talk about why fast food can be so dangerous to our health.
Most fast food is high in sodium, saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol. According to Young Men’s Health, “Eating too much over a long period of time can lead to issues such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and unwanted weight gain.”
The Internet is rife with alternative quick meals you can prep ahead of time, so you don’t get caught having to wait in a drive-thru line. If you take the time to plan your meals and do some meal prep before the busyness begins, you can avoid fast food for the next 30 days!
High Calorie Coffee Drinks
We’re not going to suggest any of us stop drinking coffee! We’re not even going to suggest we relegate ourselves to plain black coffee all the time. So please, hear us out . . .
While black coffee is the healthiest option, there are other ways to go. Have you ever tried a splash of heavy whipping cream? Yum! How about a tablespoon or two of full fat milk? Magnifique! You can definitely get the roasty flavor of your favorite coffee without the added sugars included in creamers, flavorings, and pre-mixed additives.
If you’d like to avoid high caloric coffee drinks for 30 days, you can treat yourself to different kinds of coffee beans, as well as various types of brewing methods, all of which yield a slightly different flavor and consistency. Experiment and have fun exploring!
This one may not be as difficult to avoid for 30 days as the others. Mostly because white rice has a delicious substitute in brown rice. You may even be wondering how white rice made the list.
White rice, though a delicious addition to many meals, has some downsides when it comes to nutrition. Times of India’s website states, “Rice has several nutrients and minerals, but despite all the good things it has a high glycemic index, which can actually lead to diabetes. The presence of starch takes too much time to break down the carbs. Hence, too much of rice especially white rice must be avoided to stay away from various lifestyle diseases.”
In summary, eating a lot of white rice can lead to type 2 diabetes. The good news is, we have some options for you to consider!
You can try quinoa, riced cauliflower, riced broccoli, whole wheat couscous, and/or barley. It can be fun to try new things in the kitchen!
This one is pretty obvious, we think.
Though we love an iced cold glass of soda every now and then, there’s really no nutritional value to it whatsoever. Basically, it’s just a whole lot of sugar.
You know what’s just as refreshing as a soda but doesn’t have any of the sugars or calories? Water!
Water has myriad benefits for your body. If you avoid soda for 30 days and reach for water instead, here’s some of the benefits you’ll gain:
- You’ll stay hudrated, which allows you to stay physically active longer.
- Your brain function and energy levels can increase!
- You’re very likely to have less headaches.
- You won’t have as many issues in the bathroom because you’re likely to be more regular.
- Water can help satiate your hunger, which can lead to weight loss!
Need we go on?!
Why is this plate sad?
Wait, why does this plate have feelings at all?
Well, we can’t tell you why this plate is sad but we can tell you that we feel sad to report that hot dogs–and any processed meat–should be avoided.
If you want to avoid all the foods and drinks in this list for 30 days to see if you feel better than you did before, read on!
The Today blog says this about processed meats, “They’re high in sodium and saturated fats (not the good kind, like those found in coconut) and filled with sodium nitrite (a commonly used preservative that adds color and flavor to meats) and often other chemicals and dyes.”
Bummer. But there’s also good news. If you want to cut the processed meats, but still want a quick go-to protein for lunch or dinner, you can opt for any piece of fresh meat or eggs!