You are obviously reading this because you are motivated to lose weight. Are you just starting your path on getting slimmer or have you hit a weight loss plateau? Either way I have some very effective tips for you. I promise that if you start implementing these strategies into you daily life you will be successful in lowering your body weight and get healthier too.

Remove these six unhealthy foods from your diet.

1. SODA. Soda is the number one source for empty calories. If you drink soda you are more prone to diabetes. Research has shown that by drinking just one twelve-ounce soda a day, you can gain 15 pounds in one year. What about diet soda? The goal should be to wean yourself off of super sweet foods and diet sodas happen to taste sweeter than anything found in nature. Drinking diet soda will perpetuate your desire for intensely sweet flavors.

BETTER CHOICE: Drink WATER or unsweetened iced tea. Green tea boots your immune system and aids in weight loss.

2. FOODS WITH TRANS FATS. Cookies, baked goods, French fries, microwave popcorn, movie popcorn, frozen meals, crackers, cake mixes, candy and many salty snack foods all contain trans fats. Look for the words partially hydrogenated oil, hydrogenated oil, palm oil or palm kernel oil on the label. These fats are artery clogging and raise your LDL cholesterol. Research suggests that you are more likely to gain weight if you eat trans fats and they cause body fat to be stored in the abdominal area.

BETTER CHOICE: Olive oil, canola oil, butter. Sesame oil (great for stir fries), walnut oil (excellent in dressing) and peanut oil are some of my personal flavorful favorites. Especially olive oil is rich in cholesterol-lowering monounsaturated fat.

3. FRIED FOODS. First you should know that restaurants deep-fry their foods in trans fats. See note above. Trans fats are much cheaper than natural oils and therefore very lucrative for businesses. Eating these fats will not help with your weight loss efforts or enhance your health. Fried foods are highly addictive, they will age you and they are loaded with calories.

BETTER CHOICE: Oven fried foods. I love oven fried fries and sweet potato fries. Simply cut potatoes into strips (or any kind of root vegetables, like carrots, parsnips, onions…), toss them with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper and cook them in a 425 degree oven until toasty brown. You can cook chicken, fish and other vegetables the same way. Your food develops a delicious crispy outside.

4. and 5.WHITE BREAD and REGULAR PASTA. Not all carbohydrates are the same. White “fluffy” carbohydrates, as I like to call them, will add fluff to your body. These fluff foods are made from refined grains without any nutritional value. Healthy fiber, B vitamins, vitamin E and disease-fighting phytochemicals have been stripped from these foods.

BETTER CHOICE: Whole Grain Bread and Pasta. These carbs are a good source of energy and fiber. High fiber foods are bulkier and processed more slowly by the body than other types of foods, which helps keep you fuller longer. When you add fiber to your diet, you will eat fewer calories and shed pounds. Just remember to drink lots of water in addition. When you check the ingredient list, make sure that the first ingredient always has the word “whole” in front of it.

I can not end this message without urging you to INCREASE YOUR ACTIVITY LEVEL. Exercise, just like food and water, is the best nourishment for you body. By exercising for an hour a day you will not only expedite your weight loss tremendously, but you will also gain strong muscles, bones and increase your metabolism.

If you think one hour is a long time, think about how you make time for everybody and everything else. Put yourself first and make a commitment to yourself. It will pay off big time and benefit everybody who’s around you.

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