6 Packs Are Made in the Kitchen

No matter how hard you crush it at the gym, if you aren’t eating for fitness, you are doing yourself a disservice. Sure, indulging now and again is okay. But 80% of the time, you should be packing in foods to promote and activate your fitness lifestyle. Here are some foods to absolutely avoid if you’re working on sculpting your 6 pack.

Six-pack stoppers

Alcohol – Moderate consumption of alcohol is okay, but overconsumption can lead to a host of problems for the brain, heart, liver, pancreas, body weight, mouth and immune system. Heavy drinking can also lead to various forms of cancer. Not only is alcohol packed with calories, but you are also more likely to overeat while drinking and to sleep in during your normal workout time.

Additional Resources:
Alcohol’s Damaging Effects on the Brain
Alcohol in Moderation – How to Enjoy Alcohol & Still Be Fit

White Bread / White Rice / White Pasta – We ain’t trying to be racist, but the white stuff is whack! Cheap and low-quality, white foods are made of refined flours that contain no vitamins or nutrients and contribute significantly to weight gain. Not only that, but other bad ingredients lurk alongside the refined flour like high fructose corn syrup, soy, transfat, and salt. Read our blog about what happens to your body when you carb binge.

Additional Resources:
Mercola’s Simple Way to Shed Pounds & Decrease Tiredness
Care2′s 7 Negative Effects of Refined Flour
Web MD’s Truth About White Foods

Cheese – Cheese is delicious, no doubt. And cheese should absolutely be enjoyed, especially if it’s a rosemary manchego or black truffle cheddar. But cheese is a high-calorie food that is often over-consumed. Enjoy sparingly and be conscious of how many calories each slice holds. Also, avoid generic cheese products filled with hormones and fillers and other weird ingredients you can pronounce. This isn’t good for your health, period.

100 Calorie, Healthy Portion of Various Cheeses

100 Calorie, Healthy Portion of Various Cheeses

Additional Resources:
Jillian Michaels on Calories in Cheese
Food Renegade’s Guide to Enjoying Real Cheese

Sweets – Ice cream, cookies, cakes, pies, and the like. Sugar is wildly damaging to the body and has come out as the true contributor to weight gain and obesity. We’ve blogged about it a lot here and here and here. Trust us, sweets are the enemy. If you need a sweet fix, eat fruit. The longer you stave off sugar, the sweeter fruit will taste and the less you’ll crave the artificially sweetened health destroyers. 

Additional Resources:
Mercola’s 76 Ways Sugar Harms Your Health
Nancy Appleton’s 141 Ways Sugar Kills

Chips – Chips are high in fat, calories, and salt and often accompany other unhealthy food products like sugary sodas and high-calorie dips. People often turn to chips as meal replacements, which means they are ingesting less necessary vitamins and nutrients and contributing to weight gain.

Additional Resources:
Livestrong’s Chip Warning
SF Gate’s Breakdown on Chips

Fries – Deep fried in oil and often accompanied by sugar-filled dips, this starchy snack contributes to obesity, weight gain, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure. A large serving of fries lands you consuming upwards of 700 calories in one sitting! Fries should be treated like sugar and consumed with the utmost discretion.

Additional Resources:
Livestrong’s The Effects of Fries on the Body
Health Ambition’s The Most Unhealthy Food You Can Eat

Soda / Soft Drinks – We’ll save the speech. Just take a quick look at this graphic:

soda

Additional Resources:
Wellness Mama’s Dangers of Soda
Rodale’s Disturbing Effects of Soda

Fast-Food – Fast foods contain excess amounts of salt, cholesterol, fat, transfat, and questionable lab-created proteins. Not to mention the meat used is from factory farms that pump their animals full of hormones and treat them inhumanely. In fact, recently reports have surfaced that suggest there isn’t much meat in those Big Macs, but bones, connective tissue, organs, and other creepy stuff.

Additional Resources:
Huffington Post’s Fast Food’s Immediate Damage to Your Health
Livestrong’s Negative Effects of Fast Food

Processed Meat – This includes bacon, sausage, hot dogs, salami, pepperoni, sandwich meat, and more. Processed meat is cured with salt and sodium nitrite, which is added to give the meat a bright color to suggest freshness. Sodium nitrite is directly linked to cancer and the salt content of these meats is a significant contributor to weight gain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and heart disease.

Additional Resources:
Huffington Post’s Processed Meat Linked to Cancer
National Review’s Processed Meat Declared “Too Dangerous to Consume”
Ask Men’s Unhealthiest Meats

Margarine – Created in the 1800s as a cheap substitute for butter, margarine is yet another unnatural, unhealthy food product created in the lab. We recently blogged about how butter is back as studies have come out saying fat doesn’t make you fat. Weird lab experiments make you fat (and give you cancer).

Additional Resources:
The Real Food Guide’s What is Margarine & Why It’s Bad for You
Wellness Mama’s Why You Should Never Eat Margarine

Juice – Store bought juice contains more sugar than fruit and is all around unhealthy. Even pure fruit juice isn’t necessarily great for your health. Here’s why: the fiber in fruit slows down the body’s absorption of fructose, which avoids spikes in insulin that lead to weight gain. Juice alone has no fiber and that fructose goes straight to the blood stream.

Additional Resources:
NY Times Well Blog’s Making the Case for Fruit
Fistfulayen’s Eat Fruit, Not Juice
Lifetime Weight Loss’s Why You Should Avoid Orange Juice