Friday, December 28, 2007

6 Foods to Avoid to loose weight

When Oprah Winfrey wants to lose weight, she turns to Bob Greene's Best Life Diet, a three-phase plan that bans six foods in particular during the most aggressive weight loss stage.

The first phase of the diet focuses on increasing activity, while the second phase emphasizes shedding pounds. The third phase is lifetime maintenance.

Greene, author of "The Best Life Diet," says the pounds will really drop off in the second phase, which lasts at least four weeks. "Now is the time to eliminate a few foods from your diet and replace them with less fattening foods that will curb your appetite," he writes on Oprah.com. While you can add these foods into your diet in moderation once you've reached your weight loss goal, you shouldn't eat any of them while you're actively trying to shed pounds.

If you're serious about losing weight, make sure these six foods aren't in your pantry or on your plate:

1. Soft drinks
Talk about empty calories! Ditch the sodas and drink plain or flavored water, herbal iced tea or skim milk. If you just have to have a sweet drink, indulge in one glass of fruit juice a day. Even diet sodas should be limited to just one a day to help you diminish your taste for sweet drinks.

2. Foods Containing Trans Fats
Read labels so you know which foods contain this diet-busting, unhealthy ingredient. Be especially alert to trans fats in margarine, vegetable shortenings and processed foods. If a food has "partially hydrogenated vegetable oil," it has trans fats. Instead, choose heart-healthy olive oil and canola oil.

3. Fried Foods
Fried foods in restaurants are typically cooked in oil that is reused, which can create byproducts that are linked to a number of diseases. These foods are also high in calories. If you just love fried food, try "frying" in the oven. For example, make your own French fries by cutting potatoes into strips, toss with a little olive oil, salt and pepper and then bake them at 400 degrees or until they are brown.

4. White Bread
You don't have to ban all carbohydrates, but you do have to make sure the carbs you eat are whole grain. Besides, they are more nutritious and their increased fiber will fill you up longer.

5. Regular Pasta
Pasta, in and of itself, isn't a bad food. It's the way we eat it that can be bad. Look for whole grain pasta with at least four grams of fiber per two dry ounces.

6. High-Fat Dairy Products
Cheese, milk, yogurt and even ice cream are good for you because they are an excellent source of calcium and protein, but you don't need to eat the full-fat version. Instead, choose low-fat or no-fat to lower the calories and fat content.

--From the Editors at Netscape