When it comes to weight loss, food trumps even increased activity, for its ability to dramatically affect your success or failure at achieving your weight goals. It’s especially key to any longterm success at maintaining a healthy weight.

A common problem with dieters is that they believe they’re doing the right thing by eating and drinking ‘diet’ foods or by eating things they consider to be healthy, when in fact these foods are anything but that. Truth be told, in this age of fast foods, microwaveable meals, dinner-in-a-box, preserved lunch meats, sugar-packed and artificially colored cereals, ‘vitamin’ flavored waters, and whatnot, most Westerners unknowingly don’t even know what real food is.

They aren’t telling you the truth

Trust me when I say this – no matter what the marketers tell you on TV and no matter how healthy and happy the actors look in the commercials – a processed waffle is not a healthy, smart choice for breakfast. No matter what they say, peanut butter packed with sugar and hydrogenated oils is not a good option for your kids. And no matter how many pounds lost by that one guy, eating highly processed sub sandwiches loaded with preservatives, salt, and sugar is not a smart weight loss strategy. Get my point? This is not real food. Once you learn to eat what your body is actually designed to eat, then and only then will you truly crack the code and achieve successful and permanent weight loss.

The best way to learn what real food is is to address what it’s not. Keep in mind that this is not a comprehensive list of bad foods, but it addresses some of the heavy hitters. If you want a healthy, fit body – if you want to age in such a way that you remain active and vibrant well into old age and you look younger while doing it – then avoid these fake ‘foods’ at all cost.


Why it’s bad for you:

  • One can contain as much as 10 teaspoons or more of sugar.
  • Contains sodium benzoate, a DNA-damaging preservative, which can lead to cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and other serious ailments.
  • Artificial colorings have been linked as cancer-causing agents and to increased hyperactivity in children. Caramel food colorings common in popular soft drinks have been linked to diminished immune system functioning.
  • Each can or bottle can contain up to 300 times the pesticides of a similar quantity of tap water.
  • The chemical compound Bisphenol A (BPA), found in the linings of soda cans, is considered an endocrine disrupting chemical and is linked to cancer, altered behavior, infertility, and obesity. Canada recently declared it a toxic substance.

Diet soda, diet lemonade, and fruit punch powders, and basically any diet beverage period

Why it’s bad for you:

  • Diet soda has all the same issues as regular soda (except it doesn’t contain sugar).
  • However, the artificial sweeteners in diet sodas and other diet beverages have a number of serious problems. Aspartame, just one of many artificial sweeteners, is broken down by the body into formaldehyde and stored in body fat. Formaldehyde-based products are used in automobile manufacturing, plywood and carpeting adhesives, paints, explosives, and embalming. Artificial sweeteners also contain two known tumor-causing agents, formic acid and diketopiperazine.

Processed ‘food’

Processed food is any food that’s been altered from its natural state for either safety reasons, taste, and/or convenience. Examples include potato chips, cereal, pre-made meals and dishes found in the frozen food section of any supermarket, salad dressings, pre-packaged lunch meats, and much more. Not all processed foods are bad for you though. For example, pasteurized milk is technically a processed food, but pasteurization is actually beneficial in that it kills bacteria. There are other exceptions, and in the case of processed foods at even a natural, whole foods type market, they should still be eaten in very limited quantities and with very careful label reading. However, understand that most processed food is unworthy of being consumed at all.

Why it’s bad for you:

  • Often stripped of their vitamins and minerals while processed, many of these foods are then enriched with synthetic vitamins in order to give you some sort of nutritional value when you consume them. There is no scientific proof that synthetic vitamins actually provide any health benefits, and may even cause adverse reactions in some people.
  • Like sodas, many processed foods contain preservatives and artificial colorings which can be downright dangerous to your health.
  • Processed foods are notorious for their use of ingredients like sugar, salt, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated oils, and simple carbohydrates – all of which are designed to not only impair your health but make you fat. Period.

Fast food

Why it’s bad for you

  • Fast food is basically processed food on steroids. Full of fat, sugar, and sodium, fast foods are designed to addict you to its flavors. And that it does very well, making the Western world very fat and unhappy.
  • These ‘foods’ are chock full of preservatives and cancer-causing flavor enhancers. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg lettuce in some cases. Click the link to learn more about the dangers of fast food, and just what you might find in that delicious chicken nugget.

Chris Harrison is a content writer and editor from New Caledonia. He is currently managing Oneunionone which is based in North Carolino. Before founding the website, he was a full time editor in New York USA.