If you’re serious about losing weight then you know you’ve got to think about what food you are putting in your mouth. While regular exercise is important, you aren’t going to lose a great deal if you don’t change what you eat. When it comes to weight loss, the important thing to think about is what foods will give you more bang for your buck. If you are eating something that has high calories, but doesn’t contain any minerals, vitamins or fibre, then you might as well not have eaten it. All you are satisfying is your taste buds. Your stomach will be asking for more very soon after. You are probably aware that you shouldn’t eat junk food and sugary drinks, but there are some regular food items that might not be as obvious.

1. White Bread/ White Rice/ Pasta

A salad sandwich or some sushi? They sound like healthy alternatives don’t they. Compared to a Big Mac, they are the healthier choice, but if you are serious about losing major kilos then you need to make an even better choice. White bread and rice are refined carbohydrates, so whilst they are giving you well needed carbs, they aren’t giving you anything else. Without fibres and key nutrients, the carbohydrates will be converted very quickly, leaving you feeling hungry for more soon after. “A surge of insulin can then result in low blood sugar, which makes you hungry again,” she says. “Insulin is a storage hormone, so when a lot is released, we end up storing most of those calories as fat [if not used for energy],” Alissa Rumsey, RD.

SWAP IT WITH: Instead eat brown rice, wholemeal/grain bread, whole grains or wholemeal pasta.

2. Flavoured Yoghurt

Yoghurt sounds healthy doesn’t it? A little bit on your cereal or a snack in the arvo to keep you going is almost a good choice… but unfortunately there’s a good type and there’s a bad type. “Flavored yogurts, even the innocuous vanilla variety, can pack nearly 30 grams of sugar per 6 oz. serving. That’s more sugar than ice cream! Excess sugar can lead to weight gain so avoid the flavored varieties and stick with plain Greek yogurt,” says Tanya Zuckerbrot, MS, RD.

SWAP IT WITH: Check the label and choose wisely. Plain yoghurt with your own added flavourings (berries, fruit, honey, & seeds) will cut down the sugar content a long way. Plus you will be adding extra fibre and nutrients to keep you fuller for longer.