We all know we should try to eat well, but sometimes fancy diets can be complex and tedious to follow. If you want to take some quick and easy steps to losing some kilos and staying healthier, why not target some of the major culprits in your diet.

White Bread

Your morning toast or a sandwich at lunchtime may be weighing you down more than you think. White bread has little nutritional value and can contain a lot of hidden sugar. Like a lot of processed foods, a lot of the nutrients have been stripped out in the process of making it more palatable.

To remedy the situation, try replacing white with whole grain or whole wheat bread, which have much greater health value, or even try wholegrain tortillas as a lighter alternative for holding your sandwich fillings.

Fried Foods

Fried foods can pile on the pounds and can lead to high cholesterol and higher blood pressure, which are big health issues as you get older. It’s not just the fast food that needs to be avoided; you should also re-consider how you are cooking at home. Perhaps use baking or grilling as a healthier cooking method for the foods you would normally fry. Often it is just a matter of getting creative with recipes to achieve equally appetising results.

Fruit juice

Fruit juice has acquired a “healthy” image as an alternative to soft drinks as well as through clever promotion and marketing. However the fact is that fruit juice is often just as high in sugar as many soft drinks. Try to limit your intake and replace with water whenever possible.

If you do take fruit juice, try to make it yourself rather than buying commercial products – even if they say they are 100% juice, they may have been in long term storage and have lost a lot of their nutritional properties. Try including veggies when you make juices too – they often have better health benefits and can taste great when blended with fruit.

Processed Baked Goods

Cakes, donuts, biscuits and pastries can be really addictive treats, but they are a big no-no when it comes to weight control. They are usually high in white flour, sugar and fats, which can be adding whopping amounts of calories to your diet.

Alcohol

It may not be something we immediately associate with weight control, but alcohol is fundamentally refined juice of natural foods, which usually means it has concentrated sugars that could be adding a lot of sneaky kilos to your weight over time.

The cumulative effect of foods such as these can be dramatic, but the good news is that reducing or eliminating them does not have to involve drastic changes in your eating habits. Just replace them with the healthier alternatives, such as those suggested above. The benefits to your wellbeing and waistline are well worth it.